Well, they’re ‘contingency’ plans…

US ‘Iran attack plans’ revealed

The BBC is breathless over this:

US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country’s military infrastructure, the BBC has learned.

It is understood that any such attack – if ordered – would target Iranian air bases, naval bases, missile facilities and command-and-control centres.

The US insists it is not planning to attack, and is trying to persuade Tehran to stop uranium enrichment.

The UN has urged Iran to stop the programme or face economic sanctions.

But diplomatic sources have told the BBC that as a fallback plan, senior officials at Central Command in Florida have already selected their target sets inside Iran.

That list includes Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz. Facilities at Isfahan, Arak and Bushehr are also on the target list, the sources say.

Two possible triggers for action would be either clear evidence that Iran is, indeed, building an atomic bomb or a “high-casualty attack on US forces” by Iranian agents or using Iranian-supplied weapons.

Every few weeks someone gets all excited about some “secret” plans they’ve suddenly discovered exist. Here’s another “secret”, pal: We have all sorts of plans for attacking all sorts of nations. Stop getting all worked up about it.


  1. Am I the only one deeply worried by leaks such as this? This is the sort of thing that can lose wars, people. Imagine if World War 2 were fought today, Hitler would be reading about the plans for D-Day in the New York Times and watching the build-up on BBC.

  2. Hey, Antarctica is ours, hands off!! 😉 You can pry it out of our cold, frostbitten hands, after all this second-hand military junk err equipment you keep selling us breaks down 😛

  3. Nicholas: Yeah, I’d just as soon not see a (supposed) list of targets. Still, it’s obviously not quite the same. For D-Day we needed one spot and we needed it to be totally secret. For this, we can hit every spot we want. It’s not like it’s a one-chance gamble that everything depends on. For all we know, these ‘leaks’ could very well be part of the deterrence strategy. All that said, though, there are way too many leaks in general…

  4. Yeah… maybe. I guess my point is, if you were in charge of planning Iranian AAA/SAMs, wouldn’t you find a list of targets ahead of time invaluable? Not only that, they can move critical personnel and material away from the sites in the leaked plan if it looks like the balloon is going to go up. We all know the saying that no plan survives the first contact with the enemy. Well if you’re giving it to them in advance, you’re better off just ditching the plan and winging it, I’d say. Otherwise you’ll be playing right into the hands of a smart enemy. Well, fair enough, I don’t think this plan is going to be executed so I guess there probably wasn’t a lot of harm, and deterrence is a good thing. But really.. such a large part of military success is surprise. To give away the element of surprise like this just seems silly.

  5. I would not get worked up over the target list. The targets are fairly obvious to all concerned and there is a good chance that this is being leaked on purpose to see what Iran does. We do things like this all the time. ‘Acidental’ airspace intrusions by drones all the while being watched by Rivet Joints and JSTARS. Now what would get me worked up is if someone publishes attack vectors and strike package details. That is what is needs to be secret.

  6. There has been a plan on the books for Persia (latter renamed Iran) since we withdrew after WWII (remember the US/UK/USSR occupation of Persia to facilitate lend-lease?). There are plans for every country in the world. Almost all of our allies have been enemys and vice versa, so you plan for anything and everyone. Including alien invasions. Just in case. That is what they pay the inmates of the five-sided rubber room to do. Make and update contingency plans and buy weapons. And get coffee for flag officers…