‘Over 50% chance for Iran conflict in coming year.’ This was the headline in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post quoting David Gergen, one of our favorite nonpartisan political analysts, who has worked for both Republicans and Democrats.
Speaking to the annual General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America, Gergen said the chances of a conflict with Iran in the next two to 24 months are greater than 50 percent, and possibly, as high as 90%. Here’s the JPost,
Shortly after the Israeli elections, he ventured – assuming, as expected, that Netanyahu will continue in office – the prime minister is likely to ask the United States for a green light to take military action against Iran. This, he said, will create enormous angst, as the two countries differ significantly in regard to the point at which intervention becomes necessary.
Gergen on dealing with the Iranian issue,
President Barack Obama will be focused during his second term on domestic issues, he predicted, but would nevertheless not be able to avoid the Middle East even if he wanted to. There is simply too much unresolved and too much at stake, he said.
And the central conundrum he will have to deal with is Iran. “In my 30 years in and out of politics,” he reflected, “this is the toughest problem I have ever seen.”
This morning Israel launched an air operation called Pillar of Cloud against Hamas leaders and their military infrastructure, including rocket stockpiles in the Gaza Strip. Could this be the beginning of the conflict with Iran that Gergan spoke about?
Some seem to think so. The Weekly Standard writes,
Israel’s last large campaign against Hamas, Operation Cast Lead, was waged shortly before Obama’s 2009 inauguration. The timing of the current campaign should allow the Israelis much more flexibility in achieving their goals, which in addition to eliminating Hamas figures also includes degrading the military capacity of Gaza’s ruling authority. Presumably, the Iranians will be watching very closely how the White House treats the situation, whether it tries to restrain the Netanyahu government or encourages and even assists Jerusalem in a campaign against what are effectively Iranian assets.
Seriously, folks, can P/E multiples expand in an environment of fiscal instability in the U.S. and growing political instability in the Mideast?
(click here if charts are not observable)