Predicting, planning, and protesting (?) the war with Iran

Pentagon ‘three-day blitz’ plan for Iran

The Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.

Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for –pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. –They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.

Here we go again with the “plans” thing. Blah blah blah.

What makes this plan so different, of course, is that it isn’t for “pinprick strikes” but for massive attacks targeting the entire Iranian military. That’s new, right?


Posted on MO in February: 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.

Got that? “Most of the country’s military infrastructure”. Last February.

They think you’re stupid. They think you don’t know. They think you can’t think for yourself and that you’ll swallow any old crap they send your way.

In a post from last January:

Militaries train. Day and night. On every conceivable scenario. They train for hundreds of options on dozens of major plans pulled from files of tens of thousands of potential operations.

The US has plans to invade Canada, Mexico, and Hawaii. We have plans to nuke Great Britain. We have plans to use nuclear submarines to land SEAL teams on Bermuda. We have plans to subjugate our own people. We have plans to use Special Forces to kill the president of France. We have plans to use Special Forces to save the president of France from assassins…

When things happen, militaries dig out the relevant plans, decide which ones apply best to the current situation, tweak them a bit, and then start running some training exercises so that they’re capable of doing what needs to be done if called on.

Meanwhile, an LSO (Landing Signal Officer) on a supercarrier in the “Gulf of Hormuz” (sic) claimed to a Kos diarist that she had the inside scoop on imminent attacks.

Of course, the LSO appear to have really been a FOI (figment of imagination) at best and a TFL (total liar) at worst, which so often happens to be the case with this sort of stuff. For more on the LSO fakery, see:

Lex: Hoisting the flag
Confederate Yankee: I Love the Smell of Daily Kos in the Morning

Finally, Don Surber has the story on an anti-war protests scheduled for September 22nd. Nothing special there, really, except that the war that they’re protesting is the war against Iran.

Now, I’ll readily agree that we’re at war with Iran, but I don’t think the protesters mean it the way I mean it.


  1. 1200 targets seems a tad low to ‘take out the entire military’ of Iran. Such a plan most likely would take out the Iranian air force, fixed anti-air sites, and known nuke sites,logistical choke points, an anchorages. Iran would be pissed. Militarily, I doubt many are scared of the Iranians – without air cover any large scale moves would be B-52, A-10 bait. That said, they could do a lot of harm. Their missiles could wreak havoc by targeting Saudi oil facilities. A few dozen well placed mines (most likely already in place) or scuttled ships could bottle the Strait of Hormuz. Air strikes sound great in theory – but only a full on combined air/land/sea strike would work.

  2. No disagreement here, James. I truly doubt, Sunburns and super-cavitating torpedoes included, that serious harm would be done to US military forces. Doubtless some planes would be lost to a variety of reasons, and maybe even a few hits on some ships would be scored. Obviously war isn’t something to play at and the consequences aren’t trivial. I do think that the land portion could be less than ‘full on’, but it would need to be more than a few SF raids. But the real threat would be the threat to non-military targets in the region that could do serious harm. We’ve already played the ‘protect the tankers’ game once, and I didn’t expect to get out of that one nearly as well as we did. I doubt a second go, one where US forces were direct targets, would be quite as pretty.

  3. What about the US forces in Iraq? If Iran is hit would that not trigger a response by the Shia? Given that our supplies come up from Kuwait through Shia country, our supply lines could get cut off. Also, with our new surge strategy many units are now broken up into smaller elements living amongst the locals. This might make it easier for them to be overwhelmed by enraged shias. Next, what is the goal of the airstrikes? Is it to stop their nuclear ambitions or is it regime change? I thought the plan was to spread democracy across the middle east. If that is the case, I can’t see us even attempting to occupy Iran when we barely have enough for Iraq. If it is just to take out their nuclear program are we prepared for their counter attack? Do we have an inventory of all Iranians living in the US? I am sure they will not attack us in a conventional manner. What about the effect on world oil prices? We don’t buy Iranian oil but others do, and if they can’t buy it, they will try to buy from our suppliers driving up the cost for us all.

  4. Admittedly, neutralizing Iran’s nuclear capabilities without committing a huge land force is going to be a tough nut to crack. However, the U.S. has one ace-in-the-hole, which it might play. When the strike occurs guess who’s going to get smacked around big time. Correct, Israel. Does anyone really believe the Pentagon has made these 3-day blitz plans without consulting and hopefully including the Israeli military? And, if the ball goes up what will Syria and the Hezbollah in Lebanon do? They ain’t going to sit back and watch the combat on Sky News. In any way, shape or form it’s going to be one hell of a furball!

  5. After the great job Israel did in Lebanon, I can see why we’d consider their advice to be a real ace-in-the-hole. Here’s what Buchanan (not a liberal) has to say:

    ‘I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran’s murderous activities. … We’ve conducted operations against Iranian agents supplying lethal munitions to extremist groups.’ This suggests that U.S. forces may already be engaged in combat operations against Iranians. Who or what can stop this drive to war? Last spring, Nancy Pelosi herself, after a call from the Israeli lobby, pulled an amendment that would have forced Bush to come to Congress for specific authorization before attacking Iran. Before the August recess, the Senate voted 97 to zero for a resolution sponsored by Joe Lieberman to censure Iran for complicity in the killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. The resolution explicitly rejected authorization for immediate military action, but the gist of it declared that Iran is participating in acts of war against the United States, laying the foundation for a confrontation. What is to prevent Bush from attacking Iran and widening the war, at a time and place of his choosing, and sooner than we think? Nothing and no one.

    Last night Ron Paul pretty much echoed my feelings on this. The Constitution give the US Congress and the US Congress alone the power to declare war. It’s time the president started upholding his oath to uphold the Constitution. He also noted that much if not most of the foreign fighters and money that come into Iraq come from Saudi Arabia. So where’s the drum beat of war with them? I guess it’s ok if they kill our boys as long as Bush gets a pretty new library out of the kickbacks they’ve been sending him?

  6. Attacking Iran directly is most likely the worst move we could make. We cannot occupy Iran in the near term, and a full out asymmetrical war would unify Iran and seriously knock a whole in the economy. I for one do not want to be any more dependent on Hugo Chavez for oil than I have to. That said, since Iran is playing proxy war, we should as well, and they are a hell of a lot more vulnerable then we are. A few special forces inspired demolition work on Iranian oil refineries would get their attention. Iran already has some serious gas shortages, take out a couple of refineries, and you kill their nuke program – it takes a lot of power to run 3000 centrifuges. ‘Iran’s refineries have a capacity of producing 40 million liters of gasoline a day, but demand is over 70 million liters. The shortfall has so far been met by spending billions of dollars annually on imported gasoline.’

  7. ‘We have plans to subjugate our own people.’ While throughness is to be appreciated, am I the only who feels disturbed at this statement? Should I not feel disturbed?

  8. Hey Murdoc, if it comes from Fox News do you take it more seriously?

    Consequently, according to a well-placed Bush administration source, ‘everyone in town’ is now participating in a broad discussion about the costs and benefits of military action against Iran, with the likely timeframe for any such course of action being over the next eight to 10 months, after the presidential primaries have probably been decided, but well before the November 2008 elections. The discussions are now focused on two basic options: less invasive scenarios under which the U.S. might blockade Iranian imports of gasoline or exports of oil, actions generally thought to exact too high a cost on the Iranian people but not enough on the regime in Tehran; and full-scale aerial bombardment. On the latter course, active consideration is being given as to how long it would take to degrade Iranian air defenses before American air superiority could be established and U.S. fighter jets could then begin a systematic attack on Iran’s known nuclear targets.