Monday, June 20, 2011

The Coming War With Persia

Oh, you know it is so!

Two certain certainties RE: the ascension of a new clear Preacher Command have always been it's totally "unacceptable" and magical jawflapping is the preferred methodology for ensuring Ayatollahs do not become atomic Ayatollahs.

If Stuxnettin' and sanctionin' fail to do the deal - and force is indeed on the table to be wielded like Army Ranger tomahawks then ain't no telling what all could happen captain! 

So, what would a Great Satan - Persia war look like?

"...At least three concepts are key to any coherent discussion of a U.S.-Iranian military engagement: complexity, uncertainty and war itself. By complexity we mean the number of moving parts in a given situation: actors, processes and the connections among them. By uncertainty we mean structural uncertainty—that is, not just ignorance of the magnitudes of agreed casual factors, but the ignorance of the causal factors themselves, and their mutual relations. 

What purpose war?

"...A war could aim to simply delay the Iranian nuclear weapons program through the physical destruction of key facilities and human assets: a Peenemünde option . Second, war could aim to effectively end the Iranian nuclear program by inflicting broad damage on its components and other key regime assets, military, infrastructure and leadership, combined with the threat to re-strike as necessary: a submission option. Third, war could aim to topple the regime through a concerted campaign against its assets and supporting mechanisms, coupled with support to its presumably less WMD-desirous opponents: a regime change option.

"...A regime-change option would require a broad military offensive that could include nuclear facilities, air defenses, Iran’s retaliatory capabilities, leadership targets, regime supporters, and national infrastructure and economic targets. This could include putting some forces on the ground to collect intelligence and neutralize specific targets that are difficult to strike effectively with air power. No large-scale ground operations are likely, but they cannot be ruled out at some levels of conflict and in some scenarios, such as those that posit a need to open and secure passage through the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf.  

"...A U.S.-Iranian war would probably not be fought by the United States and Iran alone. Each would have partners or allies, both willing and not-so-willing. Pre-conflict commitments, longstanding relationships, the course of operations and other factors would place the United States and Iran at the center of more or less structured coalitions of the marginally willing.

"...A Western coalition could consist of the United States and most of its traditional allies (but very likely not Turkey, based on the evolution of Turkish politics) in addition to some Persian Gulf states, Jordan and perhaps Egypt, depending on where its revolution takes it. Much would depend on whether U.S. leaders could persuade others to go along, which would mean convincing them that U.S. forces could shield them from Iranian and Iranian-proxy retaliation, or at least substantially weaken its effects.

"...Coalition warfare would present a number of challenges to the U.S. government. Overall, it would lend legitimacy to the action, but it would also constrict U.S. freedom of action, perhaps by limiting the scope and intensity of military operations. There would thus be tension between the desire for a small coalition of the capable for operational and security purposes and a broader coalition that would include marginally useful allies to maximize legitimacy.

"...The U.S. administration would probably not welcome Israeli participation. But if Israel were directly attacked by Iran or its allies, Washington would find it difficult to keep Israel out—as it did during the 1991 Gulf War. That would complicate the U.S. ability to manage its coalition, although it would not necessarily break it apart. Iranian diplomacy and information operations would seek to exploit Israeli participation to the fullest.

"...Iran would have its own coalition. Hizballah in particular could act at Iran’s behest both by attacking Israel directly and by using its asymmetric and irregular warfare capabilities to expand the conflict and complicate the maintenance of the U.S. coalition. The escalation of the Hizballah-Israel conflict could draw in Syria and Hamas; Hamas in particular could feel compelled to respond to an Iranian request for assistance. 

"...Some or all of these satellite actors might choose to leave Iran to its fate, especially if initial U.S. strikes seemed devastating to the point of decisive. But their involvement would spread the conflict to the entire eastern Mediterranean and perhaps beyond, complicating both U.S. military operations and coalition diplomacy.

Pic - "Within 5 days, Iran is reduced to a state of near paralysis, unable in any sense to retaliate militarily, its entire economic infrastructure in shambles."


Winston said...

Regime change in Iran will rectify these issues...

Stan Cibon said...

President Obama's behavior to date give the impression that he does not consider the Iranian nuclear program to be a threat; rather, he is ready to live with a nuclear Iran. He assumes Iran's leaders are reasonable and rational, and would not do something so rash as to use nuclear weapons pre-emptively -- say, to eliminate a great or little Sata. The Obama administration thinks Israel's leaders are exaggerating the threat of a nuclear Iran, and are trying to push America into a(nother) war for selfish reasons.

The political background of the next U.S. Secretary of Defence, Leon Panetta, indicates that he is left-of-center and likely to view Iran with phlegmatic eyes, with far more tolerance than the Israelis do.

In addition to his 16 years as a Congressman from California, and his current service as CIA director, Panetta has been director of the Office of Management and Budget, and White House chief of staff. He has much experience in managing budgets and bringing expenses into line. In this time of massive federal deficits and growing concern in the financial community about the stability of the U.S. economy, Obama may ask Panetta to use his expertise to slash the DoD's budget. If so, this will also weigh against Panetta adopting a warlike position against Iran.

If such a war does come to be, however, I agree with GSGirlfriend that Israel will inevitably be involved. Any US or Israeli attack on Iran guarantees that Hisbollah -- Iran's proxy in Lebanon -- will be launching tens of thousands of missiles at Israel. Hisbollah is estimated to have over 60 thousand missles, many thousands of which are long range missles capable of reaching south to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and beyond. Iran has been exporting the missiles to Lebanon through Syria for years. (I wonder if the present uprising in Syria has interfered with that process.) The United Nations peacekeeping forces in south Lebanon apparently have orders not to interfere with the missile supplies from Iran, for they have done nothing to stop it.

Hamas in Gaza would inevitably want to participate in the missile fest -- they, too have short-range and extended-range missles capable of reaching Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. With a Hamas-friendly government now in place in Egypt and the open border between Egypt and Gaza, Hamas will be stocking up on missiles and other military equipment.

Looking at Judea and Samaria (the "west bank"), Hamas and the PLO forces are most probably building up missiles supplies as well, and would almost surely decide to participate in the hostilities.

So that's three fronts for Israel: the north, the south, and the east. Then there's the possible fourth front - some of Israel's Arab citizens may be moved to participate in the mayhem against their "oppressors".

Doesn't look pretty.

Dennis Broxton said...

Here's a link to a 4-minute video with a concise look at U.S.-Iran relations. Nice beat too. [LINK]