Monday, June 11, 2012

Risk and Rivalry

Sepāh-e Pāsdārān-e Enqelāb-e "Slāmi, bay bee!!

CNAS unleashes an interesting PDFing all about risque risks betwixt a new clear Preacher Command and Little Satan: 
"Despite the abhorrent threats by some Iranian leaders to "wipe Little Satan off the map," the actual behavior of the regime over the past three decades indicates that the regime is not suicidal and is sufficiently rational for nuclear deterrence. A nuclear-armed Iran would be a much more dangerous adversary but that Iran is unlikely to deliberately use nuclear weapons, or transfer a nuclear device to terrorists to use, against Little Satan"
Ahh. The fly in the body wax.

Despite the catchy name, Iran"s Supreme Leader isn"t undying - and in a theocratic despotry all bets are off bay bee when the old Ayatollah makes the haj to the perfumed gardens of paradise. Since crazy crafty Revo Guards have eclipsed the the regime, there is a great chance there may not even be a follow up for the Supreme Leader gig.

Could anyone truly advocate the true believing first line supervisors of Preacher Command who cut their teeth during the horrible Iran Iraq War will indeed be unMahdi like as they become New Clear Praetorians?
In addition, Iran’s rulers have long been the leading global sponsors of terrorism, commanding Hiz"B"Allah, now masters of Lebanon, and collaborating with al-Qaeda. They have facilitated the killings of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan with impunity.
 Their acquisition of nuclear arms, if it is allowed to happen, will license even more audacious behavior. Plan on this: They will threaten and perhaps lay claim to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain (where Fifth Fleet is based); bend the flexible Qataris to their will; attempt to control the Strait of Hormuz, essential to a global economy that continues to depend on Gulf oil; intervene more forcefully than ever in Yemen; increase their influence in Iraq and Afghanistan; conspire against the Saudis (chiding them for their irresolute commitment to jihad while coveting the oil in Arabia’s majority-Shiite Eastern Province); and, of course, hang a nuclear Sword of Damocles over everyone’s head.
All that would be just the beginning. Remember that without nuclear weapons, Iran’s rulers did not hesitate to attempt to blow up a restaurant in Washington, D.C. With nuclear weapons . . .  Use your imagination.

 Oh snap!!
"...Possession is 90% of the law. And in that sense, on a day-to-day basis, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - which will "own" the arsenal - will control it. This is no comfort: Not only do the Revolutionary Guards contain Iran's most radical ideologues, but they also remain effectively a big, black box to Western analysts.

"...While professors speak knowingly of hardliners, reformers and pragmatists along the Islamic republic's political spectrum, no one knows much about factions within Iran's ideological army.

"...No American official knows with certainty whether the Iranian general controlling the bomb is a pragmatist who seeks only to defend Iran, or whether he believes the key to the Hidden Imam's return is just one button away.

"...The second the first Iranian nuclear bomb rolls off the assembly line, power shifts fundamentally, unleashing an endless cycle with the most radical elements in Iranian society determining leadership and appointing men in their image to determine the next generation of leadership.

Risk and Rivalry"s bona fided authors point out what everyone already knows - if the balloon goes up - might be more better for Great Satan to lead the air campaign in an old school "Blitz Week" mindset 
Only Great Satan, with her much larger bunker-busting munitions and the ability to prosecute a sustained military campaign, would be capable of meaningfully delaying Iran's program. And only Great Satan, having exhausted all other options and acting in the face of compelling evidence that Iran was determined to acquire a bomb, would have any hope of holding together the type of coalition required to prevent Iran from emerging from an attack more dangerous than ever. 

The potential costs of an attack would be high. Iran would likely retaliate, using ballistic missiles, proxies, and terrorists to attack Little and Great satan target sets, possibly leading to a wider war in the Levant. Attacks by Iranian-backed Shiite militants against American diplomats in Iraq, or a surge in lethal assistance to insurgents fighting NATO troops in Afghanistan, could escalate tensions. Miscalculation and confrontation with the Navy in the Persian Gulf or the Strait of Hormuz could send oil prices skyrocketing. And even in the absence of such escalation, a preventive military strike could rattle markets and push oil prices higher at a fragile time for the global economy. 

Pic "Life On Standby"


Michal said...

Thought I might comment on the possibility of a madman controlling the nuclear bomb and believing that Mahdi is one button push away: did that ever happen? Even the radicals in Hezbollah or Hamas value their lives. If there's one thing to be noticed about the Iran sponsored radicals, it's that even the biggest hardliners don't want to lose their lives sooner than they have to.

Martyrdom operations are for the rank and file. Those who rise above them, such as the vetted generals of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, know better.

Besides, launching a regional war of epic proportions for the sake of theoretically preventing a madman from hypothetically pushing the button - isn't that essentially the same "what-if" scenario that we (the west) want to prevent?

See, I'm all for stopping Iran from going nuclear, it's seems more productive for everyone to take a deep breath and chill when thinking about atomic bombs. Srsly.

Michal said...

By "what-if" scenario I mean "what if I push this button and judgement day comes".

Michal said...

Oh and thanks for the CNAS report! Cool stuff.