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Posted: 11/21/2007 9:42:11 AM EDT
ANdy asked me to post this, it is a good read.




Can UK stay out of war with Iran?

Speculation that the US is preparing to launch air
strikes against Iran has raised a number of questions
about possible UK participation and the impact on
British regional interests, writes Tim Ripley

Media reports from Washington last month suggesting
that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has agreed to British
military participation in a United States-led campaign
of air strikes against Iran, and the language of
Brown's foreign policy speech on 12 November, have
again focused attention on the role of UK armed forces
in the Middle East.

Given the domestic unpopularity of British
participation in the US-led invasion of Iraq, the
prospect of the UK's armed forces playing any role in
a new US military campaign could be very politically
divisive for Brown.

The UK government might be able to stand back from
participation in the first wave of any US campaign of
air and cruise missile strikes against targets in Iran
linked to the country's controversial nuclear
programme or those suspected of providing support to
insurgents in Iraq. However, it will be more difficult
to avoid co-operating with the US military to defeat
any Iranian retaliation.

For the Brown government, the prospect of a US first
strike against Iran raises the prospect of sparking a
wider Middle East conflict as Tehran unleashes a wave
of attacks on US interests throughout the region,
which is highly likely to embroil the UK. There are a
number of options open to the Iranians:

• terrorist-style attacks on diplomatic and economic
facilities;

• naval, missile and air attacks on oil tankers in the
Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz;

• air attacks on international civil air routes over
the region;

• air and missile attacks on US military bases
throughout the Middle East;
• renewed offensive operations against Israel by
Tehran's allies in Hizbullah;

• increased insurgent activity against US led forces
in Iraq; and

• a land incursion into Iraq.

A major complicating factor in countering Iran would
be the active co-operation between Syria and Iran in
any major theatrewide conflict.

Almost all of the possible conflict scenarios are
likely to involve direct attacks on UK interests
throughout the Middle East. The UK has formal defence
treaties and long-standing alliances with Kuwait,
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates
and Oman. Most of these countries also host US
military bases that are expected to come under attack
by the Iranians if war should erupt and their
governments are likely to ask the UK for military
assistance.

British maritime trade in the region is also extensive
and will require protection. More than 50,000 UK
passport holders live and work in the Gulf region, so
they would require protection or assistance moving to
safety.

The two UK sovereign bases in Cyprus are also within
range of Hizbullah and Syrian missile batteries.
Perhaps most vulnerable are the 5,500 UK troops in
southern Iraq, who are within artillery range of
Iranian troop bases a few miles across the
Shatt-al-Arab waterway.

In such circumstances, the UK government will find it
very difficult to stand aside and leave defence
against the Iranians to the US. It would undermine
British diplomatic and trade links with the Gulf
states, such as the recently signed deal to sell
Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to Saudi Arabia and the
supply of natural gas from Qatar. Tens of thousands of
British expatriates could lose their jobs and other
workers in the UK would find their jobs at risk as
Gulf countries turn to US companies.

Even if the UK armed forces were only committed to
defensive operations in the Middle East, it would be
very difficult for them to try and ringfence their
operations from those of the US. UK and US forces
share many bases and Washington controls the 'digital
battlespace' in the region. Therefore, UK air and
naval forces would need to be allocated electronic
'friend or foe' access by Washington to avoid being
targeted by mistake by US forces. It is also doubtful
whether the Iranians would understand the nuance of
any such separation between the UK and US forces. The
Iranians might even try to specifically target UK
forces to exploit their less aggressive rules of
engagement, in much the same way as they did during
the March 2007 incident when they captured 15 British
sailors.

"The relatively feeble British response to the capture
of Royal Navy personnel may embolden Iran to focus on
UK personnel and interests, irrespective of the
official British government line," Andrew Brookes,
defence analyst at the London-based International
Institute of Strategic Studies, told Jane's.

If any crisis with the Iranians turned into an
extended military confrontation, similar to the
so-called Tanker War of 1984-87 - when Iran and Iraq
attacked oil tankers and merchant ships in the Gulf in
a bid to deprive each other of trade - the division
between offensive and defensive operations would break
down and UK forces might have to strike at targets
inside Iran such as land-based cruise missile
batteries being positioned to attack UK warships or
oil tankers.

Although it may seem an easy option for the UK
government to stand back from any US-Iran
confrontation, the complex and multifaceted nature of
any conflict that could erupt after a US strike means
UK armed forces would be bound to be drawn in.

It is, therefore, not surprising that British military
chiefs are making preparations to co-operate with the
US. For better or worse, the UK armed forces are so
closely intertwined with their US allies in the Middle
East that standing aside in the event of a war with
Tehran is not an option.

The force packages required to help defeat Iranian
offensive operations are very different from those
currently deployed in the region, including
air-defence fighters; mine countermeasures vessels;
airborne early warning, electronic warfare and
suppression-of-enemy-air-defence aircraft; maritime
patrol aircraft/helicopters; and ground-based air
defence.

The fact that these assets have been drawn down by the
UK government over the past five years might limit the
ability of its armed forces to sustain a long-term
campaign against Iran, but the prospect might also
prompt a rethink of UK defence planning priorities.

Tim Ripley is a JDW Correspondent based in London
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:43:24 AM EDT
hope he still reads the boards. tell him thanks i always enjoyed his posts.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:47:28 AM EDT


-K
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:49:08 AM EDT
Good read and Hi to Andy.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:49:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2007 9:49:39 AM EDT by eodtech2000]

Originally Posted By HommieDaKlown:
hope he still reads the boards. tell him thanks i always enjoyed his posts.


He is lurking in the shadows. He told me that he will be returning to the board sometime after Christmas with a vengeance.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:50:05 AM EDT
WTF happened to Vitto?

Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:51:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
WTF happened to Vitto?



He got banned...

<­BR>

By the UK.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:57:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
WTF happened to Vitto?



He got banned...

<­BR>

By the UK.


Huh?
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:59:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2007 10:00:15 AM EDT by david_g17]

Originally Posted By PromptCritical:

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
WTF happened to Vitto?



He got banned...


By the UK.


Huh?


the short version:

The ministry of defense or whatever they have over there threw a hissy fit over their defense employees posting stuff on the web.

eta:
not vitto in particular, but all employees.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 10:00:06 AM EDT
good read
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:13:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By david_g17:

Originally Posted By PromptCritical:

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
WTF happened to Vitto?



He got banned...


By the UK.


Huh?


the short version:

The ministry of defense or whatever they have over there threw a hissy fit over their defense employees posting stuff on the web.

eta:
not vitto in particular, but all employees.


Oh, I was assuming some sort of weapons website censorship...
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:17:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:

Originally Posted By HommieDaKlown:
hope he still reads the boards. tell him thanks i always enjoyed his posts.


He is lurking in the shadows. He told me that he will be returning to the board sometime after Christmas with a vengeance.





He's been missed!
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:19:03 PM EDT
Always enjoyed his posts. Would be nice if he returned when he could.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:20:02 PM EDT
I'll be looking forward to his vengeful return.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:20:34 PM EDT
OST for when the kids hit the sack. Hi ANdy. God's speed.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:20:41 PM EDT
He posts good stuff.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:21:28 PM EDT
Hopefully he will return.

Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:24:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HommieDaKlown:
hope he still reads the boards. tell him thanks i always enjoyed his posts.


+1

ANdy is a straight shooter.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:25:16 PM EDT
Cheers Andy!
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:27:16 PM EDT
I agree totally.

His posts were insightful and added a level of flavor that had weight. Especially in light of the declining quality of GD overall.



Originally Posted By Deej86:
Hopefully he will return.

Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:29:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By krpind:
I'll be looking forward to his vengeful return.


I don't know how he has been able to contain himself, more than a day of no ARFCOM and posting causes serious withdrawal symptoms for me. I would have relapsed and created a "troll" account..

Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:30:10 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:30:26 PM EDT
Andy, we'll leave the light on for you.

Attention UK......This message is secret code free.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:30:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2007 5:31:33 PM EDT by SilentType]
We need not just the UK, but all of nato, but that is a dream.

The EU nations and not just the UK need to step-up to the damn plate this time.

I mean we're all alone in Iraq almost. Heck, Poland's new PM has already announced he will withdraw Polish troops from Iraq in one year.

The British, Dutch (have to give them serious props for punching way above their weight class), Polish, and a few Eastern European nations here and there have been helping out big time, but Germany, France, Spain, and Italy pretty much send so few troops and equipment along with restriction so tight they can barely break win over there that it is pretty sad.

I mean I want to give the European nations involved in ISAF props, but for some it is more like a vacation destination for their Special Forces. I also know that the Germans, Italians, Spanish, and French are top notch soldiers praying for war, but they get screwed by their own political leaders.

Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:35:00 PM EDT
Andy,
If you're reading...

I'm callingDUPE!



Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:41:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
He is lurking in the shadows. He told me that he will be returning to the board sometime after Christmas with a vengeance.


best post i've seen on this board in a long time.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:41:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 5:44:41 PM EDT
I look forward to his return.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 6:50:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:

Originally Posted By HommieDaKlown:
hope he still reads the boards. tell him thanks i always enjoyed his posts.


He is lurking in the shadows. He told me that he will be returning to the board sometime after Christmas with a vengeance.


Why doesn't he just tell you want he wants to post?

"This is the voice of ANdy! I am speaking through eodtech2000!"
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 6:53:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ak4784:
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 6:55:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Skibane:

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:

Originally Posted By HommieDaKlown:
hope he still reads the boards. tell him thanks i always enjoyed his posts.


He is lurking in the shadows. He told me that he will be returning to the board sometime after Christmas with a vengeance.


Why doesn't he just tell you want he wants to post?

"This is the voice of ANdy! I am speaking through eodtech2000!"


When he wants to get something across, he will email me. There are a few others here that get emails from him as well.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:04:56 PM EDT
OK, just read it so I'll give it a bumb while I post and let more folks say hello to our buddy ANdy.

Regardless of popular opinion in the UK, nobody in British politics wants to be the next Chamberlain. We are in it together, East vs. West, like it or not. The leftist opinion does not matter , insofar as is cannot impact the inevitable results of the war, only the timing of it's ending. The left is shrill but meaningless.

Yes we will take casualties and yes it will hurt. It hurt against the nazis too (nazis not capitalized intentionally) but it was without doubt necessary for the continuance of Western Civilization. We fight them here or we fight them there. I for one would rather fight them there when the still don't have a nuke, either way the fight is coming. The left knows this, it's common sense.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:18:17 PM EDT
Assad won't have the balls to attack us if (when) we drop bombs on Iran.

Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:19:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sabre_kc:
The left knows this, it's common sense.


If they had common sense, they would not be lefties. See the reaction to the Saudis beating a rape victim.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:21:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Midnight-Sniper:
Assad won't have the balls to attack us if (when) we drop bombs on Iran.



Shit, if I were an ambitous young terrorist or leader over there, I would be happily waiting and egging things on. Once the poo starts flying, you could get away with all sorts of mayham and blame the other guy.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:21:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:

Originally Posted By HommieDaKlown:
hope he still reads the boards. tell him thanks i always enjoyed his posts.


He is lurking in the shadows. He told me that he will be returning to the board sometime after Christmas with a vengeance.


Great, I really miss reading his posts.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:31:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:35:35 PM EDT
Hi Andy...

Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:39:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tromatic:

Originally Posted By sabre_kc:
The left knows this, it's common sense.


If they had common sense, they would not be lefties. See the reaction to the Saudis beating a rape victim.


I was referring to the leadership of the left, not the deceived moonbats. The left is in this war too whether they like it or not. Their leadership knows this.
Link Posted: 11/21/2007 9:41:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/22/2007 12:20:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sabre_kc:

Originally Posted By Tromatic:

Originally Posted By sabre_kc:
The left knows this, it's common sense.


If they had common sense, they would not be lefties. See the reaction to the Saudis beating a rape victim.


I was referring to the leadership of the left, not the deceived moonbats. The left is in this war too whether they like it or not. Their leadership knows this.


Could you point them out to me? I seem to be having some trouble figuring out which leaders you are referring too.

It will be fun to watch, though, when whoever the Libtards elect takes the seat and continues the fight.
Link Posted: 11/22/2007 12:56:57 AM EDT
G'day ANdy. It'll be good to have you back.
Thanks for posting this EODTech.

Cooperation makes sense, even if it isn't politically popular. It won't just be the Brits who get caught up in this thing if when push comes to shove. The PG is narrow enough that there won't be much time to positively identify targets before firing. If it looks hostile, it will be shot at. I doubt that the Iranians have the ability to do the recon needed to separate the sheep from the goats once the balloon goes up. They're going to have a hard enough time surviving long enough to get a shot off.

To the person complaining that the Euros don't do much, a senior EU official agreed the other day. He said that it was unacceptable for a "nation" with 2m men & women under arms to only be able to deploy 50k at a time. Watch this space...
Link Posted: 11/22/2007 4:24:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By eodtech2000:

He is lurking in the shadows. He told me that he will be returning to the board sometime after Christmas with a vengeance.


Good! We could use some vengeance around here. It's been a tad slow lately.

I wish there was a way to have a "Welcome Back, Andy!" party.
Link Posted: 12/6/2007 1:14:02 AM EDT
k
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