Commenter Mark had this to say about Iran's military manuvers:
If the Hashmonean is right, and I think he is, then Iran's 'military exercises' this weekend may be less offensive and more defensive in nature. If they understand they've lost the Hezballah-gambit, they may now fear we will follow through by invading them. If so, that tells me they are much more vulernable than even we hawks thought.To which I replied[revised and extended]:
And, I'm not expert on the Iranian military, but I wonder if sending so many troops to the border regions might not leave them more vulnerable in their cities to a citizen uprising.
You are exactly correct. This is defensive. They expect an attack in 5 weeks or less.
The troops that will be sent to the border will be less reliable troops that in the past would not use violence on their own citizens. Backed up and intermingled with the Republican Guard and the "religious" minders.
The cities will be guarded by Basji which I believe are special police made up of out of country Arabs. What a job. I have heard rumors of a significant Palestinian component in this force. Just another chance to make temselves unpopular.
The Basji is no longer going to have the Republican guard units in as great a number for back-up as before the manuvers started. Some of the Republican guards are needed to watch the army. So far the mullahs have had enough power to put down rebellions in several cities at once. This may no longer be the case.
Army forces that need to be stiffened by minders and backed by more reliable troops are severely lacking in manuverability and military strength. Also they lack the most important component of any military on the defensive: the will to resist.
Part of the force may be just itching for the chance to surrender to the Americans, who are coming.