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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Now, This Is What I Call Hardcore

I don't know what to think of this article by former German Intelligence Officer Paul Levian:

Though a Western war against Iran will be a big geopolitical defeat for Russia and China, they cannot but resign themselves to this outcome if they are unable to convince the Iranians to accept the Russian proposal - ie uranium enrichment in Russia.

The Russians saw the writing on the wall when France, Germany and Britain began to march in lockstep with the United States. In particular, the widely but wrongly discounted nuclear belligerence of President Jacques Chirac last month implied that France was ready to accept the US use of nuclear weapons in a war against Iran if they saw fit to do so.

The somewhat standard scenario for this war - as indicated by Chinese and Russian war games - has the following features: An initial Israeli air attack against some Iranian nuclear targets, command and control targets and Shahab missile sites. Iran retaliates with its remaining missiles, tries to close the Gulf, attacks US naval assets and American and British forces in Iraq.

If Iranian missiles have chemical warheads (in fact or presumed), the US will immediately use nuclear weapons to destroy the Iranian military and industrial infrastructure. If not, an air campaign of up to two weeks will prepare the ground campaign for the occupation of the Iranian oil and gas fields.

Mass mobilization in Iraq against US-British forces will be at most a nuisance - easily suppressed by the ruthless employment of massive firepower. And Israel will use the opportunity to deal with Syria and South Lebanon, and possibly with its Palestinian problem.

The character of this war will be completely different from the Iraq war. No show-casing of democracy, no "nation-building", no journalists, no Red Cross - but the kind of war the United States would have fought in North Vietnam if it had not had to reckon with the Soviet Union and China.

What does everyone think? Could this be true?
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posted by Pastorius at permanent link#


Blogger Christine said...

I won't speak for the whole scenario but, when Chirac came out with the nuclear threat I did a triple take. Especially since it had not been long after the riots over there and France had taken another beating in regards to how it was handled. My feelings at the time of his statement? Somethings up?

Sunday, February 05, 2006 10:44:00 pm  
Blogger VH said...

The scenario only looks realistic as to Israel, that has always been a wild card in the game. After all, the Israelis phased out an Iraqi critical nuclear plant decades ago, and that was quite effective. Europeans and Israelis especially *know* the Middle East, Americans don't. Google maps can't see into the minds of people. US Intelligence is crap, as was proved in the WMD case. Israel's intelligence is great.

There is no doubt Israel will do it again if neccessary, and they won't inform their US sponsors beforehand. They didn't do it in the Iraq case. Before anything else, Israel is motivated by survival, and they didn't keep up in a hostile region for 60 years by playing wargames.

War games might be fun but aren't real. The U.S. military is stretched already to its maximum by the Iraqi adventure. China isn't the Communist giant it used to be (perceived as). China is interested in getting rich fast and in keeping the oil flowing until their semi-secret Nuclear Fusion project takes on speed. China is the Big Opportunist in this game, and time is on its side.

The only ones threatened by the Iraneans are the Europeans. The only European nuclear power is France. France has a history of reckless foreign interventions, remember the Suez canal 60 years ago and the Rainbow Warrior debacle. France doesn't have the firepower of the U.S. but it has the cultural and the terrain knowlegde, and the guts when it's really threatened. And France won't inform the U.S. neither.

Read my lips, the uproar about the ridiculous cartoon affair has not been in the U.S. neither in the U.K. It was Old "tired" Europe that took the heath and takes the stance. So Old Europe as a whole might be the other wild card in the scenario. Russia is part of that. The solution Putin proposed in the enrichment debate was quite creative.

If he has to give his blessings to a French multilateral initiative, he will do so. And so will the Saudis and the Gulf states. After all, they want to keep their cooled swimming pools and their Chanel nr.5 for their mistresses. And they are all that count because they sit on the oil. Egypt and Syria just sit on an empty desert and a population boom.

The cost of a few embassies in Jakarta or Islamabad won't make the difference. At no point, the U.S. is a parameter in this game.

Sunday, February 05, 2006 11:48:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Yeah, I suspect that something is up. Fellow IBA blogger, Always on Watch lives in the DC area, and she says they are testing air-raid sirens for the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. She also says that military jets are heard going over every night.

Something is strange.

But, that sounds like defensive measures. What this guy is saying is he thinks it is likely that we will use nukes on Iran.

That seems a little hard to believe if you ask me.

Sunday, February 05, 2006 11:50:00 pm  
Blogger VH said...

@Christine: with France, there is always something up. European history shows it. The U.K. has always been an observer and it only entered the continental game when they perceived an imbalance.

France has been at the core of it. France is the only European power with an expansionist and preemptive mindset. Never mind the Germans. They started two wars out of sheer economic desesperation. Since then, they kept losing terrain even to Belgium.

France is the key factor. They are the worst hit by the Islamic invasion, even before they realized it. It's them who will take an escape forward. Germany is powerless now, with Merkel and the bipartisan balance of power.

Monday, February 06, 2006 12:00:00 am  
Blogger VH said...

@Pastorious: nukes are not really an option. Distances in Europe are small, and the wind blows where it chooses to. Remember that Tchernobyl was outed in Sweden when we had an eastern weather pattern?

There are two key factors in this thing. One is Israel that won't back off from any preemptive strike when it perceives its existence is at stake.

The second one is France together with Putin. Russia is fighting for its survival against corruption and against Muslims. My bet is they will just bribe Iran out of it and gain time. Either way, it's going to cost a lot of money. Some Euros might be saved from the Palestinians. Europe has supported those corrupt regimes with billions, but in the cartoon affair, the EU missions were the first to be attacked. You can't bite the hand that feeds you.

Monday, February 06, 2006 12:11:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

What is the nuclear fusion thing China is working on?

By the way, I suspect that China and Russia love this Iran thing. I suspect they are using it to weaken the United States.

Apparently, you don't agree.

Monday, February 06, 2006 12:42:00 am  
Blogger The Anti-Jihadist said...

US Policy on hostile use of WMDs on the US, US forces, or Allied Nations/Forces is explicitly clear. If WMDs are used in hostilities in any of these circumstances, then the US will respond in kind. It's been US policy for at least 40 years. As the US lacks chemical or biological weapons, that means the US will respond to any NBC attack with nukes. Whether this gives the mad mullahs of the Middle East any pause is an all together different question.

Monday, February 06, 2006 1:02:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

You might be surprised to know that the U.S. policy on the use of nukes changed a couple of years back. The policy now is that we will use nukes if we even believe we are going to be attacked with nukes.

Monday, February 06, 2006 1:09:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Oh, and by the way, remember, this guy said that we will nuke Iran if we believe Iran has chemical/bio weapons. He doesn't say, if we are attacked, but, if we believe they have the weapons.

That's a pretty big distinction, even though it's kind of a distinction without a difference.

This guy seems to believe it's all but a done deal that we will use nukes on Iran.

As I said, that seems a bit hard to believe to me.

Monday, February 06, 2006 1:11:00 am  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

I read today that on January 17 Iran test fired a missile with a range of 2000 kilometers.

Something is definitely going on, and we don't have access to all the information. Nor should we. I'm having a hard enough time getting a good night's sleep.

My opinion is that GWB would use nukes if he felt there was no other option.

Monday, February 06, 2006 2:03:00 am  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Oh, and Chirac's turnaround was on January 18 or January 19. Hmmm....

Monday, February 06, 2006 2:04:00 am  
Blogger Christine said...

Yes, Chirac's turnaround. What caused it? France was the last country I would have expected to stand up and be blunt. I mean considering....

I realize they have a history. But in recent times they have really taken a beating about being weak.

Monday, February 06, 2006 4:22:00 am  
Blogger The Anti-Jihadist said...

AS Wretchard explains in his famous "Three Conjectures", the US considered responding with nuclear weapons in the response the 9-11. On that most infamous of days, the nuclear threshold was almost crossed.

So for me, in the upcoming Iran War, it's frightfully easy to envision a WMD exchange of somekind. Iranian anthrax or mustard gas, a Trident SLBM launched in reply.

To be very cold blooded about it, if a full scale nuclear attack is carried out on Iran, and erases everything above ground level, this would be the most effective way of stopping the mullahs and their nuclear weapons program, short of full-scale occupation (which is stretching US resources to their limits).

The mullahs want armageddon. Be careful what you wish for.

Monday, February 06, 2006 4:59:00 am  
Blogger 74 said...

The scenario calls for an initial strike agains Iran by Israel, followed by retaliation from Iran. Then it goes on about Iran attacking U.S. and British forces in Iraq. In reality, if Iran struck back at Israel with its remaining missles, the Israelis whould probably launch a nuclear strike against Iran at that point. My guess is that after several Iranian cities get vaporized, there won't be a whole lot of fight left in the Iranians. Their big weakness at this point is that their missles are their only real offensive capability. They don't have the logistics to carry a fight outside their own borders.

Monday, February 06, 2006 5:01:00 am  
Blogger Christine said...

Anybody here no anything about downwind/upwind spread of a nuclear weapon?

Monday, February 06, 2006 6:04:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Why do you say the Israelis would launch a nuke strike in retaliation for a conventional weapons strike on Israel, by Iran?

I don't think they would.

You have to look at the history of countries before you make such an assertion.

Israel and the United States have generally been very limited in their response to attacks against them. They have not shown a tendency to ratchet things up to the breaking point without severe provocation.

So, what is your point?

Monday, February 06, 2006 6:06:00 am  

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