posted on Dec, 29 2011 @ 08:37 PM
There is a lot of hand-wringing going on over Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz and the follout from the resulting conflict. I am not privvy
to any information that is not available to anyone else with a few minutes of searching on the internet.
1. Iran has no Air Force. At one time the Iranian Air Force was the second most powerful in the region. The revolution and the fall of the Shah
changed all that. for one thing, most of the Air Force personnel were seen as too westernized and were purged. There are few fighter aircraft
remaining and they all appear to be derelicts. Military air bases appear to have been abandonded long ago.
2. Iran's air defenses appear to be limited to a few obsolete Surface-to-Air missiles with well docuemnted SAM sites. Most of these missiles were in
use in Iraq during the second gulf war and were completely ineffective againct the smart bombs and cruise missiles. There appear to be two active and
two standby SAM sites in the gulf.
3. The point of items 1 and 2 is that American forces will own the sky. Thus detecting and destroying the fast small craft favored by the Iranians
will not be particularly difficult or hazardous.
4. The two most likely tactics Iran would use to close the strait are mining it and attacking a tanker. Both of these tactics were used during the
Iraq-Iran war by both sidesand were not proven to be particularly effective.
5.The most effective way to close the strait would be to sink a ship there. That is the least likely alternative because it would close the strait for
months (years?) The reason it is the most unlikely is because 80% of Iran's income comes from oil it ships through the strait.
6. You could say that while sinking a ship in the strait is the least likely outcome, it also is strategically the best outcome. If you consider that
most of the unrest in the region is funded by Iran, this one single act would cut off most of that funding. Peace might actually break out.
7. Shutting the strait would cause a short-term sisruption in the worls's oil supply: one sixth of it flows through the strait today. However, Saudi
Arabia and UAE are both constructing piplines so they can bypass the strait.
edit on 29-12-2011 by dbarnhart because: (no reason
edit on 29-12-2011 by dbarnhart because: (no reason given)