Is there an Iranian Crisis?
The truth of the matter is despite all our posturing, we’re not prepared to invade Iran. We can push naval vessels around all we want, and bomb Iran. But a land invasion is not going to happen.
The above article speaks of the Rumsfeld “lillypads” we built up for Iraq. Now, if those had actually stayed in operation, that could be a serious consideration. But the Pakistani islands and the Turkman points are all closed to us now – we either did not properly upkeep, or the allied association is now a thing of the past.
If one thing I learned during my time in Intel, is that if you are serious and you think you know something, telling your civilian friends without clearance that the situation is “likely” is probably just someone trying to appear more knowledgable.
I’ll give you my “civilian” overview of points that really need to be solid now to ensure an Iran invasion:
– A non-partisan economic plan. Iraq had one in place from Desert Storm, and it was executed flawlessly after years of pushing the troops around in Saudi. Both parties were prepared for it. More than 80% supported such a plan. For Iran, there can only be a partisan economic strategy – only Cheney and the loyal Republicans (and Lieberman) believe that we can fight a war on three fronts. That’s a sure-fire way of halting another invasion right there. Will the public be willing to spread their sons and daughters out thinner? Chances are – no. And opposition in Congress will monopolize on that.
– Proven Intelligence findings. Again, largely non-present. Iraq had thousands of analysts going over Intel every hour of every day. Flight plans, missile targets, GOB presentations. All of this actually went back as far as the Contra days. Even with all our proven “Intel,” it was faulty. Will the world believe us again? Fool me once, shame on me, Fool me twice …
With all the analysts working hard on Iraq and Afghanistan to make a “surge” work, there’s no hardcore center to provide damning evidence (and as we say in Intel, “UN does not mean Unbiased Notions” so the UN trying to point the finger at Iran is not certainty).
– A command structure for intent. Usually, this is a military structure plan discussed and organized in plain sight. Military Oversight Committees will announce a budget/plan. None for Iran, but we have plenty for contingency in Iraq.
If you think that carriers are a definitive sign of invasions or military attack, consider this:
Every time the Chinese make threatening advancements towards Taiwan that infringes on US interests, we sail a carrier group through the straights on “exercise.” We park naval vessels off the shore of North Korea when they get antsy and do missile tests. We like to sit destroyers in the Phillipines when their terrorists get a little grouchy. It’s not preparing for invasion – it’s the art of intimidation.
This 4 carrier fleet (although the Nimitz group is being swapped out of the Gulf at the end of July, so I’m not sure what exactly they are basing their assumptions on) in the Gulf is mostly a show of force. A posture. Intimidation.
If we see a larger part of Congress mulling over an Iranian strike and people are throwing up maps with ideal invasion plans, then I’d worry. However, it has to get that far, and Bush has already said he’s experienced cold feet.
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