Intelligence Squared U.S. debates whether Israel can live with a nuclear Iran.
Over the summer of 2012, despite increased international pressure and economic sanctions, Iran doubled the number of nuclear centrifuges installed in its underground Fordow site, stopping just short of the capacity to produce nuclear fuel. President Obama has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's call to draw a "red line" that would trigger U.S. military action. What are the costs and benefits of military action? Can Israel live with a nuclear Iran, or is it time to launch a pre-emptive strike?
Dr. Shmuel Bar is Director of Studies at the Institute of Policy and Strategy in Herzliya and a founder of IntuView - an Israeli start-up company which is developing artificial intuition tools for real time document exploitation of Arabic language terrorist related documents. His current areas of study include: Jordanian, Syrian and Palestinian affairs, radical Islam and Terrorism, inter-Arab Politics, the Arab-Israeli Conflict and the Peace Process; Iranian defense doctrine and negotiation behavior.
James Dobbins is the Director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at RAND. Previously, he served as the Bush administration's first Special Envoy for Afghanistan, as well as their representative to the Afghan opposition in the wake of 9/11.
He has also held a variety of senior State Department and White House posts with responsibility for national security, crisis management, and relations with Europe and Latin America. Until June 2001 the Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, he also served as Special Assistant to the President for the Western Hemisphere, Special Adviser to the President and Secretary of State for the Balkans, Ambassador to the European Community, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Mission in Germany, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.
In recent years he has undertaken crisis management and diplomatic troubleshooting assignments relating to Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo. He also held Senior Fellowships with RAND and with the Council on Foreign Relations, and contributed to books on transatlantic trade and European security.
In recent years Dobbins has been tapped for a number of sensitive diplomatic missions. In 1993 he managed the diplomacy attendant on the disengagement of American forces from Somalia. In 1994, he helped organize the American led multilateral intervention in Haiti. In 1999, on the eve of the Kosovo conflict, he became the administration's senior envoy for the Balkans. Through the Kosovo air campaign he worked to keep the NATO coalition together, negotiated the United Nations Security Council resolution that ended the fighting, and oversaw subsequent American peace implementation. He supervised the civil aspects of peace operations in Kosovo and Bosnia, as he earlier had for Haiti and Somalia, managing American relief and reconstruction efforts in the Balkans in excess of $1 billion per annum.
As the Assistant Secretary for Europe, from 2000 to 2001, Dobbins helped mobilize successful international efforts to oust the Milosevic regime and support a democratic successor. He negotiated an agreement with the European Union establishing arrangements for defense collaboration with NATO, and, in partnership with the European Union, launched the current peace process in Macedonia.
Dobbins is a graduate of the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. He spent 3 years as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He is married to Toril Kleivdal, and they have two sons.
John Donvan is a correspondent for ABC News Nightline. He has served as ABC White House Correspondent, along with postings in Moscow, London, Jerusalem and Amman.
Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent of The Atlantic. Before joining the magazine in 2007, he was Middle East correspondent and Washington correspondent for The New Yorker. Previously, he served as a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York Magazine. He has also written for the Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post. His book Prisoners has been hailed as one of the best books of 2006. Goldberg is the recipient of the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism. He is also the winner of an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist, an Overseas Press Club award for best human rights reporting, and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism. He is also the recipient of 2005’s Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize.
Reuven Pedatzur is a senior military affairs analyst with Ha'aretz newspaper and Senior Lecturer in Political Science at Tel Aviv University. He currently serves as Director of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Strategic Dialogue, Netanya Academic College. He was previously an IAF fighter pilot, Academic Director of the Daniel Abraham Center for Strategic Dialogue at Netanya Academic College, and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Strategic Studies at MIT. He is one of Israel's leading commentators on missile defense, nuclear and other non-conventional weapons, the Israeli Defense Force's strategic doctrine and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His most recent book is The Rescue of King Hussein's Regime (2008). Pedatzur is a regular analyst for Israeli TV and hosts a radio show on security and strategic issues.
Reuven Pedatzur, Israeli Military Affairs Analyst of Ha'aretz, explains why Iran wouldn't use nuclear weapons to destroy Israel. Pedatzur argues that if Iran wanted to wipe Israel "off the face of the map", it would have done so already. Shmuel Bar, Director of Studies at Israel’s Institute of Policy and Strategy, counters that Iran's "rhetoric" is a legitimate, actionable threat.