Moral Outrage
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How war with Iran would play out for the U.S. and the world

A speculation on how war with Iran would play out for the U.S.:

The U.S. could bomb Iran’s nuclear sites and military installations to its heart’s content, but everything it destroys can be rebuilt in a few years.

And there is no way that the US could actually invade Iran. There are some 80 million people in Iran and, although many of them don’t like the present regime, they are almost all fervent patriots who would resist a foreign invasion.

Iran is a mountainous country and big: four times the size of Iraq.

The Iranian army currently numbers about 450,000 men, slightly smaller than the US Army – but unlike the US Army, Iran does not have its troops scattered across literally dozens of countries.

If the White House were to propose anything larger than minor military incursions along Iran’s south coast, senior American generals would resign in protest.

Iran would have lots of options for bringing pressure on the US:

Just stopping Iran’s oil exports would drive the oil price sky-high in a tight market. Iran accounts for about 7 per cent of internationally traded oil.

Iran could also block another 40 per cent of global oil exports just by sinking tankers coming from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the other Arab Gulf states with its lethal Noor anti-ship missiles.

The Noor anti-ship missile has a 200km range, enough to cover all the major choke points in the Gulf. It flies at twice the speed of sound just metres above the sea’s surface and has a tiny radar profile. Its single-shot kill probability has been put as high as 98 per cent.

Iran’s mountainous coastline extends along the whole northern side of the Gulf and these missiles have easily concealed mobile launchers. They would sink tankers with ease and, in a few days, insurance rates for tankers planning to enter the Gulf would become prohibitive, effectively shutting down the region’s oil exports completely.

Meanwhile, Iran would start supplying modern surface-to-air missiles to the Taliban in Afghanistan and that would soon shut down the US military effort there.

Iranian ballistic missiles would strike US bases on the southern (Arab) side of the Gulf and Iran’s Hezbollah allies in Beirut would start dropping missiles on Israel.

The US would have no options for escalation other than the nuclear one, and pressure on it to stop the war would mount by the day as the world’s industries and transport ground to a halt.

The end would be an embarrassing retreat by the US and the definitive establishment of Iran as the dominant power of the Gulf region.

[New Zealand Herald]

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2 Responses to “How war with Iran would play out for the U.S. and the world”

  1. […] On this we have the word of Richard Clarke, counter-terrorism adviser in the White House under three administrations. In the early 1990s, Clarke said in an interview with the New York Times “After a long debate, the highest levels of the military could not forecast a way in which [a war with Iran] would end favorably for the US.”  The Pentagon’s planners have war-gamed an attack on Iran and they just can’t make it com… […]

  2. […] But how many citizens of the United States or Britain know that Iran has ten times as many people as Libya? How many know that Iran is a partially democratic, technologically proficient state with no history of attacking its neighbors, not a tinpot dictatorship run by a vicious loon? How many realize that the war would not end with a few days of air strikes? […]


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