War with Iran to last years, devastate global economy: Brzezinski

Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warned in an interview with Newsmax TV that a confrontation with Iran would be disastrous for the United States, lasting for years and possibly devastating America's economy. "A war in the Middle East, in the present context, may last for years," Brzezinski, who served in the Carter White House, tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. "And the economic consequences of it are going to be devastating for the average American.

"High inflation. Instability. Insecurity. Probably significant isolation for the United States in the world scene," Brzezinski says. "Can you name me any significant country that's going to be in that war together on our side? That's something no one can afford to ignore," Brzezinski adds.

"Rushing to war is not a wise course of action," he says. "You can always start a war, and you know pretty much what happens when you start it. But you don't know how long it will last, what its consequences will be - and they will be certainly very costly for the United States."

Iran recently renewed its threats to close the Strait of Hormuz unless sanctions against it were revoked. Tehran has repeatedly threatened to close the vital oil-shipping channel, through which 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil exports travel, in retaliation for sanctions placed on its oil exports by Western nations.

"We would open it by force - and we have the power to do it, and I'm fairly confident we would do it," says Brzezinski, who now is Robert Osgood Professor of American Foreign Policy at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D. C.. His latest book, released in January, is Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power.

"But let's not be simple-minded about it. We can open it up, but you can be absolutely certain that the costs of oil will skyrocket because it will still be a dangerous passage.

"In effect, the American taxpayer should be ready to pay $5 to $10 a gallon for the pleasure of having a war in the Strait of Hormuz," Brzezinski explains. "This is another reason why it's a wise course of action to be prudent and patient. Time's on our side." He concurs with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak that Iran probably will not have a nuclear weapon for "at least three years or so" - but, regardless, a Tehran with such arsenals is a major game-changer in the region.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 August 2012 on page no. 16

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