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Craig
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:00 am    Post subject: Should American troops turn to Iran in six months? Reply with quote

Should American troops largely turn over Iraqi security to the Iraqis and focus on Iran in six months? If we leave Iraq without addressing Iran then Iran will invariably takeover Iraq.
Stephen





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iran likely has its eyes on annexing the Shia portion of Iraq.
shlemazl





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and there is the "Nuclear" issue. Not sure how good the intel. is, but it has been estimated that Iran will have nuclear capability in 12 months. Time is running out.
Stephen





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read that the UN has found weapons grade uranium already.
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iran will not "inevitably" takeover Iraq. Iran has important links at all levels in Iraq, but these groups are almost all autonomous and are only interested in support and alliance with Iran in a fairly broad and opportunist way, they would not support a situation that made the country openly subordinate to Iran like Lebanon was to Syria. Iran also would hate to start a war with Kurdistan, especially if "Iraqi" Sunnis and people who remember the Iran-Iraq war join in. The last thing Iran wants is an open war with Sunnis and (also Sunni) Kurds, of which they have many of both in their own country. Of course, if such a war broke out, it would be interesting to see who the US supplied arms and training to. That way we'd get a sneak peak at the people who would be fighting the US a few years later.

I don't think anyone with any power is considering invading Iran, that would be nonsensical. The only plans I suspect have been developed are for cruise missiles and special ops sorts of guys to reliably destroy known nuclear facilities. I doubt that "high value regime targets" will be included in this because the US would want to repeat essentially what Israel did years ago. In fact, it is possible that Israel might do it, as Israel certainly has no goodwill to lose. But I'm not sure this is all useful talk. There are obvious fissures within the Iranian system that can be (and are being) exploited by the US, like the fact that Khamenei has been convinced to sell off huge swaths of the country to private powers, and he is hostile towards the nuclear program. Ahmedinejad reflects far more ambiguity than he does some galvanized anger about to be forged into violence. He thinks of him as a populist who is caught between both internal and external confusions and threats, but he has no mandate or interest in an open war and certainly not in using nuclear weapons first.
shlemazl





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald Hughes wrote:
The only plans I suspect have been developed are for cruise missiles and special ops sorts of guys to reliably destroy known nuclear facilities.


This approach has major disadvantages:

1. Iran knows about Saddam's experience and had plenty of opportunities to design facilities accordingly and to spread them around.

2. Unless the regime is destroyed, Iran will retaliate. It will use terror and disrupt oil supplies in the Gulf.

I only see two options:

1. Sunctions. Could be efficient, because Iran's economy is struggling. Thanks to Russia and China and perhaps France this is unlikely to work. Also Iran will cut oil supplies, but it will hurt Iran even more than everyone else.

Anyway, time for sunctions is running out.

2. Regime change. Another bad option, but I don't see anything else.
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'd never happen, but I think the ideal situation would be a Iran-Saudi war, with the Western powers staying out of it altogether. They'd both have to keep selling oil to stay afloat, smash their armies to pieces fighting eachother to a stalemate, which would leave their regimes weakened enough to be vulnerable to internal upheaval.

Otherwise, I'm agreed with Sclemazl.
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, anyone who would support sanctions and invokes the experience with Saddam in a positive way has a very strange sense of history. The idea that we can cause enough pain to a population that they will turn to us for support has an awful track record. Of course, this is even more true when it comes to direct violence. But the whole neocon golden rule is supposed to be "containment is part of the problem." I don't think that anyone with power, again, thinks that Iran would actually use a nuclear weapon first. I think they believe that ten moves down in play they might face a situation where some loose cannon in Iran, maybe a different Supreme Leader, might be increasingly tempted to slip a nuke or two to a terrorist group. Or, like, stations nukes on short-range missiles in Syria, and then there is a radical political change in either Syria or Iran leaving orphaned nukes that end up being fired in confusion or simple apocalyptic collapse. But you could make the same case for any country with nukes, really. The real concern is more that Ahmedinejad is using profits derived from speculative premiums in oil to undermine the privatization drive and finance/influence (violent) events across the region.

Also, FF_Canuck is hilarious, but let's just consider it for a minute. First, the premise that a war between two regressive regimes will produce a progressive result. If this were true than the Iran-Iraq war (in which the Americans supported their friend Saddam Hussein) would have led to a flourishing of liberalism in each of their countries, instead of solidifying the Baathist regime in Iraq and the Ayatollah-led regime in Iran. Now, why the Saudis would want war with Iran is anyone's guess, perhaps they took the same drug that made Israel's leaders terrified of Lebanon's oil refineries and airports. Let's assume, for some reason, that this happens a few years from now after the US "declares victory" in Iraq. Iran's military is therefore able to travel across southern Iraq to fight (otherwise this would be a very short war). Okay, so what happens? Freedom reigns? Probably not. More likely, Iran would seize the northern Arabian oilfields with the support of financed/voluntary uprisings among the Shi'ite majority population of the area. They would certainly try, probably coinciding with the agreed-or-not launch of insurgency operations in Sunni parts of Arabia. Heck, they might even strike a deal: A lot of the anti-Saudi Sunni clerics in Arabia wouldn't feel bad if they either denied the oil to their immediate enemies or even traded the oil for a more pure Islamic Republic. I would hope beyond hope that the Saudis didn't go all Fires of Kuwait on them and burn the oil fields. But all of this assumes that most people wouldn't intervene on behalf of the Saudis, which they would. This, of course, may be a mixed blessing. If Americans returned to fight directly on behalf of the Saudi Monarchy on the soil of Arabia, it would have the added benefit of causing anyone who has ever had even a positive thought about bin Laden to suffer a serious stroke. Unfortunately, survivors of these strokes would probably turn against their own government, which could well put the Persians in the very bizarre position of being the number one defenders of some Pan-Arabism (a function they only tangentially get to gloat about when it comes to Hezbollah's "Divine Victory").

In any case, there are dozens of problems much bigger than Iran, and almost none of the highest ones are related to states and security. They are boring, important things like malaria, car deaths, AIDS, dirty water and hunger. Tens of millions of people will die as a result of these issues over the next few years, especially if we focus on financing camouflage welfare in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carter should have solved Iran, but he didn't. Now there is no solution to the problem. We leave them alone, they get the bomb and that is bad. We fight the mullahs, and they use that to solidify their hold domestically and spread their influence over the Muslim world, which is bad. I guess the only choice is which evil is the lesser one?

Also, there are doubtless Hezbollah cells in North America, just waiting to retalliate for any attack on Iran.
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saudi Arabia would want war with Iran to stop Iran from becoming the center of the Muslim political and cultural world. That is what the Saudis want to be. that is one of the reasons the Saudi government condemned Hezbollah during the recent war; to curb Iranian influence.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I think western world must directly support the Iranian people to get rid of the Mullahs.

Iran can be freed without any foreign intervention and that's what many in Iran want to happen.
Stephen





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Winston2004 wrote:
Well, I think western world must directly support the Iranian people to get rid of the Mullahs.

Iran can be freed without any foreign intervention and that's what many in Iran want to happen.


This would be the most ideal approach. I hope that it's possible.
Craig
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Winston2004 wrote:
Iran can be freed without any foreign intervention and that's what many in Iran want to happen.


Unless they watch 60 minutes of course.
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Carter should have solved Iran, but he didn't.
How could he have "solved" it? A CIA-backed coup? Shooting down an Iranian airliner? Secretly selling them surface-to-surface missiles? Backing Saddam Hussein further? For some reason, I'm not sure any of these ideas would have worked.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald Hughes wrote:
Quote:
Carter should have solved Iran, but he didn't.
How could he have "solved" it? A CIA-backed coup? Shooting down an Iranian airliner? Secretly selling them surface-to-surface missiles? Backing Saddam Hussein further? For some reason, I'm not sure any of these ideas would have worked.


Carter should have backed the late Shah of Iran in 1978-1979 revolution but he didnt becuz he hated his majesty.
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Should American troops turn to Iran in six months?

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