In December 2009, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy conducted a day-long simulation of the diplomatic and military fallout that could result from an Israeli military strike against the Iranian nuclear program. In this Middle East Memo, Kenneth M. Pollack analyzes the critical decisions each side made during the wargame.
The simulation was conducted as a three-move game with three separate country teams. One team represented a hypothetical American National Security Council, a second team represented a hypothetical Israeli cabinet, and a third team represented a hypothetical Iranian Supreme National Security Council. The U.S. team consisted of approximately ten members, all of whom had served in senior positions in the U.S. government and U.S. military. The Israel team consisted of a half-dozen American experts on Israel with close ties to Israeli decision-makers, and who, in some cases, had spent considerable time in Israel. Some members of the Israel team had also served in the U.S. government. The Iran team consisted of a half-dozen American experts on Iran, some of whom had lived and/or traveled extensively in Iran, are of Iranian extraction, and/or had served in the U.S. government with responsibility for Iran.
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