Over the last decade, I have produced many papers and articles analyzing events in the Middle East and their geopolitical impact for academia, commercial publications, think tanks, and government agencies. I stand by my track record as one of the most prescient in the business. To that end, predicting chaos in the Middle East has been easy, but combining the what (violence) with the who, when, why, and how are the far more demanding predictions. One the worst case scenarios for a broad outbreak of violence in the Middle East has been the possibility of a major war between Israel and Iran. This conflict would immediately go regional with the on-going proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia pulling in the remaining Middle Eastern countries. Once it goes regional, it will be nearly impossible for the U.S., Europe, and Russia to remain on the sidelines. I have described in detail how this would likely play out as well as how it could be prevented in previous posts (see a partial list below). I am writing today again with a dire warning for anyone willing to listen. The most recent events occurring across the Middle East are now signaling the worst case scenario of a major conflict with Iran will come to pass as I have previously predicted. This first article discusses why war with Iran is unnecessary and must be avoided. Part II will discuss why even with an Iranian deal, war is inevitable and the dire consequences we can expect. Read more
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I have warned for years that the Syrian Rebels and now ISIL have chemical weapons. However, that notion was dismissed repeatedly by the mainstream media until the State Department inadvertently admitted that ISIL used chemical weapons on the Kurds. Of course that major revelation caused at least a few people to raise the question of the origin of these said chemical weapons. Realizing a major scandal was about to erupt, the White House went into full damage control mode and immediately set about working with the New York Times to put out a story to redirect and mislead the public. The Times story claims ISIL’s chemical weapons came from undestroyed Iraqi stockpiles, which as I will show, is a patently false claim of historical revisionism. Read more
Al Qaeda(AQ) is more powerful today than it was over a decade ago when then President George W. Bush declared his nebulous, ill-fated war on terrorism. Ironically, one could strongly argue it was the war against AQ that made AQ more popular and resilient than it could have ever hoped to be autonomously operating in the shadows. Nothing is more demonstrative of this than the situation today in Iraq. AQ has become a conventional military force and effectively dissolved the border between Iraq and Syria merging it into the Islamic State of the Levant almost completely absent of media attention in the west. In fact, in its first major test as a state like entity, the Iraqi Army conducted a full scale assault on the AQ held portions of Ramadi and Fallujah only to suffer a decisive defeat leaving AQ firmly in control of the traditional Sunni areas of Iraq. The ramifications of this transformation of AQ from a stateless terrorist organization to a conventional army with a defined geographical territory right in the heart of the Middle East are extremely dire even if the Western Media has all but ignored the disaster borne of Bush and Obama’s failed foreign policies.
President Obama has cited again and again how AQ has been defeated and dismantled, yet AQ has repeatedly proven the president either ignorant or a liar as we predicted. As a result of the US conducting its insane policy of intervening in the Syrian Civil War (not to mention creating the war) and then providing military grade weapons to AQ aligned rebels in Syria, AQ fighters now have a conventional military capability compliments of the US taxpayer whether directly supplied by the CIA or indirectly via Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In fact, the heavily armed AQ rebels have crossed into Iraq for sanctuary and taken over large stretches of the western portions of Iraq. As I warned, the insurgencies in Syria and Iraq could merge and create massive unrest in the Middle East. This perfect storm has emerged. With the firepower supplied by not just the US, but Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, the AQ elements are not stopping in western Iraq and instead have pushed on toward Baghdad. The Shia controlled Iraqi government has so far been unable to retake the areas already captured by AQ and has now been defeated in direct conventional combat operations in both Fallujah and Ramadi. If the Iraqi military is unable to check the advance and growth of the AQ Army, it is indeed possible that portions of Baghdad will be captured by AQ. This in effect will mean that Iraq has effectively splintered into three autonomous nations, one Sunni, one Kurd, and one Shia as I have predicted for years. It will also herald the emergence of the AQ organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, into the actual Islamic State of the Levant.
Even if Baghdad is not taken by AQ the situation is already quite dire. An all-out sectarian proxy war has begun between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The battlefield to date has been confined to the Middle East, but it soon will spill over onto other continents with Africa already suffering the worst from growing Islamic extremism. Each side has gained victories and neither is done fighting. Iran has so far managed to maintain its ally Syria against the concerted efforts of the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and even Turkey. Iran maintains strong influence over the Iraqi government, which remains predominantly Shia. Iran has also diplomatically outmaneuvered the US, which based on the accomplishments of Secretaries Clinton and Kerry should not come as any surprise, and forced a deal over its nuclear program to include reducing sanctions. However, Hezbollah leaders have been assassinated in Lebanon and AQ backed Sunnis have taken over western Iraq.
This sets the stage in Iraq for a winner takes all fight that will become very bloody. Iran has strategic interests in maintaining its newly minted proxy government in Iraq, compliments of the shortsighted US policy that toppled the Sunni-Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein. In particular, the Iraqi government allows Iran to move weapons and troops through its territory to support President Assad’s forces in Syria and is colluding with Iran on oil production to undercut Saudi oil revenues. However, Iraq’s government is vulnerable so Iran will support the Iraqi military with Iranian units against AQ. Iran is well aware that by defeating these AQ elements in Iraq, it will severely weaken the rebel forces fighting its traditional ally Syria. Saudi Arabia knows that an Iranian win in Syria or Iraq will most likely mean a strategic win across the board for Iran. Saudi Arabia will view a nuclear Iran with control of both Iraq and Syria as an existential strategic threat that it won’t be able to ignore. As such, Saudi Arabia has to escalate the proxy war it in part created by doubling down and backing the AQ aligned Sunnis in an attempt to weaken Iran. This will lead to greater, prolonged bloodshed throughout the Middle East, a disintegration of borders, and further destabilization of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Yemen.
Dangerously, almost any conceivable conclusion to the Iran-Saudi proxy war now seems to point to greater war in the Middle East that will be difficult to deescalate. A stalemate or major breakthrough in favor of Iran may force the countries into direct conflict. Saudi Arabia may also lobby for and overtly support a devastating Israeli strike against Iran, which will have global repercussions. It will also signal Saudi Arabia to move forward with purchasing its own nuclear weapons from Pakistan setting off the dreaded cycle of proliferation across the region. However, if Iran is defeated, the results could be far worse. An Iranian defeat means an AQ victory. In the event of victory, AQ will solidify what amounts to the Islamic State of the Levant. This newly emerged state will turn on the corrupt regimes that spawned it and attack Jordan, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia potentially toppling those regimes. Further, AQ would solidify their control of the region and make it effectively off limits for any US interests short of another war. The new Islamic State of the Levant would be a breeding ground for attacks against the US and a safe haven for terrorists that have emerged into a legitimate army. Saudi Arabia, in particular, will be very vulnerable to the AQ fighters and could be destabilized to the point oil production is severely disrupted. Israel will come under even greater pressure as the Palestinians receive increased support from AQ leadership. These are just a few of the first order regional effects without even touching the greater global implications and how it would affect major powers like the US, Russia, and China.
The US will regret that it armed, trained, and equipped AQ elements in Syria for short sighted policies designed to undermine Iran. The ramifications of the chain reaction Washington’s policy set in motion will be dire and far reaching. Already, the world must begin to recognize it created a defacto AQ state in the Levant even if the western media has not grasped this new reality. Nonetheless, one cannot predict with certainty how this will end, but one can be certain that much greater blood will be shed before this new regional war concludes.
By Guiles Hendrik
January 31, 2014
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As We Predicted: Syrian and Iraqi Civil Wars Merge as President Obama’s Claims of a Defeated Al Qaeda Crumble
Disturbing news continues to poor out of Iraq as it appears Al Qaeda forces in Iraq have transformed from an insurgent force to conventional military force. This is considered the last stage of a guerilla war by Mao Tse-Tung’s guide to guerrilla warfare. The successful takeover of the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi by Al Qaeda forces prove they have continued to organize and gain strength contrary to the lies emanating from President Obama respective of Al Qaeda being nearly destroyed. None of this should come as a surprise. For years I have been tracking this trend and warning that the Islamic radicals fighting in Syria would soon destabilize Iraq and merge the wars. Reference:
If not already bad enough, the Sunni extremists have gained much of this power by way of Washington’s covert aid. Using arms and money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar funneled through Jordan and Turkey the CIA has covertly provided a host of supplies, equipment, and weapons to the rebels. Further, CIA officers on the ground are advising Al Qaeda affiliated rebel factions and providing them with command and control support. With this added lifeline the rebels have regrouped across the non-existent border in Iraq and gained a foothold by seizing the major cities of Anbar Province as well as numerous border towns in Northern Iraq. This sets the stage for a pan-Sunni front rising against Iranian backed Shia forces for a large scale outbreak of warfare in the Middle East.
Make no mistake, by no means is this Iraqi Al Qaeda uprising an organically generated situation. It is merely a symptom of much bigger strategic issues at play in the Middle East. These divisions are deep, complex, and overlapping. Some of these divisions are political, some are economic, some are religious, some are ethnic, but all are divisive. Sunni versus Shia; Saudi Arabia and Qatar versus Syria; Kurd versus Iraqi; Turkey versus Kurdistan versus Syria; Iran versus Israel versus the United States versus Saudi Arabia; the United States versus Russia; and so on. The Middle East has become a chessboard of pawns being manipulated by strategic players from around the world in a very dangerous high stakes game.
The result of this will be, as I have previously predicted, ever increasing violence and bloodshed across the Middle East. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki will most likely be forced to open up greater political and military cooperation with Iran to put down the Sunni uprising in the western portion of the country. This will allow the Kurds to further cement their autonomous nation to the north and possibly absorb Kurdish portions of Syria. This would ethnically redraw the map of the Middle East much to the fear of Turkey, which under those circumstances, might militarily intervene to prevent such a Kurdish unification. Contrary to Washington’s plans to weaken Iran by toppling Assad, the rise of Obama’s Sunni proxies will cause the plan to backfire. Maliki’s requests for support will actually lead to increased Iranian influence and potentially new and more direct military supply lines through Iraq to Iran’s besieged ally Bashar Assad in Syria. This will force Saudi Arabia to become even more overt in its support to Sunni extremists, which will fuel even greater global terrorism and bloodshed in Syria. Saudi Arabia will begin importing greater numbers of foreign jihadists for the fight and likely buy its own readymade nuclear arsenal from Pakistan, which will greatly increase world instability and increase the chances of a larger regional war. Nonetheless, Assad’s government forces will most likely continue to maintain the upper hand for at least the next six months dealing Washington a decisive strategic setback that will weaken Washington’s alliances with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, and Turkey. This will also weaken Washington’s negotiating position with Iran on its nuclear program forcing Obama to pursue appeasement. A peace deal with Iran is not in and of itself disastrous and likely good, but Israel will see this as the last straw and likely initiate unilateral strikes against Iran designed to set back its nuclear progress while forcing the US into an unwanted and unnecessary war. This will be an unparalleled disaster for the US. See:
As for the biggest players, the US and Russia, Russia will continue its unbeaten streak of foreign policy victories against the amateurish American lineup. Obama and John Kerry are simply outclassed by Putin and Sergei Lavrov. Specifically, Russia and its grand chess master Putin will continue to play all sides against each other for its maximum political and economic profit. Russia will continue to pick off long time US allies such as Egypt as Obama continues to alienate everyone. Russia will also handsomely profit and leverage any outbreak of war to further corner the oil and gas market while enjoying a spike in prices before global economies crash taking the price of oil to lows not seen in years. For Russia, losing Syria is not optional as long as the threat of a Qatari-Saudi gas pipeline through Syria to Europe exists. Russia would lose immense geopolitical leverage over Europe and billions in revenue in the event Assad was deposed without hard guarantees Washington is not likely able to deliver. In the event Obama doubles down and provides enough military support to bring about Syrian regime change, expect the Russians to triple down and bait the US into another disastrous war in the Middle East designed to economically break the back of the US and force us out of the Middle East.
All considered, 2014 is shaping up to be a violent and climatic year across the Muslim Crescent. The civil war in Syria will likely reach a tipping point and Iran’s nuclear program will have to be accepted or destroyed. Iraq will descend into full scale civil war. Jordan will be weakened by growing unrest and Lebanon could once again be split by sectarian violence. As for Americans, expect an increase in Islamic terrorism against US targets. This is a near certainty since vast numbers of radical Islamists have been recently armed, trained, equipped, and organized to fight in Syria by our very own CIA. This latest generation of jihadists will be armed with much more advanced weaponry compliments of the US taxpayer and will ultimately go on to attack the US after they have had their fill of fighting in Syria. Specifically, expect to see the use of improvised nerve gas manufactured by Syrian rebels, man portable surface to air missiles smuggled out of Libya, and antitank missiles provided by Saudi Arabia against US targets. These are just some of the highlights to expect in 2014 so make sure you buckle your seat belts.
For further reading:
By Guiles Hendrik
January 10, 2014
All rights reserved.
Americans are keen to want to go out and save the world. The problem is that we can’t. Lofty goals and ideologies must be tempered by reality. Not only are there obvious financial limits to these kind of interventionist policies, but these policies have historically shown a near zero success rate. In fact, in nearly every case of US intervention, we made the situation far worse. Not only are more people often killed, but the suffering is made to last sometimes for decades. So now President Obama is faced with somehow selling a war with Syria, which is a necessary pretext for a war with Iran, neither of which are in America’s best interests, and the best he can do is recycle the humanitarian argument for intervention and Iraq War era chemical weapons propaganda.
This would be a laughable justification if US Special Forces and CIA paramilitary officers weren’t already on the ground in Syria leading the proxy armies they trained and setting the groundwork for coming air strikes. Unfortunately, the reality is that the US has been lobbied into fighting what will prove to be a disastrous war that is neither in America’s interests nor necessary. The case currently being put before the American people is that President Assad has allegedly used chemical weapons against the rebel forces. It would be worth noting that nothing about the actual validity of this chemical attack claim has been verified by independent and reputable sources or that it may actually be in our interests to allow Assad to kill what we know to be Al Qaeda avowed terrorists; however, it would side track the primary argument that our idea of “help” means we will kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
Just as our “help” in Iraq led to the death of over a million Iraqis in order to “liberate” them from oppression, I have the strong feeling that our “help” in Syria will lead to the deaths of over one hundred thousand Syrians. Considering this, it is hard to square the logic of how killing a hundred thousand more Syrians equates in any way to improving their life. In fact, one would have to use the insane Iraq logic that destroying the nation’s infrastructure and killing a million people was the right thing to do to “help” the Iraqis. Now I am pretty sure that most Iraqis would disagree that the US helped them, but then that wouldn’t make for good propaganda being generated by the White House, which its zombie mass media outlets parrot without so much as a thought.
Understanding that our “help” is anything but actual help allows one to understand the real mechanisms at work. Supporting Syria to “stop the bloodshed” will turn out to be the exact opposite, but that’s okay because most Americans have proved to be mindless lemmings and will believe whatever the savior Obama tells them. In the end, this will lead to a costly war that will bankrupt the US and kill untold numbers of people across the Middle East all while bringing about no peace. Only the bankers that financed the war and the military-industrial complex that supplied it will profit from this foolish endeavor. Even Israel, which has demanded this war with all of its lobbying might, will find that it will not like what it ordered. If you are dumb enough to actually believe this looming war with Syria and Iran (and perhaps Russia and China) is in our best interests, please do everyone a favor and volunteer for service with the infantry on the front lines and remain far from policy work.
By Guiles Hendrik
August 26, 2013
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News of US Special Forces and CIA paramilitary officers entering Syria leading proxy fighters began to trickle out around August 23, 2013. Naturally, the US is denying these reports, but as with Libya, it will only be a short matter of time before photos of US military forces leading rebels in combat begin to surface on the web. This means that it will only be a short amount of time before American bombs begin to drop on Syria. Just as in Libya, these ground troops will be the leading edge of full scale US military involvement in Syria and will act as forward air controllers for air strikes. Make no mistake; the US has now entered overtly into the Syrian Civil War allied with Islamic extremists loyal to Al Qaeda.
Contrary to what the Pentagon and White House are admitting, the information has been available for some time that we planned all along to enter the war against Syria just as we have reported.
In July the Los Angeles Times reported that the Central Intelligence Agency and US special forces have been training Syrian rebels at a new US base in the desert in southwest Jordan since November 2012. One such US covert training session, conducted by American, Jordanian, and French, has allegedly been taking place in Jordan for the last month or so, the newspaper cited Brig. Gen. Yahya Bittar, the head of intelligence for the Free Syrian Army. The training covers the use of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons and has been carried out at bases in Turkey as well, the newspaper reported. This training is not being done for fun, but because the US fully intended to lead these rebels into battle at least a year before any false pretext (use of chemical weapons) was created to justify the US entrance into the war.
Further, last month, the Pentagon said that F-16 jet fighters and a Patriot missile battery deployed to Jordan for the “Eager Lion” military exercise that ended weeks ago would remain in the desert country. Again, the US did not keep these advanced weapon systems in Jordan because it didn’t feel like moving them back to the US. Instead, just as our analysts predicted, the US has from the beginning intended to launch a full scale attack against Syria and only delayed to allow the rebels time to do the bulk of the fighting and generate propaganda (use of chemical weapons) that could be used as a false pretext to justify the US entrance into the war.
What is clear is that the US and some key allies have been building up for a war with Syria and training a proxy army in neighboring countries for at least a year. This sets that actually planning and execution of this operation “years” prior to the current date. This is long before any actual pretext to justify US involvement materialized and is demonstrative of how the US all along has planned to enter the war under false pretenses whether or not real cause existed. This war is as phony, illegal, unconstitutional, and unnecessary as the Iraq War and will be far more costly since it ultimately aims to destroy not just Syria, but specifically, Iran. Considering this, one would be well justified in calling into question the faux chemical attack pretexts now circulating and being used as grounds for overt US military action. Further, it is of no irony that the very same countries (US, France, United Kingdom, Israel, etc.) that have been training and covertly supporting this war against Syria for years are the same countries that immediately “confirmed” that the most recent alleged chemical weapons attack was launched by the Syrian government. It should then come as no surprise these countries are racing to “take action” before any real investigation of the alleged attack and verifiable, “independent,” conclusions can be reached.
Washington and Tel Aviv are acutely aware that they are running out of time to execute their war plan against Iran. Their terrorist proxies in Syria were never supposed to “lose” and now the US has had to create a false pretext to overtly enter the war to save their rebel army from total defeat while Iran continues to expand its nuclear programs. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu knows he is almost out of time if he wishes to destroy the Iranian nuclear program. As such, he is willing to do nearly anything to force the US into fighting another disastrous war on behalf of Israel. If our analysts are correct, there is a reasonable chance that full scale regional war will break out in the Middle East between the US, Syria, and Iran before winter. It is of absolute necessity that all of our readers contact their elected officials immediately and demand a complete exit from actions in Syria and that no war with Iran will be fought.
By Guiles Hendrik
August 26, 2013
All rights reserved.
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On June 13, 2013, President Obama announced authorization for the arming of the Syrian rebels last week amidst a string of growing scandals rocking the White House. President Obama’s action authorized without congressional debate or public justification the United States’ entry into another war. Not only has the US now picked a side in a bloody civil war where both sides are hostile to the US, but committed the US to a war in a country where the US has little national interest. At best, this action is constitutionally unsound and a gross abuse of the powers prescribed to the Commander-in-Chief. At worst, this is an illegal war that will ultimately result in the single greatest foreign policy disaster of Obama’s administration to date and bankrupt the US.
Contrary to the Administration’s claims, the only security threat Syria poses to the US will be the one we create by arming Al Qaeda affiliated rebel groups that openly espouse destruction to the US and Israel. The White House rationale for this undeclared and unnecessary war was that President Assad used chemical weapons. In the midst of growing public scandals, does President Obama’s hypocrisy know no end? First, it was then Senator Obama that openly attacked the Bush administration’s entry into what he deemed an illegal war in Iraq on fabricated intelligence even though the international community did believe Saddam Hussein still possessed weapons of mass destruction. Yet now, President Obama wants the US to enter another war in the Middle East again on very dubious claims of chemical weapons and when no good argument for US interests exist. Not only is Obama’s “intelligence” on chemical weapons suspect, but the investigations done by the United Nations, which are available for public scrutiny conclude that “if” chemical weapons were used, they were used by the “rebels” and NOT Assad’s forces. This glaring contradiction to the Administration’s official spin was dismissed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. The White House departure from its long history of walking in lock step with the U.N. is certainly telling. The problem this time is even the Washington Post which, known for its overt support of liberal policy and President Obama, called the Administration’s claims into question. In the Post’s article it states; “Despite months of laboratory testing and scrutiny by top U.S. scientists, the Obama administration’s case for arming Syria’s rebels rests on unverifiable claims that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people, according to diplomats and experts.” It goes on to say, “If you are the opposition and you hear” that the White House has drawn a red line on the use of nerve agents, then “you have an interest in giving the impression that some chemical weapons have been used,” said Rolf Ekeus, a Swedish scientist who headed up U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq during the 1990s.
Things are sounding an awful lot like the Bush-era false war propaganda about Iraqi chemical weapons with a touch of President Clinton’s policy of bombing “terrorist” targets at the height of the Monica Lewinsky Scandal. Hopefully, the American people have finally learned their lesson and will demand to see the actual evidence and be given a legitimate reason why war is “necessary” this time, what our strategy is, and what is the desired end state.
One need not be a fortune-teller to foresee how U.S. involvement in Syria will go down as one of America’s greatest foreign policy disasters. After being defeated in Iraq and now Afghanistan, the U.S. should have learned a few lessons about the folly of interventionist policy. In the least, it should not be committing the U.S. to another war before it has at least finished its fight in Afghanistan. In this regard, the hubris of the Obama Administration in this regard is staggering. Now, not only has the U.S. entered a war against a nation, but it has entered a sectarian war between Shia and Sunnis that has split Islam since the seventh century. This war extends far beyond Syria’s borders and is engulfing the entire Muslim world.
Currently, approximately 1,100 Marines and possibly up to a few thousand “advisors,” are in Jordan. This is in addition to a small cadre of Special Forces and CIA case officers working closely with rebel elements in and out of Syria. Further, U.S. forces are positioned to the north of Syria in Turkey and have been clandestinely supporting rebel training camps, NATO airbases, and air defense facilities. As Washington’s plan to arm the rebels fails to save their strategy to overthrow Assad, Obama will be forced to increase American intervention. This will likely involve the implementation of a “no-fly zone” and will be the next step towards a hot war with Syria and Iran.
Obama is no doubt in a dilemma. He foolishly thought the he could use proxies to topple Assad in order to destroy Iran’s fifth column in the preliminary phases of the ongoing cold war with Iran. The failure of the rebels means Washington must either face humiliation as its policy to remove Assad collapses or now openly enter into a war on the side of rebels previously known as terrorists, insurgents, and jihadists. Obama has doubled down on the rebels. Of the rebel forces, Jordanian intelligence estimates upwards of 80% of their combat power and front line fighters are jihadists that have avowed the destruction of both the US and Israel. In fact, even US allies in the Middle East have openly called into contention the notion the CIA can distribute advanced military weapons only to secular Sunni rebel forces in Syria. Supporting this skepticism is the fact the most powerful element within the Syrian rebel force is the al-Nusrah Front, which is allied to al-Qaeda. As such, the thought that the US can arm these jihadists turned rebels and not directly endanger American lives is so foolish; the mere suggestion is an absolute bald face lie. Therefore, the sudden policy shift and use of the chemical weapons rationale to arm the rebels exposes the true nature of Washington’s intent to use Syria as a stepping stone toward an ultimate showdown with Iran. As Obama’s administration is forced toward war with Iran by special interests, he will now have to demonstrate greater and greater involvement.
Moving forward, the US now owns the civil war in Syria. Obama has joined forces with known Al Qaeda terrorists to fight an equally nasty dictator. Neither of which support US interests. The newly armed and resurgent rebels will not hesitate to attack US interests at the first opportunity. American’s will die because of this policy disaster. Washington and by default, the American people, will now be blamed every time the rebels commit an atrocity. These Sunni extremists are the same brand that attacked the US on 9/11 and there is no reason to expect them to act any differently in the future. We are indeed creating our own enemies.
The violence has now fully spilled over into a regional conflict. Hezbollah in Lebanon has now committed fully to the war. Iran has committed to support Assad as well and has sent thousands of troops to support Assad’s military. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are sending billions in arms and equipment. Turkey’s streets are on fire with protests. Egypt is now warning of outright civil war. Israel is on high alert and dealing with daily cross border fire from the conflict in Syria. Iraq is now fully re-engulfed with sectarian violence as we previously warned would occur.
How President Obama believes that any good for the US can come of providing US military weapons and equipment to a motley collection of known terrorists, international jihadists, and Sunni extremists is beyond rational logic. No matter how the conflict ends in Syria, the party that takes or retains power will be openly hostile to the US. Not only are our analysts predicting greater bloodshed, but we now see all of the signs of a full-blown regional conflict that has the potential to rapidly draw the US back into a full-scale disastrous war that will likely be the final blow to America’s global economic and political dominance.
By Guiles Hendrik
June 26, 2013
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The Syrian Civil War is poised to explode into full scale sectarian violence that will engulf the region as a global proxy war is played out on Syrian soil. Recent news reports cite Iraqi Shia fighters trained by Iran have been joining ranks with Hezbollah militants in Syria. These combined forces are supporting Syrian President Assad’s legitimate government forces against a Syrian rebel army that is comprised mainly of Sunni Muslims. Like the Syrian government’s forces, the rebel army is also comprised of a large contingent of foreign fighters. As we have repeatedly warned, the vanguard rebel fighters are Sunni extremists from around the globe, which include a large contingent of Sunni Iraqis and others waging global jihad. These rebel fighters have sworn allegiance to Al Qaeda, support the Muslim Brotherhood, and have announced that when they are done fighting in Syria, the USA will be next. As such, one would think the US would want to see President Assad prevail. Ironically, though, this is not the case. This article will review the regional and global competitors in this conflict and why the US is worried Assad will defeat the Al Qaeda led rebels.
At the regional level, as discussed in part above, a Shia versus Sunni war has developed in the Middle East and Syria is ground zero. On the rebel side you have countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia sending large sums of money to finance the rebel army while they look the other way when their citizens leave their country to wage jihad in Syria. Jordan and Turkey are actively providing training facilities and logistical support to the rebel armies. Iraq’s population is split down sectarian lines in its support of the rebels. The US, Israel, and EU have all aligned against President Assad and have covertly been supporting the rebels by procuring weapons and medical equipment, was well as providing training and intelligence. Finally, you have countries from around the world like Chechnya and Libya whose citizens have flocked to Syria to fight with the rebels. These jihadists once united in combat become infinitely more radicalized, better trained and equipped, and very well organized. Ultimately, they become very dangerous terrorists that will attack the US and their former host countries. This same pattern played out during the Soviet War in Afghanistan where a little known Saudi named Osama bin Laden began financing jihadists and organizing what became known as Al Qaeda.
Opposing this rebel jihadist army are equally dedicated Shia fighters. This includes Iraqi Shia and perhaps Kurds and Lebanese based Hezbollah fighters. Hezbollah is backed by weapons and money from Iran. Specifically, Iran has provided state level support to Syria, which includes weapons, advisors, and most likely fighters. However, it is Russia that is ultimately President Assad’s most powerful and persuasive supporter. Russian President Putin has to date successfully prevented the US, Israel, and the EU from directly attacking Syria and has been providing advanced weapons systems to Syria.
Based on the nationality and religious allegiance of the fighters in Syria, one can clearly see how the entire Middle East is represented and could be pulled into the Syrian conflict. As we have previously reported, Iraq, the central lynchpin of the Middle East, is being ripped apart by this conflict. Sectarian violence has reemerged with a vengeance across Iraq as happened during their previous civil war and the one now raging in Syria will metastasize into one giant regional Sunni-Shia showdown. If President Assad is not successful in routing the Sunni jihadists, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia will without doubt become the next targets of this growing terrorist army. Make no mistake, this is a fight for keeps and the winner takes all. Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has stated publicly that the group’s existence depends on defeating the Sunni rebel army against Assad. “Hezbollah is fully engaged in the battlefield. And this is a major shift. It’s no longer them trying to protect villages along the border in Lebanon; it’s waging battle alongside the Syrian government forces … willing to sustain casualties and shoulder the consequences,” said Fawaz Gerges, director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics.
At the global level, Russia has moved naval forces into the region not seen since the height of the Cold War. The Russian show of force includes various warships and submarines armed with nuclear weapons. Russia is no doubt signaling to the US that it is not willing to accept a loss of its only warm water port in Syria and will back its most trusted regional ally. The EU wants a pipeline from Qatar to break the Russian monopoly on European energy supplies, so has at least tacitly thrown its support behind the rebels. China sees the US as a threat and realizes that another US war in the region will further weaken Washington. As such, China is positioning itself to exploit the chaos at the expense of the US. This includes making deals with both sides all while staying out of the fight.
However, the US has been the driving force behind the civil war that has led to the deaths of over 80,000 people. To accomplish this, the US has been covertly organizing, training, equipping, and advising the rebel forces from Jordan, Turkey, and now Syria proper. Per our previous reports, factions within the US are determined to attack Iran and recognize Syria as a critical stepping stone in achieving this war. As the war plan goes, Syria and Hezbollah must be taken out first to insulate Israel from counter attacks. When Syria and Hezbollah are seen as sufficiently degraded, a pretext would be used to launch an overt military strike on Iran, which would include using an air corridor opened through eastern Syria. However, this could not be achieved through a direct attack by the US, which would polarize the world against the US and be seen even by Americans as too egregious, so proxies were chosen to do the dirty work as per Cold War unconventional war doctrine. This plan has been implemented to assuage Israeli fears of the US doing nothing about a nuclear Iran in hopes of at least delaying Israel from striking Iran and sucking the US into a disastrous war. Ironically, it will make the situation far worse for the US and Israel. Nonetheless, the US has responded by moving its own naval forces into the region. The US has stationed an aircraft carrier battle group in the Mediterranean and recently deployed approximately 1100 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit into Jordan where they will meet up with Special Forces and other US military units already on the ground. This deployment is using the cover of being a routine annual military exercise with Jordan codenamed, Operation Infinite Moonlight. Further, in Turkey, the US has positioned Patriot II air defense missiles and set up CIA supported training camps for rebel fighters while threatening greater NATO escalation should Syria try to fight back. Finally, Israel has repeatedly provoked and flagrantly violated Syria’s sovereignty by launching repeated air strikes against various targets throughout Syria.
The combined Syrian government forces are winning against all the covert efforts of Washington and this scares the White House. In fact, the Syrian Army is now poised to launch a large scale counteroffensive around Damascus designed to route rebel forces and drive them out of the suburbs. “Planes are dropping off fully armed fighters from Hezbollah and the Iraqi Fadl Brigades,” said opposition activist Abu Yasser. Hezbollah is a Lebanon-based terrorist group and the Fadl Brigades are Iranian-trained Shiite Muslim militants from Iraq. According to USA Today, both groups are likely destined for the fight in al-Qusayr, a town near the Lebanese border that is at the center of the rebels’ supply routes for ammo and fighters, Yasser said. What one must understand from this is that Syria has now become the battleground for a proxy war being waged by regional and global competitors and Washington’s rebel army is not winning. This likely means the White House will need to execute more overt and risky interventionist strategies to bring about the desired rebel victory. The rationale is that failure for Washington to engineer a rebel victory will force a complete recalculation of the Iranian War Plan.
If Washington’s proxy army in Syria loses, the US will be forced to enter the war directly. To do this, Washington must engineer a situation that forces unilateral military action in Syria, which the American people are firmly against. This overt action will not only cause a violent regional response, but also trigger a Russian response. Even a limited Russian response such as providing increased military support to the Syrian army will make any US efforts incredibly costly if not futile. Already, repeated staged crises have failed to pull the American public behind any intervention. These attempts include Turkey trying to invoke a NATO response after provoking Syrian air defenses to shoot down a Turkish military jet violating its airspace and blaming the Syrian army for what likely was rebel mortar fire into Turkey. Further, Assad was blamed for using chemical weapons against the rebels until the truth came out that it was in fact the rebels that had used the chemical weapons. Other blatant propaganda such as staging and doctoring photos of the injured and dead have also failed to convince the average American that they have joint interests in Syria. As a result, the US and EU will likely begin massive covert arming of the rebels, which may or may not turn the tide of battle, but will certainly lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of people. If this too fails, Israel will likely demand direct US action in Syria or launch its own attack on Iran. This will be a choice of two evils. Both will ultimately be too costly for the US, which has painted itself into a corner. If the rebels win, Muslim extremists will control a large military with advance weapons on Israel’s border, which will destabilize the entire region and threaten the US. If the rebels lose, Iran will be firmly established as a regional player on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons capability.
Washington’s interventionist policies have created a situation where the US is in a lose-lose situation. Israeli interests have hijacked US foreign policy for the worst leading either to a disastrous war with Iran or the rise of extremist Muslim nations. In conclusion, we have passed a point in the Syrian Civil War where we could have cut our losses. Instead, we doubled down and are now in a position that virtually assures the US will be drawn into another costly war before the end of 2013.
By Guiles Hendrik
June 11, 2013
All rights reserved
The national dialogue and media coverage of the Obama Administration has markedly changed toward the negative over the last two weeks. Revelations from unimpeachable witnesses about the lies and political cover-up of the Benghazi terrorist attack have led the headlines. Now, just this week, a second scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service illegally and unconstitutionally targeting conservative and Jewish groups has broken open. This scandal is pure state sponsored intimidation of political enemies and must be dealt with by the courts. Simply firing or admonishing IRS employees will not suffice a scandal that appears likely to go right to the top. These scandals are serious and could lead to impeachment of President Obama. However, scandals involving the Administration are not new. For example, the public is still awaiting answers to the “Fast and Furious” scandal. What is different this time is that the media is not giving President Obama a free pass. Instead, the media appears to be asking the hard questions for the first time and President Obama is running for cover.
To understand the mechanics of what is at work, one must understand the media. Generally speaking, in today’s media world, reporters simply get the sound bites producers and senior editorial staff direct. Reporters simply don’t run with their own stories and leads anymore. The headlines are all generated behind the scenes by management. Further, it is fair to say that President Obama still enjoys an almost cult like following and support from within the media, which tends to be very liberal and progressive. This liberal media pool has not changed their overtly biased allegiance to President Obama. Instead, senior management in the Soros-Murdoch media monopoly has made a decision to put very real pressure on the Obama Administration. Thus, the question is why have Soros and Murdoch decided to give orders to reign in President Obama. Clearly, the Obama Administration has acted or failed to act in a way that pleases its financiers.
This pattern of sabotaging presidents during their second term of office is pronounced. Recent presidents Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama have all suffered during their second term. Debate continues on why administration destroying scandals seem to surface during second terms, but it is arguable that the presidents became a bit too independent in their actions and establishment elites brought them down. Further, President Obama, like all politicians, likely made many promises in the run up to a close election to ensure his re-election win and now has not made good on them. In short, wealthy financiers of the politicians expected certain returns and when they did not get them, they pulled the plug on their support.
In the case of President Obama, it appears that his inaction respective of Iran has enraged special interests that have long sought a war with Iran. Specifically, it is likely President Obama made a secret agreement with the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu to hold off attacking Iran so as not to jeopardize his re-election. Now Israel wants action and President Obama has not lived up to his promises. As such, Israel, its powerful lobby, and its expatriates in control of media empires (Soros and Murdoch) have decided to put some real hit on the Obama Administration to remind it who is calling the shots. The increasing pressure mounting on President Obama creates an extremely dangerous situation. Most likely, this will end with either President Obama creating a diversionary situation much like President Clinton’s infamous launching of missiles during the height of the Lewinsky Scandal or acquiescing to Israeli demands. The latter is far more dangerous for U.S. interests and security. Only time will tell how this will play out, but for certain, something treacherous is amiss behind the scenes causing the sudden turn of events for the White House.
To better understand why the media has now turned on President Obama it is important to pay attention to how key events have unfolded since just before the election.
- August 21, 2012: President Obama gives a speech and announces that use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Assad would be a “red line” and change his calculus. President Obama signaled to Israel that it would attack Syria and Iran if Israel was threatened. http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/20/world/meast/syria-unrest
- September 27, 2012: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu draws his famous “red line” on a bomb during his U.N. address giving Iran “nine months” to halt its enrichment activity or Israel would strike if the U.S. did not. Nine months places Israel’s time period for an attack squarely in the May-June 2013 timeframe. This was understood as Israel announcing it would NOT attack Iran before the November presidential election in the U.S. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/09/netanyahu-raises-with-red-line-obama-still-keeping-cards-close.html
- March 21, 2013: President Obama visited Israel for the first time as President. The understood reason for this visit was to reinforce US support for Israel against threats from Iran and Syria. Information on how the state visit went was limited, but many analysts believe Washington did not agree to the level of support and involvement Israel had hoped for.
- April 23, 2013: Israel accuses Syrian President Assad of using chemical weapons; specifically, sarin nerve gas, on the rebels. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/04/israel-accuses-syria-of-using-chemical-weapons-probably-sarin/
- U.S. does not act and White House mute on military action.
- May 4, 2013: Darrell Issa announces whistleblowers will testify on Benghazi, which reignites a scandal the Obama Administration had desperately tried to squash. The scandal had gone cold since its height at the end of 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/04/darrell-issa-benghazi_n_3215231.html
- May 5,, 2013: President Obama shifts the “red line” after “Israeli” reports of Syrian use of chemical weapons and Israel conducts airstrikes in Syria. This came after repeated attempts to indirectly and directly involve the U.S. “overtly” in the Syrian Civil War appeared to have failed. Instead of acting and involving the U.S. in Syria militarily, President Obama “softened” his redline and did not act. http://video.msnbc.msn.com/msnbc/51780717#51780717
- May 5, 2013: The United Nations contradicts Israel and provides strong evidence that it was the rebels and not the Syrian government forces that used chemical weapons. The impact of this report was that a decision to arm Syrian rebels was delayed. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/05/us-syria-crisis-un-idUSBRE94409Z20130505
- May 10, 2013: News begins to break of an Internal Revenue Service scandal that illegally targeted conservative and Jewish groups. Ironically, the issue was first brought up in March 2012 by Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., R-La, but no media attention was given to the issue until now. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/05/10/irs-apology-conservative-groups-2012-election/2149939/; http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/10/nation/la-na-irs-conservative-20130511
- May 13, 2013: The news continues to worsen as the scope of both the Benghazi and IRS scandals broadens and begins to directly implicate the White House. Congressmen and the media now begin to quietly talk of impeachment.
As the timeline demonstrates, promises were made with Israel that have not been met by President Obama. These failures to act on behalf of Israel correspond nicely with the increasing pressure on the White House and the total shift in even liberal media coverage. Although correlation does not equal causation, anyone that studies politics and understands the significance of dates and timing will quickly realize that war has quietly been declared on the White House. Why this war has been declared is up for debate.
By Guiles Hendrik
Senator “Chuck” Hagel’s Nomination for Secretary of Defense: Traitors Oppose Him Because He Told the Truth and Put America First!
What appears now to be President Obama’s imminent nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel has caused a firestorm of criticism from traitors in our midst. In particular, Senator Hagel is under attack because he was gutsy and honest enough to state an obvious fact about the disproportionate and decidedly negative influence various Israeli lobby groups exert over U.S. policy. Some may try to deny this fact, but I would submit that the mere fact that there is such uproar over this small statement made years ago proves how disproportionately powerful this lobby continues to be. Then Senator Hagel didn’t stop there and was brazen enough to also boldly state that U.S. interests should come first and that he swore an oath to the Constitution! How dare he put the U.S. first and swear allegiance to the Constitution and want to follow the rule of law! On second thought, how dare any American criticize him for taking that stand!
Let’s separate fact from fiction. Senator Hagel in my book is far from a perfect candidate for the position of Secretary of Defense, but the man has a lot going for him. For starters, he is a self-made millionaire and understands business. The Department of Defense is the world’s largest bureaucracy so we need a good manager to rein it in. Mr. Hagel has also openly made comments suggesting he recognizes that the interests and security of the U.S. should be placed ahead of other nations’ interests and that he recognizes the U.S. Constitution as the supreme law of the land. This too IS a good thing for America! However, if you happen to believe that the best interests of a foreign nation should supersede those of the U.S. and you are not a foreign national, then you need to disclose yourself as an agent of a foreign government to the F.B.I. and the American public before suggesting Mr. Hagel is a bad guy for taking the side of the country he is sworn to protect.
Second, Mr. Hagel seems to recognize that the Constitution is an important and valid document. This is a vast improvement from his predecessors, which under Congressional Testimony seem to forget that the Constitution exclusively gives the power to declare war to the legislative branch of government (Congress). Both Panetta and Gates, when questioned directly by Congress on this subject, testified to the point that the authority to commit U.S. troops to war lie not with Congress, but the international community, whatever that is. What it isn’t though is Constitutional. Further, in the context of Hagel’s statements against the Patriot Act and then President George Bush’s constant push for the war in Iraq, it was quite clear that he was drawing a distinction between party politics and the best interests of a free nation. Again, this is commendable. Finally, Mr. Hagel voted in favor of Senate Amendment 2022, restoring habeas corpus, the right to due process, to American citizens detained at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, but voted against a similar resolution restoring it to non-U.S. prisoners detained at Guantanamo. This demonstrates Mr. Hagel understands that U.S. citizens have certain unalienable rights granted by the Constitution and are materially different than foreign combatants. The need to have a Secretary of Defense with this type of legal and ethical compass is even more important now after President Obama just signed into law the latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which effectively suspends habeas corpus and allows American citizens to be captured and indefinitely detained even while inside of the U.S. This latest law is draconian and the epitome of tyranny. Mr. Hagel may be one of the few that could achieve appointment while still imparting some balance.
Third, the man actually served in the U.S. military, has seen “ground” combat in Vietnam, and earned two purple hearts. Any one of these would clearly set him apart from his peers, but combined, suggests Mr. Hagel recognizes the dangers of useless wars with no winning strategy or end. His criticisms of the War in Iraq demonstrated that not only did he see Iraq for the massive waste of life and resources it was, but also was willing to stand up and say something about it when the rest of his Senate peers quietly walked in lockstep with the Republican Party. I for one believe anyone acting in the position of Secretary of Defense should know firsthand what it is like to be in combat, risk your life, and be put in a position where you must take the life of others. No text book, degree, or amount of empathy can replace the raw horror of war. As such, no one that hasn’t actually experienced war can truly appreciate what our troops are asked to do and properly formulate Department of Defense policy.
If not enough, Mr. Hagel serves on President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board. This is a senior position with access to highly classified information and is central to the development of security and defense policy at the Presidential level. As such, Mr. Hagel is in the know. What is funny is that he is criticized for his “soft” position on Iran, when he is one of the people who would be in the exact position to understand exactly what the U.S. is doing in respect to Iran, how well it has worked, and what the actual versus publicized threat of Iran really is to U.S. national security. Further, he would also be acutely aware of the degree to which countries like Israel have lobbied to inject their interests into our policy with respect to Iran and whether or not this was in the best interests of the U.S. Knowing all of this information, Mr. Hagel has come out against “hard” policies toward Iran as counter-productive and particularly against sanctions. Mr. Hagel was correct in his policy prescription toward Iran in part because he is privy to information most readers honestly are not. Second, specific to his opposition to sanctions, he was again correct in his policy prescription. Sanctions haven’t worked against Iran and have only complicated our negotiations, made life very difficult for the average Iranian, and bolstered the regimes propaganda that Iran’s ills are being caused by America. Finally, Mr. Hagel speaks first hand regarding the intimidation the Israeli lobby wields over U.S. policy makers. Note, Mr. Hagel’s statements regarding Israel never suggest he didn’t believe that Israel was a U.S. ally or that the U.S. and Israel would not continue to support each other. Mr. Hagel only stated that U.S. interests must come first. This clear state of mind and understanding of his responsibilities to “our” nation is of the utmost importance and I applaud him for telling the truth. If anything, one should be demanding why the media hasn’t raised such a cry for those nominees and candidates that haven’t taken such stances and seem to put America last. This is the real story of a seditious media that lacks any real accountability and has a clear bias against “U.S.” interests in its reporting.
No nominee is perfect and this is true with Mr. Hagel. Although, I would like to see other nominees and do believe based on the above Mr. Hagel is a better choice for Secretary of Defense than other potential candidates, he does have critical flaws. Specifically, even though he has voiced support for the Constitution, which today is exceedingly rare amongst politicians, he did support the Patriot Act after initially voting against it. He also voted for FISA, which among other classified powers, gave wide surveillance and warrantless wiretapping authority to the government. I believe the damage the Patriot Act and FISA have done to the freedom, liberty, and privacy of citizens is egregious and is difficult to reconcile with anyone truly respective of civil liberties and the Constitution. Perhaps the only defense of Mr. Hagel on these issues is that the most invasive spying, surveillance, and detention policies these acts proscribe were only written into law and passed after he left office. All considered, under the circumstances Mr. Hagel is likely the best nominee free Americans can hope for from this Administration, but the buyer should beware.
By Guiles Hendrik
The US Government and mass media would like the public to believe that Syrian President Assad is a threat worth committing US forces to war. However, it is in fact the US Government that has recklessly endangered the security and safety of millions of lives. This will include the lives of not just Syrians, but Israelis, Europeans, and Americans. In what may prove to be one of the greatest foreign policy disasters, the US has not only allowed known Al Qaeda terrorists to capture and take control of one of the largest Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles, but actively aided it in doing so. Contrary to the media threats and warnings about President Assad using chemical weapons, it is in fact the US backed Al Qaeda terrorists that pose, by far, the greatest threat to US interests.
The US is directly responsible for fomenting the chaos and bloodshed in Syria by covertly backing known Al Qaeda terrorists in a bid to overthrow President Assad. This same playbook was used in Libya resulting in the disastrous proliferation of over 20,000 manportable surface-to-air missiles that have yet to be recovered and the spread of Al Qaeda to Libya. By “backing,” one should recognize this includes providing weapons, equipment, training, medical aid, facilities, money, intelligence, and advisors to known terrorists. Initially, this unconventional warfare was being carried out from across the border in Turkey and Jordan, but now is being actively waged on the ground inside Syria. As we have repeatedly warned, the conflict in Syria has always been and is still aimed at creating the conditions necessary to expand the endless wars in the Middle East to Iran. In fact, the initial targets that the “rebels” targeted in exchange for US support were Syrian air defense installations. The seizure and destruction of these air defense facilities laid the groundwork for opening an air corridor from Israel directly into Iran once the next phase of the US engineered conflict is entered.
Most worrisome is the fact that known Al Qaeda terrorists now have chemical and possibly biological weapons under their control as a direct result of US support. The threat this poses to America is massive. Those responsible for allowing this have committed the gravest of dereliction in their responsibilities and duties to protect America. This situation nearly guarantees that at least one of the belligerents in Syria will use a weapon of mass destruction and will provide the long sought pretext for US intervention and a greater war with Iran. No matter who the weapons are used against, the result will be spun to support the “necessity for military action.”
For perspective, consider if a citizen actively aided terrorists in acquiring chemical weapons. That person would not only be treated as a terrorist, but likely targeted and executed in a drone strike without due process. However, when our political leaders acting in secret for dubious special interests commit the same traitorous acts, we are told that they are heroes and their aims are in our best interests. It is time for the public to demand answers and accountability. Please write your elected individuals, press, and collectively organize to put an end to this treasonous policy.
Continuing with our exclusive reporting of the secret preparations for a war with Iran, Chinese news disclosed a joint military exercise in the Mediterranean Sea this week. Although the U.S. military downplayed the report as a scheduled annual exercise to improve search and rescue coordination for humanitarian operations, it included live fire of weapons and tests of the Aegis shipboard RADAR. Aegis plays a critical role in missile defense and its role in the drill seemed to be suspiciously absent from U.S. and Israel mass media news outlets. The Navy can make a case for their inclusion, but it appears that the exercise wasn’t for promoting “humanitarian” operations unless now doctrine dictates shooting down missiles and firing naval guns during the evacuation of refugees.
Notably absent this year from the joint exercise was Turkey. Understandably, relations between Israel and Turkey have not been good and makes for a legitimate reason for their failure to participate. However, the U.S. could have still conducted independent operations with the Turkish Navy and this was not the case.
We offer another explanation for this drill and Turkey’s absence. The U.S. and Israel don’t trust Turkey and were rehearsing operations in preparation for a war with Iran. They don’t want that information to “somehow” get back to Iran. NATO in particular has known for years that Turkey has been playing both sides in the escalating Iran conflict and according to many reports, has not only passed sensitive military secrets to Iran, but allowed Iran to move weapons and equipment through its airspace in support of Syria. Turkey’s questionable loyalties may have been the real reason operations excluded them this year. Further, the use of Aegis RADAR is a clear signal that this exercise was more about missile defense than humanitarian anything.
This article is one of a multi-part series on the immense folly of what appears to be an imminent war now with Iran. This article discusses the feasibility of a successful strike to stop Iran’s nuclear development. Naturally, if a nation is going to be led into another war, the public deserves in advance a vigorous debate on what it will take to accomplish the aims of the war. In previous exclusive articles, the Israeli offensive attack plan for Iran was exposed. In upcoming articles, the threat Iran actually presents will be debunked, the likely costs of an Iran War will be tallied, and alternative options to war will be presented.
Over a decade of continuous global wars should have shown Americans that there are no clean, quick, bloodless wars. American invasions of both Iraq and Afghanistan have led to hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded, trillions of dollars in debt, a virtual police state domestically, and anything but decisive and favorable ends to those wars. Yet, once again the United States sits on the edge of plunging head first into the dangerous waters of an even bigger war. War propaganda and poorly informed, but well spun rhetoric from the media, AIPAC lobbyists, and bought politicians would lead the public to believe a single strike or short lived military campaign against Iran would lead to a swift end of its alleged nuclear aspirations. Before American citizens and their shrinking capital are committed to another utterly disastrous war, the public deserves a fair accounting of the true situation from a military perspective on whether or not a military strike will achieve a decisive and favorable end for the United States.
To gain this understanding, it is essential to dismiss the rhetoric that a quick and bloodless campaign could achieve decisive results. Decisive results would require the military to achieve a permanent end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which most likely involves a concurrent regime change. This article will demonstrate that neither a decisive end to Iran’s nuclear capabilities nor a change in regime is even remotely likely or possible without a massive, long term, costly, and bloody war. The fact that decisive short term effects are neither possible nor expected should forewarn the reader that the military options respective of effecting U.S. strategic goals toward Iran are simply not viable. Short of an imminent threat to the United States homeland by a nuclear armed Iran, where a total war would both be necessary and justifiable, war will not solve this problem for America. As such, alternative, non-military options toward Iran must be sought.
Contemporary military history is an apt starting point for this analysis. American military disasters in both Iraq and Afghanistan simply do not justify any belief that the U.S. will be able to achieve decisive ends in Iran via a short surgical strike. For comparison, consider Iran’s neighbors Iraq and Afghanistan, which were far less militarily capable or technologically sophisticated when invaded. These two relatively weak countries have tied down the U.S. military for over a decade. To date, neither war has achieved decisive strategic ends favorable for the United States. Based on the significant expenditure of time, money, material, and lives spent to prosecute wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for a gain of nothing and loss of much, one must estimate that any future war with Iran would end up costing at least as much and likely significantly more than Iraq and Afghanistan. Even worse, the strategic planners and senior policy makers that left the U.S. military drifting aimlessly without real leadership or a winning strategy from the very outset are still occupying the halls of the Pentagon and government. Combined, it is difficult to conceive of a scenario short of a nuclear strike that would not lead to an even greater indecisive and costly war for the U.S. To be specific, neither regime change nor a permanent end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions will be achieved by a limited surgical strike. Iran is too big, too populous, too distributed, and too determined for a single limited strike to be effective.
Delving further into the viability of a military strategy respective of Iran, the timeline and details of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq provide even clearer evidence a strike won’t work or at least a more realistic view of the investment a war with Iran will require. The situation in Iraq is particularly telling. It began over two decades ago with Operations Desert Shield and Storm (The Gulf War), which were a massive coalition offensive using conventional military force numbers established for a war with the Soviet Union and a worldwide coalition. To put this in perspective, this war was begun before most of your young military recruits today were even alive! This war of limited objectives still required a massive military buildup, long term bombing campaigns, and then a massive land attack to achieve Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait. However, the Iraq war required another decade of lower level military operations enforcing embargoes and no fly zones that tied down immense military resources and then another full blown war to verifiably disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and remove Saddam Hussein. Even now, after more than 20 years, the U.S. is still embroiled in an Iraq; a country that is not permissive for Americans to walk without fear of murder on the streets, acts contrary to U.S. interests, and still may likely split into independent nations with Kurdistan being the most likely candidate to break away first. Iraq is not an anomaly as our tenuous and deteriorating situation in Afghanistan after a decade of war per the latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) assessed. Those that believe the hollow cheers from the Obama administration that Afghans have taken the lead and things are improving in Afghanistan should take a moment to speak with returning ground soldiers or intelligence analysts. The all know the game is over and the U.S. is leaving the country in defeat just as the Soviets did over two decades earlier. Still skeptical believers might also consider reading a recent GAO study on the condition of Afghanistan’s military and police forces to operate on their own. According to the GAO study, barely 10% of Afghanistan’s military and police forces are capable of operations. Of these, they still require advisors and support. When the U.S. leaves, they will not be able to rely on the other 90% of units not capable of operation. Also, consider that the Taliban have been operating just fine against the U.S. and NATO forces without advisors or support for over a ten years and are actually gaining, not losing ground. It does not take Napoleon to see how this conflict will end after the U.S. retreat. The Afghan forces are simply incapable of defeating the Taliban on their own and the nation will break back down into the civil war that was ongoing at the time of the U.S. invasion once America completes its retreat. Now again, consider that Iran is a much larger, more populous, and much more technologically sophisticated country than either Iraq or Afghanistan. One would have to be ignorant of reality to thing a short lived attack on Iran would work.
Iraq and Afghanistan also should have taught policy makers and military planners a thing or two about how a population could be expected to react to being attacked or invaded. Iran’s population that maintains pro-western leanings is not insignificant and concentrated in the urban centers of Iran. Iran and the United States pre-1979 had good relations and many Iranians have over the generations moved to the U.S. and become fine citizens serving in the military, intelligence, and commercial realms with distinction. However, no matter how “noble” our excuse for war this time will be, just as in Iraq and Afghanistan, the population will turn decidedly against the U.S. and rally around the current regime should any attack take place. To plan or believe differently is to totally disregard the most basic of human natures. Further, even Iran’s pro-Western population also happen to overwhelmingly support Iran’s nuclear ambitions making any U.S. plans for winning popular Iranian support for an attack near zero. To the east in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the U.S. has also witnessed a steadily growing anti-American sentiment that has coalesced around a still vigorous Taliban centered resistance. This coupled with the sustained combat casualties, increasing Taliban control of regions, and growing calls for the withdrawal of the occupiers throughout the country should make it clear Americans are persona non grata in the region and will leave in defeat. If a policy goal of the U.S. is to replace the current Iranian regime, an attack alone would be significantly counterproductive and actually bolster the Iranian regime. It is important to note the case for regime change in Iran is fundamentally different than the support provided to Libyan rebels after a full scale civil war had already broke out with sides pro-regime and anti-regime. Nonetheless, one need not debate the questionable benefits of supporting a rebel force, be it in Libya or Syria, comprised of Islamic extremists that have committed numerous atrocities and are still fighting amongst themselves with tons of extremely dangerous weapons left unaccounted for and now fueling insurgencies, terrorist actions, and conflicts from Nigeria to Turkey. This should illustrate that even in the “best” of cases; things don’t ever work out as planned with regime change. On this note, one should also consider how one could possibly secure all of Iran’s military weaponry without an occupation force. Imagine the effect of the proliferation of millions of weapons ranging from surface-to-air missile to chemical weapons on the region and world for decades to come.
The historical evidence is convincing enough that the U.S. will again fall into the trap of an indecisive quagmire if it initiates a war with Iran, but is alone not enough to close the case. Going beyond dismissing the rhetoric of the viability of a swift strike on Iran being feasible based on past experience, one should consider today’s specific military implications and hurdles. To begin, statements from those in the know, leaders of military and intelligence communities, think a military option against Iran is in short, a bad idea. These statements from both American and Israeli leaders regarding how bad the idea of war with Iran is range from “not feasible” to “stupid.” These leaders include former U.S. Secretaries of Defense, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, senior Israeli politicians, and even the former head of Mossad. They all say an attack is a bad idea and should be avoided.
In defense of the “surprise surgical strike” option, mislead and ill-informed people often point out how successful the surprise Israeli strikes on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility and Syria’s allegedly nuclear facility were and suggest this could be duplicated. The problem with this logic is that these operations are not even remotely comparable in scope, complexity, difficulty, and risk. For starters, Iran has an unknown number of nuclear related facilities spread across the entire country to ensure continuity of operations even after an expected attack. These sites range from major gas/oil fields and remote mountain facilities, to downtown Tehran. This means that any attack will cause significant collateral damage to both civilians and world petroleum production. An attack would also result in a major environmental disaster. Radioactive clouds of debris (fallout) would spread throughout the Persian Gulf region if sites like the nuclear fueled and operational reactor at Bushehr are hit. For those that doubt this, look at the elaborate precautions the Department of Energy has taken to fortify and defend U.S. nuclear facilities. This is necessary because very bad things happen when you bomb a fueled nuclear reactor…like meltdowns. Next, most of these sites are hardened facilities buried underneath mountains and are ringed by layers of air defense systems. Finally, any credible attack will obliterate Iran’s infrastructure. There is no doubt the damage and chaos this will cause will extend beyond Iran’s borders. One can expect it to include disruption to regional power generation, disruption of oil and gas deliveries necessary for industry in India and China, global economic failures, massive regional ethnic unrest and upheaval, millions of refugees, empowerment of even more extreme Sunni regimes taking power throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and massive proliferation of former state controlled weapon systems throughout the region and world.
Beyond the nuclear related facilities, Iranian deterrence and defense capabilities have evolved greatly over a decade of watching and learning from American follies and operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most visible is Iran’s mines that could be used to choke off the Straits of Hormuz. Supporting any mining operation is a large number of anti-ship missiles, fast attack boats, and naval attack aircraft. Much of this Iran has taken great effort to clandestinely emplace. Of course the U.S. military could mitigate and or destroy most of these capabilities, but it would require a massive sustained operation to first destroy Iran’s air defense systems and command and control nodes. This could take many months and will cost billions of dollars to speak nothing of the global economic fallout from a disruption in oil supplies…even if short term. Some will no doubt argue that our F-22 Raptors and Stealth bombers, to include drones, could penetrate Iran’s air defenses and successfully attack many of Iran’s nuclear sites. This is true, but is reckless in the fact it completely disregards Iran’s ability to counterattack, which would still be fully intact. Until Iran’s counter attack capabilities are neutralized, the ability to overcome its defensive systems is a moot point. This is especially true if the U.S. Navy is expected to quickly clear the Straits of Hormuz of mines and open it to oil shipments without significant naval losses. Any ship in the Straits or the Persian Gulf is within range of Iranian anti-ship missiles, which can be volley fired and overwhelm ship anti-missile defenses. It is hard to imagine the American public agreeing that a strike on Iran would be worth the loss of an aircraft carrier, but the risk is very real. Even if America used highly secretive and technical electronic warfare capabilities to neutralize or destroy Iranian electronic hardware in its air defense and missile systems, it is doubtful that they would be effective enough across all spectrums to not leave exploiting gaps. It will also require wide spread destruction of Iran’s electrical grid creating a massive humanitarian crisis.
Iran also maintains a large land army capable of attacking Americans and American interests in the region either directly or by surface to surface missiles. These missiles would no doubt inflict serious casualties on military installations in the region and could carry chemical or biological weapons as retaliation if Iran was hit by Israeli tactical nuclear weapons. Iran’s largest missiles are capable of reaching as far as Europe and anywhere in the Middle East so it is doubtful our missile defense systems, even as advanced as they have become, would stop every missile over this large area before it hit its target. Domestically, Iran has invested heavily in training and equipping what amounts to a very dispersed standing civilian guerilla army with a decentralized command structure to augment its active duty military forces in the event of invasion. These forces have been provided a host of nasty weapons that would inflict unsustainable casualties on American ground forces should an attack become an occupation of any Iranian soil. These weapons include a range of anti-armor weapons proven against Israel in the 2006 War in Lebanon that are capable of destroying American armor vehicles to include the vaunted MRAP trucks deployed to protect against roadside bombs and even main battle tanks. Specifically, these include modified rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) using tandem warheads and bombs designed to produce an explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), which cuts through armor like a hot knife through butter.
Iran also has the ability to massively increase its support to insurgent groups around the world to attack American interests. There is little the U.S. could do to stop this short of an occupation so the costs of this Iranian retaliation option must be calculated. Insurgent groups in Afghanistan will probably be the first to benefit from this. Iran’s 5th column, Hezbollah, is also prepared to cause havoc. In the event of an attack, Hezbollah is likely to bombard Israel with an array of rockets and carrying out terrorist style attacks against Americans and American interests globally. This would effectively open an entirely new front to the “War on Terror” with an organization that is much more capable and sophisticated than Al Qaeda, but to date, has only focused its attacks on Israel. The notable exception to this was when the U.S. attempted to militarily occupy Lebanon and take sides in an ugly civil war. The results of this American folly resulted in the Marine Barracks and the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon being bombed by Hezbollah linked militants and the U.S. forces retreating out of the country.
The above are just some of the known military capabilities Iran possesses, which it is likely to deploy in the event of an attack. However, Iran may have a number of other devastating secret weapons. One valid offensive capability Iran has demonstrated is the ability to launch a satellite into orbit. Given this ability, Iran also has the ability to detonate a weapon in orbit in close enough proximity to critical U.S. satellites that it could effectively destroy them with a debris field. Depending on the extent of these anti-satellite operations, Iran could inflict serious damage on not just the U.S., but global tele-communications, positioning, and reconnaissance capabilities. Iran also may have developed an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon. A strong EMP has the ability to destroy electronics by inducing a current that essentially burns out the micro chips and their miniature circuitry. Such a weapon would be impervious to our missile defenses and most likely disable many of them if used. Even worse, it would be capable of destroying much of the computerized oil pumping and distribution infrastructure in the region. This would cause an immediate global economic collapse, fuel shortages, and massive unrest abroad and domestically. Much more remote, but still possible would be for Iran to deploy and detonate an EMP over North America. If Iran was able to successfully accomplish this, life as we know it in America would cease and we would be thrown back into a literal dark age. Disturbingly, this possibility is actually feasible and within Iranian capabilities and has been briefed to Congressional members, policy makers, and the military.
Discussion of Israel on this matter has been intentionally minimal since it is critical to divest U.S. interests from Israeli interests. No matter how much propaganda is generated to the contrary, Israeli and American interests do not align in a mutually beneficial way. Those that believe they have a biblical obligation to start wars and die for Israel are welcome to renounce American citizenship, move to Israel, and join the Israel Defense Forces, which are hurting for quality recruits from even their own people, but please, please, leave the rest of us out of it. However, before embarking on a crusade, one should consider that the majority of Israeli Jews do not want a war with Iran and rightfully consider it bad for their country. Coming back to the issue at hand, the U.S. can’t hope to ignore the situation either. It is bad for the U.S to attack Iran, but even worse if Israel attacks Iran without coordinating with the U.S. Hoping to avert a war by pawning it off to Israel will not work. Israel will act and it will pull America into the war without an overt and radical policy shift to prevent both Iran and Israel from attacking each other. The notion that any initial attack by Israel would be a clearly attributable air attack that would provide the United States with the “option” to become involved is just not realistic. Any Israeli strategy that didn’t attempt to achieve U.S. entrance into the conflict as a primary goal is not consistent with Israeli doctrine, capabilities, or national strategy. Short of a plan reliant on U.S. entry, Israel would be pressed to use nuclear weapons against Iran if its initial attack did not achieve decisive effects, which in and of itself would be a global disaster. For this reason alone, the U.S. should act quickly and decisively to prevent either Iran or Israel from entering into war.
It is important to note the political effects of an attack as well. Whether or not Iran actually was seeking a nuclear weapon before any attack, and the releasable intelligence right now is clear that Iran is not, the case for a nuclear weapon after an attack as a defensive capability would be easily justified from an Iranian perspective. This incidentally would achieve the opposite of desired U.S. goals. Iran, like Iraq, would almost certainly close down its known nuclear operations to inspections making any further information regarding Iranian nuclear developments even more rare and unreliable. Further, Iran would likely withdraw from international treaties on nuclear weapons. To then attempt to force inspections and disclosure would, like in Iraq, involve further, sustained, and ultimately costly military operations over a massive area. Politically, Iran has not missed the fact that U.S. policy toward adversarial nations with a nuclear weapon such as North Korea and Pakistan is decidedly less hostile than against nations without a weapon such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Iran has also correctly identified that the American public’s appetite, military capability, and money for another decade long conflict of occupation and massive financial debt is simply not existent. The U.S. military is in a period of fiscal debt crisis and budget cutbacks. It is simply not capable of projecting the necessary force for any sustained period of time across what amounts to North and Central Africa, the entire Middle East, South West Asia, and the Pacific to include South Korea. Whether or not the U.S. decides to call Iran’s bluff will not change the ground truth inside the U.S. military that cutbacks to personnel coupled with current heavy overseas demands and an unfinished reset of the forces leaves the U.S. dangerously overextended. It also will not change the fact that a war could add another trillion dollars or more to the U.S. deficit, which is just not affordable.
Finally, an attack prior to clear cut evidence made available for public review that overwhelming proves Iran is developing a nuclear “weapon” with the “intent” and “ability” to “effectively” use it “offensively” against the “U.S.” would become a lightning rod for further domestic and international condemnation and resistance to any war. The abuse of the public trust in the run-up to the Iraq War has not been repaired. Through propaganda, hyped fear mongering, special interest lobbying, and false intelligence, claims of a continued Iraqi pursuit of weapons of mass destruction with the intent to pass them to terrorist organizations were used to justify a war against Iraq that would have never been justified on the grounds of regime change alone. The cost in dead, wounded, and dollars was too steep and shouldered by too few to follow this course again. The case being built against Iran has an all too familiar ring of a classic case of the boy that cried wolf. Thus, the case for war must be absolute and never again should the American public believe the government when it tells the public that you have to “trust” us because the evidence is “classified.” No, the U.S. government must present its full case to the public for analysis and debate before another war is begun.
Now, if anyone is still thinking that an attack on Iran is going to be easy, short, or bloodless, they are officially ignorant of the facts. Further, if one thinks a war with Iran will achieve the desired objectives, they probably also own ocean front real estate in Arizona or are being heavily subsidized by AIPAC and like lobbies. Only through a long term, sustained, and costly full scale war of attrition or a nuclear strike can the U.S. achieve the stated goals of regime change and destruction of Iranian nuclear capability development. In conclusion, allowing America to be led blindly into a war with Iran will prove to be the capstone foreign policy disaster of American history and may well be the event historians point to as what led to the collapse of our Republic.
Media and intelligence reports suggest war between Israel and Iran appears imminent within the coming months, but in fact, has already begun. Perhaps, this reality has been completely missed because the media convinced itself and the public the opening salvos for an Israeli attack on Iran would look like an air force bombing raid of Iranian nuclear installations. We have pointed out for years this air force centric battle plan has been a deception operation as a true bombing raid would be too likely to fail and not achieve decisive long term effects. Further, a limited Osirak type raid would leave the Israeli homeland completely vulnerable to organized and sustained retaliatory strikes. Contrary to how the ill-informed pundits thought this war would play out, Israel has a much better war plan to support “its interests” that is unfolding as you read this piece. Whether or not the United States willing joins the war will affect this battle plan and impact “how bad” it will be for the U.S. The best case would be an immediate move by Washington to decisively prevent war between Israel and Iran, but that seems highly unlikely now. As such, one must assume the U.S. maintains its current policy towards Iran and will attempt to stay on the sidelines “hoping” Israel won’t attack. Under those conditions, the following Israeli battle plan will likely be executed within the next 4-8 weeks.
The basic plan is as follows:
- Phase I: Prepare the populace and the military for war. Obtain needed intelligence of the battlefield and attempt to build war sentiment inside Israel and the U.S. Finalize acquisition of weapons systems and ordnance. Place the military on a war footing.
- Phase II: Reduce the near border threat and open a safe flight path to Iran. Using asymmetric means, degrade Hezbollah and Syria to a minimal threat incapable of sustained, coordinated, state level military operations. Attempt to leverage the presence of chemical and biological weapons as well as friction with Turkey, a NATO member, to draw the U.S. into the war early.
- Phase III: Launch a surprise false flag attack on Iran that appears to emanate from the Americans. The strike will include initially non-attributable electronic attacks, cyber warfare, and submarine launched missiles. Limited commando raids may also take place.
- Phase IV: Using the plausible deniability of who conducted the initial attack, leverage the Iranian confusion to bait them into attacking the U.S. and forcing America into the war if it hasn’t already joined.
*Note: If Iran responds discriminately only against Israel and the U.S. is not pulled into the conflict, this will be the signal for immediate, large scale follow-on attacks. This is necessary to mitigate the potential damage inside Israel from retaliatory strikes.
- Phase V: Bring war to rapid closure and hand-off the conflict to the U.S military within 30 days. If Iran continues to retaliate against Israel, Israel will respond with further massive missile strikes with follow-on strikes by the air force using manned and unmanned platforms. The Israeli military will relentlessly attack Iran to inflict maximum damage and casualties so as to force U.S. intervention and or the U.N. to broker a cease fire.
*Should Iran, Hezbollah, or Syria attempt to or actually retaliate using chemical or biological weapons, if Iran is able to heavily attack Israel successfully, or if Israel is unable to achieve its goals in the reduction of Iranian nuclear facilities, Israel plans to use nuclear weapons to achieve victory and protect its homeland.
To understand Israel’s actual battle plan formulation, one must first turn the chessboard around and understand Israel’s goals, perceptions, and capabilities in the manner Israeli decision makers see the pieces. Foremost in their minds has to be the preservation of the Jewish State. Any limited attack that achieved indecisive goals, but risked the homeland would not be suitable. Second, Israeli leadership, specifically, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, perceives Iran as an existential threat that must be destroyed at all costs. However, Netanyahu is clever and cunning enough to know better than getting into a fair fight with Iran.
Israel’s national capabilities, which relative to other Middle Eastern countries are immense, include a first rate military and renowned air force. Their navy has also made great strides and has spent a massive amount of money acquiring latest generation retrofitted German-diesel submarines capable of launching long range missiles. Respective of strategic weapons, Israel has what is believed to be a significant stockpile of nuclear weapons that could provide deterrent, first, and second strike options during a war. These nuclear weapons could be delivered by aircraft, drones, or missiles launched from the land, sea, or air. Further, Israel has demonstrated an advanced technological arsenal that includes electronic and cyber warfare capabilities, missile defense systems, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, and is a world leader in the design and production of drones and other autonomous systems. Nonetheless, Israel still has a very limited power projection capability beyond its shores. It also has limited natural resources, finances, and industrial capabilities. Perhaps most worrisome when assessing a war of attrition with Iran, Israel is acutely aware it has relatively limited land area and a small population. This means any successful deployment of Iranian weapons such as missiles and rockets are more likely to cause significant casualties and damage and quickly reduce the public will and support for a sustained. In short, Israel can’t domestically endure significant military damage and neither can its elected leaders. Netanyahu is keenly aware of the fate of former Prime Minister Olmert after the failed 2006 Lebanon War. Finally, Israel has a powerful international support base of wealthy elites and routinely demonstrates the significant power of its lobbying infrastructure to maneuver political will inside the United States.
Next, one must understand Iran’s capabilities in a similar manner. Iran’s regime is most afraid of losing power and inversely, is most concerned with maintaining power. Maintaining power, much like in other countries is predicated on polarizing the masses and using religion as a patriotic call to national defense. In Iran’s case, painting Israel and the U.S. as the enemy is a relatively easy case in light of the repeated wars on Muslim lands and peoples, three decades of crippling sanctions, assassination of its scientists, and repeatedly addressing Iran as an existential evil threat that must be destroyed. This demonization of Israel and the U.S. is woven intricately into the fiber of Iran and has no doubt radicalized much of its population. Iran has used this fervor to build up a substantial military that has grown more and more independent of foreign assistance and military hardware sales. This has been the result of adapting to decades of sanctions and has to some degree inoculated Iran from further effects of sanctions. Iran’s large population and land area make it more able to endure and absorb repeated attacks. Iran also has significant reserves of both oil and gas and enjoys the disproportionate political sway it gains by influencing the global economy. Regarding Iran’s military, it has a large pool of conscripts, a substandard air force, and inferior weapons technology. However, Iran has learned from the U.S. and Israeli wars over the last decade and has made itself a much more capable enemy. It has developed a dispersed, decentralized, civilian militia capable or harassing any occupying military endlessly. It has also developed robust anti-access technologies to include many anti-ship missiles, naval mines, small fast attack missile boats, significantly improved air defense systems, and surface to surface missiles with significantly improved targeting and range. Iran also maintains stockpiles of both chemical and biological weapons that could be used in retaliation for an attack. Most worrisome to Israel though is Iran’s development of a 5th column in Lebanon consisting of Hezbollah, which is reportedly to now be rearmed with hundreds of thousands of shorter range rockets and anti-tank weapons and a client state in Syria with a fully capable conventional military sitting on Israel’s border.
Using the above as a general framework to begin piecing together assumptions about an Israeli war plan, it should be clear that a prolonged war is not in Israel’s interests, an invasion or occupation of Iran would be impossible, and Israel can’t afford to endure prolonged attacks domestically. Defensively, although Israel’s missile defense systems could likely shield it from most long range Iranian missiles, it would likely be overwhelmed by a massive launch of rockets and missiles from Hezbollah. A Syrian supported front on Israel’s border would also open a fight bigger than Israel is willing to undertake and allow Iran to continuously resupply Hezbollah. Iran’s anti-access technologies are not much of a threat to Israel since Israel is located far beyond the range of these weapons, but Iran’s air defense system must be contended with if a manned strike is to be successful. Israel also can’t afford risking the possibility of an Iranian chemical or biological retaliation. As such, Hezbollah and Syria must be neutralized before any attack could take place to remove the immediate threat to Israel’s homeland and Iran’s retaliatory capabilities in respect to Israel must be eliminated. Israel must also seek out a plan that enables its piloted aircraft to successfully make round trip sorties to and from Iran. Note that how Iran’s response affects “Israel” in this calculus is not the same as how Iran’s response affects the “U.S.” This is an ominous observation for the U.S.
Moving forward and building out the attack plan, a basic order of operations can be established. First, the homeland must be prepared to endure retaliatory strikes and the military assets must be in place. This includes generating the propaganda and domestic support for a war as well as developing and procuring the proper military technology, equipment, and weapons. Jointly, diplomatic avenues must be exhausted and low-level covert war options must have had a chance to work. Finally, a thorough intelligence preparation of the battlefield must have been completed. Second, Hezbollah and Syria’s ability to jointly wage war on Iran’s behalf must be at least neutralized in a way to not spark an outright kinetic war with Iran. Israel cannot prosecute a war with Iran successfully without first eliminating this close border threat. Third, Iran must then be attacked violently by surprise in a total fashion that prevents any possibility of it being able to respond with missiles capable of striking Israel. Fourth, Israel must leverage this initial surprise attack to pull the U.S. into the war. This will be necessary to achieve more decisive long term effects on Iran’s nuclear development and minimal expense to Israel in manpower and money. Finally, Israel must bring the hostilities to a rapid closure. This means either handing off the sustained large scale campaign to the United States or prosecuting further attacks against Iran to increase the amount of damage done and forcing a peace treaty or ceasefire. This final phase could go as far as delivering a final decisive blow using nuclear weapons (or the threat of it to make sure the U.S. finishes their fight) if Iran has somehow managed to inflict severe damage on Israel proper.
Now that a clear order of operations has been established, it is a relatively simple process of plugging in Israel’s capabilities to their proper place and adding a dash of strategy and deception to achieve surprise. To be specific, this war plan has already been implemented and is under way. In fact, we are nearing the end of Phase II. The destabilization of Syria is the Phase II answer for how to take down Iran’s capabilities to threaten Israel at its border without immediately provoking a war. Rest assured, under no other lesser circumstances would Israel allow Sunni backed jihadists to overthrow Assad, a ruler that Israel has maintained an awkward détente with for years. This would be trading a tolerable for horrible. Phase II will now continue until Syria is assessed to have been rendered incapable of organized, state level, sustained military operations against Israel. The residual jihadists fighting amongst themselves like in Libya for power will be used as an excuse later to deal with Syria in totality after Iran is attacked and the U.S. is suckered into the war (assuming the U.S. can’t be suckered into the war sooner using Syria as a pretext). Still though, Israel doesn’t believe Hezbollah will be completely neutralized by this. Instead, they project that Hezbollah’s ability to sustain combat operations will be extremely degraded without Syria to funnel supplies and support from Iran to them, but still will have the ability to launch attacks for 3-4 weeks. To mitigate the residual threat from Hezbollah, Israel has implemented Iron Dome, an air defense system capable of shooting down rockets and missiles launched from Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon and Syria. Israel has also developed in-depth civilian preparedness programs to include alert systems, bunkers, drills, and rapid response capabilities to mitigate any damage from any attacks that are successful.
Phase III of the war is yet to begin, but will likely correlate with the neutralization of Syria before the fall elections in the U.S. This window is critical because Netanyahu knows that any strike before the election essentially forces President Obama to support it or risk losing the election. Obama has to pull votes of Southern Baptists and conservative Christians from Romney, and most importantly, must have Jewish support in the form of money and votes; especially, in a swing state like Florida, to win. Should Obama leave Israel hanging, it will open him up to massive attacks from the neo-conservative Zionist Romney as weak and not supportive. As such, Obama could be cornered into either actively taking part in a war or unwillingly being forced into Israel’s war. Both situations are catastrophic for the U.S., but good for Israel. If Netanyahu waits, he risks losing his opportunity to pull the U.S. into the war; especially, if Obama is reelected, which looks to be the case based on current polling numbers.
Phase III will begin the actual kinetic phase of operations against Iran. It will start with an unprecedented electronic attack that includes wide spread cyber-attacks, disinformation and deception operations, jamming, and potentially the used of targeted electronic pulse weapons to blind and destroy the situational awareness of Iran’s command and control elements. Nearly simultaneously, Israel will launch its largest missile attack in the nation’s history. It will include the full range of missiles launched from the air, ground, and sea. Jericho ballistic missiles with modified heavy payloads and submarine launched missiles will be some of the primary weapons used. Submarines will likely launch first. Israel has secretly poured billions of U.S. tax dollars into the development of its submarines and their launch capabilities. This has not been by accident. In fact, tracking the location of Israel’s submarines will be one of the best indicators for when Israel is about to strike. The U.S. should put a premium on shadowing these subs over any other submarine missions currently on-going. In fact, there is a reasonable argument that the U.S. should use whatever force is necessary to prevent Israeli subs from launching an attack due to the dire consequences it will have for America. Israel will also likely use a mix of attack drones to carry out some of the initial wave of attacks. Israel may also use an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon to destroy Iranian electronics and black out their grid. This could come in the form of a high altitude nuclear detonation.
Phase IV will be executed in parallel with Phase III and leverage the ambiguity and the violence of the initial phase of electronic warfare and submarine strikes to hopefully bait Iran into incorrectly assessing the attack as coming from the U.S. This is likely as it will be a very advanced attack, primarily submarine launched, and have no humans initially involved. This looks like a classic sterile American type attack and gives Israel plausible deniability while confusing the Iranian decision cycle. This false flag, deception operation is classic Israeli military doctrine and emblematic of Israel’s past military operations. If Iran perceives the attack to be from the U.S., its response is much more likely to be extreme in that it either does nothing and capitulates or retaliates broadly at American and Arab interests in the region instead of Israeli targets. Military bases, American warships, and oil infrastructure are the most likely targets for Iran and would bring both the U.S. and Iran’s neighbors such as Saudi Arabia into the war against it. This would allow Israel to bow out of the fight it started successfully. Further, the operational pause in the Iranian decision cycle allows Israel to assess how it completes Phase III and moves to Phase V. If Iran does nothing, mission accomplished. If Iran retaliates against the U.S. and it is clear the Americans will enter the war, mission accomplished. However, if Iran retaliates against Israel selectively and or the U.S. doesn’t get immediately into the war, Israel must immediately move to mitigate any possible retaliatory damage Iran can inflict. This means that Israel will complete Phase III with clearly attributable Jericho missile strikes and strikes from drones against a much broader range of targets to include Iranian missile sites, command and control centers, and oil infrastructure in addition to nuclear facilities.
Moving into Phase V, Israel will again attempt to pull the U.S. into the war if it did not succeed in Phases III and IV. They will most likely threaten to have to use nuclear weapons to finish it or start a bigger war with Syria that risks entire regional destabilization. In exchange for Israel restraining its attacks, America will enter. If not, Israel will move into their least desirable portion of the entire operation and begin manned airstrikes against Iranian targets by transiting Syrian airspace. Israel must plan on losing some of its aircraft and crew during this phase, but ultimately, they will be able to successfully hit targets in in the north and west of Iran. Jericho missiles will have to attack the more distant targets if the U.S. failed to enter the war. Once Israel has exhausted its target list and U.S. supplied heavy ordnance penetrators, Israel will enter into United Nations peace negotiations, which undoubtedly will be in full swing to try and stop the “humanitarian suffering.”
The ominous caveat to this five phase war plan comes if from the outset, Israel knows that the U.S. will not get involved, is unable to achieve mission goals, or if Iran, Syria, or Hezbollah appears to be about to retaliate with chemical or biological weapons. In any of the three scenarios listed, Israel may very well use nuclear weapons to achieve its goals. The saying no plan survives first contact is absolutely gospel and for Israel, that means they must have a worst case scenario plan at the ready. Dangerously, their worst case also equals our worst case from an American perspective. Any war in the Middle East is going to be awful, but a nuclear war will be catastrophic. Nonetheless, the Israelis see it as acceptable for their nation’s survival even though it probably also means the end of life as we know it in the U.S. as the global economy collapses and we are forced to try and contain the literal fallout of “their” war.
The above war plan is the baseline for Israel’s planning against Iran that they have desperately tried to keep secret. What Americans must realize, including both the President and his challenger Mitt Romney, is that Israel’s plan for war is fundamentally designed for Israeli interests. The battle plan does not take into account any equities that the U.S. or other Arab countries may have when it comes to getting caught in the crossfire. Should the U.S. voluntarily involve itself from the beginning, the battle plan will decidedly shift to take into account American interests and capabilities, but will still be horrible for the U.S. and not achieve decisive long term results. Still though, the hope that we could control the chaos better may be enough to sucker America into the fight unilaterally on Israel’s behalf. President Obama, if seriously threatened by Romney, may also opt to create a convenient crisis before the election to distract the voters and spin it to his benefit. However, should the U.S. be forced into a surprise war with Iran through Israeli deception and a potential false flag attack, the U.S. would suffer much worse and achieve even less decisive results. Either way, the cost of a war is much too great for Americans to accept. This is not America’s war. American policy MUST look out for American interests first. This means Israel must be stopped from starting a war that will cause global disaster for the U.S.