I do support the notion that the threat that Iran poses can be resolved without war, but one has to understand the nature of the threat that Iran poses. Let's listen to former CIA Director James Woosely:
"Second point is about capabilities. People tend to think that most change is linear, and so if you hear that it only takes 3 percent enriched uranium to power a nuclear plant and it takes 90 percent enriched uranium for a weapon, most of us tend to think that, well, you have to do 30 times more work on the enriched uranium and only then you will have enough for the bomb. Wrong. Those curves are not linear. Once you have 3 percent enriched uranium you have done about 60 percent of the work you need in order to have weapons grade nuclear material Once you have done enriched uranium to 20 percent, which we know Iran is doing now, you have done 80 to 85 percent of the work you need to get to weapons grade. And indeed with some types of bomb design, admittedly rather simple, not particularly effective, nothing that any bomb designer from Lawrence Livermore or any place that worked on these weapons would have been proud of, but something that would go boom and have a mushroom cloud and radioactivity. You can do that under some circumstances with the 20 percent enriched uranium that the Iranians are already producing. "
However I'm noticing the tendency to move away from my op to larger, more grandiose topics, and to some extent they are more interesting because they are dramatic. My original question was about the 'stans, their viability and the interests of the West. They used to be considered both uninteresting and, following the ideas of George F. Kennan, within the sphere of Soviet interests. With the fall of the Soviet Union their status on the world stage comes into play.