Given the latest devolpments regarding Iran I have no choice but to ressurect this thread.
My original premise was that Iran was hoping to start a war against the U.S. and its allies. Whle many discounted this theroy, I believe it was due to
the misunderstanding of what I meant by war. In terms of an Iran U.S. cooalition conflict we would not be looking at a conventional war, but more of a
insurgent type conflct similar to what the U.S. is facing in Iraq only on a much larger scale.
The first thing you must consider is that 80% of Iraq and allmost all of Iran are Shi'ite Muslims. The shared faith means that Iraqi shi'ites have
more in common with the Iranians than thier own sunni countrymen. In addition the former Taliban regime if you recall is also a Shi'ite sect. So were
Iran to engage the U.S. Cooalition they would have a huge number of insurgents in all three countries from which to draw thier forces.
The second thing to consider is that Irans millitary which is both outdated in terms of technology, and resources (other than the human kind that is)
would last no more than a few days however as Iran has already stated its willingness to Martyr its milltary, and the fact that all Iranian military
officers believe that thier death in battle against the U.S. Coalition would grant them instant entrance to pradise, the possibility tht the Military
is nothing more than a sacrificial lamb to Tehrans ambitions can not be ignored.
In this thread we see Iran stating its willingness to Martyr its millitary
Third, in order for Iran to draw the U.S. Coalition into a region wide guerrilla conflict, there must be a groundswell of support amongst the Shi'ite
populations of the region. The easiest way for Iran to achieve this is to draw The U.S. into a position in which any action they take will further
incense the Shi'ite peoples. Perhaps holeing up in the Imam-ali mosque was not Al sadr's idea but the idea of his advisors to further thier leaders
In ths thread we see that Iran has sent agents into Iraq to further destabilise that regon.
And here we see how sensitive the situation in Najaf really is.
However to really insure that all Muslms, not just Shi'ites are resources for tehran to exploit what better way to unite Islam than by making it a
war not just against the "great Satan" but the L"little Satan" as well?
In this thread we see Iran Promising to destroy Isreali Nuclear facillities.
Based on the latest sbare rattling from Tehran perhaps the Iranians feel that support has grown enough to make this strategy tenable, or is about to
as a result of the situation at the Imam-Ali mosque?
As this thread shows Iran has recently made an annoucment of a possible Pre-emptive strike against the U.S. forces in Iraq.
Now what would the motivation of Irans leaders be to engage in a war they can not possibly win in the conventional sense?
Consider this nightmare scenario.
Iran launches a pre-emptive attack on the U.S. Coalition shortly after Iraqi forces assualt the Imam-Ali mosque.
The U.S. predicably responds with a withering bombing campaign which destroys 90% of irans infrastructure and all military equipment larger than jeep
Ground forces enter Iran only to find that all, Iranian Cleric/lawmkers are gone to ground.
The U.S. installs (or tries to) a interim government similar to Iraq's. The U.S. finds it self fight a war against a guerrilla force in both Iran and
Shi'ite forces in Afghanistan begin a stepped up guerilla campaign in Kabul designed to furhter destabilise the Afghani government.
The U.S. is now fighting an nearly invisible enemy that can seemlesly blend into the local populaton and enjoys the support of a large percentage of
the population in three geographicall contigous regions all of which act in a unified manner..
Casualities mount as more and more soldiers are killed in ambush and hit and run attacks.
Eventually, as more deaths occur with any resolution getting further and further away, the U.S. Coalition pulls out of the Mddle east.
The Iranian Imams reemerge and declare that the land comprising Iran Iraq and Afghanistan has merged into a single united fundamentalist Muslim
theocracy which has control of a huge percentage of the worlds oil reserve, nearly the entirity of the persian gulf, on of the worlds largest pools of
soldiers and due to the wealth of the oil fields the financial abillity to easily become a first class military on par with china and the U.S.
Not to bad a deal for the sacrifice of few thousand soldiers, some outdated military equipment and a few years hiding in caves is it?