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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 11:04 PM
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Military analysts say price of war with Iran could be severe
A chilling new look at Iran's military capability in response to a U.S. strike will appear in Sunday editions of The Boston Globe, RAW STORY has learned. Headlined "IRAN IS CALLED CAPABLE OF LAUNCHING STRIKES," the piece provides a sobering analysis of Iran's capabilities.

"Iran is prepared to launch attacks using long-range missiles, secret commando units, and terrorist allies planted around the globe in retaliation for any strike on the country's nuclear facilities, according to new US intelligence assessments and military specialists," the Globe's Brian Bender writes. Excerpts: "US intelligence officials have said that Iran, which fought a war with Iraq from 1980-1988 that cost one million lives, still has the most threatening armed forces in the immediate region. Its combined ground forces are estimated at about 800,000 personnel. The CIA has concluded that Iran is steadily enhancing its ability to project its military power, including by threatening international shipping.

A major worry: newly acquired long-range missiles. Obtained with the assistance of North Korea, the Shahab 3 could strike Israel and perhaps even hit the periphery of Europe, according to a recent report by the Pentagon's National Air and Space Intelligence Center. "The missiles could also be tipped with chemical warheads and threaten US military bases in the region. Iran is believed to have at least 20 launchers that are frequently moved around the country to avoid detection.

"Iran has an extensive missile-development program and has received support from entities in Russia, China, and North Korea," the Pentagon report said, estimating their range to be at least 800 miles. "New missile designs under development could travel 400 miles farther, it said, while Iran purchased at least a dozen X-55 cruise missiles from Ukraine in 2001 that are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead as far as Italy."
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StClone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 11:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. And Ashcroft will sing
"Let the Chicken Hawks no NEO CON has soared before"
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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 11:42 PM
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2. Seems we heard much the same thing...
... about Iraq a few months before the US invasion, about how difficult the invasion would be because of Iraq's military strength. In fact, though, we'd been systematically destroying Iraq's ability to fight back for twelve years.

Now, it is true that Iran has a large military numerically, but the number cited includes regular army, regular and irregular militia. And Iran does not have the air capability to move the bulk of those troops around quickly. Nor does the army have the newest technology--their war with Iraq reduced the amount of tanks and artillery available (items which are of dubious use in any long supply-chain war). Toward the end of the Iran-Iraq war, the ayatollahs simply had to accept the cease-fire as inevitable, since they were unable to insure continued supplies for their troops (their artillery was old enough that they had just about exhausted the world supply of gun barrels--most of their artillery pieces had their barrels replaced twenty times during that ten-year war).

The line about Russian cruise missiles is very deceptive--they don't have nuclear warheads for them, and the number of missiles "purchased" from the Ukraine is not known for sure. Eighteen X-55s were smuggled out of the Ukraine on the black market, and some went to Iran and some went to China--no one knows what the split was with any certainty. At any rate, cruise missiles are disposable items, so even with a dozen, that's the equivalent of twelve 750-lb guided bombs.

The Iranian air force leaves much to be desired (Iran has one of the highest aviation accident rates in the world, due to the embargo preventing them from obtaining spare parts--an embargo that has lasted for twenty-seven years). That's certainly part of the reason why Iran has bought a number of new-technology Russian SAM batteries--to defend their territory in the absence of a notable air defense capability.

Where Iran does have strength is coastal defense--lots of Sunburn and Silkworm missiles to use against any navy in or near the Gulf. If Iran were to be attacked, there's no question that they would attack most of the ships in the region as they came into range.

While we in the west generally think that theocratic government is an insane way to govern, that doesn't mean that Iran's leaders are incapable of rational thought. The notion that Iran would directly attack Europe is pretty silly (especially since the longer-range missiles described in the article haven't been fully tested), and a chemical weapons missile attack on Israel would generate few casualties and would invite the virtually complete destruction of Iran by Israel.

This sounds to me like more ramping things up to get the public believing there's an imminent danger here to the US, which there is not.
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okieinpain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. so what would 5, 6, or 10 a gallon at the pump do to the U.S......
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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I'm not ignoring that...
... I'm just saying that we've heard this song before, and getting the public whipped up to accept it is an essential part of the Bushies' game plan (even now, there are polls showing that 55% of the public in this country think Iran is a threat to us--what's that opinion going to be like after a couple of months of intensive propaganda about Iran's intransigence and its "imminent nuclear threat?").

I see parallels here to what went on in both the Gulf War and the invasion, that's all. It's important, every time the meme of great threat to the US is spread, to counter it with some rational argument against alarmism. If recent history is of any value, the net effect of Iran eventually building even one or two nuclear weapons is that it won't be preemptively attacked by the US in some neo-con frenzy to dominate the region.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-11-06 11:49 PM
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3. It'll All Be From The Air
Launching an invasion force into Iran proper is all but impossible. First, marching to Teheran would mean weeks of driving across hostile terrain...mountains and deserts and would require a supply line upwards of 1,000 miles long. That can't be done with 10,000 or 20,000 troops...that requires 10 times that number and those numbers don't exist.

This regime has two is to knock out the nuclear facilities...which can be done by air...just like Clinton did to Iraq. If there's gonna be ground action, it'll be in the Shatt-Al-Arab...the area the 80's war was fought over since that's where most of Iran's oil is located...and that's all that matters to this regime anyway. The nuclear boogy man is yet another's the control of oil that's at stake here.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-12-06 12:41 AM
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6. Can someone explain to me why Boston Globe is assuming Iran is a threat??
And yet they are pretending this is an expose of an ill-thought out war plan?

Sounds to me like the MSM / DLC -- "We can do it better! Isolate them economically and militarily -- maybe bomb 'em a little -- but BE CAREFUL because BUSH IS RIGHT, they ARE dangerous!!"

Can't we call this tune for what it is??

Whatever happend to Bush senior's right-hand man (general) saying that if we invaded Iran, he would be the first to call for impeachment?

As for Iran being a threat -- sounds like theyre not. Unfortunately, this means Bush has NO REASON NOT to invade -- since this time, we WON'T be occupying the country.

Just annexing a small sliver, like Saddam did when he invaded Khuzestan.

Gee, does this mean Bush is "Worse than Hitler"? Puts a whole new spin on those who said we couldn't just stand by while Saddam annexed an independent country, how "That was Hitler's biggest crime cited at Nuremberg!" Remember those people saing that? lots and lots of reasonable people who couldn't in good conscience oppose the liberation of Kuwait, remember?

Now then, it seems to me the only aces in Iran's deck are:

1. Capability of launching Shahabs at US BASES in Iraq and nearby, and Saudi oil platforms. Why the fuck doesn't the Globe article discuss this? Are the military analysts that stupid?

Now my question is, DO the Shahabs have capability of carrying enough tonnage to wipe out the BASES (i.e. incendiary area denial bombs) or are we talking an easily countered light scud attack giving our planes enough time to pinpoint the launchers by satellite, and wipe them out one by one?

2. Capability of blocking the Strait of Hormuz. DOES Iran have this capability or NOT? If all their Sunburn missiles are located on the tiny, presumably flat Island of Abu Musa, well... isn't that...

incredibly Stupid of them? The US would simply flatten Abu Musa in the initial attack, then send in frogmen to occupy it. No play.

3. Capability of launching land-to-ship missiles against US carriers. It doesn't sound like Iran has this capability, and if the US quickly denies them the Strait of Hormuz, game over. It becomes a simple bombardment until Iran capitulates, like when we surrounded Japan.

Note: Mountain ranges are not an ace in Iran's deck because the ability to stop a march on Tehran in the Mountains is not crucial to winning or losing a war. All the US has to do is deny them the Straits, and Khuzestan oil wells.

How soon will it be before they set up a Government of Free Iran in Khuzestan, a la Taiwan, and use it to co-opt local Shi'ites in order to protect their flank in Southern Iraq?

Where's the downside for Bush? If it's not true, then any talk in the "leftie circles" about how DANGEROUS it would be to invade Iran is just BENEFICIAL to Bush.

Since he can play along and say "Yeah, that's why they're such a threat!" People are irrational, remember? And there's no downside to their irrationality if the reality is that Bush's objectives can be achieved with an air war.
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