The Iranian Nuclear Crisis has always interested me. I have written an article about it before on here, and will write more in the future. Unthinkable by Kenneth Pollack discusses that topic, and talks about our strategy toward facing it.
Unthinkable begins with a short history of modern Iran. It describes Iran, why it wants a nuclear bomb, and the reason why it is so fanatical about it. Pollack talks about the Shah, the West’s involvement with his government, and then how our relations splintered when the Iranian Revolution occurred and American hostages were taken.
The book then delves into our possible solutions to prevent Iran from getting “the bomb”. It discusses the pros and cons of diplomacy, regime change, Israeli air strikes, and proliferation. It accurately gives each solution in a good and bad light, and gives all the possible ramifications of each.
Finally, it ends with the 2 options if we do nothing now: Containment or War. It talks about how, if it gets to the point when Iran gets a nuclear bomb(s), we only have these 2 choices, and how we have to pick the lesser of the evils. Pollack says that containment keeps us out of conflict, but costs a great deal of money, and may upset other Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He also says that, while war would end an oppressive regime quickly without nuclear conflict, it is proven, by our war in Iraq, that it would cost American lives and money and may not accomplish its goal. He argues that we need to end the Iranian Nuclear Program through diplomacy NOW, before we have to pick one of these options.
One of the best nonfictions I have read in a long time, Unthinkable by Kenneth Pollack opened my eyes to many new things regarding the Iranian Nuclear Program. Written from an unbiased place, it analyses all options fairly and allows the reader to pick which option would weigh best on their consciences and pocketbook.
Kenneth M. Pollack is an expert on Middle Eastern political-military affairs, with particular emphasis on Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the other nations of the Persian Gulf region. He is currently a senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He served as the director of the Saban Center from 2009 to 2012, and its director of research from 2002 to 2009.