Monday, February 06, 2006

Former German intelligence officer summarizes the Iran war scenario:
Judging from the rather frantic behind-the-scenes efforts of Russia and China in Iran, they seem to appreciate that the Iranian leadership is in for a big and probably deadly surprise. The Bush administration has not only handled its Iran dossier much more skillfully than Iraq, but also managed to set up Iran for a war it can neither win nor fight to a draw....

Though a Western war against Iran will be a big geopolitical defeat for Russia and China, they cannot but resign themselves to this outcome if they are unable to convince the Iranians to accept the Russian proposal - ie uranium enrichment in Russia. The Russians saw the writing on the wall when France, Germany and Britain began to march in lockstep with the United States.

What in god's name are France, Germany and Britain doing appeasing the United States, backing Iran into a corner, and setting the scene for a possible war against Iran?

The Iranian leadership's obvious confidence in its ability to deter the US, Britain and Israel seems to rest on mainly four assumptions. Iran is militarily much stronger than Iraq, much larger, its terrain more difficult, its society more cohesive - thus more difficult to defeat, to occupy and to pacify. In addition, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad seems to take particular comfort from the widely anticipated wave of popular outrage and anti-Western attacks in the wider Middle East if Iran should be attacked.

Moreover, the economic costs of a war against Iran in terms of the price of oil and the interruption of the Iranian supply would propel the world economy into a tailspin. And finally, Iranian leaders seem to accept at face value the US moans over its overstretched military forces and the demoralization of US forces in Iraq.

These are all good, plausible reasons for a war not to be started, especially the global economic situation. It is going to depend a lot on how risky/crazy the US administration is. They cant be this crazy, surely?

An initial Israeli air attack against some Iranian nuclear targets, command and control targets and Shahab missile sites. Iran retaliates with its remaining missiles, tries to close the Gulf, attacks US naval assets and American and British forces in Iraq.

The Israel first strike would be designed to provoke Iran into attacking US forces as they have threatened, which would allow the US to mobilise its public for the commitment to a major war. Iran would be better served not to respond to the provocation other than diplomatically, monstrous though it would be.

If Iranian missiles have chemical warheads (in fact or presumed), the US will immediately use nuclear weapons to destroy the Iranian military and industrial infrastructure. If not, an air campaign of up to two weeks will prepare the ground campaign for the occupation of the Iranian oil and gas fields.

Iran's oil and gas is in the West of the country, bordering Iraq. That part, plus the southern coastline and the straits of Hormuz is all the the US would want.

No comments: