Thursday, September 07, 2006

Offshoring Iran's Oil Revenues

On top of all the other indignities the Long War strategy has imposed on ordinary American citizens, we face offshored jobs. But as JR Dunn points out, if America starts doing the offshoring, we could defund the mullahs quite easily:

* Oil – Another open secret involves the actual locations of Iranian oilfields. A glance at a resource map reveals that most are located on or near the shoreline, with a smaller though still substantial fraction further inland. Most of Iran’s oil resources could be interdicted by naval action. But the most interesting point is that the largest fields aren’t located in Iran at all. They’re offshore, in the middle of the Gulf which, since 1988, has been completely controlled by the U.S. Navy.

Not only can the U.S. cut Iran off from the bulk of its oil resources with little in the way of effort – it’s also possible, by taking over working oil platforms, that Iranian oil could continue flowing to the outside world with little interruption, negating one of the more serious objections to such a strategy. Many fields are run by foreign third parties (e.g., the Romanian installation the Iranians attacked so inexplicably), but a number of these are either allies or else states long deserving some kind of black eye.

Without oil revenues, Iran's regime poses no threat. They can't buy parts for their nuclear programs on their good looks, nor can they get weapons with their literary royalties. Sure, it would be nice to personally liberate the Ahwazi Arabs from their Persian overlords, and then let the Kurds, Azeris, Baluchis and all the other oppressed minorities go their own way when imperial Teheran loses the wherewithal to continue subjugating them. But denying the mullahs oil revenues is the way to turn the Long War into a Short War, and if we can do that by just taking over the offshore installations and using our control of the sea to enforce rules about how any Iranian regime spends revenues from onshore production, that would do the trick.

Of course, the Shia wing of Islamic radicalism isn't the only group that's declared terror on the West. We'd need to apply the same formula to Saudi Arabia's Sunni terror masters. Does anyone out there know if JR Dunn is right about the bulk of production for Iran, and if the same applies to Saudi Arabia now? I know the big fields initially were onshore there, just as much as they were in the Gulf of Mexico. Are all the big Persian Gulf fields offshore now?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

War Planning

Goesh notes "The only difference between dictators with money and those without, is the former stays in power much much longer." If Captain Ed took that into account, then his statement "As far as war planning goes, all people need to know is that Iran is not Iraq..." would be much more optimistic.

Iraq does consist of mostly flat and open country except in the north, and while Iran doesn't have a lot of open, flat country for easy military maneuvering, it does have open flat country where it counts, the place where all the oil (and the mullahs' money) comes from -- Khuzestan province. Iran also has natural allies for us where it counts -- the Shia Arabs of Ahwaz ( who are not Persians, like the mullahs) make natural allies for our military operations in Khuzestan province.

While most of Iran, three times the size of Iraq, is dominated by mountainous terrain, we don't need most of Iran. We need the oil fields and the Straits of Hormuz. Any war on Iran that concentrated on their centers of gravity, ignoring the other parts of the country that would die on the vine once we have the oil, would take a only small fraction the number of American troops we needed for Iraq, and could be done with small airlift and sealift operations quite within our immediate capacity. The mountains start where the oilfields end, and any attempt by the mullahs to surge out of the mountains would be slaughtered from the air.

We would only need a massive build-up in the region if we were to take all of Iran. But all of Iran doesn't matter. Khuzestan matters. No oil, no money. No money, no nukes. A takeover of Khuzestan province would come as a complete surprise, because the mullahs' think we could not stand the left's global opprobrium of a war for oil. Well, even heavily criticized, a war for oil beats not outracing the Iranians in their quest for nuclear weapons.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

If you are going to take Khuzestan, then take Khuzestan

To paraphrase Napoleon, if you are going to take Khuzestan, then take Khuzestan. Karl Maier is on the right track about denying the mullahs the funding they need to keep their terrorists supplied, but destroying Iran's oil industry is a high price to pay for demonstrating to the world that the USA is not in Iraq for the Oil when we could otherwise take over Iran's oil industry on the cheap by liberating the Shia Arabs who constitute the majority in Iran's principal oil province, Khuzestan.

Taking Khuzestan with an Anglosphere+ Alliance (US-UK-Australia-Canada-India-NZ + Japan + Germany + the willing) would let the West shift those billions in funding to highways instead of nukes, engineering schools instead of madrassas, hospitals instead of barracks -- creating an infrastructure for peace. Laurent Murawiec has already outlined this shift in funding in his "Princes of Darkness," albeit in discussing the liberation of Saudi Arabia's Shiite Arabs from oppression by the Wahabbi imperialists rather than liberating Iran's Shiite Arabs from oppression by the Persian imperialists.

Actually, the US and its allies -- including Iraq -- have the forces available to liberate both Iran's Khuzestan oil province and Saudi Arabia's Hasa oil province, which would leave both Hezbollah and al-Quaeda dependent on their masters' savings accounts rather than new funds coming in every day. The terror masters would probably cut off the funding instantly, especially when they contemplate how their own populations will respond to their leaders' loss of the territories that generate all the oil revenues.

At the same time we announce we're liberating the Shiite Arabs in Khuzestan and Hasa and putting the oil revenues from those provinces into an international administration that will build infrastructure throughout the Middle East, we can offer the mullahs and princes safe exile if they don't resist, and shock and awe in Teheran and Riyadh and the Straits of Hormuz if they do. With that kind of offer on the table, backed by US air power in the region, you'd probably see meek acceptance on the part of the corrupt leaders of Iran and Saudi Arabia when Alliance and Iraqi troops march in, and celebration on the part of their entire populations, not just the liberated Shia Arabs, who will finally see some concrete benefits from those vast oil revenues, rather than having them pissed away on luxuries for the elites, nuclear arms programs in Iran and Pakistan, terror programs all over the world, and all sorts of other misadventures. With honest administration and a focus on civil needs, nations throughout the Middle East could make real progress after the West's victory.

The control of Khuzestan and Hasa provinces is the key to determining whether oil revenues fund nukes and terror, or roads and schools. The mullahs and wahabbis have declared war on the West. In war, you attain victory by seizing your enemy's centers of gravity. Khuzestan and Hasa provinces are compact geographically, and populated by Shia Arabs with no love lost for their oppressors from distant Teheran and Riyadh. Let the world think that the West wants to steal oil revenues for our own domestic purposes rather than ensure that they fund infrastructure in the Middle East instead of war on the West. If we seize Khuzestan and Hasa, history will show that civil infrastructure arose in the Middle East and the Islamofascist war on the West ended.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Short War needs Invasions

Given Rumsfeld's strength in successful invasions, perhaps we need him for a couple more.

While the Long War erodes our liberties at home (mainly because our Politically Correct elites won't concentrate our domestic countermeasures against our Islamist enemies), terrorists abroad create instabilities that raise the price of oil and thereby increase terrorist funding. What America needs is a Short War. And a quick victory in a Short War is well within our grasp, since winning the war on terror requires controlling a relatively small amount of territory occupied by a relatively friendly population.

We can seize our enemies' center of gravity by liberating the oppressed Shia Arab majorities in Iran's Khuzestan province and Saudi Arabia's Hasa province. These provinces also happen to be the sources of the oil that funds the mullahs and sheiks who run the Islamist terror programs. They are compact, and their populations have no love lost for the imperialists in Teheran and Riyadh who seized these provinces in the early 20th century.

The oil revenues could then fund an infrastructure for peace in the Middle East, with funds going to roads instead of nukes and engineering schools instead of madrassas. A coalition of the willing -- an Anglosphere+ Alliance with the US-UK-Australia-Canada-NZ-India + Japan + Germany -- could administer the funds, paying for schools and hospitals and highways throughout the region.

The Khomeinists and the Wahabbis would have a choice of resisting our liberation of those provinces and suffering the consequences in Teheran and Riyadh -- think shock and awe -- or submitting to our control of those limited territories and living in peace with their palaces and offshore bank accounts intact (or with whatever their citizens will allow them to escape with after leading their nations into a disastrous confrontation with the West). They'll probably submit, but if they don't, the Army and the Marines could sweep their forces aside, and our Iraqi allies could help restore order among their Shiite cousins.

The same coalition of the willing could form the nucleus of a new United Democracies organization, withdrawing from the United Nations and setting high standards for membership in the new global community. With control of Persian Gulf oil revenues, this community could offer real benefits to nations that meet membership standards. The Islamist threat would fade with the end of Islamist funding, which has never had anything to do with earned wealth and productivity.

Would any politician embrace using our overwhelming power to convert this Long War into a Short War? It smacks of Teddy Roosevelt, who liberated Panama when it was a Colombian province and Colombia wouldn't let the USA build a canal. Teddy didn't believe in limits on governmental power, which was not such a good thing domestically but earned the USA tremendous respect internationally. As we face radical Islam again, it's time to for a leader to arise who would fulfill a promise "Pedicaris alive or Raisuli dead." Donald Rumsfeld, as Confederate Yankee rightly notes, seems to be the man. If he's been biding his time waiting for the opportunity, we should see that very soon. Both al-Quaida and Hezbollah have given us plenty of reason to go after Saudi and Iranian oil revenues.