The first is from a former US intelligence official.
U.S. intelligence officials are skeptical. Former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden told a group of foreign policy experts last month that Israel is not capable of inflicting significant damage on Iran's nuclear sites. Some are situated at the outer range of Israeli bombers, and others are underground, he said.Suzanne Maloney expressed the same idea at a Brookings Institution panel earlier this month.
"The Israelis aren't going to [attack Iran] … they can't do it, it's beyond their capacity," Hayden said. "They only have the ability to make this worse."
A monthlong U.S. bombing campaign would inflict far more damage, Hayden said, but it wouldn't be worth it. The George W. Bush administration studied the issue, he said.
"The consensus was that [attacking Iran] would guarantee that which we are trying to prevent: an Iran that will spare nothing to build a nuclear weapon and that would build it in secret," Hayden said.
In terms of the New York Times Magazine article, I think we could do a whole session on that and I think all of my colleagues would have opinions on the number of questions that you posed. I will answer very briefly that I think -- I remain a sort of hopeful skeptic on the prospect of an Israeli attack, although I think the prospects today are higher than they have probably ever been, even after years of anticipation and expectation that such a strike would be imminent. I think the world jitters are legitimate this time around. I think the after-effects would be disastrous for U.S. interests and, for that matter, for Israeli interests, and it would not set back the program significantly enough to justify those after-effects.It is fairly well understood in the United States that an attack on Iran would not achieve any US objective worth the risks and costs. As long as that is the case, we can be confident that we will not see an attack from either the United States, or from Israel, a country that, to the degree it is viable, is only viable because of US support.