Friday, August 8, 2008

Missile Crush

Crushes. Everybody's had them - and are liable to develop even more anytime. Crushes can be totally innocent and totally legit. Crushes can lead to disappoint, heartache and regret too.

Especially if crushes are kinda plotted, planned and counted on.

Projecting, fantasies - soon a makebelieve world is conjured and all answers for any sitch are sweetly available.

Like Persia's crush on missiles.

Amir Taheri explains:

"Remember al-Qaher and al-Zafer? You don't? Well, what about al-Hussein and al-Abbas? No, again?

The first two were the names of missiles that the Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdul Nasser relied upon as "secret weapons" in his promised "Battle of Destiny" in 1967. The other two were names of Saddam Hussein's missiles that were supposed to secure him victory in his "Mother of Battles" in 1991.

We now have to learn the names of two other missiles, Shahab and Zelzeleh presented by Iran's Khomeinist rulers as in what they regard as an inevitable war against the United States and, possibly, Israel.

In a surprisingly frank analysis delivered in a speech in Tehran last Sunday, General Muhammad-Ali Jaafari, Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran's parallel army, put the Khomeinist regime's arsenal of missiles at the centre of its strategy for the coming war. He said Iran's armament industry has been put into high gear to mass-produce all types of missiles as quickly as possible

Jaafari described a defense doctrine based on three key assumptions

The first is that the principal theatres of battle will be in the Gulf, especially the Strait of Hormuz. He said his forces had established the plans needed to close the strait "with relative ease." Because the Gulf is a shallow body of water the depth of which never exceeds 90 metres, the US navy's large vessels, including aircraft carriers, would be unable to make large maneuvers and thus would become vulnerable to suicide attacks by small high-speed boats coming at them in large numbers.

According to Jaafari, this is a tactic known as "hojum ezdehami" (overcrowding attack) in which big American ships would resemble large whales being swarmed upon by thousands of small but deadly fish.

Jaafari's second assumption is that the Islamic Republic manages to keep fighting for a few weeks, world public opinion, especially the peace movement in the United States, would come to its rescue and force Washington to stop the war before winning a complete victory. Such an outcome would then be hailed in Iran as a great victory for the Khomeinist revolution.

We witnessed a similar event two years ago during the war between Israel and Iran (via the Lebanese branchy of Hezbollah). By all classical measures, Iran's Lebanese units suffered a crushing defeat. They lost control of territory in southern Lebanon, saw their network of missile-launching pads dismantled, and left a quarter of their fighters dead on the battlefield while and hundreds more captured. And, yet, the overall perception even today is that Iran-Hezbollah won that round hands down.

Jaafari's third assumption is that his forces would be able both to fight a war against the United States for several weeks or if needed, months while also protecting the regime against its numerous internal enemies who might seize the opportunity to try to overthrow it.

General Jaafari, who has made his reputation as an expert in asymmetric warfare, was promoted Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC precisely because he has always argued that the Khomeinist regime could win against a self-doubting, internally divided, and utterly confused United States. Jafari's optimism is in sharp contrast with the pessimism expressed by his predecessor General Yahya Rahim Safavi who, in a blunt speech just weeks before his dismissal, warned that the Islamic Republic lacked the equipment for fighting a much-better armed adversary.

Under Jaafari, the IRGC has decentralized its command-and-control structures by creating 31 autonomous headquarters covering all of Iran's 30 provinces plus the capital Tehran. He has also replaced most of the key IRGC commanders in the biggest purge of the force in more than 25 years. Almost all the "fat cat" generals who spent more on their various business enterprises than their military careers have been sent home.

There is no doubt that Jaafari has done all an IRGC commander could. However, as Clemenceau observed, war is too serious a matter to be left to the generals. Although it contains a high dose of military action, war is primarily a political matter. This is why it requires a political strategy, as opposed to the tactical scenario that t Jaafari has depicted.

Seen from that angle, things might not be as simple as Jaafari seems to assume.

The first question that Tehran's leadership must ask is: what would be the goal of an American or Israeli military attack against the Islamic Republic?

The routine assumption is that the goal would be the destruction of the nuclear project that the West claims is designed to make atomic bombs.

If that is the case, Jaafari's plans to sink American warships, close the Strait of Hormuz, and destroy oilfields in Arab countries and possibly launch a few missiles against Israel as well, might prove counter-productive. Such plans would escalate the conflict and provide the pretext for a "regime change" exercise.

Obviously, it is not up to Jaafari to guess the ultimate goal of the US, or anyone else that might want to attack the Islamic Republic at this time. The answer must come from the political leadership, that is to say "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Only that answer could provide Jaafari and other military planners with the guideline needed to devise a strategy.

For the time being, Jaafari is providing a solution to a problem that has not yet been defined. Like Don Quixote who fought the windmills taking them for giants, the general is firing missiles of illusion at phantom ships sailing through a fog of assumptions. "

7 comments:

Findalis said...

Iran forgets a big thing about the US Navy. They have guns and planes which can shoot down their missiles, can blow those little boats out of the water and any attack on a US Navy fleet would be like the Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor. It would infuriate the Great Satan's people to a point in which any "peace movement" would be silenced by the overwhelming roar of the Great Satan's people.

Iran should well remember the words of Isoroku Yamamoto when he discovered that the aircraft carriers were NOT at Pearl Harbor when Japan Attacked on that fateful day:

I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

The giant is sleeping, an attack on the Great Satan will wake him with a fury that hasn't been seen since 1945.

Anonymous said...

The peaceniks in the US should read this article to understand how the mullahs are provoking war.
RB

heidianne jackson said...

tilting at windmills is precisely what iran is doing. will they soon go the route of quaddafi (sp?) backing up and drawing a new line in the sand?

and as findalis said we do have guns and planes able to shoot those missles RIGHT OUT OF THE SKY. shoot, we took down a whole satellite without even damaging the one next to it and that was at a might bit more than the 10 paces our navy is from iran right now.

i only hope that findalis' assessment is right about the fury that will be unleashed. i can't help believing that if we're on the magical obamapalooza tour with him as potus, the only thing that will be unleashed by washington is a statement of apology.

btw, courtney, i'm back.

Uncle Joe said...

Iran is squashed between two American military forces (Iraq and Afghanistan) and the U.S. Navy in the gulf. That's the thing that has them so nervous. Big talk gets headlines which keeps world attention away from Iran's proxies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, and Lebanon.

We can be sure the U.N. will never be on the right side of this. It is up to the U.S. and Israel, as usual, to defend the world against the the Iranian nut house regime.

CriticalThinker said...

Jaafari seems to be talking out of the backside of his anatomy.

"Because the Gulf is a shallow body of water the depth of which never exceeds 90 metres, the US navy's large vessels, including aircraft carriers, would be unable to make large maneuvers and thus would become vulnerable to suicide attacks by small high-speed boats coming at them in large numbers."

The US Navy uses the concept of "power projection." This means attacking with massive ordinance, missle and air power from quite a distance away. Technically we would not need to enter the Straits to casue them massive amounts of damage. Secondly, there is the Littoral class. Now, there are only 3 that are operational I beleive, but the Straits are exactly their mission, shallow water operations. Thirdly, if he is running his cake hole about this, I am pretty sure the brains and bean counters at the Navy War College have already developed a plan to deal with this.

I love this one.

"Jaafari's second assumption is that the Islamic Republic manages to keep fighting for a few weeks, world public opinion, especially the peace movement in the United States, would come to its rescue and force Washington to stop the war before winning a complete victory."

All I have to say to Jaafari is, "Does the name Saddam ring a bell?" He assumed the same thing and didn't he end up dangling from the end of a rope?

"Jaafari's third assumption is that his forces would be able both to fight a war against the United States for several weeks or if needed, months while also protecting the regime against its numerous internal enemies who might seize the opportunity to try to overthrow it."

Yeah right. I need to get some of the stuff this guy is smokin' cause it has to be good!!

C.T.

kevin said...

Perhaps Russia is taking Georgia in anticipation of an Iranian conflict. A Russian airbase in Georgia to cover Northern Iran?

Michael Tuggle said...

I think you need to discuss your ballistophilia with a professional.