Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cutting Off The Roots

Israpundit reports that American military commanders have requested another carrier for the Persian Gulf. They cite a Debka File Report.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that this request, revealed by a senior Pentagon official, is the first time in four years that an American general has asked for a special force as a deterrent for Syria and Iran.

Our Washington sources interpret the publication of Gen. Abizaid’s request during the visit to Iraq of the new defense secretary Robert Gates’ and head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace as indicating that the Bush administration is heading for a major operation against the two key threats to Iraq’s stability: the Sunni insurgents supported by Syria and the Shiite militias, which receive arms, intelligence and funding from Tehran.

In its latest quarterly report, the defense department accused Iran and Syria of undermining the Iraqi government by providing both active and passive support to anti-government and anti-coalition forces.

The application to deploy a third carrier in the Gulf in late March 2007 is a pointer to the projected timeline of this operation. It will confront Tehran and Damascus with the option of direct intervention to rescue their Iraqi allies, or standing aside. President George W. Bush is officially reported to have not yet decided on the coming steps in Iraq. However the central command’s application for another carrier suggests that the decision is more or less final.
Here is the status of the US Navy. There was at the same base url a more complete status report which can no longer be found. Good. Better operational security even if it means more guessing for us armchair admirals.

Israpundit had a previous article discussing the up coming confrontation with Iran.
We know that it is in the interest of both the US and Israel that Hamas and Hezbollah be destroyed. So why the ceasefires in Lebanon and Gaza. Ultimately Hezbollah and Gaza will be attacked by Israel and utterly destroyed. The causus belli will either be rocket attacks or arms build up. Steinitz suggests the PA will also be destroyed.

The US demanded a ceasefire in Gaza knowing it would be a short term thing. They just wanted an up tick in atmosphere for Bush’s trip to Amman and Cheney’s trip to Saudi Arabia. There is no peace process now, only a war process.

The Baker report fall on its face. The US is talking of increasing its troops in Iraq by 30,000. Giuliani and McCain, both presidential candidates, are looking for victory. The cut and run Democrats have gone silent. Could it be that the deployment of another 30,000 troops is really in preparation for an upcoming attack on Iran.
I'd have to agree with that. Plus, I have never thought the actual troops in Iraq were overstretched by the insurgents. Deployments are too frequent to be sure, however there is no overstretch on the battle field.

If I was going to take on Iran, I would not go after the whole country. I would take the southern oil fields which is a Sunni dominated region and then go on the defensive, while special forces did their best to create and support unrest in the rest of Iran. Evidently Iran fears such unrest.
The Amir Kabir Newsletter reports: Iranian students who in demonstrations last week showed their wrath against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, now in fear of retributions from his supporters, have gone into hiding. The student who held up the sign “Fascist president, you don’t belong at the polytechnic” was photographed and at least 3 of the other students who burned Ahmadinejad’s photo and held it upside down, are all in hiding. Basiji forces1 and Ansar’eh Hezbollah are now hunting them down.

Last week as Ahmadinejad was being booed and jeered inside the auditorium of Amir Kabir polytechnic university, there were severe clashes between student activists and Basijis, outside, on the university campus. A shoe was hurled at Ahmadinejad by a student whose nose was then broken by Ahmadinejad’s bodyguard.
Regime Change Iran has some pictures of the unrest and its aftermath.

Debka is not the only news source reporting a naval build up in the Persian Gulf. Reuters also has the story.
WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (Reuters) - The Pentagon is planning a major buildup of U.S. naval forces in and around the Gulf as a warning to Iran, CBS News reported on Monday.

A senior Defense Department official told Reuters the report was "premature" and appeared to be drawing "conclusions from assumptions." The official did not know of plans for a major change in naval deployment.

Another Defense Department official called the report "speculative" and a Pentagon spokeswomen declined to comment.

Citing unidentified military officers, CBS said the plan called for the deployment of a second U.S. aircraft carrier to join the one already in the region.
"Premature", not necessisarily wrong.

Bush really has to get all this in hand well before a new administration comes into power. It is pretty well known what the trouble is in Iraq and who is financing it. Cut the roots and the tree whithers.Pull leaves and branches off the tree and they regenerate. In strategic parlance it is called (what else?) roots strategy.
In an interview with Al-Arabiya TV, an Iraqi official revealed that the regime in Tehran recently sent another $275 million to Moghtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Iraq. According to reports from the website Iran Asraar, Saleh al-Mutlaq, the head of the Iraqi national dialogue front in this interview with Al-Arabiya TV spoke out against Tehran’s continued interference in Iraq and said that Tehran incessantly and extensively helps the Mahdi Militia and that only within the last 2 months another $275 million was delivered to al-Sadr for organizational reconstruction of this terrorist group. Al-Mutlaq also said that Tehran’s regime also continues to sent massive caches of weapons and arms for the Mahdi army.
Today Captain's Quarters is discussing the wiles of Al-Sadr.
With the US talking about sending more troops to Baghdad and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani organizing a coalition to strip Nouri al-Maliki of his position as Prime Minister, Moqtada al-Sadr has apparently blinked yet again. The radical Shi'ite cleric has begun to consider a unilateral cease-fire in the sectarian war that he has masterminded in an attempt to bolster his political viability in Iraqi politics
The Captain discusses how when Al-Sadr is at a disadvantage he lays low. When he thinks circumstances favor him he causes trouble. The way to deal with this without causing trouble for the Iraqi government (Al-Sadr is an important supporter of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki) is to cut off the Al-Sadr's external support.


Anonymous said...

Is it true that only congress can authorize war in the US? I am not an American but I wonder whether Bush could actually do this, much as I might agree with the strategy. If he decided to declare war knowing that he would be impeached, possibly in mid mission, could the military continue on until the proceedings were finalized? I think it would be terrible if US forces came within days of overthrowing the regime only to be pulled back leaving things worse than doing nothing.

M. Simon said...

I believe the President can do military action for 30 or 90 days without Congressional approval.

With the current make up of Congress (a lot of war supporting Democrats got elected)he may be able to get authorization in any case.

Anonymous said...

30 days sounds like it might be enough to disable enough of the police, military and communications infrastructure, and get in huge amounts of weapons, ammo, body armor, communications devices and other equipment to the Kurds, Arabs, and other dissatisfied ethnic groups. Assuming that a lot of prep work has already been done.

Still, I am far from hopeful. Such a plan would take nuts the size of hubcaps.

B.Poster said...

War with Iran is probably inevitable. Even if we don't invade now Iran or its proxies will eventually attack America itself or its interests outside of the middle east. Also there is no way to win in Iraq without cutting off the support the "insurgents" are getting from Iran.

In any event, military action will have to be decisive. The military military may only have about 30 to 90 days to accomplish the mission.

Anonymous is correct. If we don't complete the mission, this would leave us in worse shape than if we had done nothing.

The president can preempt the peaceniks if he will regularly hold something like State of the Union addresses and directly explain the nature of the danger that Iran is to the free world and to America. He would easily win this debate, as the facts would be on his side. To date, part of the problem has been he has allowed the anti-self defense media to go largely unchallenged. This will need to change. If he wants to invade Iran, the facts are on his side. He should forcefully and directly explain the situation to the American people.

Anonymous said...

Spengler has been predicting this for quite a while.

In one of his essays, he quotes an article by Edward Luttwak (May Commentary magizine)

"The fact is that the targets would not be buildings as such but rather processes, and, given the aiming information now available, they could indeed be interrupted in lasting ways by a single night of bombing."

If that's still true, then a quick, unsignaled strike could delay Iran's nuclear ambitions by many years. That, and more, would be justified by the fact that Iran is supporting the "insurgency" in Iraq. So attacking Iran wouldn't be a new war (requiring Congressional approval) but an expansion of the existing theater of war.

M. Simon said...

Anon. Fri Dec 22, 02:16:13 PM UTC,

I suggested that form of attack some time ago. In Hitting the Target

Anonymous said...

Opening Salvos of a greater Middle East War

A war involving the US, Israel, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda…..

M. Simon said...