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Students of higher education cannot afford preemptive strikes against Iran

The question is on the table — in order to neutralize the existential threat Iran poses with its uranium enrichment; will the United States use military action against them?

This is the question buzzing around Washington, Israel and the Middle East.


However, this question needs to be regarded by students of higher education particularly because the answer to this question will invariably affect our immediate and long-term future.

As students looking to enter into a career relatively soon and establish financial independence, international relations can seem out of view and irrelevant.

There needs to be a shift in our paradigm. We absolutely must engage ourselves in foreign affairs, for it is our civic duty, as well as in our best interest.

Let us establish a context and framework of Iran’s Uranium enrichment program and the effects upon the American and international community if the United States decides to use military action upon Iran.

According to an executive report published by the Iran Project, unilateral air strikes would only delay Iran’s plan of enrichment up to four years — not shut down the program completely.

In order to eliminate Iran’s uranium enrichment project altogether through regime change, terrific numbers of military personnel and force would be required, costing more than the U.S. invested with its military action in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

Ultimately, the result of a preemptive strike against Iran would prove to be anticlimactic for the United States and Israel alike.

Using military action against a sovereign nation who claims their uranium enrichment will be used for peaceful purposes, and who is also a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty would be an informal declaration of war.

Obviously war is the most expensive activity a country can participate in. With unemployment finally dipping below 8 percent, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drawing out, our economy can not afford to fund another expensive, long and unpredictable international conflict.


Even more significantly, if the United States decides to use military action against Iran, we can expect retaliation from Iranian proxy groups such Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as extending anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment throughout the Arab Middle East and North Africa.

The last thing the U.S. needs is to waste our resources (both human and financial), deteriorate our already delicate relationship with Middle Eastern powers, jeopardize our national security, and proliferate our robust national debt.

Beyond our domestic view, consequences for an attack on Iran would also be felt globally through regional instability in the Middle East as well as threaten global economic markets.

Even more, China and Russia would never support a U.S. decision to use military action on Iran. Since these two countries hold significant power as two of the five permanent U.N. Security Council members, the United States could not expect a U.N. Security Council backing on their decision to attack Iran.

It must also be noted that there could be unforeseen economic catastrophes for America because of Chinese and Russian disdain for military action against Iran.

A suffering economy goes hand in hand with high unemployment — a fact which needs to be taken into consideration when deciding whether to attack Iran or not.

So why should you concern yourself whether the United States decides to use military action against Iran?

It is the same reason you care about the economic status in our country, the same reason you care whether your family member must be deployed, and the same reason you fear terrorist attacks.

The same reason you wonder if you will be able to find a job after graduation — you care about these things because it directly affects the livelihood of you and your loved ones.

Editorial Assistant Brooke Lake is a senior international studies major. Her column appears every other Tuesday in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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