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A Time to Attack: The Looming Iranian Nuclear Threat

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Iran's advanced nuclear program may be the world's most important emerging international security challenge. If not stopped, a nuclear-capable Iran will mean an even more crisis-prone Middle East, a potential nuclear-arms race in the region and around the world, and an increased risk of nuclear war against Israel and the United States, among many other imminent global threats.
Matthew Kroenig, internationally recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on Iran's nuclear program, explains why we need to take immediate steps to a diplomatic and, if necessary, a military solution - now - before Iran makes any further nuclear advances. A Time to Attack provides an authoritative account of the history of Iran's nuclear program and the international community's attempts to stop it. Kroenig explains and assesses the options available to policymakers, and reflects on what the resolution of the Iranian nuclear challenge will mean for the future of international order.
This dramatic call to action provides an insider's account of what is being said in Washington about what our next move must be as the crisis continues to develop.

272 pages, Hardcover

First published May 13, 2014

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Matthew Kroenig

14 books7 followers

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Profile Image for Doug Cornelius.
Author 2 books31 followers
December 17, 2014
What should we do about the nuclear weapon program in Iran? The country is not complying with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Iran has four main sites being used to create weapons-grade uranium. The country has stopped short of further purifying the uranium to the concentration needed for a bomb. But once it decides to, Iran can produce the uranium needed for a bomb in two to six months.

Besides the uranium, Iran needs to develop the weapon and means of delivery. The weapon is still a year away and the delivery method could be longer than that.

But once Iran gets the uranium it's game over. Once the uranium in produced we lose the way to track it.

I didn't know any this last week until I picked it up from Matthew Kroenig's A Time to Attack: The Looming Iranian Nuclear Threat. The book's publisher sent me copy to review and I was looking to learn more about the Iran nuclear issue.

Iran is spinning centrifuges to enrich uranium. There is no civilian purpose for this uranium. The only purpose is to create a nuclear weapon. Iran is working on ICBMs. No country has placed conventional weapons on an ICBM. The only use has been to mount a nuclear device to launch across vast distances.

We know where the four key sites are located. The toughest is Qom which is built into the side of a mountain and protected by almost 300 feet of rock. No really, google the Qom Uranium enrichment facility. It's right on Google maps.

Matthew Kroenig offers a few possible courses of action. There is only one that he thinks will work: Attack once Iran passes the point of no return. It's not a good approach and does not have a good outcome. But the other outcomes are worse.

Would any other country believe that the US would go to war with a nuclear-armed Iran, if the US was not willing to go to war with a nonnuclear Iran. Once Iran has a nuclear weapon, the rest of region will start their own programs out of fear of Iran and the lack of faith in the US.

Yes, it has to be the US. Israel does not have a bunker-busting bomb powerful enough to destroy the Qom facility or even the lesser protected facility at Natanz. Even for the US, the B-2 bomber is the only aricraft capable of delivering the Massive Ordnance Penetrator bomb.

Kroenig puts together well reasoned arguments in an easy to read book. It leaves even a liberal dove like me agreeing with his position.
Profile Image for Hussein Magdy.
37 reviews13 followers
July 23, 2014
The writer is really bright, and it would be foolish to ignore his analytic skills, however he acts like many of the new administration on the hill,where smart analysis is wasted for the sake of politically driven conclusions.
Profile Image for Helen.
708 reviews94 followers
June 9, 2016
This isn't a particularly exciting book, but it does contain a lot of information about the pros and cons that need to be considered if a strike to eliminate Iran's nuclear capacity is contemplated.

The author's reasoning seems solid - the chief objective of the NP (nonproliferation) strategy must be the limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. We cannot have credibility if sanctions aren't eventually backed up by a strike, if Iran crosses unacceptable lines toward possessing nuclear weapons.

The author gives clear explanations of what is involved in building nuclear weapons, how far Iran has gotten, how Iran managed to acquire information/technology that could enable it to build nuclear weapons, and the current status of Iran's nuclear program. He concludes that a limited strike to eliminate the most advanced nuclear facilities might be preferable to a more massive response - although each move would unleash various counter-moves by the Iranian government (rockets fired at Israel, Mid-East allies, US bases; aggressive moves to interfere with shipping in the Strait of Hormuz; Quds attacks world-wide; financing terror attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah) the Iranian counter-moves could be absorbed/prevented whereas if Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons plus build ICBMs, then the threat to the US homeland would be unacceptable. Various scenarios are considered in the book. The preferable option is a negotiated end to Iran's nuclear program - which would need to include disavowal of nuclear weapons by Iran.

The 2015 agreement is not touched upon in the book, although the author firmly disagrees that enrichment by Iran is necessary, or even, a right. Thus, there is no doubt he probably disagrees with the framework of the present deal, which does include Iranian uranium enrichment. Indeed, in a February 2016 article, the author disagrees with the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran http://www.the-american-interest.com/...
122 reviews
June 29, 2014
Very well researched! I agree with Kroenig that going to war with Iran should be a last resort option. I haven't read a lot of books about Iran's Nuclear Threat, but I can't imagine another book being any more through than this book. The book discusses Iran's history of trying to create nuclear weapons, policy analysis, and ends by discussing the benefits of disarming Iran. I many not have agreed with some of Kroenig's views, but it still was a very thought provoking read.
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