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.

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