Diplomatic Precursors to Iranian War in Place?

Information Dissemination says the board is green all the way across the major powers.

Some interesting commentary on this one, as well.

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  1. Mike

     /  July 13, 2008

    Interesting. I wonder if the failure of the many Iranian backed “Special Groups” in Iraq pushes this too? The Iranians had a big head over their “success” with Hezbolla/Lebanon situation, but found out that what works one place doesn’t always work in others. No safe havens in Iraq, a much more powerful group of military forces who had NO fear of them wahtsoever (that would be the US Military) and no “powers” on the border that could threaten to intervene (i.e. Iran or Syria, neither of whom was dumb enough to try it).

    Suddenly, the feared “Special Groups” were getting their teeth kicked in, and the Iranians also discovered that the US wasn’t “hands off” with captured Iranians (unlike Lebanon). I know the Iranians have specifically attempted to capture US Servicemembers to swap for Qoms Force prisoners and have failed badly in each attempt (although one attempt did result in 5 US deaths).

    So the “revolutionary/guerrilla” method didn’t work, that leaves missiles and nukes.

  2. Happycrow

     /  July 14, 2008

    Well, they certainly don’t have conventional forces to speak of in a stand-up fight. And they know it, so they’ll likely move hard to play to their generally strong hand in diplomacy.. see if they can string the big six along for a while.

  3. Mike: IIRC, in addition to missles and nukes, I think they have some mining capabilities as well. That could get ugly for oil consumers, perhaps.

    Not a long-term strategic thing, but could allow for “Declaring Pyrrhic Victory”.

  4. Happycrow

     /  July 14, 2008

    It’s their ability to mess with the Straits of Hormuz that’s the issue. Russia will support them b/c they mess up oil prices for everybody by keeping things stirred up… but all the other players, including China, need cheaper oil, not spendier.

  5. Mike

     /  July 14, 2008

    Mines are a loser. We have working the Anti-mine warfare part for a while. It could be initially messy, but not much else. Their conventional forces are a joke. Actually, that is insulting the word joke. They are much worse. The Qids Force (I said QOM yesterday sorry) is the only real power they have in a conventional fight and its strength would be evident IF we invaded. Otherwise, if we just bomb them and shoot missiles and so on, they are zip. What I would be worried about (and the Iranians might be actually) is the thought of a competent Arab army who has had enough of their crap and decides to teach some lessons. I am actually wondering if that is the real problem here. Given enough time, the Iraqi Army is going to get pretty good for that part of the world. And if we are selling them weapons and gear and showing them how to actually fix it, then suddenly there is a severe power shift away from Iran. You might end up with a North and South Korea situation where suddenly everyone realizes that the REAL power is not the loud mouth moron who is launching the raids. Suddenly, the whole process shifts radically. And there is no China nearby to really help out.

  6. Alex

     /  July 14, 2008

    Assuming that the Iraqi army remains secular like the Turkish army I would be inclined to agree with you, but I wonder where their loyalties really lie. Maybe with enough time they’ll develop their own culture and stay above the sectarian Sunni/Shiite schism.

    Otherwise I suspect they’ll become two well trained and disciplined Arab armies at each others throats.

  7. Oh, not an Arab army, that’s for damn sure.

  8. Alex

     /  July 15, 2008

    On a completely unrelated army note – has anyone seen the new Hellboy movie, and if so, was it any good? I enjoyed the last one and am toying with going to the new one soon.

  9. Happycrow

     /  July 15, 2008

    I’d give it a solid B. Chicks will generally say B+/A-. Del Toro *clearly* can do elves and Faerie in general, no problem, but there are places where it’s laid on heavy — probably appropriately, given the numbers of kids who are also target audience.

  10. Alex

     /  July 15, 2008

    Thanks for the insight. Solid B is worth the admission for the special effects. Last movie I saw by myself in theatre was 300, which I felt was well worth the admission price.
    It’s funny you mention the Elves/Faerie. When I first saw the preview for the movie about 3 weeks ago when I took my son to Indiana Jones 4, I first saw the pale-skin elf on screen and the first thought that popped into my head was “Elric?!? They brought him to the screen – no way!” Then as the preview went on I realized it was Hellboy II. Del Toro clearly can do that look, and I like the look of it so far.

  11. Mike

     /  July 15, 2008

    You missed my point Alex. I think that that is the idea that Iran is trying to prevent. What if, God forbid, the Iraqis actaully DO pull off a Turkey? The Kurds already are (to an extent), why not other blocks? And if the other blocks join in (or hell, even just one of them), then you have a country. Iran has some serious issues with Turkey, but isn’t stupid enough to try something.

    How would they deal with TWO Turkeys? That would be a major reason to try and keep these guys “typical arabs” in a military sense.

  12. Alex

     /  July 16, 2008

    No, I got your point. It’s the “given enough time” issue that I’m concerned about. I don’t think there is enough time as their doesn’t appear to be enough political will/competence on either side (US or Iraqi) to make it happen. The army will only become secular and stay secular when the culture gets established, which can take decades, decades I don’t see being available.

    I would love to be wrong though.

  13. Mike

     /  July 16, 2008

    Heh, there is the short term opinion which is they are good enough for long enough to give the Iranians one good belt. Which given their current state of affairs may just be enough.

    When I was in Iraq, the one thing I noticed was the guys who really “got it” in terms of what opportunities we had opened up. You could see it in how they looked around and how they acted and sized up. The liberals would say they drank the kool aid, but it could also be said that they saw the promised land. One US soldier talking about how he could could go to college for his service, one guy telling how he didn’t have to pay bribes to get anything done, or an Iraqi platoon watching a typical US platoon work together (as in 3 or 4 blatently different races and various accents) with ZERO issues. And getting told that they could do it to. We opened a door of sorts over there, and I honestly don’t think that its going to get closed that easily. The entire Kurdish population is diving headfirst for it. To point of selling out the PPK to Turkey and saying “eh, Turkey can have what they have.”

    Some of the AQI guys we took refered to us Americans as a disease that corrupted the minds of true muslems. And they were right, for lots of people over there we are a living breathing growing plague that really fires up lots of people to do things that lots of others really don’t want. Like vote, work together, become more secular, and even begin to think as “Iraqis” instead of Sunni, Shia or Kurd.

    It may not be decades at all…

  14. Alex

     /  July 17, 2008

    Well, here’s a historical analogy you’ll love Mike.
    We “infected” the French Army too during the Revolutionary war with ideals of liberty and freedom and look what that wrought in Europe. Overall, not a bad change.
    So you make a good point – there are those who tasted freedom and equality and have decided not only that they like the taste, but they love it. That anecdotal evidence gives me more hope, now hopefully those who have bought into that professionalism will have stronger wills than those who have bought into fanaticism.

  15. Mike

     /  July 17, 2008

    True enough. This is going to be a “time will tell” deal.

  16. Mike

     /  July 17, 2008

    As in years, not decades. I am thinking we are going to have a pretty good idea in less than 5 years after we are “gone” (as in no longer really fighting with units) as to how that is going to shake out.


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