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What do you think WOULD trigger the next war that will involve U.S. forces?
Originally posted by Justin Oldham
1. "President Obama" is pledged to a 16-month withdrawl from Iraq. If he is seen to reneg on that promise in any way, his administration could be in trouble very fast.
a. His own party may turn on him, which could mean that none of his legislative agenda is carried out in 2009. Funding for this "surge to win" is not likely to pass the House or the Senate.
A "disrupted" Obama administration might very well cause cascading intelligence failures which could make it much more likely that a terrorist attack might take place on U.S. soil. Agency budgets might be so disrupted that foriegn backed terrorists could infiltrate without being detected. Such a failure on his watch would ensure that Obama would be a one term President.
Terrorist failure wouldn't be enough to ensure a war with Iran under these conditons. World opinion would counsel restraint. American allies might strongly suggest that the captured terrorists be put on trial, out in the open where everyone can see the proceedings.
If the Iranians deny involvement--and insist on a very public terrorist trial--they'll be in a position to cry "conspiracy" if the Obama administration makes threats against them. World opinion will almost certainly embrace the idea of conspiracy of the Obama administration insists on using a secretive military tribunal to prosecute the arrested terrorists.
The "realpolitik" of the next few years seems to be that a draw-down in Iraq is unavoidable. If McCain is President, we'll expect to see a long-term 'garrison' of 30,000-50,000 personnel in Iraq for at least 4 years. If Obama is President, we may still see that same garrison--but--we won't see any new push for "the win."
There's a difference between "war" and "nation building" hasn't been explained to the American people. Bush43's failure to do so has tied President Obama's hands. He can't push for increased combat operations in Iraq without committing political suicide...unless...unless...that hypotheticla terror attack on U.S. soil is successful. In that event, Obama would be able to martial political and social forces (people would be serious p.o.'d). He'd get his "surge to win" in Iraq.
Action against Iran becomes pheasible if the increased campaign in Iraq yields 'proof' of Iranian duplicity and intent. This back tracking and investigation becomes possible if we assume that the terrorists (who did their evil deed in the U.S.) were captured and forced to give up their secrets. If those secrets validate Obama's claims about Iran...and the findings of investigators in Iraq...he'll get his war with Iran.
Originally posted by Justin Oldham
It sounds to me like you're not telling us the full extent of your hypothetical scenario. It can take a long time, and a lot of work to write up one of these. There are days when it really does feel like a job. Even so, we are just kicking around hypotheticals.
President Bush has already played his best card. The "surge to win" (2007-2008) is not an option that will be available to the next President. American politics being what they are, force reduction is the only remaining viable option if that future Prez wants to have a second term.
The essential problem you've got with a foiled nuke attack is that the averagel person won't get mad over casualties that didn't happen. the most you can hope for in this case would be a renewed call for sanctions agaisnt Iran. Any future President would latch on to that one as a good political option.
As I understand the nuts and bolts of your scenario, the following objective are in play:
1. U.S. and the U.K. ally with Israel to strike Iran.
2. The resulting war goes wrong.
that is possible, but you'll have to take a different road to get there. Give me a few hours, and I'll show you what I mean.
"I'll be back..."
November, 2008. The Obama-Clinton ticket sweeps to victory, defeating the McCain-Huckabee effort by a decisive margin. Mid-term elections favor the Democrats, reducing the Republicans to a very small minority in the House and in the Senate.
International May Day, May 1st, 2009. Conspiracy theorists on Above Top Secret dot-com begin discussing the possibility of a terror attack on U.S. soil when a new poster claims to have knowledge of something called Yasir Al Islam. Nobody believes him, and he is quickly labelled as a Hoaxer.
1. He can send his Secretary of State to the United Nations with the proof that the U.S., U.K., and Israel, have collected. This event will be compaired by the MSM to Secretary Powell's presentation in 2002. The evidence is more damning, but U.S. prestige is limited.
2. He can make his case to the American people. This will mean compromising strategic intelligence assets in order to have any shot at gaining the public's trust. His speech will no doubt be compaired to the speech made by John F. Kennedy during the start of the Cuban missile crisis. U.S. prestige may be enhanced if the international community perceives motive and intent to be "honest."
3. He can order secret military plans to be put in to effect. a) Carriers can be moved to the Eastern Med and to the Arabian Sea. b) Special forces teams can be sent in to Iran ahead of Israeli action to evaluate air strike damage, after the fact. c) Nuclear ballistic missile submarines can be moved in to optimal firing positions. d) B-1, B-2, and B-52 bomber rotations can be changed to bring those assets closer to Iran, at a higher degree of readiness. e) Marine Expeditionary Forces already in the region can be pulled out of the line and made ready for action in or near Iran. f) Ready reserves in Iraq can be moved towards the Iranian border.