If you’re going to play, you may as well overplay! Exactly what Iran is doing with its ‘Navel Military Maneuvers’ ranging from the Straits of Hormuz to the Gulf of Oman. The exercise, according to Al Jazzeera is called Velayat, the Persian word for Supremacy. Iran has been overplaying their hand for decades and wining; if this were a poker game they would have already left the table with everyone’s money turning an off suit 2/7 into the winning hand with a bluff.
The exercises mean; new sanctions, while they will not deter Iran, are having some impact, the EU is discussing the U.S., U.K., and Canadian lead regarding the ban of Iranian oil imports and additional financial constraints. It also means that Iran is taking the threat against their nuclear program seriously.
Is Iran closing in on their nuclear red line; beginning to attempt to politically forestall or prepare for the reaction? Overplay? Iran’s ‘Navy’ and shore batteries along the Straits could be eliminated in about 15 minutes. Iran does posses Chinese Silkworm anti ship missiles; they are dangerous but only if you allow Iran to ‘keep’ them. As has been argued here in the past any move against Iran should begin with elimination of their ability to impact traffic in the Straits. Compared to U.S. capabilities the Iranian Navy is not a significant challenge. A strike against Iranian capabilities based on Iran’s own public threats against commercial and military traffic leaves room to ‘negotiate’ without further escalation. Negotiations with Iran, however, require a threshold message regarding your new position. Elimination of navel capabilities would be exactly the manner of position necessary to demonstrate a 180 degree change in policy and, more importantly, posture. The change in posture requiring a change from bent over to standing up.
Not worried yet? Iranian General Hassan Firouzabadi announced Iran’s willingness to improve military and security arrangements with, …….wait for it……. Iraq! That would be the Iraq we just left, the same spot that immediately fell into significant sectarian political strife and violence, immediate to our departure.
Will Iran come to the rescue in Iraq? Will Iran step in as the logical choice to support the Shiite government and majority in Iraq? Mobilize al Sadr’s militia under ongoing Iranian ‘influence’? Or perhaps focus on the already proven ability to organize Southern Iraq. Iran has already demonstrated an ability to ignore sectarian lines within its terror network! Does that position them to be a savior in Iraq? General Firouzabadi hails the “forced departure” of American troops, due to the “resistance and determination of the Iraqi People and government”, according to state media in Iran. Good PR in Iraq!
The General waxed poetic; “ I hope the humiliating failure of the United States after nine years of occupying Iraq will serve as a lesson for them to never think of attacking another country”. General Firouzabadi is the Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff. How many nations face a U.S. ‘all options are on the table’ threat from its Secretary of Defense, Mr. Panetta? One at last count!
Just think of it, Iran and Iraq in a moment of solidarity. American equipment, American military training and American technology allied with Iran? American political considerations, in this case, dominate the logic of logistics. Combat operations have been over for quite a while; we’ve been out of the cities longer than that. What was the hurry beyond the political? Sure, we all want them home. We should all have also respected what they did enough to want it to succeed absent the need for future recrimination. Takes time to get it right, more often than not. It’s all ‘very complicated’ until it’s time to get out, simple then.
Let Israel do it! Serious studies of the requirements and likely success of an Israeli strike are, 50/50. The odds improve if we’re involved but it’s hard to see the current administration going there. The odds improve further with multi lateral involvement; also hard to see.
The West will once again fail to see the logic of overwhelming force, quickly applied with little warning as a way to save lives and treasure in the long run. We ignore what we know to be true. Uncomfortable at best, true nonetheless.
Not Worried yet? If Shiite Iran and Iraq, combined resources against the major Sunni influence in the region, Saudi Arabia, failing to make Saddam’s mistake of slowing down at the border; what then? Two major oil producers combined with the Saudi oil fields, allied against the West? We’re gone, absent Carrier battle groups. Who stops it? The Saudi’s? (Rhetorical question, you can stop laughing now!)
A strike against Iran will be cause for second thoughts in Iraq and throughout the region. Political, economic and military support for Syria, Hamas, Hiz’bAllah, Islamic Jihad, Iraqi politicians and others around the globe are in jeopardy if Iranian resources begin to dry up or, blow up! The fact is that status quo, even with additional sanctions, will not deter the nuclear program. Nor will it deter the interventionist Iran, the terrorist Iran, or the messianic Iran. They should all be deterred!