ecurity Information Publicly Disseminated

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

USA Not Ready For Red Line Time

If, or when Israel hits Iran with sorties taking out its nuclear sites the backlash will definitely affect the United States. The big question for the American people: Is the Obama Administration prepared to deal with the situation? The past being a window into the future one can surmise that that answer is no. When it comes to preparation the Obama team seams to ignore mise en place and react to situations as they happen resulting in lost control and adverse results.

Keeping Iran on short leash will minimize it's bite. Iran has been boasting about its navel prowess lately and they have stated that soon it will have assets roaming the oceans of the world. That navel program must not be able to continue and forcing any Iranian navel assets to stand down that maybe in the Persian Gulf, Straights of Hormuz, the Mediterranean or in Syrian ports. Blockading or sequestering these assets will mitigate Iran's ability to move and retaliate at coalition partners. Iran must not be able to block any shipping lanes or chock points like the Straights of Hormuz or the Suez Canal, this is key in maintaining the worlds flow of commodities in and out of the region, namely oil. 

Minimizing Iran's ability to retaliate in the event of a Israeli/US air strike depends on their reediness and castrating it's satellite operations Hamas and Hezbollah is very important. This will take simultaneous and coordinated air strikes knocking out rocket and missile stockpiles. The ability of Syria intervening on behalf of Iran is becoming more remote with each passing day however Iran has stationed 15,000 Republican Guard troops in southern Syria. The civil war in Syria may actually help the situation by bleeding off some of Iran's resources and manpower. 
The anticipated escalation of Iran is directly proportional to the assets left behind in the post strike hours and their missile launch capabilities will remain intact unless the strike takes out command and control centers simultaneously. Iran and it's surrogates will retaliate no matter how depleted their capabilities maybe after the initial strike. This why it is imperative advanced pre-strike preparations be complete and comprehensive. This has been a alien concept for the Obama Administration but it is something that the joint chiefs of staff is completely familiar with. One of the big advantages the US now has is the that retired general David Petraeus is now running the CIA. The CIA will be essential in the pre-planing stages as well as the post-strike assessments.    

Managing the post-strike politics and the spike in oil prices that will come are a diplomatic nightmare for the Obama White House. So far the international stage has proven to be a no-mans-land for president Obama his consistent inability to manage diplomatic affairs and anticipate the outcome of events in the Middle East has been a hallmark of the administration. President Obama has distanced himself as well as the government from PM Netanyahu and his government since the start of his term. Obama's reluctance to act as a partner with a non-Muslim ally is evident despite his publicly spoken words. Secretary of State Clinton has been working her fingers to the bone but her diplomatic efforts have been undermined by her bosses ineffectiveness and quite frankly Israel has been nothing more than a pit stop on her glob trotting adventures. Perhaps it would better for Israel to sit on their hands till a competent president takes up residence at 1600. 

Close to the top of The US to-do-list should be the deployment of an anti-missile defense system at their bases in the gulf region as well as systems going to Israel to augment the Iron Dome capabilities. Also infiltration from the Sinai as well as Gaze, Syria and Lebanon will need to be taken into account by the Israelis. A good choice for supplementing the Israelis would be a Marine Expeditionary Unit parked 100 miles off the shore of Lebanon as a pressure release valve for the IDF. The US needs to do a show of force to the Arab world signaling that if your a friend then your back is covered and a MEU is an effective way to deal with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israeli embassy car bombing in New Deli
linked to Iran' Quids forces 
Iran and their surrogates have tentacles that reach around the world and just because there is a strike in the Middle East does not mean that Iran will sit on their hands and not strike out against the West asymmetrically. European, American and Middle Eastern countries all stand the chance of being targeted by Iran's clandestine Quids force. The CIA and other allied intelligence forces need to start ASAP shadowing Iran's agents. This will send a signal to Iran that there is no wear to turn for revenge and that any attempt at terrorism will be met with the death of their agents. This may or may not preclude Iran from striking out at the West but it may give them pause and give the affected nation some reaction time if an infiltration is detected..  

It is important that an operation such as a strike on Iran's nuclear capabilities be complete and comprehensive. It will be imperative that an accurate damage assessment be done quickly and a follow-up strike accomplished as expeditiously as possible. Providing that the proper mise en place had been executed prior to the strike then the entire operation should be over in less than a week. Knowing how regional actors in the Middle East will react to this is something that must be codified in advance certainly any Sunni factions may be more willing to listen than others. A second strike may be needed and mistaken as an escalation into a conflict by Some Islamic countries, this is something that neither the US or Israel wants. The second strike if necessary will take not only information sharing but diplomatic dancing with the devils in Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt. Political fallout from the strike will need to be dealt with in Israel, Europe and in the continental US. Unassociated states like Venezuela may be willing to give safe haven to Quids force operatives on their way to the US through the Mexican border and Homeland Security needs to be up o that task. Also internally a threat will exist from any radical Shia factions within the US and the FBI must be on top of that threat as well.
Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense systems (THAADS)

Prime Minister Netanyahu has given Iran a promise not an ultimatum at the UN this past week. The “Red Line Speech” was memorable and notable. There is no question about how the PM feels about Iran's intentions. President Obama fell short of declaring a point of no return for Iran but he did state that a nuclear Iran would “threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations and the stability of the global economy.” Both Leaders spoke to their own countries in an attempt to shore up their international positions with their voting blocs. But Netanyahu defiantly upstaged Obama with his visual aids. Netanyahu did not state a time line along with his red line but previously he hinted at an Israeli air strike that would coincide with the US presidential elections. Taking the chart into consideration most speculate that Netanyahu has shifted his time line to late spring or early summer of 2013. This date may in fact be significant, he maybe gambling on his collage buddy Mitt Romney. This new date also gives any new administration a chance to ramp up efforts to dissuade Iran and to make preparations if they can not. 

During the time between October 2012 and June 2013 back channel communications directed at Tehran reiterating the fact that any aggressive action taken against Israeli/US property or citizens will be dealt with swiftly and with overwhelming force. The time can also be used to conduct a threat assessment to embassies and consulates so another Benghazi style attack will not end with more dead Americans. The CIA needs to work closely with the Mossad in the Middle East identifying operatives of Iran and it's satellite operations. The CIA, FBI the Mexicans and the Canadians also need to communicate and ID individuals that may be traveling to North America and undermine any operations that they are involved in and may pose a security risk.

Now that Joint Mine clearing operations have been completed in the Straights of Hormuz and are clear of Iranian mines the Middle East is saturated with US military forces, far to many to list hear. Needless to say if the president wanted a target hit in Iran within the hour it would be done with out breaking a sweat. The ability for Israel or the US to strike multiple targets within Iran at any given time is not the issue. The problem comes in when Iran retaliates with what could be a massive launch of missiles and rockets from multiple locations and countries. 

As far as oil prices spiking as a result of the strike that will happen but only due to market forces driving the price up. Iran's capability and willingness to block the Straights of Hormuz is just not their. Any attempt at doing so would be economic suicide for the country. Millions of barrels of Iranian oil flow out of the straights each week and hundreds of tuns of food and commodities flow back in. Iran is their own worst enemy in this regard and if real sanctions were to be placed on Iran then the US could easily bring the country to its knees by prohibiting Iranian shipping into or out of the straights. 

An Air strike on the “secret” enrichment facilities is a foregone conclusion for several reasons. The negotiations that have taken place over the year have amounted to nothing. The Iranians believe that a strike will not happen because they accept the idea that the Americans do not have the stomach for it. They also believe that their missile capability is a deterrent to any strike that Israel and the West may launch against them. Therefor they concluded that they can act with impunity and speak with arrogance during the UN General Assembly. The truth of the matter is when it comes to international policy President Obama is incapable of balancing force with his  impelling desire to appease the Muslim world. 

Keeping Iran's henchmen out of the fight that will likely ensue after an Israeli or American air strike will be impossible. Hezbollah is said to have 50,000 rockets at their disposal. Recently Hezbollah leader  Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah fired up a crowd in Beirut over the Islamic video “Innocence of Muslims” he stated that “The world should know that our anger is not a passing thing. ... This is the start of a serious campaign that must continue all over the Muslim world in defense of the prophet of God.” The militants half a million strong Chanted “Death to Israel...Death to America”. Keeping these people contained will be a significant task. If Nasrallah orders his supporters to rush the border they will gladly run into the breach armed with rocks, sticks, pitchforks anything that they can get their hands on. The resulting blood bath will bring serious international condemnation against Israel. 

Hezbollah has gone to ground in southern Lebanon after the 2006 war that lasted about a month. During that conflict the kill ratio favored the Israelis 10/1 with Hezbollah firing about 4000 rockets. Since then southern Lebanon has become pockmarked with 550 bunkers, 300 monitoring sites and hundreds of weapons storage facilities. There are about 270 complexes known as “rocket villages” and they are located near hospitals, private homes and schools making air strikes against them controversial even for Western smart bomb technology. One of the clearest signals to send to Nasrallah is cutting off his cash. Hezbollah and Hamas are operating fund razing enterprises in North and south America, Europe, Australia and Indonesia. The CIA, MI6 and the Mossad working together and clandestinely need to root out these organizations and terminate them with extreme umbrage. Many of these operations function illegally as drug and human traffickers or at the minimum in the margins of the law through bogus fronts like charities.

Political willingness in the Obama Administration for any kind of pre-strike preparations is unlikely based on past performance. The build up of forces and precautions like the ones outlined hear will probably not take place. Leaving Prime Minister Netanyahu twisting in the wind will be a PR nightmare for the Obama administration but that is what is likely to happen. It will be a clear acknowledgment that president Obama is blind to the evil in the harts of the Islamic leadership opposed to the nation of Israel. This will not only be unforgivable to the people of Israel but it will be unforgivable for the American and European people as well. There are two choices hear, Iran has nukes and holds the world hostage or they do not. If your president fails to acknowledge this as a grave danger then he has no right being a president. If a president fails to act on any pre-strike precautions then he is nothing more than a fool. If a president is not prepared to act decisively in this international chess game and take out some pawns and knights before going after the queen then he has no business on the worlds stage. 

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