26 February, 2009

Geographic Distribution and Fortification of Iran’s Nuclear Facilities

In the 2002 State of the Union Address President George W. Bush, used the term “Axis of Evil” to describe three states. These three were Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. This speech laid out the goals of “the war on terror”. According to the President “Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.”[1] These three were picked because of their intentions of securing “weapons of mass destruction”. Iran was targeted specifically because, “Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom.”[2] The government in Iran has made statements which convey the intention to use any weapons of mass destruction on Israel and its allies. After Israel’s preemptive air strike on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981 many wonder if Israel or the United States would launch a preemptive attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities. By analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of all states involved we can determine if an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities is even possible.
The United States has had four goals when dealing with Iran, since the current government took power. They are “limit Iran’s aggressive assertiveness in the region, halt Tehran’s support for terrorism, promote Iranian democracy and human rights, and stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.”[3] Iran’s current population and terrain drastically limit any military courses of action. Iran is located in the Middle East, it is bordered by “Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan-proper, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan”.[4] Currently Iran is sandwiched between U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran has an estimated population of 65,875,224. The terrain of Iran is “rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts”[5] Due to the difficult terrain and large anti-American population the possibility of utilizing ground forces is not considered as a course of action. When the dispersal of the nuclear facilities is taken in to account, ground forces are impossible to utilize. Therefore any military action must be done from the air.
Iran learned from the mistakes Iraq made in 1981 when Israel destroyed their only nuclear reactor. Iran has done several things to ensure their nuclear facilities remain unharmed. The facilities have been dispersed across the large nation, creating the possibility of a small flight being able to do massive damage impossible. The map below demonstrates how the Iranians dispersed their Nuclear Facilities. Iran has also placed the facilities in densely populated cities when possible. Some facilities due to their purpose are dependent on natural resources.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Iran has facilities critical to its program in five different cities. These cities are Tehran, Bushehr, Esfahan, Natanz, and Arak.[6] Tehran has the Kalaye electric company which is suspected to be producing centrifuge parts, Tehran research reactor, radioisotope production facility, Jabr Ibn Hayan multipurpose laboratories. In Bushehr there is a Russian built light water reactor. Esfahan has a miniature neutron source reactor, light water sub-critical reactor, heavy water zero power reactor, fuel fabrication laboratory, uranium chemistry laboratory, uranium conversion facility, graphite sub- critical reactor which has been decommissioned, and a fuel manufacturing plant. Natanz has a pilot fuel enrichment plant and fuel enrichment plant. Arak has the Iran nuclear research reactor. The facilities that make other countries nervous are in Natanz because they produce the equipment needed to enrich uranium for a power plant or bomb.[7]
(Iran Nuclear Sites)
While Iran has never claimed to be pursuing nuclear weapons many nations believe otherwise. These nations would include the United States and Israel. By looking at the armaments of these nations the Iranians have constructed a defense network. With the aid of the Russians Iran had acquired an array of very effective anti-aircraft weapons. These weapons would include the Russian made S-300 PMU. One of these weapons is deployed at the Bushehr nuclear weapons facility. This weapon is capable of engaging targets ranging of elevation from 30 ft. to 90,000 ft. it is capable of engaging both aircraft and cruise missiles. It is also designed to counter any kind of electronic counter measures. In addition to the one which is known to be deployed there are several others which have been purchased from the Russians. There are also many Russian made 100mm anti-aircraft guns emplaced around the country. Iran also has 25 F-14 Tomcats sold to them by the United States, these planes have been equipped to act as miniature command and control aircraft, as the rest of Ian’s planes they are too old to be capable of night operations. The other natural defensive barrier is the simple fact that there are 1,100 miles between Israel and Iran. [9]
The 1,100 miles between Israel and Iran is important due to the aircraft and the armaments that Israel posses. While Israel has many different types of U.S. made aircraft very few have the capabilities to make the trip to Iran. Israel currently has 25 F-15s, 16 F-16 Is, 126 F-16 C&Ds. An important distinction between the Iranian and Israeli aircraft capabilities is that all of the Israeli planes are capable of conducting night operations. The problem with the Israeli aircraft is that only the F-16 Is have the range to reach the Iranian Nuclear facilities without refueling, and the Israelis lack the capabilities to conduct a large scale refueling.[10] Israel was also sold 100 GBU-28s. These bombs are 5,000 lbs. Bunker Buster bombs capable of penetrating 100ft. of dirt or 20ft. of concrete.[11] Due to the fact that Israel has very few planes which could conduct an attack it is unlikely that Israel could have any devastating impact on Iran’s nuclear program.
The only nation which has any kind of air power capable of slowing down or stopping Iran’s nuclear program would be the United States. This is due to the capabilities of its aircraft, and the technological advantage. The U.S. has the F-22, B-2, and F-117A which could be used to attack the anti-aircraft installations, exposing the nuclear facilities for the non-stealth aircraft. The second wave would be a large scale air strike hitting the nuclear facilities utilizing precision munitions. The U.S. has the capabilities to conduct all of the in-flight refueling. [12]
Over the years Iran has developed an elaborate anti-aircraft defense system. In addition to dispersing the nuclear facilities within the country, while placing them near populated areas. While these are factors create difficulties when attempting to conduct an air strike, the United States and Israel have the capabilities to conduct an air strike. While the U.S. and Israel have the capabilities to attack Iran, it may not me the best decision due to the reactions of the many other Islamic nations. The only manner of which the United States or Israel could successfully attack Iran’s nuclear facilities is as a secondary strike after Iran had attacked Israel or the U.S.[13]

[1] State of the Union Address 2002,President George W. Bush, From the 2002 Presidential Documents Online via GPO Access, January 29, 2002
[2] Ibid.
[3] Michael McFaul, Abbas Milani, and Larry Diamond. 2007. "A Win-Win U.S. Strategy for Dealing with Iran." Washington Quarterly 30, no. 1: 121-122.
[4]Central Intelligence Agency, “The World Factbook- Iran” CIA World Fact book. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/iran.html [accessed February 22, 2009]
[5] Ibid.
[6] Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. Iranian Nuclear Sites, Hussein D. Hassan, 2007.
[7] International Atomic Energy Association, Report prepared for Meeting of the Board of Governors prepared by the Director General, Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran: 2003.
[8] “Iran Nuclear Sites”, Nuclear Threat Initiative Web site, http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles_pdfs/Iran/iran_nuclear_sites.pdf [accessed February 22, 2009].
[9] Andrew Brookes, “Air Attack Iran,” Royal United Services Institute, [Jun 2006, Vol. 151, No. 3]: 53
[10] Ibid,53.
[11] Global Security, “Guided Bomb Unit-28.” http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/gbu-28.htm [accessed February 22, 2009]
[12],Andrew Brookes, “Air Attack Iran,” Royal United Services Institute, [Jun 2006, Vol. 151, No. 3]: 54
[13] Michael McFaul, Abbas Milani, and Larry Diamond, "A Win-Win U.S. Strategy for Dealing with Iran," Washington Quarterly [Winter2006/2007]: 124-125.

17 February, 2009

Federalist Papers # 47 & 48

Main Thesis: In these editorials James Madison addresses the issue of separation of powers proposed in the newly proposed constitution. In Federalist No. 47 he discusses the need for the branches of government to be "separate and distinct". The Argument was the only way to prevent tyranny (Defined in quote below) the powers of government must be in separate hands. While in Federalist No. 48 the argument is over the manner in which the branches are "separate and distinct" while still retaining "constitutional control over the others". The point that Madison was arguing was that it is possible to prevent tyranny without having complete separation between the branches and in fact some control over the other branches is necessary to prevent tyranny. Madison's of these ideas on the separation of powers are derived from Montesquieu.


In Federalist No. 47 Madison looks at the state's constitutions and he finds that not one has any branches of government completely separate from each other.

Federalist No. 48 Madison looks at situations which had already arisen in the states where the legislative body had overstepped their delegated tasks and was not put into check by the other branches. These were in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

System of Checks and Balances

Legislative Executive Judicial
-House & Senate Accountable to each other

-Bill has to go through both House and Senate

-Neither may adjourn for more than 3 days without the others consent
-Impeachment Power

-Override Veto

-Declare War

-Allocate Funds

-State of Union address

-Selects the President if no Majority of electoral votes

-Approve Ambassadors, Treaties, Cabinet positions

-Approves appointed Judges
-Senate confirms Judges

-Impeachment Power

-Alter size of Supreme Court

-Initiate Constitutional amendments

-Sets jurisdiction of courts

-Can setup the inferior courts
-Veto Power

-VP is President of Senate

-Commander and Chief

-Can call an Emergency session of Congress

- Can force adjournment when Congress cannot agree
-Vice President and Cabinet can declare President unfit to discharge the duties of his office-Appoints judges

-Pardon Power
-Judicial Review-Judicial Review,

-Chief Justice sits as President of Senate during impeachment
-No self ChecksJudicial
Notable quotes:

"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

"The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity, and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex."

"When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person or body," says he, "there can be no liberty, because apprehensions may arise lest the same monarchic senate should enact tyrannical laws to execute them in a tyrannical manner."

16 February, 2009

Democratic Principles & Federalism (Federalist Papers 9,10, 47-51)

Democratic Principles & Federalism

  • How can Liberties be threatened?
    • From Within- danger from Faction
      • What is a faction?

"By a Faction, I understand a number of citizens, wither amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of a passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community." Federalist # 10

  • From Without- Danger from oppressive government
  • What are the solutions to these dangers to liberty?
    • Solution to faction- An extended republic

Federalist 9-10, 51

  • Solution to oppressive government- Slice and dice governmental power

Separation of powers and Federalism

Federalist 47-51, 39

  • Federalist 9
    • Important Aspects of the paper:

The history of past republics has not been good

A solution to the violence and insurrection must be found

Fortunately, there have been improvements to the science of Government

Among them is the enlargement of the orbit

  • List of Improvements

"The regular distribution of power into distinct departments; the introduction of legislative balances and checks; the institution of courts composed of judges holding their offices during good behavior, the representation of the people in the legislative by deputies of their own election" Federalist # 9

  • Federalist 10
    • Important Aspects of the paper:
      • The proposed government had the tendency to break and control the violence of faction
      • The definition of faction is offered
      • Faction seems inevitable and cannot be totally eliminated
      • The most common source of Faction- conflict between the haves and have-nots
      • The extended republic is the key

"Among the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction." Federalist #10

"Complaints are everywhere heard from out most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments; are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority." Federalist #10

"There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests. " Federalist #10

  • What does Federalist #10 propose as a solution to control for the effects of faction?
    • A: the solution is to be found not in a pure democracy, but a representative republic
    • Democracies have to be small, but representative republics offer two advantages
    • Extended (Large) republics offer two advantages:
      1. Better pool of potential candidates
      2. A greater Varity of interests

"Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other." Federalist #10

  • Better Representatives?
    • In a larger territory only men of attractive merit and established character will rise to top and be elected
    • The deliberations of these enlightened statesmen will be better than if the people had deliberated themselves
    • More on this when we talk about Congress

  • Greater variety of interests?
    • The more people you have within a sphere, the greater variety of interests.
    • The greater variety of interests makes it less likely that a majority will form around anything other than the public good (i.e. a conclusion that is in line with the common good or at least not harmful to the minority)

  • Federalist 47
    • Important aspects of the paper:
      • Does the proposed Constitution violates proper separation of powers?
      • How does Publius define tyranny?
        • “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
      • Does proper separation entail a complete separation of powers between the different branches?
      • Did the British Government or State governments demonstrate complete separation?

  • Federalist 48
    • Important aspects of this paper:
      • Ironically, a proper separation actually entails some kind of connection or blending between the branches
      • Yet, what kind of of blending of powers would be too much as to be an "overruling influence" and how do you prevent this?
      • Will mere words on paper prevent this?
      • What did the Critical Period tell us about the legislative vortex?

  • Federalist 49 & 50
    • Important aspects of these papers:
      • Will the external control of appealing to the people (vial mini-constitutional conventions) be the best way of preventing undue encroachments?
  • Federalist 51
    • Important Aspects of the paper:
      • Seeks to demonstrate that only a properly-structured government possessing the requisite Internal Controls can provide for a proper separation of powers
      • Each branch must have the means and motive to protect its respective powers
      • What does this say about human nature?
      • Does the legislative branch present a special concern for us regarding separation of powers?
      • Here Publius reiterates may of the same points he made in Federalist 10
      • The protection of civil rights will be gained in the same manner in which religious rights are protected- By multiplying the interests (sects )
      • Design a system of government that will police itself against encroachment on powers

09 February, 2009

Critical Period, Constitutional Convention, and Ratification Debate

Critical Period, Constitutional Convention, and Ratification Debate

Critical Period: 1783-1787 (Under Articles of Confederation)

Constitutional Convention Period: Summer of 1787

Ratification Period: 1787- 1789


Look at the events of the critical period

Examine the major arguments made by the opponents of the Constitution: the Anti-Federalist

Look at Federalist 23 and 25

Thach Reading

Balancing Act:

Balance between:

  1. Governmental Power
  2. Individual Liberty and Security

What is the common assumption about how to balance these two things?

Under Articles of Confederation:

  • Very weak Governmental Power "The United States in Congress Assembled"
  • Almost all power resided in the State power
  • A strong Government can be used as an oppressive instrument

What were the "Founders" most concerned about?

Founders: People who founded the country (1776)

What were the "Framers" most concerned about?

Framers: People who framed the constitution (1787)

Balance of Power: Between Governmental power and Peoples liberties

Power to the State or Nation

Individual liberty can be threatened from 2 sources:

  1. From Fellow citizens (dangers from within)
    1. This is the danger of "majority fraction"
    2. Federalist 10 & 51
    3. Anti-Federalist: Centinel # I
  1. From the Government (dangers from without)
    1. This is the danger of an oppressive government
    2. Federalist 47-51
    3. Anti-Federalist: John DeWitt # III

What did the Founders learn during the Revolutionary War?

Answer: they learned that times of crisis change the situation quite a bit

  • Times of crisis call for (1) an increase in governmental energy, and (2) an increased need for citizens to submit to that authority

What happened after the Revolution?

Answer: A general collapse in governmental energy or vigor

The Newburgh Conspiracy

The Articles of Confederation

Under the Articles of Confederation

The General problem of the Critical Period under the articles of Confederation was broadly a lack of government strength ("Lack of coercive power"), but more specifically it was a lack of NAIONAL governmental strength (Pg 16 of Thach)

  • Most all power was at the state level

Lack of National Government

  • The non-payment of the national debt
  • A general commercial depression
  • A rising discontent of the lower socio-economic classes

How does a strong central government help to solve each of these problems?

  • A strong central government would have the power to levy taxes to fund a Federal treasury in order to pay back the debt, it would also be able to manage the national economy

Shays Rebellion (1786- 1787)

  • An uprising of small farmers (think, lower, socio-economic class)
  • Farmers were suffering under the impact of their debts
  • Thousands took up arms to keep from being thrown in debtors prisons

Henry Ox said the national government was powerless to stop it

  • Shays rebellion shoed that History was repeating itself!
  • In popular forms of government, then tendency is for people to join together with like-minded others toward getting what they want

Violent: Shay's Rebellion

Non-Violent: Majority Factions

Anti-Federalists and Federalists

Who were the Anti-Federalists and what was their concern?

  • Many simply see the Anti-Federalist as a group of people in opposition to the proposed Constitution
  • While true, it is also key to see that the Anti-Federalist were actually for something as well

General Characteristics of Anti-Federalist thought

  1. Anti-Feds were for conserving the status quo- no wholesome changes to Articles of Confederation
  2. Anti-Feds were for a union, but a very different kind of union that the one proposed under the Constitution
  3. Anti-Feds were for the bulk of governments power to reside with "small republics" (think States)

Anti-Federalist were Conservatives

  • Anti-Federalists knew that the AOC was lacking, but believed that it only needed to be tweaked or adjusted in a minor way

  • Anti-Federalists saw themselves as the true conservators of "federalism" which they thought was a confederal

Which is the best system?

  1. Confederal- A system where the parts are united into a whole, but the bulk of power resides with the parts (compact of states theory)
  2. Federal- union represents a mix of power between parts and whole (Federalist 39)
  3. National- a union which results in a power residing at the whole (thus eliminating the parts)

What bothered the Anti-Federalists about the Constitution?

  1. The consolidating aspect of the Constitution shifting the bulk of power to the new central government
    • Seen as a threat to State sovereignty
  1. The power possessed by this new central government
    • Would lead to despotism

Why was this perceived consolidation so bad?

A: Because they thought that this consolidation of power at the national level would effectively eliminate the state power (Federalist 39)

Why was it so important for the Anti-Federalists that the States maintain political supremacy?

A: Because they thought that there was an essential connection between (1) state, power and (2)individual liberty

What characteristic did the States have that made this possible?

A: They were small. This is why Anti-Federalists are called "small republic" people

  • Anti-Federalists believed that a small republic (again, think primacy of the States) was necessary to promote free societies

Perceived Benefits of a small republic

  1. Voluntary attachment of the people to the government and its laws
  2. Effective representation
  3. Formation of virtuous citizens

Federalists reply…

Large republics work better

  • They do a better job of protecting people's liberties
  • Better representation will be gained in larger republics

(Federalist 9 & 10)

What about the fact that this new central government would be so powerful?

Anti-Federalists looked at this new government as a monster Leading to despotism


  • Supremacy Clause of Article IV
  • Necessary and Proper Clause of Article I
  • Article II in general

Federalist Respond…

  1. We've already seen where weak government led us..
  2. Means/Ends argument justifying greater governmental power (Federalist 23 & 25)

Federalist 23

An energetic government raises three questions:

  1. What objects are to be provided for by a federal government?
  2. What quantity of power is necessary to achieve these ends?
  3. To whom will that power be entrusted?
    • This starts in Federalist 52


Anti-Federalists lost because they had weaker arguments

But it was not a total loss because they got the Bill of Rights

Anti-Federalists thought endured beyond 1789 in two lingering issues

  1. Attachments to small republics (compact of states theory)
  2. Fear of royal prerogative (Article III)