10 December 2007


The administration's in a bad spot right now. It really is. The NIE fiasco has caused it to backtrack and stumble all over itself in trying to explain what the heck they are really up to these days, while the American Armed Forces are already mired in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now that the administration can't use the threat of Iranian nukes as much as they would like - and that the US Intel community has essentially rebuked the administration - I wonder what's next.

Three words: Gulf of Tonkin.

With America's beefed-up naval presence in the Persian Gulf, the administration could seek to induce a greater level of tension that may include actively pursuing low-level hostilities with Iran's navy; such an incident would certainly fan the flames for retaliatory strikes against Iran, precipitating a wider war with them. It would be 1964 all over again.

But has the administration considered its true military options in the Gulf? Surely, Navy and Air Force assets in the region could do some serious damage to Iranian infrastructure; likewise, Iran has been preparing for just such a thing since 1979 - there is no doubt they are prepared.

But can America marshal a ground response to a war with Iran? I contend America can not do so at this time - and would not be able to within five years. Our nation is overcommitted as far as ground troops are concerned - I'm talking Army and Marines here - and the key to winning a war with Persia, if it can be done, is on the ground.

The administration - and Congress - must step back from the abyss and take a hard look at not only the implications of a war with Iran, but also the benefits so far of the war in Iraq. Having been there and having followed that war closely since my tour there, I daresay America's none the better for it. Sure, that may change, but I'm not feeling really good about it right now.

If the Administration is truly committed to war with Iran, and I believe that Messrs. Bush and Cheney are, they absolutlely MUST be ready to expand America's Armed Forces to a sufficient level in which it can meet such goals.

Given the fact that the Army and Marines are hitting their operational limits in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no end in sight, I've got my doubts that Bush and Cheney will take any action to ensure this nation is well-equipped to meet any other goals that may be dictated in the near future.

In short, here's my prognostication: Navy 5th fleet has a 'Stark'-like incident, in which a missile hits a US ship, causing many casualties. Needless to say, Navy/Air Force assets are called in to strike Persian Gulf coast military bases. Iran then sends ground forces to strike American bases/FOBs in Iraq (more importantly, Iran calls on Iraqi Shia forces to declare war on Americans), a full-on civil war in Iraq takes hold within 24-48 hours, and America has no other option but to continue air strikes versus Iranian forces....and how long would it be until the nuclear option is exercised?