Yet the worse our economy gets, the more I think the people advising the President will start seriously saying that the only way Obama gets re-elected will be to pull the country behind him on hitting Iran. Personally, I hope that any Obama advisers pitching that line need to be shown the door, but that's a thin support to hang that particular hope on. What could go wrong? How's this for starters:
Spheres of action could include any or all of the following.
• Missile attacks on Israel using conventionally-armed systems might be carried out primarily to demonstrate the survival of a capability after an initial Israeli attack. These would be intended principally to undermine Israeli morale rather than have any serious military effect.
• Closure of the Straits of Hormuz, however brief, would cause a sharp rise in oil prices and be a reminder of Iran’s leverage over Gulf shipping routes. Any sustained price rise would have a potentially catastrophic impact on the global economy.
• Paramilitary and/or missile attacks on western Gulf oil production, processing and transportation facilities would be of very deep concern to the producer states, especially Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. While such facilities have much more intense security than a decade ago, they remain essentially soft targets.
• Action in Iraq and Afghanistan in support of those groups opposing western involvement could be tailored to discourage further attacks on Iran. [...]
Unlike Iraq or Afghanistan, Iran could really make our lives miserable if we attacked them.