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December 07, 2005

Comments

clarice

Cecil--I think it's almost impossible, too.
I think if it's by air we will have to use Iraqi facilities for support.What about those subs in the Indian Ocean?

kim

The article mentions ground forces. Let's hope this is sabre rattling, but the problem is that you can wave big swords at crazy people and it doesn't deter them. The nihilism of the ayatollahs will ultimately undermine them just as it has the terrorists in Iraq.
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noah

Technically I don't believe it is really practical to have multiple sites engaged in centrifuge enrichment. But I will defer to any among us that has real technical expertise.

clarice

noah, are you suggested some of these are dummy sites?

clarice

suggestING, I mean

clarice

Best facilities map I could find:http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iran/images/iran_map_nuke-s.gif

Best information:http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iran/nuke-fac.htm

Rick Ballard

CT,

Israel doesn't have any flying gas stations? Or is the problem parking one over Basra?

Gotta love that "Iraq is keeping us from dealing with Iran" line. I know math is real, real hard for those folks but does that mean they can't interpret a simple map?

I thought the complete target set for the Iranian problem was on the order of 25 major and 250+ 'other'. I just wish Qum was on the first wave 'nothing left standing' list.

Bruce Moomaw

Me: "Especially since the biggest reason we should never have gone in is that having our military tied up there is preventing us from doing anything militarily effective to prevent Iran from acquiring the Bomb..."

Cecil Turner: "As discussed above, this is completely backwards. Nothing short of a threatened invasion would be effective, and there is no way to invade Iran except from Iraq. (It's the only place with a staging area accessible from a deep-water port--which is required for positioning heavy equipment.) Far from 'preventing' such an operation, OIF was a prerequisite. And sorry, but anyone who suggests otherwise is operationally illiterate."

Except that the very fact that we have tied up most of our military with occupying Iraq also makes it impossible for us to stage ANY kind of effective military action to disrupt or slow Iran's nuclear program -- including really massive air raids, or large-scale commando raids. And, as I mentioned, it also makes it almost impossible for us to stage any kind of emergency action if the Dear Leader is emboldened by his possession of the Bomb to try a conventional invasion of South Korea -- or if a threat arises that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is about to fall into pro-al Qaida hands.

Of course, the Bushites invaded Iraq precisely because they were absolutely certain that the occupation and reform of the place would be a "cakewalk" (in Ken Adelman's immortal phrase), and that (along with the other advantages of such a development) we COULD then use Iraq as a staging ground for a similar invasion of Iran -- where, once again, we would doubtless be greeted by cheering crowds throwing flowers, many of them not even attached to Molotov cocktails. (Remember that frequent prewar slogan of the neocons: "Men go to Baghdad. Real men go to Damascus and Teheran.") Surprise!

Bruce Moomaw

Rick Ballard: "Gotta love that 'Iraq is keeping us from dealing with Iran' line. I know math is real, real hard for those folks but does that mean they can't interpret a simple map?"

The map is easy to interpret, Rick. So is the fact that our military is currently strained to the limit just keeping the lid on Iraq, which is why the Bushites themselves are no longer talking about any military action against Iran.

clarice

Well, Bruce. we do hear your argument. We just find it unpersuasive, believing as we do that having out men and material on Iran's border makes it easier, not harder, to deal with them.

clarice

ouR men and materiale

clarice

ouR men and materiEl---last shot and now to bed. Niters.

kim

Round trip lightly loaded, maybe. The Iranian nuclear facilities are duplicated, deep, dispersed, re-inforced and among civilian papulations, and with foreign technicians living in them. It is very difficult to do, but what are the options? Talking them out of it? Not bloody likely.
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Cecil Turner

Except that the very fact that we have tied up most of our military with occupying Iraq also makes it impossible for us to stage . . .

"Most"? Looks to me like our Iraq deployments surged to ~157,000 for the election, out of a total US force of more than 2.2 million. And, of course, they're "tied up" in the staging area.

And, as I mentioned, it also makes it almost impossible for us to stage any kind of emergency action if the Dear Leader is emboldened by his possession of the Bomb to try a conventional invasion of South Korea [. . .] or if a threat arises that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal . . .

In the first place, ROK's (slightly smaller, but vastly more effective) armed forces are more than a match for the DPRK. In the second, most of what we bring to the Korean campaign is airpower, which is the least part of what's "tied up" in Iraq. Pakistan is a nuclear power with a population of 160 million (and if you really wanted to pressure them militarily, you'd need basing in either Iran or India) . . . I'm not sure what sort of conventional military action you envision there, but it ain't gonna happen.

Remember that frequent prewar slogan of the neocons . . .

Ah, slogans. Very nice. I note you do a lot of commenting on military matters, Bruce, but it mostly seems to be from a political perspective. Just out of curiosity, do you have any actual experience at any of this? Because if so, it isn't showing.

Cecil Turner

Israel doesn't have any flying gas stations? Or is the problem parking one over Basra?

They have 'em: "Boeing 707s had been converted for in-flight refueling of F-15s and F-16s." The problem is where to set up the track (optimally, at mid-to-high altitude). Though again, if we help, that part's workable. And preserving tactical surprise is a major consideration. Iran is reputed to have some fairly effective air defenses; giving away surprise both invites casualties and significantly reduces the likelihood of success.

kim

BM: The Bushites invaded Iraq precisely because they were absolutely certain etc.

Such precision and certainty. Why can't we train that into people? How do you do it?
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clarice

Well, Mark Steyn reimnds us this morning, the US cannot attack Iraq until we are ABSOLUTELY sure the nukes are operational--like when CNN's NY HQ is a hole in the ground.

clarice

Here's an interesting piece on the Times article about Israel attacking Iran.
Joint effort?

TP

C. Wouldn't be surprised to see them come through Afghanistan.

clarice

I don't know, TP. I do know that if we are assisting in any way, we are now in better position than we were 4 years ago.

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