Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

If And When Bush Iraqs Iran

US President Bush and Iran counterpart Ahmadinejad. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Arnaud De Borchgrave
UPI Editor at Large
Washington (UPI) Oct 02, 2006
A strategic thinker who called all the correct diplomatic and military plays preceding Operation Iraqi Freedom now sees diplomatic failure and air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities. The war on Iran, he says, started a year ago when the United States began conducting secret recon missions inside Iran.

Sam Gardiner, 67, has taught strategy at the National War College, Air War College and Naval War College. The retired Air Force colonel recently published as a Century Foundation Report "The End of the 'Summer of Diplomacy': Assessing the U.S. Military Option on Iran."

President Bush and his national security council believe seven "key truths" that eliminate all but the military option, according to Gardiner, who adds his own comments.

1. Iran is developing WMD -- "that is most likely true."

2. Iran is ignoring the international community -- "true."

3. Iran supports Hezbollah and terrorism -- "true."

4. Iran is increasingly inserting itself in Iraq and beginning to get involved in Afghanistan -- "true."

5. The people of Iran want a regime change -- "most likely an exaggeration."

6. Sanctions are not going to work -- "most likely true."

7. You cannot negotiate with these people -- "not proven."

Gardiner says when Bush "Iraqs" Iran, air strikes will not be limited to the country's widely scattered nuclear facilities, but will also include military air bases (some of them only 15 minutes flying time from Baghdad); air defense command and control; terrorist training camps; chemical facilities; medium-range ballistic missiles; Gulf-threatening assets; submarines; anti-ship missiles; and naval ships, including small, fast minelayers. He reckons "an attack of relatively high certainty on nuclear targets would require 400 aim points ... 75 of these would require penetrating weapons." Air target planners believe this can be done after five nights of bombing.

Vice President Dick Cheney is convinced "if there is even a 1 percent chance of a country passing WMD to a terrorist, the U.S. must act," Gardiner writes, which means, "The Bush administration finds itself obliged to reject non-military options." Israeli pressure on Bush to act before he leaves the White House is also part of the equation, he argues. But the president has a larger agenda than simply retarding Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Iran's interference in Iraq is a major source of concern. It continues to supply weapons, funding and training to insurgents as well as militia armies in Iraq. Those who advocate attacking Iran say this justifies U.S. retaliation. But Israel and the Bush administration agree they cannot allow Iran to acquire the knowledge to make a nuclear weapon and that Iran is near "the point of no return."

"The case against (Iran's) regime is so forceful, and so multifaceted," Gardiner points out, "that it becomes clear the goal is not simply to do away with the regime's enrichment program ... but to do away with the regime itself."

President George W. Bush, writes Gardiner, sees himself like Winston Churchill standing against the appeasers, and "believes the world will only appreciate him after he leaves office, talks about the Middle East in messianic terms, and is said to have told those close to him that he has got to attack Iran because even if a Republican succeeds him ... he will not have the same freedom of action that Bush enjoys."

Gardiner reminds us air planners almost always fall short of promises -- e.g., World War II, Korea, Vietnam and more recently Israeli air attacks on Hezbollah. "No serious expert on Iran believes the argument about enabling a regime change," he says, and "it is far more likely such strikes would strengthen the clerical leadership and turn the U.S. into Iran's permanent enemy." Which is what President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prays for five times a day.

Iran's retaliatory capabilities are both regional and global. Hezbollah is the primary line of counter-attack, with terrorist assets in Europe, Canada, the United States and Latin America. Iraqi militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr has said publicly U.S. forces would be targeted if Iran were attacked. Al-Sadr also controls the large 140,000-strong Facilities Protection Service forces that guard oil pipelines and other strategic objectives.

No sooner than the first U.S. bomb impact in Iran, mines will be sown in the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world's oil consumption passes daily. Iran also has sleeper cells among Shiite workers in Saudi Arabia's eastern oil fields. Oil would quickly skyrocket to $200 a barrel.

With prices surging to this level, concludes Gardiner, a "global synchronized recession, intensified by the existing U.S. trade and fiscal imbalances," would soon follow.

Syria and Iran signed a mutual defense agreement June 15 under which Syrian forces would be involved if Iran were attacked. Such a crisis could quickly escalate into a regional war.

Unlike the six months of preparations for Operation Desert Field and the deployments that preceded Iraqi Freedom, the Iran buildup will "not be a major CNN event." They will take place below the media's radar screen, such as moving Air Force tankers to staging bases and the movement of additional Navy assets to the region. "We can expect the number of administration references to Iran to significantly increase," Gardiner wrote, with four principal themes -- Iran's nuclear program, terrorism, the threat to Israel's existence, and the Iran-al Qaida link.

Congressional approval? When Democratic Congressmen offered an amendment to the Defense bill in June that would have required the president to get authorization before taking military action, the amendment failed. A strike on Iran, as seen by the White House, has already been authorized. It's part of the global war on terrorism. So the strike on Iran could be ordered any time in the next two years.

Source: United Press International

Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at
Follow the first techonology war of the 21st century at

Inter-Korean Military Talks End Without Agreement
Seoul (AFP) Oct 02, 2006
Military officers from North and South Korea held talks Monday for the first time in almost five months but failed to agree on ways to ease tensions on the divided peninsula. The South's team said the communist state's July missile tests were not directly discussed but that it had raised the issue of heightened tensions in general.

  • Woes Of Worst Case Analysis Catch Out National Intelligence Estimate
  • Abe Ready To Go To China
  • Japanese Defense Chief Says Military Growth Of China A Threat
  • How Bush Strategy Failed Part Two

  • Inter-Korean Military Talks End Without Agreement
  • If And When Bush Iraqs Iran
  • Royal 'Surprised' By Fuss Over Brother's Role In Rainbow Warrior Sinking
  • South Korea To Become Capable Of Deterring War On Peninsula

  • BAE Systems Inertial Measurement Unit Selected For New Air-to-air Missile
  • South Korea Develops Cruise Missile
  • Norway Fires Its First Raytheon-Built Evolved SeaSparrow Missile
  • Australia Signs Contract For JASSM Follow On Standoff Weapon

  • Is Ballistic Missile Defense Worth The Money
  • South Korea Looks To Buy Second-Hand Missiles From Germany
  • Us In Final Stages Of Installing Missile Defense System In Japan
  • Compact Kinetic Energy Missile Test Successful

  • Democrats Question Wisdom of NASA Plans For Aeronautics Research Program
  • Lockheed Martin To Develop Fabrics For DARPA Stratospheric Airships
  • Air Safety Headache As Chinese Market Expands
  • European Aerospace Industry Set To Enter Russia

  • Intelligent Unmanned Aircraft Planned
  • Canada To Buy Thales mini-UAV System
  • UK To Buy MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
  • LM Selected To Develop FAA Road Map For Unmanned Aircraft Systems

  • Three Myths About Iraq
  • Iraq Casualties On The Rise
  • What Went Wrong In Iraq
  • Puffing On Iraq

  • Boeing Wins SDB I Focused Lethality Munition Contract
  • Iran To Mass Produce New Artillery Gun
  • Qinetiq Subsidiary's Precision Airdrop System Used By USAF In Afghanistan
  • Raytheon Projectile Scores a Direct Hit Against Moving T-72 Tank

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement