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

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Steven_McLaughlin, Oct 1, 2009.

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  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. 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. 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.
     
  5. 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.

    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.
     
  6. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    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.
     
  7. 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:
     
  8. Simple, nuke them first.
     
  9. ermm, sanctions???
     
  10. 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…?
     
  11. 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?
     
  12. Give them a final warning to stop their weapons programme, if they don't... arrange a tragic "Nuclear accident" in one of their facilities.
     

  13. 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.
     
  14. Because they speak funny??