Skip to comments.Military Orders Suggest Iran Attack (Original Article Is In Time Magazine)
Posted on 09/18/2006 10:08:31 AM PDT by areafiftyone
Two recent orders by the American military have led some observers to conclude that the U.S. is preparing for an attack on Iran.
One order was a "Prepare to Deploy" command sent to a submarine, an Aegis-class cruiser, two minesweepers and two mine hunters, telling the ships commanders to be ready to move by Oct. 1.
The other was a request from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) for a fresh look at long-standing U.S. plans to blockade two Iranian oil ports on the Persian Gulf.
The orders created a buzz within the military because there are few places in the world where minesweepers could be significant chief among them, the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, where about 40 percent of the worlds oil passes each day.
"Coupled with the CNOs request for a blockade review, a deployment of minesweepers to the west coast of Iran would seem to suggest that a much discussed but until now largely theoretical prospect has become real: that the U.S. may be preparing for war with Iran, according to a special report in Time magazine.
The U.S. military routinely makes plans for many different scenarios, and the vast majority of them will never be carried out.
"And yet from the State Department to the White House to the highest reaches of the military command, there is a growing sense that a showdown with Iran over its suspected quest for nuclear weapons, its threats against Israel and its bid for dominance of the world's richest oil region may be impossible to avoid, Time reports.
The magazines reporters interviewed dozens of experts and government officials to find out what an attack on Iran would consist of and what its repercussions might be.
First of all, most observers believe the attack would not involve ground forces and would instead be a massive air campaign against Irans 18 to 30 nuclear-related facilities.
But many of the targets are hardened, and would have to be struck repeatedly to ensure that they were destroyed or severely damaged. Some sites are in populated areas, and civilian casualties would be a certainty, according to Time. And there would be no guarantee that the strikes would destroy all nuclear-related sites, because some sites could be undiscovered.
Whats more, the attacks would spark retaliation from Iran that could include ordering a Hezbollah attack on Israel and stepping up the funneling of money and weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq.
The likelihood that Iran would also seek to close the Strait of Hormuz is high, and a disruption of the oil supplies flowing through the strait could send oil prices skyrocketing.
That in turn could spur a stepped-up military effort by the U.S. that could even include the "worst case use of ground forces in an effort to topple the Iranian regime, retired Marine General Anthony Zinni told Time.
For that reason, Zinni believes an attack on Iran is a "dumb idea.
And that is why the U.S. has sought to emphasize a possible diplomatic solution, Time concludes. One Bush administration official told the magazine:
"Nobody is considering a military option at this point. We're trying to prevent a situation in which the President finds himself having to decide between a nuclear-armed Iran or going to war. The best hope of avoiding that dilemma is hard-nosed diplomacy, one that has serious consequences."
A blockade is a technical act of war.
Someone please explain this apparent contradiction to me please....
I would hope the US is continually preparing for war with Iran.
Blockades work both ways. The Iranians have lots of oil, but little refining capacity. Their achilles heel is gasoline -- which they have to re-import. No gas and their economy & military grinds to a halt.
"If the U.S. farts in the direction of Iran...."
Think we could start a new tradition? Fart 5 times a day twards Mecca? These are the same weeners that get excited to find out that the DOD has plans for alien invation.
This is most likly just a possible shift in deployment, wink wink.
I think a military blockade of Iran is more likely than a military strike. THe U.S. occupies Iraq and Afghanistan, and is more than capable of covering the Persion Gulf and the Indian Ocean. I would only like to know what the U.S. has going on in the former USSR republics north of Iran.
Zinni appears to be the sole source for this article, and that means mischief. He's a Bush opponent, and, I think, a Clinton general.
What no one considered is these orders may be in preparation for breaking a blockade of the Hormuz strait by Iran should they make that move in reaction to a UN resolution. That is their ultimate ace in the hole.
He is trying to revive the "American is going to Attack Iran and we don't have enough troops" stuff that the Democrats spewed a while ago to scare the voters.
1. Only ships destined for ports in Iran would be stopped. This avoids the implicit environmental risk.
2. All pipelines leaving Iran could be severed on Iranian soil in unpopulated and environmentally "safe" locations. Same with inbound pipelines carrying gas, oil and it's distillates.
3. No country has the naval resources to even ATTEMPT to run the blockade and only empty ships would have to be attacked on their way into Iranian ports.
4. Iran's only recourse would be to attack the US fleet, close the strait, attack shipping entering/leaving other gulf ports and/or those countries ports. That would be the trigger for all-out war against the Iranian military...at least.
It's a LOW RISK but very effective mechanism by which to bring Iran to it's knees.
Russia has no incentive to intervene...the price of their oil exports will go up, as will demand. Of course, China would be hurt but there's nothing they could do to break the blockade as they can't project serious power that far.
The downside is the effect it will have on Japan and other Asian allies...they get alot of oil from Iran (Japan buys 29pct of Iranian exports). We'd need the other gulf nations to increase pumping/capacity to offset this loss.
ROFLMAO! I love it!
TANKS for the thread,,,"Where are the Carriers ? "
Is announcing deployment,,Shake the "Left" in their face,,
While the "Right" is already "Cocked" ?
Wandering about loose from your usual abode, I see. ;)
I've been wondering about Carrier placement myself, though Iran has a bead on them I'm sure. Not that it will do them any good.
We have sufficient airfileds throughout the theatre to provide the necessary air support. Though it would be prudent to have a carrier at the mouth of the gulf and another in the far-west pacific or Indian ocean for political contingencies.
All we need in the gulf is 4-5 frigates, 4-5 minesweepers, 2-3 subs and an Aegis destroyer or two.
However, it wouldn't hurt to let our allies (if we have any REALL allies in this fight) show their flag as well.
The US could blockade Iranian oil with routine deployments of naval power...and back that up with the threat of air power should the Iranians feel frisky.
Of course, should the Chinese decide to see if THEIR fleet will sail that far we should match their deployments 2-1.