Belmont Club

The 3 a.m. Betting Pool

In From The Cold half-seriously suggests that the dreaded 3 AM call will soon ring at Barack Obama’s bedside. The only question is what it will be about. For reference, 3 AM in Washington will be 8 AM London, 10 AM Baghdad, high noon Pakistan and 4 PM Pyongyang.

Before too long, British bookies will be taking bets on which early-morning crisis call Barack Obama will take first. Experts are now warning that the president-elect is facing a veritable “hornet’s nest” in the Middle East, led by the prospect that Iran will have a nuclear bomb within a year.

Interestingly, predictions of impending crises from the West Bank to the Persian Gulf came from the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution–organizations that are anything but unfriendly to the next commander-in-chief. The think tanks outlined their concerns in a joint report entitled Restoring the Balance, which offered a blue print for U.S. policy in the Middle East.

The Times Online, reviewing the CFR paper, writes, “Experts warn Barack Obama of a nuclear Iran”. So what could happen midmorning in that part of the world? Open thread.