Oh if only itd been Iran in 2003, instead of Iraq...

#1
A GRAND FOLLY: IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IRAN IN 2003, NOT IRAQ


A few days ago I posted a thread that proposed hard military action is on its way in Iran, and that sadly, this seems to be all but unavoidable at present. A consensus seems to have formed that some kind of military strike will take place, but the only question is when and how – the tactics that we, as allied Western powers, will use. I’ve read virtually every single reply to this post and all of the excellent, reasoned and plausible battle plans that have been proffered, guessed at or hinted – and straight away another maddening, deepening and probably right consensus appears to have formed:

That whatever type of military action we use in Iran, and however brilliantly planned and executed, carries a very real and catastrophic chance that it will fail, because the Iranians are now fully prepared and ready for us – however we come.

So the question is gentlemen, are we screwed and have we left it too late? Is there anything at all that we can do militarily, or will it just inflame the situation further, and finally, have we now got no reasonable choice but to accept a nuclear armed Iran?

I’ll be honest and say that the more I think about this, the more I’m beginning to doubt that it can be done. I’m just trying to put myself in the enemy’s shoes (Iran in this instance) and analyse the situation and their probable reactions. We can be sure that for the last ten years they’ll have been expecting and preparing for possible Western powers intervention – be it fast & light commando raids, special-forces sabotage, full-scale ground invasion, ‘shock & awe’ (remember that one?) or an old fashioned Israeli bomber-run on the nuclear sites with ‘bunker busters’.

Surely their best & brightest military minds, who are pretty damn good and highly experienced, have developed impressive plans and strategies to use against us?

So what are we to do gentlemen? What are we to do and how the hell are we to do it without tripping off a nightmare scenario?

We could in a still-very-bad best case scenario find ourselves facing the best trained, financed and motivated Islamic terrorist insurgency the world has ever seen, flowering like a cancerous weed in Iraq and Afghanistan before literally spreading across the entire world.

We could in a worst case scenario be faced with immediate and huge loss of western power invading soldiers, faced by an almost instant nuclear reaction from Iran when we began to get the upper hand, as we eventually would.

I’m racking my brains on this one and I just don’t see a happy solution, but I do sense that the Iranians have got the momentum and upper hand politically right now. If we do decide to fight them I think that it’ll be towards the end of Obama’s first term or at the start of his second or whoever replaces him; that way he can say ‘I’ve just spent the last four years trying to persuade these guys nicely and they’ve ignored me. And unlike my predecessor I’ve not rushed to war without prior planning or diplomacy.’ Which is fine and all very admirable, but the only problem is the Iranians know our intentions and are now ready for us; they know we’re thinking like this and that the winds of war are blowing in their direction.

And might they have a surprise for us, as the Spartans did for the Persians all those years ago? We should never forget that we don’t have a monopoly on great military minds; who’s to say that the next Napoleon or Wellington might not come from the Middle East? Don’t forget, they had a certain Saladin once upon a time – a man who united Sunni and Shia against the infidel crusaders with crushing success…

I’m going to suggest something now that I know will offend and upset many of you, but none the less I think it’s time we discussed it:

WE SHOULD NEVER HAVE INVADED IRAQ AND DEPOSED SADDAM. WE SHOULD HAVE LEFT HIM IN POWER AND USED HIM AS AN IDEOLOGICAL AND PRACTICAL BULWARK AGAINST HIS SWORN ENEMIES IRAN AND AL QAEDA. HE COULD HAVE BEEN INCREDBILY USEFUL TO US IN TERMS OF INTEL’ GATHERING AND EXPERIENCE. WE SHOULD HAVE CUT A DEAL WITH THE OLD TYRANT, AS WE’VE DONE WITH GADAFFI, AND BROUGHT HIM BACK ON SIDE.

So did we invade the wrong country and did we hit the wrong target? We could have taken strong military action against Iran with relative impunity back in 2003.

But now? Well now it might prove to be impossible.
 
#2
Steven_McLaughlin said:
We could have taken strong military action against Iran with relative impunity back in 2003.
Yeah, right! :roll:
 
#3
You're quite right and I used the wrong words there: it should have been 'comparitive impunity', not relative. But what I really meant to say is, that however strongly they'd have reacted - well it certainly wouldn't have been nuclear and they certainly wouldn't have been as ready and waiting for us as they are now.

But a good point and I stand corrected: they would've fought back some how and it would've have got messy - just not catastrophic!
 
#4
Steven_McLaughlin said:
A few days ago I posted a thread that proposed hard military action is on its way in Iran, and that sadly, this seems to be all but unavoidable at present. A consensus seems to have formed that some kind of military strike will take place, but the only question is when and how
Reading is clearly not your strong point.

Military action against Iran is very avoidable both presently and in the future. And the general consensus on the thread was that your theory was barking.
 
#6
Steven_McLaughlin said:
But what I really meant to say is, that however strongly they'd have reacted - well it certainly wouldn't have been nuclear
Probably true, although the public opinion seems that they're not at the weaponised stage yet. And as we have seen with North Korea, it isn't as simple as wikipedia makes it look, even once you have got the weapons-grade radioactives.

and they certainly wouldn't have been as ready and waiting for us as they are now.

But a good point and I stand corrected: they would've fought back some how and it would've have got messy - just not catastrophic!
I think they would have been entirely ready for us. And it would have been catastrophic, just not in a chain-reaction sense. I think this is a really silly idea which takes a very rose-tinted view of the capabilities of the Iranian militia and para-military forces, and the popular support the theocracy and the politicians had then and, to a great extent, have still, among the Iranian population.
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#7
In terms of an "invasion" a few facts that show your idea is indeed barking:

Iraq 2003:

Potential for ground forces to build up outside the country.

Invasion can potentially come from 3 different directions

Terrain is generally suitable for armour.

Iraqi military forces are seriously weakened by sanctions, morale is low.

Government perceived as weak and ready to be toppled.

Perception is that invasion forces will be greeted as liberators by bulk of population.

Iran 2003:

Country is HUGE (check your atlas!) so will need a huge invasion force. Open source "war gaming" puts it at 35+ Divisions

No realistic neighbouring country from which to launch

Terrain for land force invasion not suitable for armour or fast land movement

Military forces are strong, and will put up a good fight.

Government well established and (2003) not generally opposed by population.

Population will not be receptive to invasion, and will oppose from the start.


Open source reporting of the "neocon" agenda post 9/11 in Washington consistently shows that "regime change" action against Iran by military means was never considered. It is just too big and too difficult.
 
#8
Steven_McLaughlin said:
A few days ago I posted a thread that proposed hard military action is on its way in Iran, and that sadly, this seems to be all but unavoidable at present. A consensus seems to have formed that some kind of military strike will take place, but the only question is when and how – ....
A consensus from whom? A load of ARRSE's, many of which have never worn uniform, or the general consensus of some other great being?

Yes, Iran are doing a bit of sabre rattling and the UN guided by the US are throwing the threat of a few sanctions about. Sanctions, yeah they really work don't they? :roll: Do the Pentagon/CIA really think that by sanctioning a country to enconomic ruin and virtual starvation of it's people will then open the flood gates for a coup d'état or some other Green/Orange/Pink/Yellow* revolution (* Delete as applicable) are being a bit naive or blind to recent history.
  • Do I think that a US/Israeli coalition will 'invade' Iran? No, not really.
  • Does the modern world, particularly, Europe have the stomach for a fight in a Middle East country with the memories of Iraq still fresh and waning public support for the fight in Afghanistan?
  • Will the public support allow a invasion of Iran on flimsy 'evidence' that they are a threat to the western world with the WMD dodgy dossier being dragged up by every 'No!' camp? I suspect not.
  • How would the whole Islamic world react if the ever-so hated United States teamed up with the evil Jews to invade yet another soveriegn state? It'll make the GW1 islamic coalition look like a Rotary Club get-together.
So in short, I doubt that any serious military action will come to fruition, with the exception of a Israeli bombing visit to the nuclear sites.

However. . I have been known to be wrong. I didn't think the Spice Girls would come to anything :roll:
 
#9
Simple, nuke them first.
 
#11
It seems to me that we're perhaps in a 'chicken an egg' situation now, or between a rock and a hard place.

We're all pretty much agreed that sanctions won't work with Iran

We're all pretty much agreed that military action would be incredibly risky and may no longer be viable

We're all pretty much agreed that the time when we could have used 'light' military action, in the form or bomber runs against the then less well protected nuclear sites and less well organized military passed us by in 2003 - when we expended our blood and treasure in Iraq instead

We’re all in complete agreement that a ground invasion is, was and always has been out of the question, and that when we refer to ‘War with Iran’ we mean at the most air-power and direct, precision raids/sabotage on the nuclear sites and high value targets only by Special Forces

We're all pretty much in agreement that the window of opportunity has gone and the Iranians can and will ignore us, and go on to develop nuclear weapons within a few years

So if we can't apply sanctions and we can no longer use military force, what do you foresee happening? I know I'm playing devils advocate here and people are getting a touch agitated, but really, can anybody see a possible alternative?

Problem: Iran is ignoring is and is definitely developing nuclear weapons

Solution number 1: Targeted sanctions and UN pressure won’t work

Solution number 2: Light precision military action no longer viable

Solution number 3: Heavy and prolonged military action never really was an option – even less so now

Probable outcome 2012: Iran is now a major Nuclear power with superpower ambitions

Solutions, ideas, alternatives anybody…?
 
#12
Steven_McLaughlin said:
Solutions, ideas, alternatives anybody…?
Realise that we (for whatever definition of 'we' you chose) don't actually run the entire world or even have a divine mandate to do so, therefore learn to live with it?
 
#13
Give them a final warning to stop their weapons programme, if they don't... arrange a tragic "Nuclear accident" in one of their facilities.
 
#14
Steven_McLaughlin said:
It seems to me that we're perhaps in a 'chicken an egg' situation now, or between a rock and a hard place.

PLease explain why we would be justified in waging an unprovoked war on a sovereign nation that has not broken any international laws and is entitled to have a nuclear programme.
 
#15
Oil_Slick said:
Steven_McLaughlin said:
It seems to me that we're perhaps in a 'chicken an egg' situation now, or between a rock and a hard place.

PLease explain why we would be justified in waging an unprovoked war on a sovereign nation that has not broken any international laws and is entitled to have a nuclear programme.
Because they speak funny??
 
#16
Sanctions would work if companies agreed to them, but there is too much business for the petroleum companies and commerce in general to put enough sanctions down against them. If you take away UK / American comapnies ability to trade with Iran you impact on your government revenues received from corporates. Nuking them wont happen - that's WW3 stuff, and as you said they are too bloody big for conventional resources. Just leave the buggers alone and look at ways of circumnavigating the need to use their coutry for trade and then impose sanctions.
 
#17
If there's going to be a military attack on Iran (which there won't), it'll be in less than twelve months. As soon as they weaponise a tiny amount of uranium, it's going in a briefcase in Tehran, not into a missile. Their insurance policy doesn't deliver itself on the end of a Shahab 3 into Tel Aviv, it's delivered by parcel force to central London/D.C/NY. I'd say that the West had already missed this boat, if they ever wanted to get on it. In a few years Iran will be a better friend of the west, and in a couple of decades this will all be ancient history. It doesn't do to have pariah states with nukes.
 
#18
If there's any nation that we want to cultivate in the ME, it's Iran. Huge oil wealth, geopolitical victor of the war in Iraq and actually an educated middle class that is be sympathetic to Western values.

If we were to invade, we would be destroyed. They've had 6 years of watching Iraq and trying out new equipment through proxies in the South
 
#19
My own feeling is that the Israelis will do something in a year or two, either with or without American backing. Bearing in mind their position and history, I just can’t see them allowing the weapons program to go ahead; the nuclear power program, yes, but the weapons one, no. I think they’ll just feel so incredibly menaced by it that they’ll do something, although what that ‘something’ is, God only knows. Of course, they’ll see bomber runs on strategic sites as a first priority, but in my opinion that’s just wishful thinking on their part; the time for that has passed and the sites are, according to all credible sources, in deep, super-hardened underground cavities – any bombs, even ‘daisy cutters’, will just skim the surface and bounce harmlessly off.

So where does that leave the whole damn mess?

Well I think that on this one we’re going to have to learn to live with a nuclear-armed Iran and sharpen up our diplomacy skills. I know it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but as other posters have pointed out – sometimes you just have to accept the world the way it is and it’d be a mistake to do otherwise. We’ve got no divine right to be the only ones with nuclear arms, and who knows, perhaps it’ll balance things out a little more in the world and will lead to us taking a fresh look at Palestine, Gaza etc. – because then we’d have to.

I think perhaps our best and most sensible hope is that the Iranian leadership themselves, once they get this power and accept its responsibilities, will rapidly realize just how much they’d have to lose by using it for war purposes, or to even hint at menacing Israel with it. Nobody would win in a huge conventional or an asymmetrical terrorist war in the Middle East, and in a nuclear confrontation we’d all lose – even the ‘winners’ and survivors, of whom there’d be a few. The Iranian youth have got to realize this too, so let’s hope that some of those protesters and less hard-line demonstrators find their way into political office one day, and then we can sit down and talk business with them – not threaten war.

I don’t believe we should have gone to war with Iraq and I feel the same way about Afghanistan – but to attack Iran would be merely to compound those two errors and open the floodgates to hell in our own backyards.

But as one of you chaps above points out: who the hell would ever listen to a bunch of old arrsers like us?

I believe and fear that their will be war with Iran.
 
#20
Steven_McLaughlin said:
In 1999, Iran nearly invaded Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban, until the UN intervened.

When 9/11 happened, "In Iran, vast crowds turned out on the streets and held candlelit vigils for the victims. Sixty-thousand spectators respected a minute's silence at Tehran's football stadium."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5377914.stm

When we decided to attack the Taliban, the Northern Alliance- who had been fighting them throughout the 1990s- was armed, paid and trained by Iran. The Iranians even had liaison officers there at the fall of Kabul. After we took Kabul, Iran and the US worked together- quietly- to establish an Afghan government and secure Afghanistan's western borders.

Pray do tell how an attack on Iran two years later- when Iran was offering wide-ranging talks towards a normalisation of relations, which was rejected by Bush- could have been justified on the world stage.
 

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