Let me be clear. I think a straight-off invasion of Iran sometime in the next 16 months isn't all that likely. What I think is much more likely is some sort of violent escalation, perhaps towards an eventual invasion of Iran, in the next 16 months.
[I]t's worth remembering that when the Bush administration wanted to invade Iraq, they spent the better part of two years pursuing a massive PR strategy to sell the deployment. Going to war is actually a relatively tough thing to do, even in a system that gives fairly significant levels of foreign policy autonomy to the executive.
It's also worth remembering that, as it turned out, the deployment to Iraq actually happened and, as a result, the military is right there right now. And while we're remembering things, remember too that a relatively narrowly focused attack on what we think of (or describe) as some functioning element of the Iranian insurgency would be easy. It would be easy to pull off logistically. It would be easy to excuse rhetorically. It would be easy to do without giving anybody in this country any notice. It would be easy to do before the election. It would be easy in a box, it would be easy with a fox. I want us not to bomb Iran. I want no shit to hit the fan. I do not like that sort of plan. I do not like it, Sam I am. (Applause. Thank you.)