There are many reasons why Iran will be one of the most challenging places America has ever comitted forces to fight. There is the fact that, by
comparison, Iraq had less than half the population and Afghanistan was pretty much deserted. 73 Million people is nothing to scoff at. However, there
is a more pressing reason that sets Iran apart from anywhere else and it's a very big one. Literally. VERY BIG.
Now first, I would note the pure topography of the nation. Iraq and the rest of the region is pretty flat by comparison. It's like cross country
hiking Kansas compared to trying that across Colorado. In Iraq, we didn't have to play the game with choke points except where bridges were
concerned. Roads?? We have GPS. Who needs roads on a battlefield these days? .....unless it's endless sets of mountains for hundreds of miles. Err...
Now that isn't working very well.
Additionally, those mountains represent the ultimate nightmare for Surface to Air missile traps which could exist down every valley. Iran isn't
populated by backward dolts who have the very basic education level. These guys launch their own satellites successfully into orbit. Repeatedly.
They're primitive satellites but I'll bet such folks can manage to arrange a network of SAM sites with that kind of dream of a map to work with.
I'll even bet they work..as advertised at least a fair part of the time.
America has chosen to have VERY VERY high tech airplanes, but not very many OF them compared to other fighting powers. I hope that wasn't a bad
mistake in this fight.
Next is the real deal breaker for all but the Strategic Bombers. Oh..and they seem to have managed to tweak our stealth at least once...so the B-2
should have a hell of a ride in and out.
Tehran to the Gulf Waters = 418 Miles x 2 - 836 Miles for the round trip.
Tehran to the Afghani Border = 531 Miles x 2 = 1062 Miles for the round trip
F-15 Range = 3,400+ miles if configured as a flying gas can / 1,000 Nautical miles for combat operations
F-16 Range = 2,620 miles in gas can config / 340 Miles for combat operations
F-18 Range = 500 Nautical Miles
F-117 Range = 1,250 Miles in gas can config / 765 Miles for combat operations (this one at least gets there!)
AH-64 Apache Range = 1,180 Miles in gas can config / 300 Miles for combat operations
Obviously, the B-52, B-2 and other toys we may not know about have plenty of range...although not so much in the way of good fortune for deep
penetration across extremely hostile airspace. That should be interesting...when rescue is simply not happening for anyone because we can't even GET
there in something fit to land and pick a guy up.
Now of course, all this is simplified greatly if Iraq would agree to allow us back into our old bases with the full load out of offensive aircraft for
sustained operations across the border into Iran. Umm.. Yeah.. I doubt that happens. So.... The only other option is Turkmenistan. Russia isn't going
to be real friendly to them if they allow us to set up shop with full, sustained combat operations less than 100 miles from the soil of the Russian
Federation. So..that isn't likely either.
Nope...since Obama pulled us out of Iraq BEFORE hitting Iran, it makes this insanely difficult by sheer logistics alone, to what it could have been
until very recently. That isn't the only 'lay of the land' problem though. There is this:
And people thought Iraq had tribal issues... That isn't the only issue in that direction though. Will our guys even speak the language? Now I hope
everyone who has served long enough in Afghanistan to learn Dari and Pashto to a functional level didn't think they were done. They'll be badly
needed in Iran. It's a land of many languages. Yet Again. Ohhh joy...
So basically, Iran is not impossible but it's absolutely *NO* pushover or milk run the way Libya and both Iraq and Afghanistan were in the early
phase of taking and securing the nation. The aftermath is a whole different thread..but I'm simply looking at the initial move to occupy.
Oh..and that will be needed.
If ANYONE thinks Iran is going to take a thumping like Saddam did occasionally or Libya did by Reagan, they're delusional. Iran is set and ready to
kick this into a regional war at the first opening. If we go, as a nation, it's all the way or nothing. Our enemy in this war won't have it any
other way...and won't allow us to either.
I sure hope those in power have thought all this through very carefully..and Obama is following the advice of his military leaders. America hasn't
kicked a hornets nest like this one since Korea..and NO ONE on our side wanted that nightmare. This war is damn near by choice.