Naval and air force assets at Bandar Abbas are hit with a combination of missiles and a French- Saudi Amphibious assault from Qatar and the UAE. Waves of Tomahawk cruise missiles streak through Persian aerospace from ships and subs - effectively targeting the Iranian air force - air fields, missile sites and air defense systems are struck down within hours.
Within 5 days, Preacher Command is reduced to a state of near paralysis, unable in any sense to retaliate militarily, its entire economic infrastructure in shambles.
Hold up! Great Satan"s naughty plots and plans to strike Persia"s tender, sensitive portions are way huge ya"ll!!
The belief underpinning this hawkish approach seems to be that a short, sharp military action directed very precisely at Iran's nuclear and missile facilities is the only way to force a weakened Iran to "come in from the cold" and - once and for all - abandon its nuclear ambitions.
There is no settled consensus in elite US circles about to handle the Iran problem. Several powerful voices, including within the Pentagon, argue that the best option is to continue the mix of sanctions and sustained cyber-warfare (the latter in collaboration with Israel). Others, however, argue that there is a need to plan for war, with the question of optimum timing a central issue (see David Fulghum, "Bombing Iran: U.S. military planners ponder when a kinetic attack might make sense"
Pentagon advocates of a strike on Iran believe that the early part of 2013 might be the best moment. In their eyes, this offers three advantages. First, the presidential and congressional elections of November 2012 would be out of the way, with nearly two years to the next mid-sessional elections; thus any political controversy would have plenty of time to diminish. Second, the months between now and the point of decision would make clear whether there was any possibility of a political compromise. Third, keeping the war option open - and informing the Israelis well in advance - would make a lone Israeli attack less likely. The most hardline of the US planners hold the view that it is much better that the US "does the job properly" than lets Israel, with its much smaller forces, take the lead.
The planners emphasise here the sheer power of the United States military, especially the ability of the US air force (Usaf) to fly from bases in the region and combine with naval-aviation forces operating out of carrier-battle groups in the Arabian Sea.
The key weapons used would be the B-2 strategic stealth bombers and the F-22 strike-aircraft, which would overfly Iran after the latter's defensive radar installations had been jammed by the new miniature air-launched decoy (Mald) and other systems.
The B-2 strategic stealth bomber would be a key component, given its ability either to drop more than forty bombs in a single sortie or to deliver very large earth-penetrating bombs. But its dependence on extensive base-support facilities means that the B-2 can operate only from a handful or air-bases worldwide; the most relevant candidates are RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, western England, and Diego Garcia, a British-controlled atoll in the Indian Ocean. Britain would thus be directly involved in the war from the start.
In addition to the B-2s and F-22s, other planes - F-15E and F-16 strike aircraft - would be deployed to launch joint air-to-surface stand-off missiles (JASSMS) from outside Iranian airspace. A key system here is the AGM-158 Jassm-ER, a new version of which has a range of 575 miles (more than double the current 230-mile version) and is being deployed in 2013.
The planes would be central to the assault on Iran, but the US navy would also attack with sea-launched cruise-missiles (launched from cruisers, destroyers and submarines) and stand-off air-launched missiles (launched from F/A-18s flying from the carriers).
It should be emphasised that an American attack is neither imminent nor even likely (at least for now). But if negotiations with Iran fail, if Mitt Romney wins the presidential election and the Republicans control at least one house of Congress, then things could begin to look very different in the early months of 2013.
Pic - "Iran: l"Choix des armes"