Originally posted by mikesingh
How so? Iran can never hope to do this as it is a majority Shia country, whereas Pakistan's population consists of just about 20% Shias.
I'm not saying that Iran will invade or try to prop up a Shia theocracy in Pakistan. I'm saying that given essentially three choices: An American
puppet for a neighbor, A Sunni state for a neighbor, or an unknown outcome, it's conceivable that Iran would give mild but effective support to Sunni
groups. Afterall, when it comes to Hamas, Shias and Sunnis have never had a problem funding a common goal, as long as they have nothing to lose by
The fact that such a move would secure Iran against a two-front war from the US and weaken a traditional rival (Iran remembers how ugly the early days
of a revolution can be- when the Iranian revolution undermined their military, it almost cost them their country) makes it a matter of realpolitik.
Absolutely. Historically speaking, a successful Afghan state cannot exist without access to the sea. If Persia wants her former glory back, and a
border with her friends in China and Russia, preserving a power vaccuum in central Asia until the time is right by propping up a weak, anti-western
regime in Pakistan would be a very good idea.
Free nukes of its own? How?
Certainly not on purpose. I'm under no illusion that Pakistan will give Iran the nukes. I'm saying that there are nukes in Iran's back yard that
they can't get to, and anything that loosens control over those nukes is a thin opportunity but still a meaningful bonus on top of the other
advantages mentioned. It's also low on downside because if Sunni extremists get them, they still either get used on Israel or America most likely, or
not used at all, which is breaking even at worst.
Easier said than done! The Americans are spread too thinly on the ground. For any operation of such magnitude, you need a combat ratio of at
I'm not necessarily talking about an Iraq style invasion. I'm thinking more along the lines of the following:
Pakistan's nukes go missing, and regardless of where they are, Bush sends a very short-lived raid into Iran by an Marine Expeditionary Unit,
osstensibly targeted not at Iran but at terrorists in Iranian Baluchistan. The goal is to get Iran to kill American troops without America looking
like the aggressor in the eyes of at least some Americans (Bush has just under 30% support, he needs 40%-50% to get away with action on Iran).
If that happens, Bush has options. He can just bomb the Iranian nuclear program and call it retaliation. **Or IF he's a complete psychopath** he can
call up the reserves and institute an across the board stoploss, end troop rotation and put everyone in for the duration, and go into Iran with a
light force intended not to occupy but to gut the Iranian military in the field and topple the government, creating anarchy (this could be
accomplished with a lean mechanized force coming in via Pakistan supported by reservists from various MOS repurposed as infantry to secure a narrow
line of supply, bypassing the Zagros and forcing the bulk of Iranian forces to move a long distance to the front under the guns of American airpower).
He'll have to argue that the war powers clock doesn't start ticking till the first bomb falls, because congress will try to pull him out. The SCOTUS
would deny cert. He'd be impeached and the Republicans will stall the trial until the end of his term to avoid a conviction. China would retaliate
economically and we'd be on a course to armed conflict with them within the next 20 years. A power vaccuum would be preserved in Iran and Pakistan
that would keep the region on ice while a Cold War redux was being set up, perhaps allowing America to revisit the region in 20 years or so to try and
consolidate the gains that this war would leave open.
I'm not saying that will happen, in fact I'll be substantial sums of money that it won't happen. But it is one of the available scenarios and it
would work, in a very very ugly and historically infamous fashion.
Needless to say, an Iranian campaign will be a logistical nightmare! Bush, I presume isn’t so foolish as to invade Iran with the available
forces at his command at the present juncture.
Launching invasions with enough force to topple the enemy military but completely fail to consolidate any gains is Bush's calling card. His game
seems to be not so much serving America's immediate interests as reviving old failures and creating power vaccuums, for someone
America but maybe he serves a higher interest) to attempt to fill in the next generation.
That’s provided the US of A can invade and capture Iran. This is not possible in the near term,
Correct. I think it's about keeping anybody else from getting it so that it will be open later.
And what is meant by, ‘to check any future Chinese ambitions for westward expansion, not to mention the economic pressure it would put on
China’, is not understood.
The Second Sino-Indian war provides a grim warning that allowing transportation infrastructure to be developed in Western China and central Asia gives
China a previously absent ability to be a military force beyond the Himalayas.
If Central Asia is allowed to develop both poltical ties to China (including arrangements for the pre-positioning of Chinese hardware, god forbid) and
meaningful infrastructure, that presents the possibility that in the future China would be able to exert military pressure in the Middle East that
does not depend on her navy, thus strengthening China's bid to become a global power not merely in terms of soft power but also in military terms,
which is important because hard power against 3rd world exporters of raw materials translates into soft power aginst 1st world nations.
Anarchy in central Asia provides a buffer zone that limits Sino-Russian cooperation in military affairs and reduces China's future ability to exert
military pressure in the M.E.
The interruption of Iranian oil flow to China also exerts economic pressure on China
It's been a real pleasure Mike, thanks for the challenging thoughts.