War-Gaming Iran

In this image made available Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 and taken from Al Alam TV, a missile is fired in an unspecified location in Iran, which had begun large-scale air defense war games aimed at protecting the country's nuclear facilities against any possible attack, state television reported. (AP)

The pressure cranks higher and higher around Iran, with allegations that it is rolling forward on nuclear weapons development.

The White House is talking high-pressure diplomacy — sanctions. But others are talking war.

Israel’s defense minister speaks of a “finger close to the trigger.” Newspapers report that preparations for an Israeli strike are clear.

There’s a lot of theater here. But there’s a real threat, too. And strategists all over are war-gaming how a strike on Iran would play out. It’s not pretty. Today, we’re listening.

This hour, On Point: war-gaming Iran.


Joining us from Washington is Kenneth Pollack, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and author of “A Path Out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East.” He was a member of the “control team” in the war game organized by the Saban Center last December.

Also from Washington is Suzanne Maloney, Iran expert at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and author of “Iran’s Long Reach.”  She was a member of the “Iran team” in the center’s December war game. 

And from Tel Aviv, we’re joined by Giora Eiland, retired major general in the Israeli Army and former National Security Advisor focusing on, among other things, the Iranian nuclear program. He is now senior research fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.  He took part in a “war game” at Tel Aviv University last October.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 27, 2015
Josh Baldonado, an administrative assistant at Brown & Brown Insurance, works at a treadmill desk in the firms offices in Carmel, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. (AP)

The end of sitting at work. A new call to get up off our chairs. To stand and move! We’ll look at how that works.

Nov 27, 2015
The punk rock band Sleater-Kinney (from L: Janet Weiss, Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker) (Courtesy the Band)

Feminist punk-rockers, the band Sleater-Kinney, is with us. Reunited. Hotter than ever.

Nov 26, 2015
Jewel performs in the On Point Studio on Tuesday, September 22, 2015. (Liz Gillis / WBUR)

Singer-songwriter Jewel asked “who will save your soul”? Now she’s talking about saving her own. We’ll talk to Jewel.

Nov 26, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »