posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 01:29 AM
I don't think victory in a war with Iran is tenable for either side.
I know many feel that Iran could hinder the U.S. by damaging the global oil supply (and, of course, the oil market), set off a firestorm of worldwide
terrorism, make life a living hell for U.S. forces in Iraq, and bog the U.S. down in guerilla warfare for years in Iran. Those people feel that this
constitutes victory for Iran. I would suggest that this dismisses the countless civilian deaths (unavoidable in any war), destruction of
infrastructure, economic collapse, and other variables we can't even begin to imagine yet, which would result from such a conflict. Even if Iran
"won" by these standards, it would be an extremely bitter, traumatic victory for the country and all its people.
I know many others feel that Iran would not be capable of causing the United States significant economic harm through its oil resources, that the U.S.
can successfully destroy Iran's nuclear facilities, air defenses, and other significant targets through air strikes and covert ops alone, and that
any reprisals would be worth the denial of nuclear weapons to Iran, and the possible overthrow of Iran's government by dissidents that could ensue.
Those people feel this would constitute victory for the U.S. I suggest that this dismisses the possibility of Iranian or Iranian ally attacks on
Israel, and any devastating response from Israel which could lead to a wider regional conflict, the possibility that Iran will respond to air strikes
with actions which would require feet on the ground to deter or defeat, the fact that oil prices will still spike regardless of whether Iran
successfully hinders supply and that even moderate increases in gas prices can place a heavy toll on U.S. citizens and the economy, and the extremely
high probability of a smoldering insurgency in Iran if we do deploy ground forces in numbers sufficient to occupy the country should circumstances
require it (unlikely but possible.)
It is unlikely that air strikes alone would topple the Iranian regime. It isn't impossible, but militants can complicate any efforts by dissident
rebels to take control, and it is all but certain that Hezbollah and Al Qaeda would flock to Iran. Sectarian strife in Iraq could spill over the
borders into Iran if a significant power vacuum is left and the Mullahs are killed or forced from power. Granted, some of these scenarios are highly
unlikely, but we believed it unlikely that an insurgency would still be going on in Iraq by this time as well. Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq, could
become a swath of land where insurgency and sectarian conflict becomes a way of life. This is why I feel neither Iran nor the U.S. would "win" a
All of this assumes Israel does not strike Iran first, unilaterally, or that Israel does not take part in any conflict with Iran as a U.S. ally.
Let's just say that many in the reason would be "displeased" by this.