There is no question that in the long term China poses the greatest strategic challenge to US interests worldwide, but in the short term, Iran is the greatest threat to the American homeland. The threat of Iran attacking America with biological weapons brought to America’s coastlines with Iranian submarines and deployed after America and Israel destroy the Iranian nuclear weapons program will potentially lead to the death of millions of innocent American civilians, a greater calamity than the American Civil War. Yet, the US government is still engaged in policies of desperate appeasement without even having articulated a credible policy of deterrence.
Deterring Tehran is however easier said than done. Generally speaking, is it relatively easy to tactically deter Iran, yet it is very difficult to strategically deter Tehran. Israel knows this and is very successful at tactically deterring Iran but is yet to succeed at strategically deterring Tehran. With regard to nuclear weapons, the clerical city of Qom is an obvious target for a strategic nuclear weapons strike. Yet of course, the ruling Khomeinist elite will obviously argue that the theologians and religious students of Qom will go straight to heaven where they will each every day receive 72 virgins. This illustrates the immense difficulty in deterring Iran on the strategic level.
A no-fly zone over Iran with air support to insurgents will very likely prove highly effective in bringing down the regime. Yet, the regime does not agree with this prognosis and does not fear this scenario at all or it would not continue on its current path of seeking nuclear weapons at any price.
What about a US invasion of Iran? The Khomeinist elite does not really fear this either. They understand that it will be very difficult for the US to liberate the entire Iran and afterwards the IRGC will engage in guerrilla warfare for years to come. The Khomeinists believe that they will win in the end just like the Taliban did in Afghanistan and so the Khomeinists do not fear this scenario either.
Nevertheless, the US government must publicly declare its readiness to deploy all three options. Merely because deterring death-desiring Jihadist members of a murderous apocalyptic cult is exceedingly difficult, does not mean that the United States government should be desisting from attempting to deter Iran as is effectively the case now. Iran was deterred by the George W. Bush administration into freezing its nuclear weapons program after the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and so it is certainly possible to deter Iran. The US must gather its best and brightest to come up with a comprehensive strategy for deterring Iran from attacking major American cities with biological weapons.