When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

December 31, 2005

US to NATO re Iran

Bravo Romeo Delta

There has been some talk about possible discussions with NATO allies about American military strikes in Iran.

Given the way this was sourced in the original German article, and the habits of NATO with respect to classified information, I would actually rate this as highly likely. I think a big portion of this is that the possibility that such an attack might result in retaliatory strikes on troops from NATO countries in either Afghanistan or Iraq.

Bush would catch (probably justifiably) all kinds of hell for doing something that resulted in dragging a host of European countries into war by doing something that resulted in attacks on their troops. So I think this may just be a fair warning that options are on the table.

As far as it goes, we could whack a great number of the facilities with no problem. In a pinch, we *could* probably handle a land war, but we can't do that, stay in Iraq, and maintain proper troop rotation all at the same time.

The key element here is the rotation schedules. The army has adopted a 1-1-1 schedule, in which one third of the troops are deployed, one third are just returned and are refitting and replentishing, and one third are prepping for redeployment. So, when it gets down to cases two-thirds of the troops are available to take on Iran, but then we can't rotate units in back in and out, and among other things, it would play absolute hell with maintenance, upkeep, and logistics.

One possible option is an Afghanistan-esque deployment of a handful of special forces units acting as forward air-controllers, however, past the initial facilities hits, there does not exist a sufficient insurgent infrastructure to form a reliable backbone of troops to take the battle forward as there was in Afghanistan, so I would expect that this this would not be much of an option save a civil war type insurrection in country.

Launched by Bravo Romeo Delta at December 31, 2005 07:08 PM | Missile Tracks

Retaliatiory Launches

Great assessment. I concur with your conclusions.....

Posted by: TODD at December 31, 2005 08:18 PM

2 out of 3 Americans want the troops to return from Iraq. Do you think that there is the political will to take on Iran ? If 51% of the people want war and 49% do not a successful prosecution of that war seems doubtful. Another land war in Asia? no thanks.

Posted by: john ryan at February 2, 2006 06:02 PM

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