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Posted: 10/8/2007 3:01:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/8/2007 3:04:39 AM EDT by Koyannisqaatsi]
Interesting times Gentlemen, interesting times…



Britain 'on board' for US strikes on Iran

By Tim Shipman in Washington
Last Updated: 10:30am BST 08/10/2007

British defence officials have held talks with their Pentagon counterparts about how they could help out if America chose to bomb Iran.

Gordon Brown 'will back air strikes on Iran'
The man who stands between US and new war
Michael Burleigh: Drum beaters for Iran war should think again
Washington sources say that America has shelved plans for an all-out assault, drawn up to destroy the Iranian nuclear facilities and take out the Islamist regime.


The US is planning a strike on Iran's Revolutionary Guards
The Sunday Telegraph has learned that President Bush's White House national security council is discussing instead a plan to launch pinpoint attacks on bases operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds force, blamed for training Iraqi militants.

Pentagon officials have revealed that President Bush won an understanding with Gordon Brown in July that Britain would support air strikes if they could be justified as a counter-terrorist operation.

Since then discussions about what Britain might contribute militarily, to combat Iranian retaliation that would follow US air strikes, have been held between ministers and officials in the Pentagon and the Ministry of Defence.

Vincent Cannistraro — who served as intelligence chief on Ronald Reagan's National Security Council and then as head of operations for the CIA's counter-terrorist centre — said: "What's on the table right now is tactical strikes."

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Last night, Downing Street declined to comment on the suggestion. But Mr Cannistraro has talked about the preparations to senior Pentagon officials and with military and intelligence contacts in the UK.

He said: "The British Government is in accord with plans to launch limited strikes on facilities inside Iran, on the basis of counter-terrorism." While the US Air Force and naval jets could carry out raids without help from the RAF, the Pentagon is keen to have the Royal Navy's cooperation in the event of an attack, to prevent Iran from sowing mines in the Gulf to block oil exports in retaliation.

Mr Cannistraro said: "The British have to be a major auxiliary to this plan. It's not just for political reasons: the US doesn't have a lot of mine clearing capability in the Gulf. The Dutch and the British do.

"There will be renewed discussions with British defence officials about what role Britain would perform in the naval sphere. If there was a retaliatory response by the Iranians, they might close the Straits of Hormuz and that would affect the entire West."

The White House and Downing Street would justify such an attack as a defensive move to protect allied troops in Iraq. But moderates in the US government are concerned that the counter-terrorist argument may be used by hawks as a figleaf for military action that could escalate into all out war with Iran.

A US intelligence source said that Revolutionary Guard bases, supply depots and command and control facilities "have been programmed" into military computers but stressed that President Bush has not given any "execute order" for military action.

Further details of the US plans for Iran were divulged to Seymour Hersh, the investigative reporter with the New Yorker magazine who has unveiled Pentagon secrets for more than three decades.

American officials told the New Yorker: "During a secure video conference earlier this summer, the President told Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador to Iraq, that he was thinking of hitting Iranian targets across the border and that the British 'were on board'."

The magazine added: "The bombing plan has had its most positive reception from the new government of Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown."

A recently retired American four-star general, told the magazine last week that the bombing campaign would only attract support from the Prime Minister "if it's in response to an Iranian attack" like the kidnapping of British sailors in March.

The general said the US officials want to strike "if the Iranians stage a cross-border attack inside Iraq" of a significant kind, for example the one that produced "10 dead American soldiers and four burned trucks".

Britain and America have complained for months about Iranian support for Iraqi militants but Pentagon officials claim that Iran has been told that a line has now been drawn in the sand — a move that has actually helped to stabilise the situation. Details of the US plans were passed to Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iranian diplomats by Mr Crocker and Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, during bilateral talks this summer.

Since then, US officials say there appears to have been a reduction in some of the arms shipments and support to militia elements in Iraq.

Some British military and intelligence figures fear that any endorsement of US plans, however hypothetical, will only embolden the White House faction, led by Vice-President Dick Cheney, which wants major bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser to former President Carter, said last week the Bush plan was to depict any air strike on Iran as "responding to what is an intolerable situation. This time, unlike the attack in Iraq, we're going to play the victim."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/10/07/wiran207.xml&CMP=ILC-mostviewedbox
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 4:18:56 AM EDT
My first impression is that this is part of a U.S. propaganda campaign against Iran. Here me out (propaganda can be a good thing).

According to the article, Iran has ratcheted back on it’s indirect warfare with us in Iraq. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that Iran has calculated that they may have “stepped over the line” and are therefore backing up?

Remember not just a month or so ago, all the news articles about 3 (or 4, don’t remember) aircraft carrier groups in the persian gulf?

There sure is a lot of “noise” going on in the public media. Imagine what is being talked about between governments at the highest levels. Someone has sent a “message” to Iran, even though we do not have an official diplomatic relationship with them.

Whether this is a grand bluff or not, nobody knows right now. I hope not. If it is truly just a bluff, then the most we can hope for is that Iran scales back on it’s indirect warfare in Iraq. Even that is not an acceptable outcome. The nuclear issue must be dealt with. And I do not believe that a bluff will ever force Iran to pull a Libya.

The only possible choice is to attack the Iranian nuclear infrastructure.

But yet, that brings all sorts of military implications. How can we just attack the nuclear infrastructure, without also attacking all of their means of retaliation? So it goes that, logically, the only possible choice is a full-out assault on Iran. We must not only hit their nukes, but anything of military significance or anything of significance to the power-base of the mullah regime.



Link Posted: 10/8/2007 4:24:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 4:26:56 AM EDT


I am sorry...Britan?

The same country that negotiated to get the sailors back?

USA attacking Iran? Bush?

lol...

(sorry)

Link Posted: 10/8/2007 4:33:04 AM EDT
1. Bush is a poker player, and he multi-threads well. He set contingency plans in motion to exact regime change in Iraq as early as December of 2001, but played the diplo-card, sincerely, until as late as January 2003. This dual track approach is well underway with Iran today. If the diplomacy track doesn't stop Iran from processing uranium, then the US military will, no later than November, 2008.

2. The IAF raid in Syria is troubling for two reasons, if you believe open source reporting. One, the US missed a nuclear facility in Syria, therefore facilities in Iran may have been missed as well. It is clear we are supporting technical intelligence with Humint, the list of defectors from Iran is long and impressive, but this is an area you prefer to be sure. Two, if North Korea was able to assist a Syrian nuclear program undetected, and if Khan sold Iran a viable blueprint for a high energy weapon, and if Iran is only waiting on refinement to assemble a critical mass, then the clandestine deliveries to Syria open the possibility that Iran has enough fissile material now to assemble a critical mass. Iran MAY be a nuclear power, even now.

3. Given Bush's well publicised history, we are positioned right now, today, to deal with ANY Iranian escalation option, at least able to hold them in check until the rest of a full deployment can be rushed into place. I am 100% connfident that a contingency plan to rsuh the remainder of the necessary forces into place in case of an iranian escalation os in place now, and that it has been gamed at least twice, successfully at least once.

In the absence of Iranian provocation, the forces will flow into place quietly, with deliberate (and mandatory) exceptions when larger puzzle pieces are deployed. Franks pioneered this approach, he noted that spikes in tensions which did NOT lead to war lulled Saddam into a false sense of security. The forces we have in place right now, PAC deployments around the Gulf, two carriers in the PG AOR, air and aerial recon deployments, etc., etc., etc., are EXPENSIVE, and therefore, NOT something you waste big budget allocations on unless you NEED to.

4. Bush will NOT move on Iran until he has ALL his ducks in neat little rows, UNLESS Iran pre-empts. Bush's preparations will necessarily include popular and political support in the US, as much popular and political support as he can garner globally, hedges against energy price spikes, the widespread acceptance that the UN string has run it's course and failed, ALL military assets in place, etc, etc., etc. When you KNOW war is one possible (likely even) outcome, years in advance, you have the luxury to set it up properly and do it right.

When you know war is a likely outcome, the typical posturing and half measures in preparation become obvious, just as obvious as the real milestones in the deployment continuum.

5. I do not believe Bush will "telegraph" this punch. Iran has too much scrap in her to warn in advance. Giving away surprise could cost us Israel, southern Iraq, C3 on Qatar and Bahrain, short term use of the Hormuz Strait, assorted oilfields, a long list. HOWEVER, interested and experienced observers were NOT surprised when OIF kicked off. While each platoon deployment may be obscured, the overall sense of "endgame" was crystal clear. If you're paying attention, and if Iran does not pre-empt, you will not be surprised when it starts, but those not paying attention very well could be. The endgame state before hostilites could be short, measured in days or even hours.

6. To some degree, the IAF raid on Syria was a wildcard, NOT an integral part of a multi-year march to...not war, but Iranian disarmament. Most involved realize that Iranian disarmement will require military strikes, that those strikes will escalate to open war, and that the chances are slim that diplomacy will achieve the objective, but you sell the entire process short when you combine the objective, disarmament, with the assumption that war is currently the only answer. BOTH tracks, military and diplomatic,  receive roughly equal billing at this stage of the dance.

7. In my opinion, if Iran holds any chess players at all, the IAF raid may actually modify Iranian behavior. Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns are a huge black hole to military planners, and the question of the viability of Iranian IADS just assumed MAJOR importance in the minds of Iranian GENERALS. There's no telling what Iranian religious leaders will decide, but a major problem just appeared...well, actually, did NOT appear on Iranian radars. IF Iran modifies behavior as a result of this raid, it will be to buy time and delay, NOT to disarm, IMO.

8. If Iran does not modify behavior publicly, tensions will increase, and I expect to see additional provocations by the US and Israel. (In the event of open war, I expect the US to assume SOLE responsibility for Iran (to avoid Muslim backlash), and Israel will FIX Syrian forces, UNLESS Syria pre-empts.) The US, once ready for defensive or minimal offensive combat operations, loses little by escalating provocations, and once we are at full readiness, an Iranian "preemption" plays right into our political hands. I expect the next provocation to be small cross border raids directed at Pasdaran enablers for the Iraq insurgency. Syria COULD go big right now, in which case the SHTF, (Syria glows in the dark and Cipro manufacturer stock prices shoot for the moon), but the delay indicates Syria is a long way away from a hair trigger.

9. If Iran pre-empts, at the current level of provocation, I expect it means that Iran is in possession of at least two nuclear weapons, with high Iranian confidence that they will work as advertised. Otherwise, Iran's best play is to wait until they can present an operational nuclear military capability to the world as a fait accompli.

10. Before the US begins decisive combat operations, I'd expect to see at least one or more carriers (in addition to the 2 in place, plus 1 marine helo carrier) pass the Malacca or Suez chokepoints, activity involving aerial refuelling units (large scale, not individual squadrons), and activity involving US heavy bombing assets, B1's, B52's and B2's. A less than easily explainable increase in Saudi energy exports could be indicative of incipient hostilities as well.

11. Assuming Centcom is competent, any major US attack on Iran will be fast, hard, and extremely violent. Iran has enough arrows in the quiver that we will step on them HARD, and not let up until their ability to project force is effectively ZERO. We MIGHT bomb nuke facilities ONLY, but ONLY with the expectation that round two, (which will happen as soon as Iran recovers and sacks up) will require every bit of suppression we can muster on Iran's military and political leadership. Look for a full spectrum of offensive maneuver, possibly including ground maneuvers on the Tunb islands, Abu Musa, and Bandar Abbas, and spoiling/fixing maneuvers east towards Khorramshar/Abadan, and west from Afghanistan, south of Mashad. Sort of like a big guy in a bar. If you hit him, you better hit him hard enough to incapacitate him, and KEEP him incapacitated until you an finish him, because if he gets up, he's going to hurt you. NObody in Iran has recent experience mustering retaliatory escalation from a bunker, not with US level suppression going on, but they are GAMING just this regularly. We may see some "new" US capabilities unvelied here, but then again, this may all happen so quickly, so violently, and so far away from media assets that they get lost in the shuffle. You probablky WON'T see new US capabilities trumpeted in military briefings, ego went passe in the extreme with the end of Schwartzkopf's tour.  Some things happened in Iraq that STILL have yet to be assimilated in the global conciousness, even though they were open source reported at the time, and Centcom has done NOTHING to correct these oversights.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 4:33:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aim4MyHead:
Good, They would have just as much to lose if Iran decided to use some of it's peaceful nuclear power. Not too mention after WWII they should be on board if we decided to nuke the Swiss.

J



We need to get them back for short changing us on Swiss cheese with all those holes in it.  We've lost millions.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 4:39:38 AM EDT
I don't think Mr. Brown has the guts to do so.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 4:52:50 AM EDT
they need to do something
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:07:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ZitiForBreakfast:


I am sorry...Britan?

The same country that negotiated to get the sailors back?

USA attacking Iran? Bush?

lol...

(sorry)



Heh, I'd point out that this is a different Prime Minister, but Brown was on board then too, probably veto'd any sort of strikes to recover the sailors, "because it would cost too much".

I'd be very surprised if we did join in...

/PHil
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:13:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/8/2007 5:14:05 AM EDT by massa]
Air strikes. Air strikes?

You will have to use tactical nukes against iran if you want to do the job right.

I'm so tired of the mother humping cowards.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:13:19 AM EDT
Great post, Jeffers.  You seem to know a lot about the situation.  Not the kind of info that can be gotten from the "drive-by" liberal media.  Hope you will update us as this situation continues to develop.  Some of us old vets are biting our nails, wishing we could re-enlist for this one.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:14:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ZitiForBreakfast:


I am sorry...Britan?

The same country that negotiated to get the sailors back?

USA attacking Iran? Bush?

lol...

(sorry)



How do negotiations qualify as some sort of weak willed enterprise? In a long forgotten world, civilized nations were expected to employ things such as diplomacy rather than just marching around like a platoon of ogres.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:22:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VooDoo3dfx:
I don't think Mr. Brown has the guts to do so.


Brown may be privy to information about Iran that would only be released to the public after an attack.

I didn't think Olmert had the guts to attack Syria, yet the info that's been leaked regarding the target make it appear that it was a very justifiable course of action.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:24:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:26:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/8/2007 5:26:35 AM EDT by ump45]

Originally Posted By jeffers_mz:
1. Bush is a poker player, and he multi-threads well. He set contingency plans in motion to exact regime change in Iraq as early as December of 2001, but played the diplo-card, sincerely, until as late as January 2003. This dual track approach is well underway with Iran today. If the diplomacy track doesn't stop Iran from processing uranium, then the US military will, no later than November, 2008.

2. The IAF raid in Syria is troubling for two reasons, if you believe open source reporting. One, the US missed a nuclear facility in Syria, therefore facilities in Iran may have been missed as well. It is clear we are supporting technical intelligence with Humint, the list of defectors from Iran is long and impressive, but this is an area you prefer to be sure. Two, if North Korea was able to assist a Syrian nuclear program undetected, and if Khan sold Iran a viable blueprint for a high energy weapon, and if Iran is only waiting on refinement to assemble a critical mass, then the clandestine deliveries to Syria open the possibility that Iran has enough fissile material now to assemble a critical mass. Iran MAY be a nuclear power, even now.

3. Given Bush's well publicised history, we are positioned right now, today, to deal with ANY Iranian escalation option, at least able to hold them in check until the rest of a full deployment can be rushed into place. I am 100% connfident that a contingency plan to rsuh the remainder of the necessary forces into place in case of an iranian escalation os in place now, and that it has been gamed at least twice, successfully at least once.

In the absence of Iranian provocation, the forces will flow into place quietly, with deliberate (and mandatory) exceptions when larger puzzle pieces are deployed. Franks pioneered this approach, he noted that spikes in tensions which did NOT lead to war lulled Saddam into a false sense of security. The forces we have in place right now, PAC deployments around the Gulf, two carriers in the PG AOR, air and aerial recon deployments, etc., etc., etc., are EXPENSIVE, and therefore, NOT something you waste big budget allocations on unless you NEED to.

4. Bush will NOT move on Iran until he has ALL his ducks in neat little rows, UNLESS Iran pre-empts. Bush's preparations will necessarily include popular and political support in the US, as much popular and political support as he can garner globally, hedges against energy price spikes, the widespread acceptance that the UN string has run it's course and failed, ALL military assets in place, etc, etc., etc. When you KNOW war is one possible (likely even) outcome, years in advance, you have the luxury to set it up properly and do it right.

When you know war is a likely outcome, the typical posturing and half measures in preparation become obvious, just as obvious as the real milestones in the deployment continuum.

5. I do not believe Bush will "telegraph" this punch. Iran has too much scrap in her to warn in advance. Giving away surprise could cost us Israel, southern Iraq, C3 on Qatar and Bahrain, short term use of the Hormuz Strait, assorted oilfields, a long list. HOWEVER, interested and experienced observers were NOT surprised when OIF kicked off. While each platoon deployment may be obscured, the overall sense of "endgame" was crystal clear. If you're paying attention, and if Iran does not pre-empt, you will not be surprised when it starts, but those not paying attention very well could be. The endgame state before hostilites could be short, measured in days or even hours.

6. To some degree, the IAF raid on Syria was a wildcard, NOT an integral part of a multi-year march to...not war, but Iranian disarmament. Most involved realize that Iranian disarmement will require military strikes, that those strikes will escalate to open war, and that the chances are slim that diplomacy will achieve the objective, but you sell the entire process short when you combine the objective, disarmament, with the assumption that war is currently the only answer. BOTH tracks, military and diplomatic,  receive roughly equal billing at this stage of the dance.

7. In my opinion, if Iran holds any chess players at all, the IAF raid may actually modify Iranian behavior. Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns are a huge black hole to military planners, and the question of the viability of Iranian IADS just assumed MAJOR importance in the minds of Iranian GENERALS. There's no telling what Iranian religious leaders will decide, but a major problem just appeared...well, actually, did NOT appear on Iranian radars. IF Iran modifies behavior as a result of this raid, it will be to buy time and delay, NOT to disarm, IMO.

8. If Iran does not modify behavior publicly, tensions will increase, and I expect to see additional provocations by the US and Israel. (In the event of open war, I expect the US to assume SOLE responsibility for Iran (to avoid Muslim backlash), and Israel will FIX Syrian forces, UNLESS Syria pre-empts.) The US, once ready for defensive or minimal offensive combat operations, loses little by escalating provocations, and once we are at full readiness, an Iranian "preemption" plays right into our political hands. I expect the next provocation to be small cross border raids directed at Pasdaran enablers for the Iraq insurgency. Syria COULD go big right now, in which case the SHTF, (Syria glows in the dark and Cipro manufacturer stock prices shoot for the moon), but the delay indicates Syria is a long way away from a hair trigger.

9. If Iran pre-empts, at the current level of provocation, I expect it means that Iran is in possession of at least two nuclear weapons, with high Iranian confidence that they will work as advertised. Otherwise, Iran's best play is to wait until they can present an operational nuclear military capability to the world as a fait accompli.

10. Before the US begins decisive combat operations, I'd expect to see at least one or more carriers (in addition to the 2 in place, plus 1 marine helo carrier) pass the Malacca or Suez chokepoints, activity involving aerial refuelling units (large scale, not individual squadrons), and activity involving US heavy bombing assets, B1's, B52's and B2's. A less than easily explainable increase in Saudi energy exports could be indicative of incipient hostilities as well.

11. Assuming Centcom is competent, any major US attack on Iran will be fast, hard, and extremely violent. Iran has enough arrows in the quiver that we will step on them HARD, and not let up until their ability to project force is effectively ZERO. We MIGHT bomb nuke facilities ONLY, but ONLY with the expectation that round two, (which will happen as soon as Iran recovers and sacks up) will require every bit of suppression we can muster on Iran's military and political leadership. Look for a full spectrum of offensive maneuver, possibly including ground maneuvers on the Tunb islands, Abu Musa, and Bandar Abbas, and spoiling/fixing maneuvers east towards Khorramshar/Abadan, and west from Afghanistan, south of Mashad. Sort of like a big guy in a bar. If you hit him, you better hit him hard enough to incapacitate him, and KEEP him incapacitated until you an finish him, because if he gets up, he's going to hurt you. NObody in Iran has recent experience mustering retaliatory escalation from a bunker, not with US level suppression going on, but they are GAMING just this regularly. We may see some "new" US capabilities unvelied here, but then again, this may all happen so quickly, so violently, and so far away from media assets that they get lost in the shuffle. You probablky WON'T see new US capabilities trumpeted in military briefings, ego went passe in the extreme with the end of Schwartzkopf's tour.  Some things happened in Iraq that STILL have yet to be assimilated in the global conciousness, even though they were open source reported at the time, and Centcom has done NOTHING to correct these oversights.


WOW.  JUST WOW.

Excellent post.  I'm in awe.

You don't get that kind of analysis ANYWHERE in the mainstream media.  Seriously.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:31:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/8/2007 6:26:15 AM EDT by ump45]
.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:31:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JonasWright:

Originally Posted By ZitiForBreakfast:


I am sorry...Britan?

The same country that negotiated to get the sailors back?

USA attacking Iran? Bush?

lol...

(sorry)



How do negotiations qualify as some sort of weak willed enterprise? In a long forgotten world, civilized nations were expected to employ things such as diplomacy rather than just marching around like a platoon of ogres.


Kidnapping sailors in international waters hardly counts as diplomacy.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:34:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ump45:
My first impression is that this is part of a U.S. propaganda campaign against Iran. Here me out (propaganda can be a good thing).

According to the article, Iran has ratcheted back on it’s indirect warfare with us in Iraq. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that Iran has calculated that they may have “stepped over the line” and are therefore backing up?

Remember not just a month or so ago, all the news articles about 3 (or 4, don’t remember) aircraft carrier groups in the persian gulf?

There sure is a lot of “noise” going on in the public media. Imagine what is being talked about between governments at the highest levels. Someone has sent a “message” to Iran, even though we do not have an official diplomatic relationship with them.

Whether this is a grand bluff or not, nobody knows right now. I hope not. If it is truly just a bluff, then the most we can hope for is that Iran scales back on it’s indirect warfare in Iraq. Even that is not an acceptable outcome. The nuclear issue must be dealt with. And I do not believe that a bluff will ever force Iran to pull a Libya.

The only possible choice is to attack the Iranian nuclear infrastructure.

But yet, that brings all sorts of military implications. How can we just attack the nuclear infrastructure, without also attacking all of their means of retaliation? So it goes that, logically, the only possible choice is a full-out assault on Iran. We must not only hit their nukes, but anything of military significance or anything of significance to the power-base of the mullah regime.





It doesn't have to be a bluff per se. It could be a credible threat of force. Even that can have good effects.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:38:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By ump45:
My first impression is that this is part of a U.S. propaganda campaign against Iran. Here me out (propaganda can be a good thing).

According to the article, Iran has ratcheted back on it’s indirect warfare with us in Iraq. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that Iran has calculated that they may have “stepped over the line” and are therefore backing up?

Remember not just a month or so ago, all the news articles about 3 (or 4, don’t remember) aircraft carrier groups in the persian gulf?

There sure is a lot of “noise” going on in the public media. Imagine what is being talked about between governments at the highest levels. Someone has sent a “message” to Iran, even though we do not have an official diplomatic relationship with them.

Whether this is a grand bluff or not, nobody knows right now. I hope not. If it is truly just a bluff, then the most we can hope for is that Iran scales back on it’s indirect warfare in Iraq. Even that is not an acceptable outcome. The nuclear issue must be dealt with. And I do not believe that a bluff will ever force Iran to pull a Libya.

The only possible choice is to attack the Iranian nuclear infrastructure.

But yet, that brings all sorts of military implications. How can we just attack the nuclear infrastructure, without also attacking all of their means of retaliation? So it goes that, logically, the only possible choice is a full-out assault on Iran. We must not only hit their nukes, but anything of military significance or anything of significance to the power-base of the mullah regime.





It doesn't have to be a bluff per se. It could be a credible threat of force. Even that can have good effects.


I know.  That's why I said:

"Whether this is a grand bluff or not, nobody knows right now. I hope not."
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:45:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Yatahay:
Great post, Jeffers.  You seem to know a lot about the situation.  Not the kind of info that can be gotten from the "drive-by" liberal media.  Hope you will update us as this situation continues to develop.  Some of us old vets are biting our nails, wishing we could re-enlist for this one.


+1
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:46:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ump45:

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By ump45:
My first impression is that this is part of a U.S. propaganda campaign against Iran. Here me out (propaganda can be a good thing).

According to the article, Iran has ratcheted back on it’s indirect warfare with us in Iraq. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that Iran has calculated that they may have “stepped over the line” and are therefore backing up?

Remember not just a month or so ago, all the news articles about 3 (or 4, don’t remember) aircraft carrier groups in the persian gulf?

There sure is a lot of “noise” going on in the public media. Imagine what is being talked about between governments at the highest levels. Someone has sent a “message” to Iran, even though we do not have an official diplomatic relationship with them.

Whether this is a grand bluff or not, nobody knows right now. I hope not. If it is truly just a bluff, then the most we can hope for is that Iran scales back on it’s indirect warfare in Iraq. Even that is not an acceptable outcome. The nuclear issue must be dealt with. And I do not believe that a bluff will ever force Iran to pull a Libya.

The only possible choice is to attack the Iranian nuclear infrastructure.

But yet, that brings all sorts of military implications. How can we just attack the nuclear infrastructure, without also attacking all of their means of retaliation? So it goes that, logically, the only possible choice is a full-out assault on Iran. We must not only hit their nukes, but anything of military significance or anything of significance to the power-base of the mullah regime.





It doesn't have to be a bluff per se. It could be a credible threat of force. Even that can have good effects.


I know.  That's why I said:

"Whether this is a grand bluff or not, nobody knows right now. I hope not."



You hope its not a bluff? Or you hope the bluff works?
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:58:15 AM EDT
There will be action taken at some point, the question is when.  Nice analysis by jeffers, too.

HH

Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:59:09 AM EDT
Can we please fight one war at a time?
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:11:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:13:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VooDoo3dfx:
I don't think Mr. Brown has the guts to do so.


If Brown is saying "the UK might could possibly polish the US saber for war with Iran, no active participation, mind you, but we are old friends", it is a trial balloon to test domestic UK reaction regarding full participation.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:16:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Spade:
Can we please fight one war at a time?


Ask Iran to wait, mmmkay?



Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:19:23 AM EDT
I wouldnt just go after military targets if I struck them............I would also hit their shipping ports, major roads and bridges and other assorted targets of opportunity.......empty stomachs might motivate them to act differently
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:20:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Spade:
Can we please fight one war at a time?


We're already being pelted by Iran in Iraq. Making the Iranians put a "Green Zone" around Tehran would probably lessen most of our problems in Baghdad.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:26:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jeffers_mz:
1. Bush is a poker player, and he multi-threads well. He set contingency plans in motion to exact regime change in Iraq as early as December of 2001, but played the diplo-card, sincerely, until as late as January 2003. This dual track approach is well underway with Iran today. If the diplomacy track doesn't stop Iran from processing uranium, then the US military will, no later than November, 2008.

2. The IAF raid in Syria is troubling for two reasons, if you believe open source reporting. One, the US missed a nuclear facility in Syria, therefore facilities in Iran may have been missed as well. It is clear we are supporting technical intelligence with Humint, the list of defectors from Iran is long and impressive, but this is an area you prefer to be sure. Two, if North Korea was able to assist a Syrian nuclear program undetected, and if Khan sold Iran a viable blueprint for a high energy weapon, and if Iran is only waiting on refinement to assemble a critical mass, then the clandestine deliveries to Syria open the possibility that Iran has enough fissile material now to assemble a critical mass. Iran MAY be a nuclear power, even now.

3. Given Bush's well publicised history, we are positioned right now, today, to deal with ANY Iranian escalation option, at least able to hold them in check until the rest of a full deployment can be rushed into place. I am 100% connfident that a contingency plan to rsuh the remainder of the necessary forces into place in case of an iranian escalation os in place now, and that it has been gamed at least twice, successfully at least once.

In the absence of Iranian provocation, the forces will flow into place quietly, with deliberate (and mandatory) exceptions when larger puzzle pieces are deployed. Franks pioneered this approach, he noted that spikes in tensions which did NOT lead to war lulled Saddam into a false sense of security. The forces we have in place right now, PAC deployments around the Gulf, two carriers in the PG AOR, air and aerial recon deployments, etc., etc., etc., are EXPENSIVE, and therefore, NOT something you waste big budget allocations on unless you NEED to.

4. Bush will NOT move on Iran until he has ALL his ducks in neat little rows, UNLESS Iran pre-empts. Bush's preparations will necessarily include popular and political support in the US, as much popular and political support as he can garner globally, hedges against energy price spikes, the widespread acceptance that the UN string has run it's course and failed, ALL military assets in place, etc, etc., etc. When you KNOW war is one possible (likely even) outcome, years in advance, you have the luxury to set it up properly and do it right.

When you know war is a likely outcome, the typical posturing and half measures in preparation become obvious, just as obvious as the real milestones in the deployment continuum.

5. I do not believe Bush will "telegraph" this punch. Iran has too much scrap in her to warn in advance. Giving away surprise could cost us Israel, southern Iraq, C3 on Qatar and Bahrain, short term use of the Hormuz Strait, assorted oilfields, a long list. HOWEVER, interested and experienced observers were NOT surprised when OIF kicked off. While each platoon deployment may be obscured, the overall sense of "endgame" was crystal clear. If you're paying attention, and if Iran does not pre-empt, you will not be surprised when it starts, but those not paying attention very well could be. The endgame state before hostilites could be short, measured in days or even hours.

6. To some degree, the IAF raid on Syria was a wildcard, NOT an integral part of a multi-year march to...not war, but Iranian disarmament. Most involved realize that Iranian disarmement will require military strikes, that those strikes will escalate to open war, and that the chances are slim that diplomacy will achieve the objective, but you sell the entire process short when you combine the objective, disarmament, with the assumption that war is currently the only answer. BOTH tracks, military and diplomatic,  receive roughly equal billing at this stage of the dance.

7. In my opinion, if Iran holds any chess players at all, the IAF raid may actually modify Iranian behavior. Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns are a huge black hole to military planners, and the question of the viability of Iranian IADS just assumed MAJOR importance in the minds of Iranian GENERALS. There's no telling what Iranian religious leaders will decide, but a major problem just appeared...well, actually, did NOT appear on Iranian radars. IF Iran modifies behavior as a result of this raid, it will be to buy time and delay, NOT to disarm, IMO.

8. If Iran does not modify behavior publicly, tensions will increase, and I expect to see additional provocations by the US and Israel. (In the event of open war, I expect the US to assume SOLE responsibility for Iran (to avoid Muslim backlash), and Israel will FIX Syrian forces, UNLESS Syria pre-empts.) The US, once ready for defensive or minimal offensive combat operations, loses little by escalating provocations, and once we are at full readiness, an Iranian "preemption" plays right into our political hands. I expect the next provocation to be small cross border raids directed at Pasdaran enablers for the Iraq insurgency. Syria COULD go big right now, in which case the SHTF, (Syria glows in the dark and Cipro manufacturer stock prices shoot for the moon), but the delay indicates Syria is a long way away from a hair trigger.

9. If Iran pre-empts, at the current level of provocation, I expect it means that Iran is in possession of at least two nuclear weapons, with high Iranian confidence that they will work as advertised. Otherwise, Iran's best play is to wait until they can present an operational nuclear military capability to the world as a fait accompli.

10. Before the US begins decisive combat operations, I'd expect to see at least one or more carriers (in addition to the 2 in place, plus 1 marine helo carrier) pass the Malacca or Suez chokepoints, activity involving aerial refuelling units (large scale, not individual squadrons), and activity involving US heavy bombing assets, B1's, B52's and B2's. A less than easily explainable increase in Saudi energy exports could be indicative of incipient hostilities as well.

11. Assuming Centcom is competent, any major US attack on Iran will be fast, hard, and extremely violent. Iran has enough arrows in the quiver that we will step on them HARD, and not let up until their ability to project force is effectively ZERO. We MIGHT bomb nuke facilities ONLY, but ONLY with the expectation that round two, (which will happen as soon as Iran recovers and sacks up) will require every bit of suppression we can muster on Iran's military and political leadership. Look for a full spectrum of offensive maneuver, possibly including ground maneuvers on the Tunb islands, Abu Musa, and Bandar Abbas, and spoiling/fixing maneuvers east towards Khorramshar/Abadan, and west from Afghanistan, south of Mashad. Sort of like a big guy in a bar. If you hit him, you better hit him hard enough to incapacitate him, and KEEP him incapacitated until you an finish him, because if he gets up, he's going to hurt you. NObody in Iran has recent experience mustering retaliatory escalation from a bunker, not with US level suppression going on, but they are GAMING just this regularly. We may see some "new" US capabilities unvelied here, but then again, this may all happen so quickly, so violently, and so far away from media assets that they get lost in the shuffle. You probablky WON'T see new US capabilities trumpeted in military briefings, ego went passe in the extreme with the end of Schwartzkopf's tour.  Some things happened in Iraq that STILL have yet to be assimilated in the global conciousness, even though they were open source reported at the time, and Centcom has done NOTHING to correct these oversights.


+1  Great post. The only thing I can add is ...bomb, bomb, bomb...bomb, bomb Iran!  

Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:36:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By ump45:

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By ump45:
My first impression is that this is part of a U.S. propaganda campaign against Iran. Here me out (propaganda can be a good thing).

According to the article, Iran has ratcheted back on it’s indirect warfare with us in Iraq. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that Iran has calculated that they may have “stepped over the line” and are therefore backing up?

Remember not just a month or so ago, all the news articles about 3 (or 4, don’t remember) aircraft carrier groups in the persian gulf?

There sure is a lot of “noise” going on in the public media. Imagine what is being talked about between governments at the highest levels. Someone has sent a “message” to Iran, even though we do not have an official diplomatic relationship with them.

Whether this is a grand bluff or not, nobody knows right now. I hope not. If it is truly just a bluff, then the most we can hope for is that Iran scales back on it’s indirect warfare in Iraq. Even that is not an acceptable outcome. The nuclear issue must be dealt with. And I do not believe that a bluff will ever force Iran to pull a Libya.

The only possible choice is to attack the Iranian nuclear infrastructure.

But yet, that brings all sorts of military implications. How can we just attack the nuclear infrastructure, without also attacking all of their means of retaliation? So it goes that, logically, the only possible choice is a full-out assault on Iran. We must not only hit their nukes, but anything of military significance or anything of significance to the power-base of the mullah regime.





It doesn't have to be a bluff per se. It could be a credible threat of force. Even that can have good effects.


I know.  That's why I said:

"Whether this is a grand bluff or not, nobody knows right now. I hope not."



You hope its not a bluff? Or you hope the bluff works?


I hope it's not a bluff.  Like I said, if it's just a bluff, the best we can hope for is that Iran withdraws it's attacks in Iraq.  A bluff will never solve the problem of Iran trying to obtain nuclear weapons.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:41:25 AM EDT
Why can't the UK lead the way, and do the fucking airstike themselves.

TXL
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 7:05:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TxLewis:
Why can't the UK lead the way, and do the fucking airstike themselves.

TXL


Short on assets. Same as Israel.

You have to look at successive waves here, target, assess, re-target, re-assess etc.

Like post hole diggers, let the dust settle and check the hole to see if it's deep enough once in a while.

Little dogs don't have the staying power to realistically pull this off.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 9:12:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jeffers_mz:

2. The IAF raid in Syria is troubling for two reasons, if you believe open source reporting.


Thoughtful and thought provoking post! I have read that the IAF raid may have had less to do with the actual target (some also speculate N.Korean missiles) than with gathering SigInt on AD targets and as a dry run for "future" operations. Some speculate that this raid may have also been a way of ratcheting up the pressure on Syria and Iran. Sending a message, so to speak. Since both share similar, if not identical AD systems, both must be feeling somewhat more vulnerable than they previously had thought. What do you think, any merit to this line of reasoning?
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 10:16:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SlowOne:

Originally Posted By jeffers_mz:

2. The IAF raid in Syria is troubling for two reasons, if you believe open source reporting.


Thoughtful and thought provoking post! I have read that the IAF raid may have had less to do with the actual target (some also speculate N.Korean missiles) than with gathering SigInt on AD targets and as a dry run for "future" operations. Some speculate that this raid may have also been a way of ratcheting up the pressure on Syria and Iran. Sending a message, so to speak. Since both share similar, if not identical AD systems, both must be feeling somewhat more vulnerable than they previously had thought. What do you think, any merit to this line of reasoning?


IMO,

The dots connect best if you assume a nuclear target. Missiles, even NBC tipped, aren't news in Syria. Historical precedent, coincidence in timing with NK capitulation, even the ground ops.

What's the expected material used for shielding industrial size radioactive emitters? How do you transport emitters on the sly?

I also think Bush told the Israelis, 'no, let walk down the hill and fuck 'em all," a phrase I see you are familiar with,

but the Israelis eventually came back with, "we're not waiting, are you coming with us or staying on the porch?"

Therefore...

Elint was a mitigating bonus, and the message sent was total silence.

In fact, Bush's timing in silence may be his most revealing trait. When IDF was rampaging in Ramallah and Jenin, he trotted Condi out for no more than "The US is considering options," and that only after the Liberal globe was screaming for Arafat's salvation.

Silence says different things to different people.

To Syria: "Fat chance."

To North Korea, "We saw that, but the deal's still on if YOU keep up your end of it. If not..."

To liberals, "Any questions?"

To Iran, "Remember back in January, when you used February's rent money on Bushehr to buy 29 Tor M1s, and when you went late on payments, Russia called the note, and pulled their reactor techs, but delivered your missiles anyway, and you got it straightened out, and Bushehr's back on schedule and now you have a reactor and you own advanced AD systems too?"

"You don't."

"WE own them."

That's probably a message we wish we could have saved for the main event. It's very important to understand how the message "You no longer know what you see, and what you can't see," fits into Rapid Dominance at fundamental levels."

"The Supreme general achieves his objectives..."

Might turn out for the best. Saddam was too ignorant to change his spots, but we can always hope Khameinei knows how to fold. If not, well, Iran's going to be disarmed, one way or another.

In Bush's words, "Iran will not be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons."

If I got to choose in the matter, I'd just hope we can all get along, but I don't think that's the way it will actually happen.




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