For those of you who have been asleep, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) downed a US RQ-4A Global Hawk intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance drone over the Strait of Hormuz. The commander of the IRGC Guard said Thursday that the shooting down of a US drone had sent “a clear message” to America.
With this attack, the US or its allies have experienced recent attacks on land, sea and air. The symmetry strikes us as no accident. The evidence points to Iranian instigation and instrumentality. Major General Salami of the IRGC appears to have ordered all IRGC assets to participate in the harassment.
The question that you, dear readers, should ask is ‘why’ now, and why are they picking at the US?
First of all, the timing, is set to influence the 2020 elections. The Iranian leadership watches CNN and the continual spewing of hatred toward President Trump. CNN makes common cause with Iran, which is finding President Trump much more of a challenge than the feckless, puerile Obama was. They would like to see Barack (or in the alternative, somebody like Biden, Beto, the Butt guy, or Spartacus) return to office. Somebody who would send them a few hundred billion in small bills to try and buy ‘any deal’. It’s important to Iran to stop the crippling sanctions that have led to critically high unemployment, lack of goods on the shelves, etc.
Iran judges that if they can entice the US to overreact or to not react at all, we will look either like a bully or weak and helpless in the face of the turbans.
They don’t want a war. In an alternative to the use of nuclear weapons, the USA could wipe out their nuclear processing plant with ‘Rods from God’ or some other non-radioactive solution. As satisfying as that would be, and trust me, I’d be satisfied with that sort of response, there may be another way.
The beards would be satisfied if they could ensnare the US in another Middle Eastern conflict. Not a war, but a set of limited engagements that they judge will stir Iranian patriotism and which Iran can survive. Iran must be perceived as the victim so the US electorate votes in a new administration – Maybe Mayor DeBlasio? Iran feels that they are more popular in the US than DeBlasio is. It’s tough to argue that one.
US military options are limited for deterring, much less preventing, the harassment campaign without making Iran look like a victim. Congress wants a hand in this and is pushing for a new authorization to use military force – one that they, rather than President Trump, the Commander-in-Chief, can manage. It’s not a bad political ploy. If the trolly jumps the rails, they blame President Trump. If things go well, they take the credit.
Who’s more popular in the US – Congress or Iran? It’s kind of a toss-up.
The US goal needs to be subduing Iran without fighting. The clock is ticking inside Iran when it comes to the Supreme Leader and his cadres. That’s why they are picking at the US now. Having a war to point to will tend to galvanize their dissatisfied people against the US rather than against Dear Turbaned Leader. An internal revolution in Iran works a lot better than a war (as satisfying as Rods from God would be). Turning Iran’s strategy back on itself will ultimately work better than responding to Iran’s picking in a tit-for-tat move that plays to their goals.
For example: Embargoing/blockading Iran is not as effective as convincing other nations not to buy Iranian oil. In one case, Iran claims victimhood. In the other, they are acknowledged by other nations as a pariah state, squeezing them. I realize that many who read this blog feel that it’s a good time to nuke ’em ’till they glow and use their asses for runway lights. But does that approach get us what we want, and how much will it cost in treasure, political capital, and American blood? What does The Art of the Deal suggest?
We have substantial naval and air assets in the area. Is is possible to blockade Iran's ports?
I am so glad to read your take on this.
I posted the following on FB this AM after listening to Hugh Hewitt (yeah, you don't have to tell me) saying that Trump went weak and pulled an Obama on the red line.
Just suppose that a rogue element (IRGC) of a rogue regime, and by that I mean Iran, decided to provoke things and start a conflict with America.
Would you want that Rogue General to get away with his activity?
When Donald Trump suggests that perhaps that's what happened he's called the new Obama.
The next step is whether Iran claims they really did intend to shoot the Drone down.
The regime may have contacted President Trump through back channels to tell him it was a rogue element. Not something they would admit publicly.
But if they claim this was their intent all along?
There's plenty of time to go to war.
We have all weekend.
I think I would have no problem taking out those SAM sites.
Looks like art of the deal showed the turbans an ugly mad bomber face and then backed down, magnanimously.
They get some fear of God and the Rods, 45 looks strong and compassionate all at the same time, and we don't get sucked into another war in Beard Land.
Hope the strategy works.
From the news channels I watch it seem to be a common pattern that they all expect the US to go to war against Iran. The reporters have a way to argue that sounds like they all are warmongers. Let the manipulative ayatollahs play their kind of chess game but keep the US out of it. Let the economy work to the benefit of the US taxpayer. Just like Turkey having problems with the economy, Iran is doing worse. Do not by their products only bringing them currency to pay for the import. Do not sell them anything. Let the world experience how undemocratic the ayatollahs are. Why should the US do anything that unite the muslims against the US and weakening NATO. If the Persians like to stop the oil tanker by let the respective nationalities having and interest in the tankers do something themselves. The US can offer oil and gas and create jobs in the US instead. Strengthen the trade embargo and let the time to the job. In due time the Persians will come up with their own solutions with the ayatollahs. The Democrats will hate it but who cares. The US should not waste any soldiers life to satisfy the Democrats and the ayatollahs.
An additional thought. How much co-ordination is going on between the Democrats and the clerics? Sen. Finestein openly meeting with an Iran representative (maybe she needs a new driver?) and our former closet Muslim president currently vacationing in Europe (easier to meet emissaries without being seen to do so) with his "shadow government"? Doesn't pass the smell test, IMO.
Unconventional warfare. Iranians are not the only players in that field. No need for physical attack. Anyone remember Stuxnet? Or what the CIA did to the Soviet pipeline in 1982?
We invented the Internet, we effectively own it. Convince me that we cannot damage Iran significantly using cyber means. And guess what – it can be non-attributable. Your banking system just got crypto-locked and nobody has the password, and nobody is accepting a bounty to decrypt it? So sad, too bad.
I agree – Trump is speaking softly but brandishing a BIG stick! The Mullahs just don't realize how big a stick Trump has.
Questions from a carpenter…with all the implied qualifications..
Are we at a state of declared war with Iran?
Was our military drone violating their airspace?
Do we need the oil transiting the strait?
Who does need the oil?
Let them take care of the problem.
They obviously want to provoke us, probably to incur internal domestic support for a failing system and international approbation for US "aggression". Why fall for it? Do something sensible instead, like rounding up cells in the US and tossing them in prison. ( I hope we have the guys who are following this, because there must be hundreds of sleeper cells in this country by now- as far as I can tell it is the Iranians only way to project a intercontinental force.)
My rules of war state "do not do what the enemy wants you to do".
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