Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Iran, Again

While I'm still in the camp of expecting a diplomatic solution to U.S.-Iranian difficulties, Vice President Cheney's recent road trip to the Middle East has given me pause. As for the results of a potential U.S. assault on Iran, I defer to Defense and the National Interest's Bill Lind:

On War #255: Operation Cassandra
By William S. Lind

...Here’s roughly how it might play out. In response to American air and missile strikes on military targets inside Iran, Iran moves to cut the supply lines coming up from the south through the Persian Gulf (can anyone in the Pentagon guess why it’s called that?) and Kuwait on which most U.S. Army units in Iraq depend (the Marines get most of their stuff through Jordan). It does so by hitting shipping in the Gulf, mining key choke points, and destroying the port facilities we depend on, mostly through sabotage. It also hits oil production and export facilities in the Gulf region, as a decoy: we focus most of our response on protecting the oil, not guarding our army’s supply lines.

Simultaneously, Iran activates the Shiite militias to cut the roads that lead from Kuwait to Baghdad. Both the Mahdi Army and the Badr Brigades — the latter now supposedly our allies — enter the war against us with their full strength. Ayatollah Sistani, an Iranian, calls on all Iraqi Shiites to fight the Americans wherever they find them. Instead of fighting the 20% of Iraqis population that is Sunni, we find ourselves battling the 60% that is Shiite. Worse, the Shiites logistics lie directly across those logistics lines coming up from Kuwait...

Logistics Logistics Logistics. That is the reason the U.S. won't (or at least shouldn't) attack Iran. As much as I believe the current generation of governing elites is short-sighted and corrupt, I can't believe that they are that terminally stupid. You throw the dice here and you risk it all - with very little upside.

UPDATE: Check out this article from Asia Times Online about possible diplomatic maneuvers aimed at a rapprochment between the U.S. and Iran.

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