Skip to comments.Israel Could Mount Pinpoint Raids On Iran: Analysts
Posted on 11/09/2011 4:48:24 AM PST by Fennie
JERUSALEM - Should the Israelis attack Iran, they would probably focus strikes on select nuclear facilities while trying to avoid killing civilians en masse or crippling the oil sector.
Past operations by Israel, such as the 1981 bombing of Iraq's Osirak atomic reactor and a similar strike against Syria in 2007, suggest a strategy of one-off pinpoint raids, due both to military limitations and a desire to avoid wider war.
"It (Israel) has the capability to get there, and it has the capability to do serious damage to the Iranian nuclear program," said Sam Gardiner, a retired U.S. air force colonel who has run war games for various Washington agencies and academic forums.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
That and Obama wants to have an August surprise and an Iranian Arab Spring in one big hugh mess in the lead-up to 2012 election.
He is not credible. From April 2006 in Democracy Now, a far left publication:
MY GOODMAN: Were talking to retired Air Force colonel, Sam Gardiner. You were quoted on CNN on Friday night, saying the question isnt if we would attack Iran, that military operations are already happening. What do you mean?
COL. SAM GARDINER: Well, the evidence is beginning to accumulate that a decision has already been made to use military force in Iran. Now, let me do a historical thing, and then Ill tell you what the current evidence is. We now know that the decision and the actual actions to bomb Iraq occurred in July of 2002, before we ever had a U.N. resolution or before the Congress ever authorized it. It was an operation called Southern Focus, and the only guidance that the military - or the guidance that the military had from Rumsfeld was keep it below the CNN line. His specific words. The evidence that weve already -
AMY GOODMAN: Keep it below what?
COL. SAM GARDINER: The CNN line. In other words, I dont want this to appear on CNN, okay? That was his guidance to the military, you can begin to bomb Iraq, but dont let it appear on CNN. Youre catching your breath.
AMY GOODMAN: Yeah.
COL. SAM GARDINER: I think the same thing has happened, and the evidence let me give you two or three evidences. First of all, the Iranians in their press have been writing now for almost a year that the United States is involved inside Iran conducting and supporting those who conduct military operations, attacks on military convoys. Theyve even accused the United States of shooting down a couple airplanes inside Iran. Okay, so theres that evidence from their side.
I was in Berlin three weeks ago, sat next to the Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and I asked him a question. I read these stories about Americans being involved in there, and how do you react to that? And he said, oh, we know they are. Weve captured people who are working with them, and theyve confessed. So, another piece of evidence.
Flying over which hostile nations?
Liberals unite and join hands all around the reactors!
I have just the opposite theory, that the only way to de-nuclearize Iran is for the Iranian people themselves to do it. To be motivated to do it.
When the atomic bombs were used against Japan, Iran did not see the results in any significant way. It also missed out on the early nuclear part of the Cold War as well. So this means that nuclear weapons are not well understood from the point of view of scale and horror.
To the typical Iranian-on-the-street, nuclear weapons mean just two things: a *bigger* bomb than normal explosives; and that it is like Aladdin’s djinn in a lamp, able to give Iran all it wants at one small price.
Iran has long been xenophobic and afraid of invasion. No one will dare invade Iran “once we have the bomb.” Instead, everyone must respect Iran and do what Iran wants, “because we have the bomb.”
Likewise, they think that nuclear weapons will give them hegemony in the region, military and economic dominance. This is much like what pre-WWII Japan wanted, “It’s place in the Sun”. And, oddly enough, both Japan and Iran have some argument, here, but have chosen the wrong means, militarism, to get it. Iran has not figured out that to have a strong economy, you must build a strong economy, like Japan, not just expect one to be given you or taken from others.
Early on, the US might have used television to change the Iranian mind, via satellite, a 24-hour-a-day “nuclear horror” channel that all their pirate satellite dishes could have received. But we failed to do so.
So this late in the game, changing the Iranian mind must cost many Iranian lives. It may do so in a violent regional war, but despite the horrors of what I propose, it could be done in an apparent nuclear accident, designed to be blamed on their government pursuit of nuclear power and weaponry. It would kill far fewer, but their deaths would be horrifying to their nation, and would hopefully cure them of their nuclear delusions.
And all it would take is a truck and some explosives.
Upwind of a major city, perhaps Tehran itself, but downwind of a major nuclear facility, a truck parks. Then silently, with muffled fans, it blows invisible radioactive isotopes up in the air. A very nasty blend of such isotopes, that will burn the skin, poison the insides, and kill thousands of Iranian civilians.
Then after the truck has done its work, it silently drives away to be disappeared. And then a large quantity of high explosives blows up the nuclear facility upwind of where the truck had been.
The illusion has been created that there had been a terrible accident at the plant that had sent a cloud of radioactive isotopes downwind.
Thus the Iranian people could finally see firsthand to promise of nuclear power and weapons. Not with a bang, but a whisper, followed by horror itself.
Is it cruel to kill thousands when a conventional attack would kill tens of thousands? And a conventional attack offers no guarantees of ending their nuclear program, or even suspending it for any great length of time. But what would end it, is if the Iranian people rejected it, horrified and disgusted with the reality that destroys their fantasies.
Probably lost on no one that it is far easier to get a dozen C-130s full of commandos into Iran than it is to deliver enough ordance on target to matter.
Unfortuanately, this would probably be paramount to a suicide mission.
Saudi Arabia of course. The Saudi’s said so and have given landing rights at northern Saudi bases.
I believe the Saudi mission will include taking out radar and air assets and their Awacs will play a role also. The Qatari ‘s air force will also be involved.
That's not exactly brilliant analysis, more of a restatement of the obvious. (I know, I'm guilty of it too from time to time - that's how I recognize it).
"It (Israel) has the capability to get there, and it has the capability to do serious damage to the Iranian nuclear program,"
Technically yes, operationally, no - without help. The IDF fighter-bombers do not have the range to reach targets in Iran without either staging from a closer airbase, or providing tanker support.
Tanker support is problematic, because as others have pointed out, they would have to come out over hostile Countries. That means putting significant resources (ie. fighter escorts configured for air-to-air) into protecting the tankers. Maybe even a pre-emptive strike against ground based air defense assets. This not only takes a lot more aircraft, it widens the conflict politically and militarily.
So in your planning you now have a big effort to protect the tankers. Add to that the strike package itself, fighter-bombers configured for ground attack, SEAD, and TARCAP...
Then remember you've got to leave some capability at home to defend Israel lest enemies see this as an opportunity to strike out at them... Pretty soon you simply run out of assets. You don't have enough aircraft to accomplish everything at once.
Staging from an airbase closer-in drastically simplifies the problem (from a military planning point of view) while vastly increasing the political complexity of the operation. Would the Saudis allow it? Or maybe uncontested overflights? Maybe...may be. Again, as others have pointed out, there's no love lost between The Kingdom and Iran. Saudi Arabia is the guardian of Mecca and Medina, and they take that duty very seriously. They also see Iran and their provocations of Israel and rhetoric as a direct threat to Mecca and Medina.
Consider this. Suppose Iran makes good on their threats and actually builds a nuclear weapon and gets it to Israel. Either smuggled in, shot in on a missile, flown in, whatever. Sure, the likelihood of success of these attempts is very small, but real. What is Israel going to do if a significant part of Jerusalem is suddenly flattened and under a radioactive cloud? Does anyone doubt they will strike back at Iran?
Sending in a nuclear armed ground attack is actually a much more simple operation. You need fewer strike aircraft because you're delivering fewer weapons. That's more aircraft to use in defense of the strike package and tanker support. You don't particularly care who you p**s off on the way in, so you flatten anything and everything that gets in your way, simplifying the tanker protection portion of the plan.
But the really important thing is, as far as Saudi Arabia is concerned, Israel would retaliate in kind. If Iran wipes an Israeli holy site off the map, you can kiss Mecca and Medina goodbye. Count on it. The Saudis know they probably couldn't stop a determined IDF attack. Their best defensive strategy is to ensure Israel has no such motivation. Hence I believe Saudi assistance to an Israeli attack on Iran is not only possible, but highly likely.
as long as one of the pinpoints is the top of Whackmadinajad’s head...
One possible upside of this is that from that day forward Israel would have the House of Saud by the shorthairs.
“Behave or we’ll go to your people and play the secret Mossad recordings of your clandestine negotiations with us over this attack”.
May be the best thing for ME peace in the long run.
The raid route is the key, obviously. Going across Iraq is the easiest, and safest path, as one assumes the USAF will just wave as the IAF flies past..refueling can either be air-to air, or, as some have suggested, they can do on the ground at a US base inside Iraq. But what will Barry do, or allow the Israelis to do?
Can't figure out which way the Saudis come down in this. The formner #2 just died, the King is very ill, may well be senile..so not sure who's running the Kingdom now. OTOH, that may weel be the very reason why the Saudis would support it, though covertly, because the regime might figure that Iran perceives it to be at its weakest...
What are Israeli relations with Kuwait? There's a huge airbase there...make it much easier for the Israelis?
“as long as one of the pinpoints is the top of Whackmadinajads head...”