Foreign Policy's Karim Sadjadpour war-gamed an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities -- and was surprised at just how ugly things got.
The simulation was conducted as a three-move game, with Israeli, U.S., and Iranian teams, each representing their government's top national security officials. The members of the U.S. team had all served in senior positions in the U.S. government; the Israeli team was composed of a half-dozen experts on Israel, including former senior U.S. officials with close ties to senior Israeli decision-makers; the Iranian team was composed of a half-dozen specialists, including people who had either lived in Tehran or served as U.S. officials with responsibility for Iran.
I had the unenviable task of trying to channel Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The simulation was premised on a surprise Israeli military strike -- absent U.S. knowledge or consent -- on Iran's nuclear facilities, motivated by the breakdown of nuclear negotiations, the ineffectiveness of sanctions, and newfound intelligence of secret Iranian weapons activity. In other words, pretty close to what we have before us now.
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