Thursday, November 08, 2012

Iran Fires On Unarmed US Drone In International Airspace

I suppose this is how you say 'no peeking at our nukes' in Farsi:

Two Iranian Su-25 fighter jets fired on an unarmed U.S. Air Force Predator drone in the Persian Gulf on November 1, the Pentagon disclosed on Thursday.

The incident, reported first by CNN, raised fresh concerns within the Obama administration about Iranian military aggression in crucial Gulf oil shipping lanes.

The drone was on routine maritime surveillance in international airspace east of Kuwait, 16 miles off the coast of Iran, U.S. officials said. The Predator was not hit.

 "Our aircraft was never in Iranian airspace. It was always flying in international air space. The recognized limit is 12 nautical miles off the coast and we never entered the 12 nautical mile limit," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in responding to questions from reporters after CNN reported the incident.

Act of war,anybody?

The Sukhoi Su-25 is an older model Russian fighter that was primarily developed to provide support for ground troops, not particularly to engage with anything airborne.The Russians still use,them, but they're not particularly fast or agile.

Saddam Hussein had a number of them supplied to him by the Russians.These two may date from the 1991 Gulf War, when 7 Su-25's defected to Iran rather than get shot down by our far superior Phantoms and NightHawks.


B.Poster said...

It seems like no matter what Iran does it wins the PR battle against America. By shooting at the drones it appears tough and scores points for standing up to the Americans. Should the Americans try to respond to Iranian actions they are condemned for heavy handedness, over reacting, being thuggish, responding disproptionately, or take your pick. At least this is how the media around the world and in the US portrays it.

The USAF is generally believed to be among the best led, best equiped, and most powerful forces in the world. If this is really true and I'm assuming it is, then these Iranian planes should not have been a match for USAF pilots or USAF planes. What if US fighter planes had been scrambled to pursue these Iranian planes and shot them down.

Again, assuming the assumptions regarding US power are correct and I'm assuming they are this should not have been a difficult thing to do. Even if these planes have to cross Iranian air space to take out these Iranian planes, it does not seem that Iranian air defenses would be able to do much about it.

As it is now, the Iranians get a huge PR victor which serves to strengthen the resolve of their people, encourage Iran's allies around the world, and reinforce the image of America as the bully/agressor. To do this, they lost NOTHING. If the Iranian planes are shot down, the Iranians still get their PR victory but they will have at least been forced to give up something.

Fighter planes and fighter pilots do not grow on trees. The planes are very expensive and it takes an enormous investment of time and money to train a military pilot. If the Iranians were to pay for these actions with the loss of pilots and planes, they would likely, at some point, become wary of doing things like this.

In other words, make the Iranians pay for the PR victory. Additionaly, if the Iranian fighter planes can be intercepted and shot down before they cross back into Iranian space and should the pilots eject in time after being shot down, we might have been able to capture them and perhaps even gotten valuable intel.

As it is right now, we have no support for any type of action against Iran. Even the sanctions are essentially worthless and non existant. Should active conflict break out our Western European "allies" will scatter away from us like roaches scatter when the light is turned on. A big part of the problem is the narrative on the conflict. Until something is done to change the narrative on this we simply cannot expect the kind of support we are going to need to confront Iran in any kind of realistic and effective way. Perhaps a good place to start would be by making Iran pay a heavy price for these PR victories.

Notice I say "perhaps." Should we shoot the planes down that may give the Western Europeans the political cover to abandon us entirely and the Russians and Chinese would use this as a great opening to jump actively into the conflict on the side of Iran while Iran uses this a great a causus belli to attack the American mainland via its various proxies. POTUS and all American leaders most definitely have their hands full right now. Again, I say work on doing something to alter the narrative on all of this. Then perhaps we can build the kind of effective alliances we are going to need to effectively confront and defeat the Iranian threat.

louielouie said...

act of war?
oh i don't know.
would killing one's ambassador be considered an act of war?
who cares?
maybe we can get anon to go to islamabad as ambassador.
bring your own broom handle.
who cares?