Planning for war with Iran

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 1 month ago

In testimony before congress, General Petraeus was clear in his warning over Iranian intent to have a Hezbollah-like force deployed within Iraq.  He also made the point very clearly that the war in Iraq could not be won solely in Iraq.  Since then it has been reported that Iranian arms have made their way into Afghanistan, with senior NATO leadership both confirming and then demurring on this shipment interdiction.

General Dan McNeill, head of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), confirmed a report in Sunday’s Washington Post which said the shipment had been discovered last week.

“The geographic origin of that convoy was clearly Iran but take note that I did not say it’s the Iranian government,” the US general told AFP in an interview.

“In that convoy there were explosive materials that could be made into more advanced improvised explosive devices,” he said, refusing to make any further comment on the shipment, as it was still being analysed.

“It is not the first convoy that we have intercepted that had geographical origins from Iran, but it is one that has my attention.”

Turning back to Iraq, it didn’t take Secretary of Defense Gates long to downplay the Iranian threat.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that the United States can contain the Iranian threat to Iraq without going to war with the Islamic republic.

Iranian attempts to influence events in Iraq can be dealt with “inside the borders of Iraq” and there is no need for U.S. forces to take action inside Iran, Gates said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“The administration believes that continuing to try to deal with the Iranian threat through diplomatic and economic means is by far the preferable approach,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph has a major news story concerning hawks in the military and administration who are carefully crafting an escalatory campaign with Iran to justify full blown military action, drawing up a list of 2000 strategic and military bombing targets inside Iran.  Concerning those hardened bunkers containing the centrifuges being used to create high enriched Uranium, plans were made and enacted long ago to develop weapons that could penetrate and destroy those installations.

The U.S. has a 14-ton super bomb more destructive than the vacuum bomb just tested by Russia, a U.S. general said Wednesday.

The statement was made by retired Lt. General McInerney, chairman of the Iran Policy Committee, and former Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

McInerney said the U.S. has “a new massive ordnance penetrator that’s 30,000 pounds, that really penetrates … Ahmadinejad has nothing in Iran that we can’t penetrate.”

He also said the new Russian bomb was not a “penetrator.”

On Tuesday, the Fox News television channel said: “A recent decision by German officials to withhold support for any new sanctions against Iran has pushed a broad spectrum of officials in Washington to develop potential scenarios for a military attack on the Islamic regime.”.

Commenting on the report, McInerney said: “Since Germany has backed out of helping economically, we do not have any other choice. … They’ve forced us into the military option.”

McInerney described some possible military campaign scenarios and said: “The one I favor the most, of course, is an air campaign,” he continued.

He said that bombing would be launched by 65-70 stealth bombers and 400 bombers of other types.

“Forty-eight hours duration, hitting 2500 aimed points to take out their [Iranian] nuclear facilities, their air defense facilities, their air force, their navy, their Shahab-3 retaliatory missiles, and finally their command and control. And then let the Iranian people take their country back,” the general said describing the campaign, adding it would be “easy.”

Exactly how bombing Iran will help the “Iranian people take their country back” is not made clear by McInerney.  At TCJ we are in favor of letting the fly-boys do what needs to be done if it comes to that.  However, regarding this claim of being “easy,” perhaps it would be good to rehearse the consequences of such an air war before we start it.

  1. Iranian Revolutionary Guard Forces would carry out attacks against U.S. interests, including embassies, throughout the world.
  2. The same forces would carry out attacks against U.S. troops within Iraq.
  3. Oil prices would skyrocket.
  4. Due to oil prices, the American and possibly world economy would likely go into a phase of hyperinflation, followed by recession.
  5. Some U.S. pilots will be shot out of the sky, captured, tortured and run in front of TV cameras to “recant their attrocities.”

Again, if this is all necessary, then air power is the solution.  But no one yet is talking about Michael Ledeen’s solution, which is to avoid both the negotiations (in which we have engaged for two decades to no avail) and war (which would certainly be costly), by fomenting revolution and regime change from within.  Such a moderate and sensible approach, yet not courted or advocated by either side at the moment.

But make no mistake about it.  The Iranian problem will not go away, and it must be faced sooner rather than later.  A recent speech before the U.S. congress has received far too little attention.

In a video message to a meeting at the U.S. Congress on September 11, 2007, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance said, “The undeniable reality is that the policy of appeasing the Iranian regime with the aim of bringing about gradual or behavior change or containing it has failed. For the mullahs the only way to deal with the tide of democracy in Iran and global developments is repression, nuclear weapons, domination of Iraq and spread of Islamic fundamentalism.? The full text of here message follows:

Allow me at the beginning to hail the Iranian people for rising up against an oppressive dictatorship. By resorting to hanging young people in public, the mullahs are trying to intimidate the Iranian nation. But the mass executions have failed to break the resistance of the people. The mullahs have reached the end of the line in Iran.

Today, Iraq has become the central front in the fight against Islamo-fascism and the terrorism resulting from it. This is the biggest problem before the United States and the international community. Whatever the results, it would chart the direction of the twenty-first century.

The Iranian regime is the main problem in Iraq; other factors are marginal. The mullahs will not allow a successful political process in Iraq to take shape, because a democratic Iraq would be a nightmare for them. 

For this reason, they have done everything to prevent the creation of a democratic Iraq. Since 27 years ago, Iraq, owing to its unique geopolitical status – having a majority Shiite population, being home to the shrines of six Shiite Imams, and having a 1,200km border with Iran as well as many different religions and ethnic groupings – has been the main target of the mullahs’ so-called “export of Islamic revolution.?

Unfortunately, the West’s disregard for this reality allowed the mullahs to spread influence in Iraq after the fall of the previous government in that country. If the Iranian regime did not intervene in Iraq, there would be no need for stationing a large force and the casualties would not be so heavy.

The Iranian problem must and will be addressed; it is only a matter of how and how soon.  The clock is ticking down, since this administration will be leaving office within sixteen months, and the subsequent one may not be willing to meet the challenge before Iran builds a nuclear weapon.



  • http://www.fumento.com fumento

    I trust that by “bombers” he means “sorties.” Otherwise, guess what?

    In the event, this still sounds a bit too “surgical.” For one, the Iranian navy, down to the smallest boat we can find, has to go to reduce their chance of blocking the strait with sunken ships and mines. Obviously their entire air defense system has to go, including their air force. And headquarters and barracks of the Revolutionary Guards, and . . . No, it may be necessary but there will be nothing surgical about it.

  • Pingback: Neocon News » A lot more on the Israeli action last week


You are currently reading "Planning for war with Iran", entry #616 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Air Force,Air Power,Iran,Iraq,Quds Force and was published September 18th, 2007 by Herschel Smith.

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