Another provocative piece on today's Telegraph is Harvard (!) Professor Niall Ferguson's bit of prognostication on one possible course that the future may take in the Middle East. In the mode of Sir John Hackett's influential The Third World War, August 1985, Ferguson notes the similarities between, on the one hand, the anti-semitic regime in Tehran rearming and the attendant difficulties that the Western democracies have in responding, and events of about 70 years ago.
He suggests that if war does break out, we will all have wished we had pre-empted Iran's nuclear program. The alternatives are far bleaker.
Will measures short of preemption be effective in protecting the world from the Iranian bomb? Does effective preemption lie within the military ability of the United States or one of its allies? Does it lie within anyone's political ability?
Will such questions get the attention they deserve? On this last point, we are confident of the answer. A prize goes to the first person who guesses.