Friday, January 12, 2007

Operation Mullah Stomp: The military option on Iran


Now that the President has unveiled his strategy on Iraq,it appears that even he, four years down the road has finally realized that the key to success in Iraq - and victory in this war- lies in dealing successfully with Iran.

The conventional wisdom voiced by a number of people, including the infamous Iraq Study Group, is that it's necessary to `negotiate' with the genocidal regime in Iran in order to extricate ourselves from Iraq...and as part of a comprehensive `Middle East peace settlement'.

Negotiations between nations only work when two factors are present: first, both nations must be convinced that they have something to gain by negotiating that they can't obtain any other way, and second, both nations must be convinced of the other party's trustworthiness and willingness to keep agreements.

I think we can safely say, based on that, that negotiations with Iran are pretty much a non-starter.

We're also told ad nauseum by the usual suspects that a military option is out of the question, even though Iran is actively involved with what a previous generation of Americans would have considered acts of war. And that we should concentrate on diplomacy and on isolating Iran.

I can sympathize with such feelings, given how well the Bush Administration has handled the occupation and the `nation building' adventure in Iraq. But the fact remains that Iran regards itself in a war with the Great Satan, and as is typical with such regimes, things will only escalate.

This bears repeating: Iran regards itself as being at war with us, and has been conducting itself accordingly. And the only question that remains is whether we fight at a time of our choosing, or theirs.

Iran, frankly, has no choice but war or expansion, rather like Hitler's Germany or Tojo's Japan. It's oil exports are dropping by 13% per year because of obsolete equipment, corruption and a paucity of foreign investment. Inflation is in double digits, and nobody wants the rial - anything Iran buys is reckoned in dollars or euros. Iran admits to 15% unemployment ..in the `cannon fodder bracket' ages 18-39, it's more like 30%. It would even be higher if the mullahs hadn't resorted to the classic technique of despots and picked up part of the slack with government hiring in the army, baseji militia and security services.

Likewise, any thoughts about the international community, sanctions and `isolation' ignores the fact that the mullahs have something to sell that the world wants very badly, and that Russia and China and perhaps some of the European nations will not cooperate with any `isolation'. It's worth their while not to.


I had my own ideas about what a proper strategy for Iran would involve, and with that in mind I consulted some professional military who have long been members and contributers in Joshua's Army.

We came up with similar conclusions...the Iranian regime is extremely vulnerable to defeat and humiliation if we properly utilize a military option.

Here are some points to consider:

  • Just taking out Iran's nuclear facilities, even if completely successful is a desirable end in itself, but does nothing by itself to eliminate Iran as a threat or as a focal point of terrorism and jihad against the west.It merely delays the game a few years. So any military option that's pursued needs to consider how to eliminate both a potential nuclear threat and conventional military and terrorism attacks, to the degree it's possible.

  • In the event of things escalating, Iran has three main points of attack to pursue against us: conventional attacks against our forces in Iraq, (probably aided by the Iraqi Shiite militias we so stupidly allowed Iran to arm and train), a naval shut down of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, and terrorist attacks here in the US through its network of Hezbollah cells. A proper line of attack should minimize if not totally eliminate those threats.

  • The US should be willing to do this unilaterally, since most of our allies have pretty much said they're disinclined to get involved, and be prepared to accept significant political fallout both domestically and internationally, seeing as how the US unfortunately signed on to a bunch of toothless UN sanctions last week.
Crazy as it sounds, Iran's threat to the US, at this point in time, is mostly conventional. Let's start there.

About 40% or so of the world’s crude oil passes through the Persian Gulf via the Straits of Hormuz, a narrow channel that's only about 21 miles wide at its narrowest point.

The Straits border on Iran and the Sultanate of Oman, with the oil tankers protected by international agreement and patrolled by a multinational naval force, including US vessels.

Iran has made it very clear that it wants to gain control of the Straits, so that it can control the oil and gas flow for the region. It's already been threatening a cut-off of oil traffic if the UN imposes any further sanctions in connection with Iran's nuclear program. The mullahs claim they have the power to totally halt the oil supply from the Gulf and blackmail the world economy.

In April of this year, Iranian armed forces staged what they called the “Holy Prophet war games” in the Gulf, launching new types of anti-ship missiles and demonstrating what it could look like if Iran decided to get nasty and cut off traffic in the Straits. In addition, the Iranian navy reportedly has contingency plans to close the Straits of Hormuz in the event of war using anti-ship missiles, coastal artillery, mines, submarine attacks and even explosive-packed suicide motor boats. Meanwhile, Iran’s land based missile launchers would target strategic oil facilities around the Gulf rim, including in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait.

Even an Iranian threat to shut down the Straits would cause tanker traffic to decrease, oil prices to spiral upwards, and cause major havoc with the world economy.

Sounds scary, right? But here's the good part: Iran can't shut down the Persian Gulf without shutting down its own oil cash flow. The mullahs are in a trap of their own making.

Almost 90 percent of the mullahs’ oil facilities are located either in or near the Gulf. So is the nuclear reactor that Russia is building for Iran at Bushehr. And almost all Iranian oil production needs free access to the Gulf if Iran’s oil is to reach the market.

So the same threat Iran is using to blackmail the world into acquiescing to Iran as an aggressive nuclear armed world power and leader of the global jihad is a double edged sword that provides the key to defeating them, reducing the Iranian threat and isolating them until the regime (and their economy) collapses or Iran evolves to the point that they learn to conduct themselves in a civilized and peaceful manner.

So here's how a forceful and successful operation against Iran it might look:

The first step would involve the US deploying a fleet in or near the Gulf of Oman, including minesweepers, at least two carrier strike groups, guided missile destroyers, submarines and anti-submarine ships , with another fleet on standby in the Indian Ocean. The U.S. Navy could also deploy drones and subs to keep watch above and below against any Iranian missile threat to our fleet. This would make it clear that we would not allow any interruption of tanker traffic in either the Gulf of Oman or the Straits. We could then be in a position to protect non-Iranian shipments while blockading all shipments of Iranian oil.

To back this up, we would need to launch a comprehensive air/ naval strike aimed at Iran's ports, navy ships, air-defense systems, air-force bases and communications systems, and especially its missile launching sites along the Gulf coast. The attack could also target Iran’s nuclear facilities—not only the known sites but the infrastructure- the bridges, tunnels and roads - to stop Iran from simply moving materials and/or production from one site to another.

But the main objective of the attack would would be Iran's weakest link....it's gasoline refineries and oil production.

Believe it or not, Iran actually rations gasoline and imports almost forty percent of what it consumes domestically. With its refineries out of production and its storage tanks destroyed, Iran’s cars, trucks, buses, planes, tanks, and other military and domestic vehicles would be running on empty in a matter of weeks or maybe even days. The Russians might supply them with some gasoline, but just getting it to Iran in the quantities necessary with be far too expensive and time consuming to do the mullahs any real good, and would eat up Iran's foreign exchange reserves in double quick time. Without sufficient fuel, Iran's army would pretty much be at a standstill, and the only major way Iran could retaliate is through proxies like the Shiite Militias against out troops in Iraq. And facing US firepower without fresh supplies from Iran, the orphaned militias would be at a distinct disadvantage, especially if we coordinated a military assault against them on the ground in Iraq with our strike against Iran.

With Iran's navy and army neutralized, the next step could be to use a force of Marines and special-operations forces from one of our amphibious attack ships - say, the USS Boxer which is already in the area - to seize key Iranian oil facilities in the Gulf. That includes roughly 100 offshore wells and platforms built on Iran’s continental shelf. We could also seize or incapacitate the North and South Pars offshore fields, as well as Kargh Island, whose terminal facilities pump the oil from Iran’s best oil fields like Ahwaz, Marun, and Gachsaran. Controlling Kharg Island would make them almost useless. Instead of the Mullahs controlling the Persian Gulf, we would be in a position to choke off the major part of their oil exports almost at will.

Seem too simple and far fetched? It isn't. As a matter of fact, as M reminded me, the US actually did something like this once before, during the Iran-Iraq War in the mid to late 1980's.

During that war, Iran began attacking tankers and we sent the US navy in to protect the oil flow. When the Iranians got aggressive and nasty, our navy sank one Iranian frigate, severely damaged another and sank several Iranian patrol boats. Teams of Navy SEALS also temporarily seized Iranian oil platforms in the Gulf.

As was pointed out to me, this would be much more humiliating for the mullahs than my original suggestion, which was to target the oil fields and destroy them. Having something and not being able to use it is much worse than having it utterly destroyed...and the oil fields would then be usable for the benefit of the Iranian people after the mullahs are overthrown.

No plan is perfect, and there are always risks, but Iran's strategic threat is something that needs to be dealt with decisively, whether we like it or not. We are simply paying the bill for almost thirty years of wrongheaded policy, starting with the Carter Administration. The way things stand now, the strategic benefits to this approach far outweigh the risks any way you look at it.

One of those major risks, of course,would be Iran's activating of its Hezbollah cells here in America. The FBI and Homeland Security would have to minimize this risk by being on the ball and performing the same way the FBI and Secret Service performed during WWII: by arresting, interning or deporting anyone who looks, talks or smells like a possible security risk.

Other than terrorism, there's not much Iran could do to retaliate. Iran's navy is antiquated and easily dealt with and the same is true of the Iranian army and the Revolutionary Guards - who would be stranded for lack of transport.And since this would be primarily a naval and air campaign, rather than a land war, there would be no need to reduce our troop presence in Iraq or engage Iran's army directly, for the most part. Estimates of the forces needed to pull this off vary depending on who's doing the talking, utilizing one or two carrier strike groups, one to three Marine brigades and possibly an airborne brigade.

Even the specter of oil price spikes in the event of a military action against Iran might be overstated. Right now, the mullahs crank out about 2.5 million barrels of oil a day...and dropping, by about 12% each year. But according to Merrill Lynch's analysis of the oil industry, new production is estimated to boost worldwide production by million barrels per year. And Iran itself couldn't afford to hold out for long. Pumping crude oil is its only industry, about 85 percent of its exports and providing 65 percent Iran's total budget. All that's left are pistachio nuts and a few carpets. With Iran's oil production cut off and the country's ports blockaded, Iran's economy would quickly go bankrupt, with no money to spare for Hezbollah, the Iraqi militias, Hamas, further nuke programs or the global jihad.

The West could simply sit and watch the regime implode.

There are some hopeful signs that the Bush Administration may be leaning in this direction, with the appointment of Admiral William Fallon as supreme commander of CENTCOM in Iraq and the deployment of carrier strike groups and amphibious attack ships in the Persian Gulf.

Political fallout? Yes indeed. President Bush has done very little to get the American public or congress to trust him in the least, and with a Democratic majority in the House and Senate, the outcry would be tremendous. Europe and especially the Russians would undoubtedly scream bloody murder. But, like the deployment of Pershing missiles in Europe during the Cold War and the Israeli raid on Osirak, sometimes the strategic benefits are worth the flak..much of which would hide a great deal of private relief.

Most importantly, the American people would overwhelmingly support our taking the fight to the enemy in this decisive fashion for a change.

If we plan on victory in this war, neutralizing Iran is a major, if not decisive and imperative step along the way.

Carthago delenda est.

Many thanks to The Old General, M, Ze'ev, and Mad Max for their kind assistance.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

another brilliant plan from the minds behind 'cakewalk Iraq' and 'seize the Litani'.

What i don't understand is with all conventional porn floating around the internet, why anyone would be reduced to this type of masturbation. Whatever floats your boat i guess.

masoud

Freedom Fighter said...

Hello Masoud,
You're entitled to your internet habits, of course, but the two instances you mention are both a case of piecemeal half measures that of course failed because they WERE half measures.

Had the IDF gone in full force, on the ground, Hezbollah and Nasrullah would be a memory today. As it was, they almost were, even with an idiot like Olmert calling the shots.(And BTW, the IDF did in fact reach the Litani River, and had Hezbollah surrounded at the time of the ceasefire).

And if the US had not stupidly pushed the Iraqis into elections before they were ready, kept them under military government, not allowed a bunch of corrupt Shiite politicos with ties to our enemy Iran to get into power and concentrated on victory rather than `Arab democracy', again the story would be very different.

Like a lot of people out there, you confuse restraint with weakness. That's understandable, but not something I would count on prevailing forever if I were you.

Anonymous said...

The IDF did go in full force, bombing everything from roads to milk factories to mosques and churches. They used everything from predator drones to white phosphorous incendiary missiles. They even raided a hospital and captured Hassan Nasrallah-the grocer that is. Unfortunately for them their tactics were anticipated, communications intercepted, and they were dealt what can only be described as an amazing defeat. It's the only time in modern history where a non-european resistance dealt european occupiers (military) losses on the same scale as they took them. And they did it with weapons no newer than 30 years old. The kicker is that the US is making the IDF look like genius' by comparison.


There is no way to counter Iran's strategic missile threat, no way to challenge it's stranglehold on the straights of Hormuz. It's gonna take more than a couple of patriot missile batteries and a hand full of Seals. If a war against Iran is started you'll kill a lot of Iranian civilians, but not much else. The US will lose it's army. Seriously, Penthouse, check it out.

masoud

Freedom Fighter said...

Speaking of porn, seriously, Masoud, read something besides Hezbollah propaganda. `European occupiers?' Puh-leeze.

And `resistance'? Even the UN didn't by THAT horse manure. Hezbollah only started the war with Israel on Syria and Iran's orders, to take the spotlight off of the Hariri investigation and Iran's nuclear program.

Maybe you like the idea of Lebanon being Iran and Syria's bitch, but you can't blame Israel.

You also have it backwards as far as the casualties (which were a lot heavier on the Hezbollah side)an dthe weaponry, which came from Iran and Russia and was modern and SOTA, especially the missile arsenal.

The Israelis did indeed bomb Lebanon's infrastructure - that's what happens when a bunch of cowards hide missiles and launching sites in the middle of a bunch of civilians.

Hezbollah and the Lebanese army had far less excuse for launching missiles at Israel's civilians.

As for the IDF being put in on the ground piecemeal because of the Olmert government's vacillation that's also a matter of fact and is now the subject of investigations in Israel. Do a search on this site under `Lebanon' for sources.



As for Iran, with an antiquated navy, no real air force and an army that desperately needs imported gas to move, they're toast if the US decides to go after the oil and gas refineries, bomb the missile sites and take over the terminus at Kharg Island.

I realize that a lot of Shiites are really into the martyr /suicide stuff, but Khamenei and Ahmadinejad aren't going to be able to get by this time by buying a bunch of plastic keys from Taiwan, telling twelve year old kids that these are the keys to paradise and using them as human mine sweepers.

I don't really think you appreciate what a couple of brigades of marines, backed by the firepower of a couple of nuclear carrier strike forces and an amphibious strike force are capable of doing.

Of course, we could just nuke them until they glow and then shoot them in the dark, but I think this plan works better.

Thanks for dropping by.

ff

Anonymous said...

I don't read Hezbollah propaganda, I write it.

I'm really not going to get into a flame war, but you are wrong about just about everything you commented on, you especially underestimate Iran's modern weapons, google around for a bit and you might even find surveillance video of the Iranian UAV monitoring a US aircraft carrier (the Abraham Lincon?). Again the US has no remedy for Iran's strategic and air to sea missiles, sorry if that touches a nerve.

"
Of course, we could just nuke them until they glow and then shoot them in the dark
"

It's funny how fragile some peoples nerves are. Go for it if you think it'll solve anything, I dare ya. Just make sure you've got a box of tissues handy, no one likes a sticky keyboard.

masoud

Anonymous said...

P.S.
air to sea => coast to sea

P.P.S.

I double dare ya

louielouie said...

masoud,
i wish the prop. you write were true.
blow the hell out of every mosque in the world.
but i don't want to get into a flame throwing contest.
on friday afternoon.
put about 50 500lb JDAM on each and every one.
oh if god would so permit it.
but i don't want to get into a flaming contest.
LOL
give me a 747 fully laden with full over mecca during a hajj and i would surely let you know how i feel.
you wouldn't even need to teach me how to land it.
i am not trying to upset you.
please write some more of your literature.
maybe one day, it will come to pass. you know, the part about blowing up mosques. we don't have to worry about blowing up little kids. that's what you do best to your own, so why should we get involved.
but let us not throw flame.
that would be unkind.
would it not?
masoud,
look out your window.
do you see one of these?
oh, if god would only let it be so?
you are a religious guy aren't you?
i ask if you are male because your writing style has a uniquely feminine characteristic.
now let us go forth and be friends.
don't you agree?

Anonymous said...

Comprehensive plan indeed, ff.

Part of this strategy - the domestic portion - requires the gradual transfer to alternative fuels.

The financial-mullahs might be catalysing the inevitable collapse of Iran's economy by instigating Ahmadinejad to fund the Foreign Legions even further: economic strangulation has already begun, and it shows no signs of stopping. And that means any option short of a nuclear strike by Israel on Iran will do just fine for now.

nazar said...

This sure is a detailed plan, and it looks great on paper, but plans have a tendency to go, ah...wayward.

Especially during war.

Two things you didn't take into account are Iran's excellent intelligence service (we made it after all, how else was the Shah gonna stay in power) and the disastrous effect on the world economy of Iranian oil exports being cut off. Make no mistake, these two would hit us, and hit us hard.

Oh, and another thing. Those hezbollah sleeper cells right here in America that Ahmenidinijad was so gleeful about. Who says they need funding to carry out their attacks? Doesn't take a demolition expert to build a cheap bomb and start blowing up supermalls. I feel that you just glossed over this aspect of the result of a pre-emptive strike on Iran.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't deal with Iran because of these daunting consequences, indeed, I believe that Iran is an urgent threat, but I believe you glossed over the catastrohpe that such an attack would be to us. If you disagree, I would be greatly interested to know your reasoning.

Nazar.

louielouie said...

harrison,
the gradual transfer to alternative fuels should be abrupt, massive, and sustanined.
in 1985 the saudi royal family bankrupted this movement with the massive dumping on the market of fossil fuels lowering the price-at-the-pump to a point where no one would put more money into the industry/movement.
and as long as the american people were happy with the price-at-the-pump why should we do anything differently.
it's called loss of political leadership.
this industry is still around, but afraid to move forward for fear of a repeat of the same action.
fossil fuels now are a commodity, similar to pork bellies, and are traded as such. it has nothing to do with supply and demand anymore. put a price on it and let's see if they pay it.
and no, i am not a greenie.
and with all the drilling by BP going on around baku, azerbijian nothing will be done for decades to come.

louielouie said...

re-reading ff essay and then looking here got me to thinking about how short sighted and/or one tracked some would be on the issue of the strait of hormel.
if it were people from another era having this kind of trouble with the dumbasses in iran, there would have already been a canal across the UAE. of course that would mean arab cooperation, and we all know what a fallacy that is. from an engineering construction point of view it would be straight forward. nothing like panama. and right in line, size, and scale with other projects in this region. it would cost petrobucks and i guess the mullahs in the UAE think it's cheaper to buy the mullahs in iran off.
the canal would be entirely in UAE territorial waters, but when/would that stop the stop-n-go clerk. they would be over extended to take any action as opposed to the hormel opening.

Freedom Fighter said...

Masoud,
Thanks for having the honesty to admit that you write Hezbollah propaganda and venerate these scum.

If you're Lebanese (and I assume you are, from the footprint), youmight wnt to reconsider how you feel about a group of cowards who were willing to start a war onth eorders of a foreign country and bring devastation to Lebanon.

As for your heroes in Iran, I guarantee you that their missile launchers and the new weapons they unveiled like the Hoot missile would be useless if the sites are subjected to a bit of US style shock and awe. This is BS on a par with Hitler's wunderwaffen' which he claimed would alter the balance of WWII.

As for the `double daring' part, that fits in well with what Iran has been doing successfully for some time..but I have a feeling that particular bet is about to be called in. Maybe not next week , maybe not even until th epresent occupant leaves the White House, but it isn't far off.

Run and hide.

Freedom Fighter said...

Nazar, you , as always, raise a number of interesting points.

First, I want to emphasize that although I've been thinking along these lines, the meat that fleshed out my ideas came comes from military professionals.

You mentioned the problem with oil prices, which I actually addressed in the article. The amount of crude Iran produces can more or less be made up bythe increased production elsewhere. And in any event, allowing Iran to become more powerful and get the ability to block the Straits of Hormuz at will anytime they want is hardly a recipe for stability in the market.

Anyway, if there's a choice between a momentary spike in oil prices versus a sensible solution in the Middle East and curtailing the jihadi threat, I vote we opt for some short term discomfort for long term gain.

As forthe Hezbollah cells, I mentioned that as well and you're quite correct. It's a problem that needs to be dealt with a lot more forcefully than we have done to date. But not dealing with Iran simply because we're afraid to start rounding people up and imprisoning them seems suicidal to me.

Because of our unwillingness to deal with jihad, we're faced with a less than ideal situation.I also don't like the idea of Bush going to war without a declaration of war from Congress (which I know, is unlikely to happen because of the Administration's conduct over Iraq).

It needs to be done, however.

Iran is at war with us. We can deal with this by striking at a time of their choosing or ours.

I think you know which one I favor.

Anonymous said...

Love your poster, you Jews are Bad Asses for sure. At least when you're attacking unarmed Arabs. Thousands and thousands of sorties without a single plane lost. We'll see how bad you are when the Iranian surface to air missiles show up on your Radars.

That ought to be a sight, the two most cowardly and incompetent militaries in the world. Maybe our brave Navy will panic again and destroy an Iranian Airliner filled with women and children. And they are old hands at destroying Iranian oil platforms.

I have a cute little expression I use to describe unsymetric warfare, pick one.

US Marines- If the Arabs were one-tenth as well-armed as you assholes, you would be crawling back to Twenty Nine Palms, crying for your Mamas.

Israelis substitute Warsaw or NYC for Twenty Nine Palms

Etc etc. Special Forces etc.

Monte Haun
mchaun@hotmail.com

Freedom Fighter said...

Awwwww, this one signed his name..how cute.

I'll tell you what, Monte. The reason your heroes aren't as `well armed' is because their culture pretty much stifles any kind of innovation..meaning they have to buy it from someplace else.

As for `us Jews', the Israelis didn't get any significant arms from the West until after the 1967 War, and they destroyed Arab armies equipped with SOTA equipment on three separate occasions before then...to the point where they had to be threatened to call off the hostilities.

Of course, feelin' like you do about Jews, I realize that a little fact like that is ummm, uncomfortable to digest.

As for blowing up women and children and attacking unarmed people, I think you have the wrong party - that would be your pals the jihadis, al Qaeda, the `Palestinians' and your fascist buds in Iran.

I also would love to be present to hear you call one of our marines or a typical member of the IDF a dirty name to his face.

Let me know...I betcha I could sell tickets.

Have a nice day now!

FF

Nightcrawler said...

That was a great post! I've offered similar suggestions in the past, including ramping up our efforts to incite an overthrow of the mullahs within Iran. There are certainly enough viable resistance movements both within Iran and expatriots to get the job done. Also, if we act quickly, we could claim (rightfully) that Iran perpetrated an act of war by seizing the first POW's and refusing to allow them any contact with the appropriate agencies per the Geneva Convention.

This action would give us the clearance to act and we could establish bases on Kharg Island as a "listening post" to protect the Strait of Hormuz from future Iranian aggression. Combine this with a blockade of Iranian oil and embargoes on their pistachios and you can cripple the current regime within six months. The massive military and intelligence assets they have prove to be a liability in this case because they lack the ability to generate capital while expending massive amounts of money.

Iran would be forced to lay off many of their troops or convince them to fight without pay (never good for morale). These actions usually signal the beginning of the end for regimes. Oh... and starving them of their cash flow will put an immediate end to their nuclear program and their support of terrorists around the world.

As far as sleeper cells go... they're probably going to be activated some time or another. This is where the American people must take some responsibility for their own security. Staying alert and providing yourself with the means to defeat a threat are ways the people can help the government in this regard. And oil prices? You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

Delta 30 said...

I know this is an old post but I came across it whilst searching. Frankly, you're all mad. I am a military planner and now I can see why the world is in the state it is right now.

I've dealt face-to-face with the "Iranian-supplied" Shia miltiia in Iraq and they won't be put off by losing some logistics. Frankly, Iraq is a massive arms depot so no problems there. Currently, the vast majority of Shia are staying out of things but a call by the (Iranian) Sistani would change this tout suite.

This plan almost completely ignores the significant resistance that Iran can muster, military and otherwise. The effect of losing the Gulf oil supply would be dramatic and the world economy would choke so hard it would make the 1970s look like a picnic.

I have so many other objections to this ridiculous line of thought. Military action will have siasterous consequences, as anyone who has been in these countries will tell you. The worrying thing is that our esteemed leadership will probably agree that your plan is excellent. Meanwhile, most people in the defence heirarchy are aghast at the prospect, unless they are too pumped-up too care.

As for the hatred comments against the Muslim world, get out more. The reason the current crisis has arisen is largely because idiots (on both sides) are making things worse. This fits in nicely with AQ's plans. After all, they're now one of the most famous brands going, aren't they?

Naturally, the pro-war lobby will all be signing up to go, right? Better get into the reserves now to beat the rush...

PS The sleeper cells don't really exist so don't worry about them.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hello Delta 30,
And thanks for a MOSTLY constructive comment.

A number of people who contributed to this have direct experience in Iraq as well, and frankly, they disagree with you, which is fine.

Perhaps, as you're British, your experience with the Shi'ite militias is somewhat different than our guys. Given the Brit debacle in places like Basra, (and I'm being polite) I could certainly understand that.

I would also suggest that being limited to the sort of claptrap put out by the Beeb and other British sources, you may not be aware that the Mahdi Army and it's associated Shia gangs are getting their clock cleaned for them and have been forced out of all their strongholds, while their leader, Moqtada al-Sadr skulks away in Iran.

Apparently all those arms and funding from Iran was of considerable help after all!

Part of the reason, aside from the Iranian backed militia's own brutalitty is that Ayatollah Sistani came out firmly against them and integrated his own militia, the Badr Force with the Iraqi government forces. There's absolutely no incentive for him to change horses again.

I would also question whether the Gulf Oil Supply would be threatened in the least if Iran was bottled up. They have very little in the way of an air force or navy, and would have little gas for their military to operate with in any case if Operation Mullah Stomp was properly implemented as suggested. Of course, if the British fleet hadn't scarpered away after a few sailors were kidnapped on the high seas, it probably would have been helpful as well.As I recall, Britain used to fight wars over such things.

I realize that the tendency of the British is to do nothing and hope things muddle through, but I fail to see how the threat to the Persian Gulf Oil would be lessened by either engaging in appeasement or simply allowing Iran to go nuclear.

No plan is foolproof and no choice without a certain amount of risk, but the option of doing nothing is absolutely guaranteed to cause the greatest pain in the long run.

I would have thought that your recent history would have taught you as much.

Thanks for dropping by....

ff