Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ain't never gonna happen

Gwynne Dyer on the American prospects of war with Iran: "There's no way for the U.S. to win a non-nuclear war with Iran":
"When Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest-ranking American officer, was asked recently on NBC’s Meet The Press whether the United States has a military plan for an attack on Iran, he replied simply: “We do.”"
"The U.S. could “win” by dropping hundreds of nuclear weapons on Iran’s military bases, nuclear facilities and industrial centres (i.e. cities) and killing five to 10 million people, but short of that, nothing works."
"It can bomb Iran’s nuclear sites and military installations to its heart’s content, but everything it destroys can be rebuilt in a few years. And there is no way that the United States could actually invade Iran.

There are some 80 million people in Iran, and although many of them don’t like the present regime they are almost all fervent patriots who would resist a foreign invasion. Iran is a mountainous country, and very big: four times the size of Iraq. The Iranian army currently numbers about 450,000 men, slightly smaller than the U.S. Army—but unlike the U.S. Army, it does not have its troops scattered across literally dozens of countries.

If the White House were to propose anything larger than minor military incursions along Iran’s south coast, senior American generals would resign in protest. Without the option of a land war, the only lever the United States would have on Iranian policy is the threat of yet more bombs—but if they aren’t nuclear, then they aren’t very persuasive. Whereas Iran would have lots of options for bringing pressure on the United States.

Just stopping Iran’s own oil exports would drive the oil price sky-high in a tight market: Iran accounts for around seven percent of internationally traded oil. But it could also block another 40 percent of global oil exports just by sinking tankers coming from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the other Arab Gulf states with its lethal Noor anti-ship missiles.

The Noor anti-ship missile is a locally built version of the Chinese YJ-82. It has a 200-km range, enough to cover all the major choke points in the Gulf. It flies at twice the speed of sound just metres above the sea’s surface, and it has a tiny radar profile. Its single-shot kill probability has been put as high as 98 percent.

Iran’s mountainous coastline extends along the whole northern side of the Gulf, and these missiles have easily concealed mobile launchers. They would sink tankers with ease, and in a few days insurance rates for tankers planning to enter the Gulf would become prohibitive, effectively shutting down the region’s oil exports completely.

Meanwhile Iran would start supplying modern surface-to-air missiles to the Taliban in Afghanistan, and that would soon shut down the U.S. military effort there. (It was the arrival of U.S.-supplied Stinger missiles in Afghanistan in the late 1980s that drove Russian helicopters from the sky and ultimately doomed the whole Soviet intervention there.)

Iranian ballistic missiles would strike U.S. bases on the southern (Arab) side of the Gulf, and Iran’s Hezbollah allies in Beirut would start dropping missiles on Israel. The United States would have no options for escalation other than the nuclear one, and pressure on it to stop the war would mount by the day as the world’s industries and transport ground to a halt.

The end would be an embarrassing retreat by the United States, and the definitive establishment of Iran as the dominant power of the Gulf region. That was the outcome of every wargame the Pentagon played, and Mike Mullen knows it. So there is a plan for an attack on Iran, but he would probably rather resign than put it into action. It is all bluff. It always was."
The wargaming means the Americans will never attack Iran, and, despite all the bluff and bluster (speaking of the concentration camp guard, you'll get a laugh if you read the comments about his interview with Hitchens here), the Jews haven't the military capability to attack Iran. Ain't gonna happen. It is time for some face-to-face high-level talks. Right-after the Jews get their jackboots off Obama's neck in November.
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