Case Intelligence Advantage

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Intelligence Advantage

1NC — Intelligence Advantage

They can’t solve for spy aircrafts and battlefield sensors

Irwin 12 [Sandra Irwin, “Too Much Information, Not Enough Intelligence,” National Defense, May 2012, pg. 

The Defense Department over the last decade has built up an inventory of billions of dollars worth of spy aircraft and battlefield sensors. Those systems create avalanches of data that clog military information networks and overwhelm analysts.

Intelligence experts say the military is drowning in data but not able to convert that information into intelligible reports that break it down and analyze it.
The challenge for users of intelligence is that all the different types of information come in a stove-piped manner,” says Michael W. Isherwood, a defense analyst and former Air Force fighter pilot.
Intelligence feeds include electronic signals, satellite imagery, moving-target data and full-motion video. “How do you integrate this into a clear picture?” Isherwood asks. “That is one of the enduring challenges in the ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] arena for all the services.”

The returnee threat is low

Zammit 15 – Researcher @ Monash University's Global Terrorism Research Centre [Andrew Zammit (PhD candidate @ University of Melbourne)“Australian foreign fighters: Risks and responses,” Lowy Institute for International Policy, April 2015

Despite the seriousness of the threat, it does not follow that most foreign fighters attempt attacks on return. In fact, very few do. In his study of foreign fighters, Hegghammer found that only up to one in nine jihadist foreign fighters from Western countries later became involved in terror plots within the West, and that even this was likely to be an overestimate.18 Similarly, a study by Jeanine de Roy van Zuijdewijn found that only a very small portion of Western jihadist fighters returned to carry out attacks.19 This leaves governments with a seemingly paradoxical problem: most foreign fighters do not prove a threat on return, but those who do are highly dangerous and have been involved in a substantial proportion of the domestic jihadist plots in the West, including the most serious attacks such as the 2005 London bombings. This raises the question of what distinguishes the many returned foreign fighters who do not pose a domestic threat from the few who do. Pg. 4-5

No Saudi-Iran war

Khashoggi 15 - US-educated Saudi journalist, columnist, author and the general manager and editor-in-chief of Al Arab News Channel [Jamal Khashoggi, “Saudi Arabia and Iran heading to war?,” Al Arabiya News, Monday, 8 June 2015, pg.

Saudi Arabia does not want an open confrontation with Iran, realizing the high cost of such a war. The same goes for Iran, which knows that the military budget, especially for the air force, is not in its favor. Moreover, Riyadh has alliances with a number of Arab and Islamic countries willing to defend the Land of the Two Holy Mosques. Both countries have enough arms to destroy each others’ capacities. It is a binary threat and an important deterrence.

Iran is a model of internal stability

Saremi 15 - Strategic analyst w/ a PhD in International Relations [Dr. Fariborz Saremi, “Is Iran the Most Stable Country in Region?,” Counter Punch, January 30, 2015, pg.

In the turbulent 35 years since the Islamic Republic of Iran emerged overnight following revolution in that country, the balance of power in Middle East has shifted. For much of that time Iran has been hampered by internal power struggles, the imposition of sanctions, and from ostracization due to its links with terrorism. Today, however, Iran is emerging as a model of stability given that several of its neighbors have fallen into utter turmoil. Some of them are still suffering the back-swell from the Arab Spring, while others are under severe threat from violent extremists such as ISIS. Finally, observers see a distinct possibility that Iran may move towards meaningful rapprochement with its former enemies in the west.

TURN: ISIS threat will reset US-Iran relations

Mohseni 14 – Director of the Iran Project @ Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a Fellow for Iran Studies at the Kennedy School. [Payam Mohseni, “Bad Move, ISIS: Why America and Iran Should Work Together,” The National Interest, October 6, 2014, pg.

While a threat to U.S. interests, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) presents us with a unique opportunity to “reset” the Middle East equation—to actively transform regional relations, to abate the cold war between Iran and Saudi Arabia and to forge a new working relationship with Iran. As the United States moves to escalate its war against ISIS and forge a coalition against the terrorist group, it is important that Iran be included in the process. After all, U.S. and Iranian interests have increasingly converged in the Middle East with the emergence of a common enemy, and no power in the region is better suited to taking on ISIS than Iran and its affiliated Shi’a militias in Iraq.

Just as importantly, Iran will have to be a key part of any meaningful solution to regional instability and any effort to help sustain a new unity government in Iraq. By formally acknowledging the role it can play in the conflict, Iran can be guided into becoming a constructive stakeholder in a more inclusive Middle East order—a goal that has become increasingly salient as the possible success of the Iranian nuclear negotiations forebodes a transformation of the Middle East status quo and Iran’s role in the region.

Despite its public statements, Iran has already signaled its willingness to cooperate on ISIS. Iran’s decision to remove its support from former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki was not primarily driven by fear or simply a response to the grave threat posed by ISIS—as commonly perceived in the West—but rather a demonstration of its own flexibility and accommodation with regional powers. Based on my conversations with the conservative elite in Tehran during the summer, the Iranian leadership does not view ISIS as a serious threat to the country, but rather an opportunity for further empowerment—not just for Iran, but for the larger Shi’a community and the “popular militias” in Iraq as they become entrenched as a consequence of the conflict. Iran’s influence and leverage in Iraq has certainly expanded with the ISIS offensive. By rapidly moving to support the Shi’a militias at the very beginning of the conflict, Iran has effectively gained the support of the Iraqi Shi’a as they have been pushed toward Iran as a source of protection. Iranian influence has also increased over the Sunni Kurds as it has helped them establish a buffer zone on its Western frontier.

Iran’s decision to facilitate Maliki’s removal signals the leadership’s intent and willingness to cooperate with regional countries and the United States in search of a political solution instead. This intent is most clearly demonstrated by the prominent role played by Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the chairman of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, when he traveled to Iraq to broker an agreement on a new unity government. Shamkhani’s role is important for two reasons. First, not only is he a moderate in the Iranian political spectrum—appointed last year by President Rouhani—but he is also an Iranian of Arab origin who is believed to be held in high esteem by the Saudi King. Both his appointment and his recent visit to Iraq signal Iran’s desire to pursue rapprochement with the Saudis and abate sectarianism.

Second, Shamkhani’s role demonstrates that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards work within the constitutional boundaries of the state—operating within, rather than outside, the Supreme National Security Council to discuss and negotiate Iran’s role in Iraq. This development was particularly striking, since the security files of Iraq and Syria belong to the Revolutionary Guards and the position of the Guards has only strengthened with the escalation of the ISIS conflict. By working within the Council, the Guards opened the space and possibility for greater foreign cooperation, allowing the Iranian government to influence and coordinate with the Guards based on government discussions with the Iraqis and external powers.

These positive signals, however, seem to contravene Iran’s growing declarations that it will not engage U.S. efforts against ISIS. It also begs the question of why Iran would cooperate with the United States or an Arab coalition if it perceives itself to be strengthened by the conflict and if it considers ISIS to be a foreign conspiracy. Of course, it is not likely that Iran will work with the United States openly, due to the historical relations between the two countries, but it may do so within a regional framework that formalizes Iran’s role and protects its interests in the Middle East. In other words, Iran is looking at the larger picture and vision it has for the future Middle East beyond ISIS and will base its foreign policies on two driving considerations: Iran’s role in the security architecture of the region, including in Syria, and the increasing sectarian nature of conflicts and politics in the Middle East. If cooperation preserves Iran’s role in the region and diminishes sectarian strife, Iran will cooperate. For Iran to do so explicitly and publicly will depend on how it sees itself to be accepted and incorporated as part of this process—one from which it sees itself largely excluded thus far.

By viewing ISIS as an opportunity to “reset” its working relation with Iran in the region, the United States can help Iran become a constructive player in the conflict and weaken the potential for it to act as a spoiler or destabilizing force. Moreover, it will allow the United States to make effective use of Iranian power and the Shi’a militias in opposing ISIS, by far the best regional means of military boots on the ground. To do so, the United States must not only clarify its own vision for the Middle East, but also, just as importantly, persuade Saudi Arabia to cooperate and work with the Iranians. Yes, engaging Iran and incorporating it as part of the Middle East order will be a daunting task fraught with its own risks, particularly at a time when the nuclear negotiations are taking place. But not doing so will only further exacerbate the ongoing conflict in a direction that will be worse not only for the entire Middle East, but for U.S. interests as well.

Common ground prevents war

Duggan 15 – Professor of history @ Georgetown University, [Dr. Michael F. Duggan, “The Persian Elephant in the Room: Revitalizing U.S.-Iran Relations After the Iran Nuclear Deal,” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, April 9, 2015, pg.

Deep down every specialist of the Middle East with a grounding in history knows that in dealing with Iran there are only a handful of options, and that all but one or two of them are likely to produce constructive results. The others are likely to produce little more than continued violence and instability in an already troubled region, and will do nothing to prevent Iran from achieving its nuclear goals. It is therefore mystifying as to why the United States and Israel have used rhetoric that will be impossible to back up without catastrophic consequences, and which will inflame an already difficult situation. In terms of the United States’s general treatment of Iran, it would seem that the options are fourfold. First, the United States could keep up its economic sanctions in an attempt to generate Iranian compliance under threat of further destabilizing the nation’s economy. The problem with this sort of approach—beyond the very real violence it does to civilians—is that it will do nothing to derail Iran’s nuclear program, and in fact signals the exact sort of hostility that continues to justify the desire for and pursuit of such weapons in Iranian eyes. Some Americans think that because sanctions worked in Libya (over a period of more than two decades and before a NATO air campaign), they will also work in Iran. But Gadaffi’s Libya and present-day Iran are two fundamentally different cases. Whereas Libya is a flat analog to Afghanistan, consisting of a number of mostly disunified tribes with a territorial boundary drawn around them, Iran—historical Persia—is a proud civilization with antecedents that date back to before the time of the Ancient Greeks and Israelites. Iran is more like pre-WWII Japan in the sense that its people are unlikely to knuckle under to the pressure of external sanctions and embargoes. Rather, it is quite possible that they will unify, radicalize, and eventually fight. At the very least, continued U.S. sanctions will push Iran closer to Russia. Iran’s relative social stability, its considerable natural resources, and its potential for strengthened economic ties with Russia and China will allow it to safely endure any sanctions imposed by the West.

A second option for the United States is to attack Iran outright. Over the past half-decade, some American and Israeli leaders have talked openly about pursuing this course of action. Doing so, however, would embroil the United States in a war with a nation with more than twice the population of Iraq, almost four times its land area, a far more varied and difficult terrain, and a much more capable military. Considering how its military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan have gone to date, U.S. leadership should probably err on the side of nonmilitary options vis-à-vis Iran first. Attacking Iran directly would only destabilize the wider region in a way that could potentially spell the eventual end of Israel—and bankrupt the United States in the process.

The third option is for the United States to contrive some way to divide and/or isolate Iran, the world’s dominant Shiite Muslim nation, from the rest of the (mostly Sunni) Islamic world. However, such a divide and conquer component to a grand strategy primarily focused on economic sanctions would be completely obvious to the great majority of the world’s Muslims. Moreover, the very real and menacing conflict between Sunni and Shia in the greater Muslim world that threatens to escalate into a regional conflagration constitutes a further elephant in the room of U.S. strategic planning. Such a strategy would also run afoul of the inconvenient truth that Iranian-backed forces are currently shouldering a large portion of the ground war against ISIS in Western Iraq, and are proving to be valuable assets there. Divide and conquer strategies—using mutual hatreds to play enemies off each other—is a dirty and tricky game that can easily blow up in the faces of those who initiate them (see the civil war in Ukraine).

This leaves only the fourth and most realistically promising approach to the situation: the United States could try to find common ground with Iran and bury the hatchet. After all, it is in the national interest of the United States to be on good terms with regional powers and soon-to-be nuclear states, and there is a slight chance that positive relations may actually preclude the latter. Without overstating things, Iran is now thedominant regional power of Southwest Asia—and it was the United States’ removal of Iraq as a secular counterbalance that elevated Iran to this status, or at least helped cement its claim. Moreover, the nuclear genie was let out of the bottle when India, Israel, and Pakistan developed bombs of their own, and there is nothing the United States can do to reverse the process. Finally, in 2001, Iran allowed the United States passage through Iranian air space in order to launch the latter’s invasion of Afghanistan, and it is time we acknowledged this good faith accommodation with renewed talks about the general security of the region.

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