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Iran: War Option on the Table

youknowwho

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NBC-TV's "Meet the Press" this past Sunday began the war talk of August. It's not quite the guns of August, 1914, but it ain't beanbag, either.

When "Meet the Press" asked Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen if the Pentagon had a plan for attacking Iran, Mullen replied, "We do." He added, "Military actions have been on the table and remain on the table."

Mullen tempered his response by emphasizing an attack is always an "option." Mullen kept his hypothetical saber stroke in a diplomatic sheath by emphasizing the U.S. regards military action to destroy Iranian nuclear capabilities as an "option."

Mentioning the overt war option lit a Beltway firestorm, but his tough statement is one of many made by Obama administration officials since January of this year. Rumors of covert options designed to damage the Iranian nuclear program have made the rounds for several years. CIA Director Leon Panetta, in late June, appeared on ABC's "This Week" and carefully hinted at covert war options.

Panetta was asked about Obama administration intimations that Iran had encountered "technical troubles" in its nuclear program. Were Iranians lousy bomb-builders, or was sabotage involved?

Panetta replied: "... I can't speak to obviously intelligence operations, and I won't. It's enough to say that, clearly, they have had problems. There are problems with regards to their ability to develop enrichment ... ."

Iran: War Option on the Table - Opinion - PatriotPost.US

now, is this really being considered? I was searching in the news today, and although not many of western media took this really seriously, it seems that vast majority of state-sponsored Iranian media is taking it seriously, and have already warned of the consequences. this is rather interesting, since it was always the other way around.

this, for example, is a response article from presstv, Iranian official english media:


Amid reports of a planned US strike on Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has warned against the "miserable" consequences of the move.

On Sunday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said the US military is prepared to risk a potentially devastating war in order to stop Iran from building nuclear "weapons."

However, Mullen, US highest-ranking military officer, expressed his extreme concern about the possible repercussions of such a strike.

In an interview with Iran's Arabic-language Al-Alam television network on Tuesday, Mottaki said the US will face fate more miserable than its destiny in Iraq and Afghanistan should it adopt any move against Iran.

"It is a long time the US [officials] make such remarks…We can currently see their fate," the Iranian minister added.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=137263&sectionid=351020101

related articles :

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LH05Ak02.html
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/2/bombers-missiles-could-end-iran-nukes/
http://rt.com/Politics/2010-08-04/iran-belarus-s300-missiles.html
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8905121529
 
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Taylor

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I sure hope we "have a plan" for action against Iran. We probably have several. I'm sure we also "have plans" for actions against Russia, China, Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and many other nations. It's just part of military preparedness.
 

Redress

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It is standard operating procedures to have war plans in place for pretty much any country. Rumsfeld updated many of the war plans. We probably have war plans for Canada, Britain, Iceland and others. Having a plan in place is meaningless.

Military action is always an option in any diplomacy. That does not make it likely. We would be foolish to reject any option in advance.
 

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It is standard operating procedures to have war plans in place for pretty much any country. Rumsfeld updated many of the war plans. We probably have war plans for Canada, Britain, Iceland and others. Having a plan in place is meaningless.

Military action is always an option in any diplomacy. That does not make it likely. We would be foolish to reject any option in advance.

considering the cold atmosphere surrounding middle east, 4th round of international sanctions, Obama's plans to end war in Iraq, and constant threats by Israel, this is all looking so much like a planned situation. I mean, I know everybody has plans for wars. the important thing is, in this situation, anyone can consider this an obvious threat. at least, Iranian government considered it a threat, and this fact is reflected in their media.
 

Catz Part Deux

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I'm sure that even if we struck at Iran's nuclear capabilities, it would be limited to surgical missile strikes and zero boots on the ground. That's the only option I can even see them remotely considering.

This is merely carrot and stick diplomacy. First, you show the jackass the stick so he knows you mean business. Then, you offer him the carrot, as an incentive to do the right thing.

Our military is already stretched way too thin as it is. There is no way we can sustain another war. We don't have the money, troops, or political support for that.
 
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youknowwho

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I'm sure that even if we struck at Iran's nuclear capabilities, it would be limited to surgical missile strikes and zero boots on the ground. That's the only option I can even see them remotely considering.
in case of an attack, I'm afraid Iran will make it a full scale war.

This is merely carrot and stick diplomacy. First, you show the jackass the stick so he knows you mean business. Then, you offer him the carrot, as an incentive to do the right thing.

it was carrot and stick for a long time. after not getting any response from Iranian government, would obama consider actually attacking Iran?

Our military is already stretched way too thin as it is. There is no way we can sustain another war. We don't have the money, troops, or political support for that.

after ending the war in Iraq, there's 50000 troops ready for deployment.
 

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in case of an attack, I'm afraid Iran will make it a full scale war.

That's possible, but I consider it unlikely. It's more likely that Iran would attack Israel, and vice versa. And, I believe that we have little or no control over Israel these days. The military option is ALWAYS on the table, but it is actually rarely utilized by the U.S., in actuality.

it was carrot and stick for a long time. after not getting any response from Iranian government, would obama consider actually attacking Iran?

I'd say the chances are less than 10% unless Ahmadinejad provoked it by doing something ridiculous. And, the only reason I can think of for him to do that would be to distract the people of Iran and create a new enemy for them, so as to shift the focus off of his failings. However, I consider that likelihood scary but again, unlikely.

I mean, North Korea has been threatening the same damn thing, and probably has nuclear weapons, and we haven't bombed them yet.

after ending the war in Iraq, there's 50000 troops ready for deployment.

Not really, no. The troops have been deployed for almost a decade, and we can't really maintain that.
 

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in case of an attack, I'm afraid Iran will make it a full scale war.

The day iran began de-stablizing iraq through training, funding, arming, and ordering attacks on US troops by its usual terrorist proxies there it became a full-scale war. Just as it does not get a pass for hamas, hezbollah, islamic jihad, its attacks on the kurds, and so many other groups inside iran that the human rights groups never seem to want to highlight much.

it was carrot and stick for a long time. after not getting any response from Iranian government, would obama consider actually attacking Iran?

A half-rational president would and should have attacked iran almost 7 years ago...

after ending the war in Iraq, there's 50000 troops ready for deployment.

Actually, there's far more: 60,000 in Germany, 60,000 in Japan, 58,000 in South Korea, the entire Navy and Air Force, neither of whom are expending much men or material towards either iraq or afghanistan, PLUS the 85,000 troops about to leave iraq PLUS the coming drawdowns in Afghan.

Then there are the recent veterans like myself who would re-enlist and serve in an attack on iran to conduct regime change there, and bring those animals to the Hague to be hanged for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. Trust me, I've spoken to alot of my former battalion members and alot of us would go there for an E-1 salary to get the job done...
 
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The US has no aces to play with Iran. Sanctions aren't working, and Obama doesn't want to be the President that allowed an enemy to gain nuclear weapons on his watch.

What ya gunno do school boy?

Joe -
Then there are the recent veterans like myself who would re-enlist and serve in an attack on iran to conduct regime change there, and bring those animals to the Hague to be hanged for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. Trust me, I've spoken to alot of my former battalion members and alot of us would go there for an E-1 salary to get the job done...

I salute you Sir! :)


Tim-
 
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Redress

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in case of an attack, I'm afraid Iran will make it a full scale war.

While this is possible, it would require a whole lot of stupidity from your government. They cannot win such a war. Israel alone could probably defeat the Iranian army, and Israel would not be alone. There is simply no upside for your government to escalate.

it was carrot and stick for a long time. after not getting any response from Iranian government, would obama consider actually attacking Iran?

Probably not without things getting much worse, and then probably only with airstrikes.

after ending the war in Iraq, there's 50000 troops ready for deployment.

The Coalition used 300k troops for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It would take more for Iran. 50k is not enough, especially when the US military is over-deployed. US soldiers have spent too much time deployed the last 8 years or so, and need to start getting more downtime. Just having the troops available does not make invasion likely.
 

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The US/Israel and allies do not have to invade Iran. All they have to do is weaken them, and send the nuclear program back a decade or two.

I do agree however that, if they do invade, it would weaken the US strategical footprint globally, and some of our enemies might seize the opportunity to make a point. Namely Russia in some of her former republics, and NK. China might make a move on Taiwan, knowing that the US engaged in iran would be more willing to make a deal for Taiwan. There are lots of potential scenarios..

The allies would need to avoid boots on the ground in order to maintain.


Tim-
 

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That's possible, but I consider it unlikely. It's more likely that Iran would attack Israel, and vice versa. And, I believe that we have little or no control over Israel these days. The military option is ALWAYS on the table, but it is actually rarely utilized by the U.S., in actuality.

I strongly believe that if Iran attacks Israel, USA will go to full scale war with Iran. because that wouldn't be like wars with Lebanon or hezbollah. Iran has a strong army, and missiles which can get to Israel. this means that Israel actually faces a devastating threat, and of course all of her allies would participate in such a war.


I'd say the chances are less than 10% unless Ahmadinejad provoked it by doing something ridiculous. And, the only reason I can think of for him to do that would be to distract the people of Iran and create a new enemy for them, so as to shift the focus off of his failings. However, I consider that likelihood scary but again, unlikely.
ahmadinejad always does something ridiculous. that's why I'm so afraid. btw, nothing can shift the focus off the government right now. it's not like that people and government are in disagreement. people are against the government. this is totally different than the situation before the elections.

I mean, North Korea has been threatening the same damn thing, and probably has nuclear weapons, and we haven't bombed them yet.
North Korea's situation is totally different. they're totally supported by china, since if they fall, china would be alone in that region, facing multiple threats from US.


Not really, no. The troops have been deployed for almost a decade, and we can't really maintain that.
even if lack of troops is the problem, US may go for a air strike and everything can happen then. even US may consider attacking despite being weaker than before, just not to face a bigger threat of nuclear Iran in the future.
 

donsutherland1

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Youknowwho,

I agree with Redress' assessment of the reported comments. I believe that the probability of the United States' launching a military operation this year is very low for a number of reasons:

1. The situation in Iraq remains delicate. A war could greatly destablize that country (pro Iranian elements there + Iran).

2. The economic recoveries in the U.S. and Europe are modest and important risks remain. Any significant additional shock could prove perilous.

3. Iran has threatened to retaliate against the Persian Gulf's oil infrastructure and shipping. A significant energy price shock would almost certainly push the U.S. and Europe back into recession. Were Iran to take out a meaningful share of the Persian Gulf's oil infrastructure, the result could be more than a recession. Incredibly, even as the world witnessed a brief but sharp spike in oil prices in 2008, almost nothing has been done to diversify the energy supply. Hence, much as the lessons of the 1970s oil price shocks were forgotten, those associated with the 2008 spike have also been forgotten. That leaves an area of vulnerability that Iran could exploit.

Of course, Iran could be bluffing with its threats to attack the Persian Gulf's oil infrastructure. At the same time, revolutionary regimes can sometimes prefer mutual destruction over preserving an existing order when faced with bad outcome. Hence, if the Iranian regime sees nuclear weapons as being central to its legacy, it could well choose to inflict a severe price globally in retaliation for being denied the ability to attain such weapons.

4. Little substantial progress has been achieved in Afghanistan. Given the fragile situation there, it is not implausible that Iran could, if it desired, actually tilt the balance of power against NATO forces there.

5. Caution due to the U.S. military's planning failures. Too many unintended and "unforeseen" issues arose in Iraq and Afghanistan. The complexity and stakes involved in a military operation against Iran would be much greater.

6. Growing cost disadvantages for the U.S. military. Currently, the U.S. is expending about $1.2 million per soldier per year in Afghanistan. The cost issue, especially at a time of fiscal challenge, makes a sustained military operation unappealing. Hence, unless a "knock out" blow that takes out Iran's nuclear facilities and shatters its capacity to retaliate could be achieved, the U.S. would face a formidable challenge.

7. Questions about the lasting impact of a military operation i.e., effectiveness (some sites are hidden, others are deep underground and would require near-suicidal special forces operations to be taken out, and Iran's attaining such weapons could only be delayed for a relatively small amount of time).

8. U.S. public sentiment could be problematic, especially if breakthroughs are not achieved in Afghanistan and the nation's unemployment rate remains elevated.

All in all, my guess is that the U.S. might consider an additional sanctions regime to build on what currently amounts to fairly modest sanctions. It might also seriously consider the feasibility of constructing a deterrence regime to address the issues that would arise should Iran gain a nuclear weapons capability. Given the risks and circumstances, war would be a last resort by necessity.
 

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Don, it is also probably worth noting that the US intelligence community probably has significant operations in place in Iran. I would suspect it is almost certain that we are funneling weapons and money and knowhow to Iranians opposed to the current government in a hope of an eventual coup.
 

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The day iran began de-stablizing iraq through training, funding, arming, and ordering attacks on US troops by its usual terrorist proxies there it became a full-scale war. Just as it does not get a pass for hamas, hezbollah, islamic jihad, its attacks on the kurds, and so many other groups inside iran that the human rights groups never seem to want to highlight much.

it technically isn't a full scale war, since US haven't attacked Iranian soil yet.

A half-rational president would and should have attacked iran almost 7 years ago...

7 years ago the situation was different. reformists were in the government, and everything seemed to be going well. that's no longer the case.

Actually, there's far more: 60,000 in Germany, 60,000 in Japan, 58,000 in South Korea, the entire Navy and Air Force, neither of whom are expending much men or material towards either iraq or afghanistan, PLUS the 85,000 troops about to leave iraq PLUS the coming drawdowns in Afghan.

one more reason which I think there is a likeliness of a war.
Then there are the recent veterans like myself who would re-enlist and serve in an attack on iran to conduct regime change there, and bring those animals to the Hague to be hanged for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. Trust me, I've spoken to alot of my former battalion members and alot of us would go there for an E-1 salary to get the job done...

I admire your courage and bravery, also the fact that you're ready to act based on your beliefs. I just can't agree with you that war is going to make the Iranian's lives better. I strongly believe that Iranians should find a way themselves to bring justice and freedom to their country.
 

youknowwho

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While this is possible, it would require a whole lot of stupidity from your government. They cannot win such a war. Israel alone could probably defeat the Iranian army, and Israel would not be alone. There is simply no upside for your government to escalate.

there's no other way for them. the embarassment from being attacked and not being able to counterattack, would fire up another wave of revolution in Iran. it's a lose - lose scenario for Iranian government and I don't think they're gonna go down without hitting others.



The Coalition used 300k troops for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It would take more for Iran. 50k is not enough, especially when the US military is over-deployed. US soldiers have spent too much time deployed the last 8 years or so, and need to start getting more downtime. Just having the troops available does not make invasion likely.

see joergan's reply.
 

The Prof

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why doesn't obama just MEET with the leaders of iran, like he promised?

i guess the reachout in cairo didn't work

kinda like the stimulus, it appears

oh well
 
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youknowwho

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Youknowwho,

I agree with Redress' assessment of the reported comments. I believe that the probability of the United States' launching a military operation this year is very low for a number of reasons:

1. The situation in Iraq remains delicate. A war could greatly destablize that country (pro Iranian elements there + Iran).

2. The economic recoveries in the U.S. and Europe are modest and important risks remain. Any significant additional shock could prove perilous.

3. Iran has threatened to retaliate against the Persian Gulf's oil infrastructure and shipping. A significant energy price shock would almost certainly push the U.S. and Europe back into recession. Were Iran to take out a meaningful share of the Persian Gulf's oil infrastructure, the result could be more than a recession. Incredibly, even as the world witnessed a brief but sharp spike in oil prices in 2008, almost nothing has been done to diversify the energy supply. Hence, much as the lessons of the 1970s oil price shocks were forgotten, those associated with the 2008 spike have also been forgotten. That leaves an area of vulnerability that Iran could exploit.

Of course, Iran could be bluffing with its threats to attack the Persian Gulf's oil infrastructure. At the same time, revolutionary regimes can sometimes prefer mutual destruction over preserving an existing order when faced with bad outcome. Hence, if the Iranian regime sees nuclear weapons as being central to its legacy, it could well choose to inflict a severe price globally in retaliation for being denied the ability to attain such weapons.

4. Little substantial progress has been achieved in Afghanistan. Given the fragile situation there, it is not implausible that Iran could, if it desired, actually tilt the balance of power against NATO forces there.

5. Caution due to the U.S. military's planning failures. Too many unintended and "unforeseen" issues arose in Iraq and Afghanistan. The complexity and stakes involved in a military operation against Iran would be much greater.

6. Growing cost disadvantages for the U.S. military. Currently, the U.S. is expending about $1.2 million per soldier per year in Afghanistan. The cost issue, especially at a time of fiscal challenge, makes a sustained military operation unappealing. Hence, unless a "knock out" blow that takes out Iran's nuclear facilities and shatters its capacity to retaliate could be achieved, the U.S. would face a formidable challenge.

7. Questions about the lasting impact of a military operation i.e., effectiveness (some sites are hidden, others are deep underground and would require near-suicidal special forces operations to be taken out, and Iran's attaining such weapons could only be delayed for a relatively small amount of time).

8. U.S. public sentiment could be problematic, especially if breakthroughs are not achieved in Afghanistan and the nation's unemployment rate remains elevated.

All in all, my guess is that the U.S. might consider an additional sanctions regime to build on what currently amounts to fairly modest sanctions. It might also seriously consider the feasibility of constructing a deterrence regime to address the issues that would arise should Iran gain a nuclear weapons capability. Given the risks and circumstances, war would be a last resort by necessity.

I'll be happy if there's no war, believe me. for the same reasons you mentioned here, I had believed that there could be no war between Iran and US unless one side makes a very provocative action. but, the reason that I'm considering the possibility of a war is because the economic situation in Iran is at its worst after revolution, government popularity is at the lowest rate, and it seems that government considers nuclear bomb the last resort to gain safety against foreign threats, and then starts the war inside. so Iran is not going to back down on this issue. now, if US faces the question of either a nuclear Iran or a war with Iran, which would be chosen? I honestly do not know what happens, that's why I wanted other insights so that maybe it could enlighten me a little more on this issue.
 

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Don, it is also probably worth noting that the US intelligence community probably has significant operations in place in Iran. I would suspect it is almost certain that we are funneling weapons and money and knowhow to Iranians opposed to the current government in a hope of an eventual coup.

Iran has a strong intelligence service as it was proven after the elections. actually I'm not seeing anything happening soon.
 

Catz Part Deux

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I'll be happy if there's no war, believe me. for the same reasons you mentioned here, I had believed that there could be no war between Iran and US unless one side makes a very provocative action. but, the reason that I'm considering the possibility of a war is because the economic situation in Iran is at its worst after revolution, government popularity is at the lowest rate, and it seems that government considers nuclear bomb the last resort to gain safety against foreign threats, and then starts the war inside. so Iran is not going to back down on this issue. now, if US faces the question of either a nuclear Iran or a war with Iran, which would be chosen? I honestly do not know what happens, that's why I wanted other insights so that maybe it could enlighten me a little more on this issue.

Generally speaking, I would say that the overwhelming majority of Americans would not support a military invasion of Iran, though they might support targeted distance strikes to send a message. Americans are tired of war, and don't want to commit additional military personnel to another invasion.

If, however, I lived near a nuclear testing facility, I'd try to change my location. I would not at all put it past Israel to bomb those facilities.

As far as Iran's internal issues, I believe that a U.S. invasion would be incredibly detrimental to creating democracy in Iran. This has to happen internally, and Iranians have to want it, badly. However, I would be supportive of the U.S. funneling weapons/money/resources to Iranian insurgent groups, as would most Americans, I suspect.
 

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considering the cold atmosphere surrounding middle east, 4th round of international sanctions, Obama's plans to end war in Iraq, and constant threats by Israel, this is all looking so much like a planned situation. I mean, I know everybody has plans for wars. the important thing is, in this situation, anyone can consider this an obvious threat. at least, Iranian government considered it a threat, and this fact is reflected in their media.

I note you failed to mention Iran's constant threats and behavior. Interesting.
 

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What about the assassination attempt directed at Ahmadinejad?

apparently it was an act of joy by supporters, and not an assasination.
although I must say good luck to Mr. Ahmadinejad with this kind of supporters he has!
 

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I note you failed to mention Iran's constant threats and behavior. Interesting.

considering the cold atmosphere surrounding middle east

I guess I summed up much of happenings in Middle East in that sentence, since it was a short response. I'm glad that it looked interesting to you.
 
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