Tuesday, January 17, 2012

what war with iran might look like

CNI | Iran is clearly the target of choice, just as it was in 2007. Despite President Barack Obama’s assertion that he would open up avenues to talk to the Iranians, he has failed to do so, he has rejected Iranian initiatives to start a dialogue, and he is showing every sign of unwillingness to negotiate on any level. Congress has even moved to block any contact between American and Iranian diplomats. The sanctions that recently took effect against the Iranian banking system can be construed as an act of war, particularly as Iran has not provided any casus belli. Further sanctions that will restrict energy imports are impending and will bring the country’s economy to a halt. There are already signs that the Iranian government feels itself compelled to demonstrate to its people that it is doing something about the situation. That “something” might well be a confrontation with the U.S. Navy that will have unfortunate results. In light of all that, it might be useful to imagine just how war with Iran could play out if the Iranians don’t roll over and surrender at the first whiff of grapeshot.

It might start with a minor incident, possibly involving an Iranian armed small craft manned by the Revolutionary Guard. Though the Strait of Hormuz is generally considered an international waterway, the Iranians claim that half of the strait is within their territorial waters. Tehran, in response to intensified sanctions, declares that it can determine who can use the strait and says that it will take steps to keep American warships from entering. The frigate USS Ingraham, patrolling off of Bushehr, is confronted by the small craft and ordered to heave to, an order it rejects. The Iranian commander, ignoring instructions to back off when confronted directly by the U.S. Navy, opens fire with rocket-propelled grenades. The frigate’s Phalanx rapid-fire battery immediately responds by blasting the Iranian boat, killing the entire Revolutionary Guard crew, but two American sailors are also killed in the exchange and four are wounded.

Fighters from the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis are immediately launched under standing orders, and they devastate the naval base that the Iranian boat departed from. President Obama holds a press conference and calls the incident an act of war and vows to do everything necessary to support U.S. forces in the region, but he stops short of a commitment to stage a full-scale attack on Iran. A hastily called meeting of the U.N. Security Council results in a 17–1 vote urging the United States to exercise restraint, with only Washington voting “no.” In the General Assembly, only the United States, Israel, Micronesia, and Costa Rica support possible military action.

The United States is effectively alone, but Israel takes advantage of the growing war fervor in the United States to launch an attack against Iranian nuclear facilities. The recently completed nuclear reactor at Bushehr is destroyed, killing 13 Russian technicians working on the site, and the aboveground buildings at the Natanz nuclear research facility are leveled. Russian-supplied Iranian air defenses shoot down six Israeli aircraft. Washington receives no prior warning of the Israeli attack, though it does pick up the signal traffic that precedes it and knows something is coming. It makes no effort to stop the Israelis as they fly over undefended Iraqi airspace.

1 comments:

nanakwame said...

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/ft/2012/01/zbigniew_brzezinski_discusses_his_concerns_over_obama_s_asia_policy_.single.html

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