Print and television media have been excitedly covering the many talking heads on the possibility of a shooting war between Iran and the United States. President Trump has indicated that if anything did occur it would be over quickly and devastatingly for Iran – and no ground forces would be involved from the American side. How might this be accomplished?
The Iranian leadership appears to live in their own self-created fantasy world. They seek to believe that the United States is bluffing when they are told by President Trump that Washington will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. Tehran’s response has been to offer to “discuss” the various issues in conflict – but first existing economic sanctions must be removed. Apparently, the rules of logic do not apply in the Persian mind of Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani. Perhaps he really doesn’t believe the United States has the courage and capability to take on the mystically powerful Iran.
He would be mistaken. Washington may be divided in domestic political terms, but there is an overwhelming agreement on the danger Iran ultimately poses to world peace. America’s military leaders know full well the strengths and shortcomings of Iran’s abilities. Translating this to the political perceptions of the White House may be a different story. In the same manner, Iran’s military may have a good idea of the might of the U.S. armed forces, but the mullahs seem unwilling or unable to recognize the obvious – or at least have blinded themselves to the potential of the reality.
That reality includes an American and Allied attack based on sequential use of non-nuclear stand-off and high-altitude pre-programmed weaponry. The actual weapons are of course classified, but precision-guided, earth-penetrating and hyperbaric explosives are clearly available. The key element is the gathering of technical intelligence on the siting of priority targets. This, for the most part, already has been accomplished and is updated daily.
With an aim to avoid U.S. casualties, the existing Iranian air bases and anti-aircraft batteries would be destroyed by appropriate stand-off weapons. Following that, all Iranian naval facilities and warships will be missile targeted. In addition to the U.S. assets forward deployed in the Middle East, allied elements in the region, provide excellent attack support along with the pre-positioned American weaponry. Coordination is essential and will be aided by satellite communication and surveillance. Offensive cyber actions will take down Iranian capabilities in that arena while the enemy’s use of other forms of communication will be reduced or completely eliminated by high altitude attack modes.
The entire Iranian underground nuclear development structure will be the final and most critical target. The aim will be to destroy all existing nuclear development, support and supply as well as existing hardware. The use of Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) will be key to this operation. This will be the final phase of the attack on Iran’s war-making potential as a modern nation.
At this point, traditional Western war fighting assessment suggests that Iran will succumb to the logic of such devastation. Unfortunately, this is not in the mystical mindset of the strict Shia Islamic dominated Iranian governance. The well-armed, one hundred thousand man Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) with its specialized Quds Force along with an international terrorist network could remain effectively in place and willing to die in combat with the infidels. Massive numbers of U.S. and Allied ground forces would have to be introduced to take on these Iranian units, while international terrorist activities supported and guided by Iran would explode. The basic operational theme of the American attack without use of ground forces would be completely undermined. It could be expected that a generalized anti-U.S. political campaign would result, to say nothing of possible opportunistic anti-U.S. military action.
A contributing factor to this conflict, even on the diplomatic front is the fact that within Shia Islam is the concept that deception, disinformation and denial are useful and approved tools in countering non-believers’ actions and agreements. Thus, peaceful negotiation, without a controlling instrument, is an exercise in futility. A revolution within Iran at this time appears wishful thinking. A war may seem to be inevitable to some, but the result will not be a “clean” decision.