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Preview: RealClearPolitics - Articles - John Quirk

RealClearPolitics - Articles - John Quirk

Last Build Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 11:10:28 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2007

Iran's Defensive Strategy

Sat, 18 Feb 2006 11:10:28 -0600

Iran continues to threaten Israel, fund terrorism, and to accelerate its nuclear weapons program. In addition to its holocaust denial scenario and defiance of its major European trading partners, Iran has not only specific goals for its foreign policy but military plans to defend itself. In December, 2005 the Atlantic Monthly laid out a scenario of how Israel might attack Iran. The magazine even contained an interactive full color DVD complete with illustrations and Israeli jets striking targets in Iran. Later the Pentagon revealed its own potential attack plan suggesting a major military strike by American warships. This scenario has hundreds of new cruise and tomahawk missiles being launched by our carriers, submarines and Arleigh Burke destroyers based in the Persian Gulf. Rumors abounded the U.S. also had two secret Special Forces bases near Iran ready to drop commandoes against selected Iranian sites. The Israelis recently acquired newly-developed U.S. bunker busters that can penetrate deep into the Iranian nuclear research and development facilities. The U.S. says there are about 477 targets that can be destroyed by air attacks and missile attacks. The Israelis claim they only need to take out about 50 key nuclear sites to set the Iranian program back 5 to 7 years or longer. Both the American and Israeli scenarios are designed to take out nuclear facilities, not to invade Iran or destroy major cities. Although some of the various scenarios may be designed as disinformation on the part of both the Americans and Israelis, the Iranians are taking these potential attack scenarios seriously. What are the likely Iranian responses? The first thing to recognize is the difference between Iran and Iraq. Prior to the last Iraq War, rumors circulated that the Iraqis had plans of WMD attacks, terrorists in the U.S. (or channeling terrorist to the U.S. from France and the UK) and also had a strong Revolutionary Guard that would inflict heavy casualties on the Americans and our allies. Twenty-one days after the start of hostilities, Iraq was defeated and there were no WMD attacks and not a single terrorist attack outside Iraqi borders. The Iranians have designed a much different defensive strategy. They know the U.S. is neither capable nor interested in a ground war invasion. They know that both Israel and America seeks to destroy only its nuclear facilities not invade or destroy its cities. Some radical mullahs, as apart of a doomsday type cult in Iran, however, truly believe the U.S. is intent on destroying the centuries old Persian culture. Iran’s leadership also knows that U.S. foreign policy, urged on by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Israel, want to see a non-fundamentalist regime in Iran be the dominant leader in the region. Thus the Iranians have interpreted all of these potential actions as signs of disrespect (in every negotiating session with the European Union the Iranians have commented that the U.S. shows them no respect). Over the last five years the Iranians have also created the following defensive attack strategy: 1) Accelerate the development of several, maybe up to 5 nuclear bombs, coupled with a deployment strategy of missile technology gained from Pakistan, China and North Korea. These missiles are now capable of being equipped with nuclear weapons could hit Israel, London and most of the 7th Fleet targets (American ships and bases in the Persian Gulf). 2) Iran has fully-trained and equipped terrorists established in the USA, Venezuela, Mexico and probably Canada. These operatives may have weapons of mass destruction and also have plans to bomb American shopping centers and/or symbolic targets to create fear and mass panic that will hopefully damage the American economy. These terrorist are zealots who may and probably will engage in suicide bombings. These particular spy/terrorists are compartmentalized from and not part of Hezbollah who have their bases in Venezuela, Canada and covert operatives in the USA. 3) Strike at targets within Europe. The French government under Chirac in 2003 made the mis[...]