Originally Posted by franksargent
Try to think like an Iranian for a moment. Like I have.
If you thought like an Iranian you'd have a proud Persian heritage that spanned a few thousand years, a great desire to be taken seriously as a nation and to be able to tell western powers to fuck off.
A great deal of their posturing and strategic thinking is toward this goal.
I know a literal boatload about US Army logistics, so that helps me a lot.
The Iranians will not develop WMD's, but they most certainly want us to attack them at a time of their choosing. In the dead of summer, stifling summer. Make us think they have WMD's so that our military wears their WMD gear, in the dead of summer no less.
Iran has had chemical weapons just as the Iraqis had chemical weapons. Whether they currently have any in useful amounts is debatable.
We have over a decade of experience in MOPP operations in the desert environment. Perhaps your vast knowledge of US Army operations could detail why you feel that US training in the Mojave at the NTC coupled with operational experience that goes back to Desert Storm would leave us at some disadvantage to the Iranians?
The US is very much aware for heat injury problems, especially when operating in MOPP. Our doctrine is not to suit up at MOPP-4 from the get go on the off chance a chem attack will occur.
Deployment of chem weapons is very problematic. Especially against modern mobile forces on the move.
Their goal is simple. Destroy the oil resources pouring out of the Middle East. They have the high ground overlooking the Strait of Hormuz. They have the mobile launchers. They have the low EM technologies to move these assets nightly. They are deep and safe behind enemy lines and we don't have the logistics to reach those targets over land, can't spot them from the air.
This clearly indicates you are not thinking like an Iranian. All you see are advantages and not the disadvantages of which they are quite aware. The grass is always greener for your opponent.
Nothing is "deep and safe" behind enemy lines in modern warfare. The US has invested greatly in SOF and the Marines have been playing with the STOM concept for a decade as part of OMFTS.
We will control the air, we will have thousands of UAV hunting for TELs and mobile launch sites. The missiles required to shut down the straits are NOT the same as the small Katyusha rockets used to bombard Israel by Hezbollah.
That said, we have a serious issue with mines, the terrain does favor them from a sea denial perspective and we have our own set of operational challenges.
It is very easy to dream up a scenario that favors one side or the other. The reality is that they would/could have early success until we pounded them into the ground. The force disparity is just too high for their long term success and they directly threaten our national interests. We couldn't avoid a conflict if push came to shove.
The COST of pounding them into the ground is too high for either side to want to engage in.
They have thousands and thousands, many thousands of conventionally armed ballistic missiles.
They do not. They have a very limited number of Shihab-3 and 4's. A few dozen at most. Of the Zelzal and Fateh missiles they probably number in the low hundreds. As of a few years ago Syria had the most at 500 missiles.
Iran possess a good but also limited number of cruise missiles.
Of course, all of my knowledge is from open sources (and not your super sekrit army ones) but I don't believe even the Iranians claim more offensive missile capabilities than the Chinese.
We'd be flying thousands of sorties nightly as the Iranians launch a barrage of conventional ballistic missiles at these oil assets, and some will get through. Enough to cripple oil supplies and send gas prices into the stratosphere. Gas rationing will be mandatory.
A "tanker" war will be just as disruptive to Iran as its opponents. No oil going out means no Yuan coming in.
Nobody but the Chinese has a shot at a "barrage of conventional ballistic missiles". Your self-claimed authority on the subject leaves a lot to be desired.
They want us to attack them, that gives them all the justification they need to take out a large fraction of the current world's oil supply. Global depression occurs. Game over. We find no WMD's in Iran, major egg on our faces, America plummets into total chaos.
So by losing the battle to us the Iranians actually win the war, an economic war, a war we can't win, no way, no how.
The Iranians are playing us, they are pulling our strings, not the other way around. They are in control, while we are not, at least not while under a hard line war hawkish Republican administration.
You know, Bush isn't a complete idiot. And even he knows the difference between a ballistic missile, an anti-ship cruise missile, and an unguided artillery rocket.
Given that your analysis is based on incorrect knowledge and make-believe enemy objectives your conclusion isn't worth much.