Thursday, June 18, 2009
Iran Versus Israel and the US
The key actor is Israel!
The crux of the Iranian situation is their pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the time it takes to marry the weapons with a suitable vehicle. We and the key Europeans have been pursuing the diplomatic approach for 5 or 6 years now, with virtually zero results.
Meanwhile under the sands of Iran is a growing pile of weapons grade material and launch vehicles that our intel projects to be ready anywhere from 6 months from now to 10 years away.
The intel we have is not reliable. That is the unfortunate truth, or else we would have a far better idea of the timing. We most likely do not have the time for a leasurely, multi-year diplomatic ploy now.
The second crucial element is Israel. I suggest that when their own intel tells them it is the critical time to stop Iran from further weapons development, they will attack Iran by air. For them it is a matter of survival, and they will ignore US attempts to stop them. To me, it is obvious that the US would not use military force to stop the Israelis.
Further, I suggest that the IAF will have to reduce Iran's air defenses before going after the nuclear sites, and that will include communications, command and control and airfield sites in order to limit the Iranian defenses seriously.
Some of the nuclear sites are carefully placed adjacent to or under population centers in order to guarantee civilian casualties in the event of attack. There will be many casualties publicized by the Iranians.
The third critical element is the question of what the US will do in this event? It has been stated by Iran officials that, if the Israelis do attack, they will go after the US as well around the world and in Iraq with their in-place supporters. This is no idle threat.
It seems logical to me that the US would respond to such attacks with full force on Iran, mainly by air, to ensure the destruction of nuclear sites, but also to reduce the shore-based missile sites that threaten the Gulf, and will by necessity reduce the Iranian air force and navy to near nothing.
I also suggest that US ground forces may well seek to capture and occupy the Western oilfields of Iran, and hope to draw the Iranian forces out into a pitched battle, which would be hugely in our favor. Without this crude oil for export, Iran will be destitute. They may also extend their occupation to Southern Iran to dig out any missile sites still operational.
Thus, our moral position would be global self-defense against Iran, and the reduction of the threat wherever found.
I suggest that once we have been attacked by Iran as threatened, the will to action would be no problem, and thus the means to "defend" ourselves would be found quickly.
This, to me, is a very likely scenario.