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Thread: 2020 US/Iranian Crisis

  1. #46
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    There won’t be a 'war' with Iran

    Oil is up and stocks are down on fears of escalating hostilities between the United States and Iran. But the U.S. killing of senior Iranian official Qassem Soleimani, and the Iranian retribution likely to follow, won’t become a traditional war between the two nations. Instead, Iran is likely to pursue “asymmetrical” actions against American interests that fall short of outright military provocation and may be hard to pin on Iran’s theocratic regime.

    The U.S. strike targeted Soleimani, who headed Iran’s version of a special-operations command, because he has planned many attacks against American forces in the Middle East and was probably involved in the violent protests at the U.S. embassy at the end of 2019. Those protests followed a U.S. strike on an Iranian backed militia in Iraq on Dec. 27, which was itself a response to a militia attack that killed a U.S. contractor. So the Soleimani killing was itself part of a cycle of tribal warfare between the United States and Iran that will no doubt continue.

    But Iran would be foolish to attempt a traditional showdown with the U.S. military. Iran can attack U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf, and probably cause some damage. The Iranian navy could probably shut the Strait of Hormuz, the entrance to the Gulf, a key transit point for about 20% of the world’s oil. That would undoubtedly send oil prices far higher than the 4% spike that hit after the Soleimani killing, causing temporary distress in global economies.

    But Iran can’t defeat the U.S. military or close the Strait of Hormuz for more than a few weeks, and it knows that. “Leaders in Tehran have a healthy respect for U.S. power and likely recognize they have little to gain from an all-out war,” writes analyst Henry Rome of the Eurasia Group. Iran’s economy is in trouble, and a full-out war with the United States would make everything worse. It could also weaken internal support for a regime already on shaky ground and end with the destruction of much of Iran’s military.
    Everybody goes on about straits but misses the bigger prize

    Saudi oil infrastructure.

    Do the Iranians have plans how to take it out. Definitely.

    How do you defend against that ?

    Houthi missile attack on Saudi oil dumps six months or so ago was a warning sign as to what Iran can do

    So think what Saudi oil out of the market for half a year or longer means instead.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 04 Jan 20, at 08:34.

  2. #47
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    It is considered to be a US strike against European mediation attempts, effectively denounced as a violation of international law, and is projected to result in both a proxy war within Iraq against foreign occupying forces as well as direct retaliatory strikes on other US assets in the wider theater.
    This seems likely and means more US troops will be required in the region.

    So why did Trump sign off on this if he wants to reduce America's military footprint around the world ?

    CEO president wants to cut deals not start wars.

    The thinking is it won't result in a wider conflict. It will remain limited.

    And Trump gets to say he is working to counter Iranian terrorism in the region.

    This was a counter terror op

    Some times you bite the bullet and take chances.

    https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Rel...nt-of-defense/

    It was pre-emptive

    At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

    General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.

    This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.
    Pre-emptive because there already were plans to attack US interests in the region
    Last edited by Double Edge; 04 Jan 20, at 08:43.

  3. #48
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    Abqaiq–Khurais attack affirmed this strike. It is safer to say that the planning started in late September 2019.

    The main debate should be, what next?

    Mulla regime is mapping domestic reaction which to me looks quite benign.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Everybody goes on about straits but misses the bigger prize

    Saudi oil infrastructure.

    Do the Iranians have plans how to take it out. Definitely.

    How do you defend against that ?

    Houthi missile attack on Saudi oil dumps six months or so ago was a warning sign as to what Iran can do

    So think what Saudi oil out of the market for half a year or longer means instead.
    Certainly they have missiles and doubtless other plans to hit KSA oil production but mining the Gulf is easiest semi escalatory option - and the cheapest.

  5. #50
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Certainly they have missiles and doubtless other plans to hit KSA oil production but mining the Gulf is easiest semi escalatory option - and the cheapest.
    I was referring to Iran's response in case hostilities increase. Iran's deterrence stems from what it can do to Saudi oil infrastructure. If Iran is directly attacked.

    The reason i don't think they will resort to mining the Gulf is the American attack isn't on Iran.

    It's on Iran's proxies. It was a pre-emptive counter terror strike. Consistent with the previous move on Iran's militia after they attacked the American contractor.

    So Iran's response would be to show that without Solemani that their proxies can still be viable.

    Quote Originally Posted by statquo View Post
    What’s the most likely response from Iran? Does anyone want to give their predictions and see if its right or close to being right when whatever happens happens?
    Iran's response options
    - asymmetric response against higher ranking American personnel
    - raids on American bases anywhere in the region with old fashion suicide bombings.
    - maybe a drone/missile attack of their own if they can manage it.

    Iran's imperative now is to regain the morale of its proxies

    I'd be surprised if there was an Iranian response soon.

    There will be a lull for now until an opportunity presents itself.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 04 Jan 20, at 11:45.

  6. #51
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    It's going a bit beyond proxies.

    The Iraqi PM attended the mourning procession for Soleimani and al-Muhandis in Baghdad, and the Qatari foreign minister is in Tehran today to meet his Iranian counterpart.

  7. #52
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    It's going a bit beyond proxies.
    That is what the commentary suggests but proxies are the ones down right now. Nobody else

    Whatever actions Iran takes will have to be to bolster the proxies.

    The Iraqi PM attended the mourning procession for Soleimani and al-Muhandis in Baghdad, and the Qatari foreign minister is in Tehran today to meet his Iranian counterpart.
    They are nervous and trying to mediate. There will be more such meetings in the coming days.

    Solemaini will be given a state funeral. People will chant death to America in Tehran

  8. #53
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Well we definitely got a short term gain. However, we tend not to be so good at seeing what the long term will be.

    Iran is embedded throughout the region. We want to get out of the region.

    I am very sure the Iranian leaders have long term plans and goals already formulated. Trump is an in the moment guy and has never been known for any kind of long term vision outside of self-promotion.

    Will this deter Iran in any way? If I had to put $100 down I would have to lay it on red for no. I know I wouldn't want to be an American, any American, in the region now.

    Laws of unintended consequences now comes into play with all the twists and turns.

    Kind of reminds me of Vietnam. The conflict was in the backyard of Ho and Giap and there was no way they were giving up. Here, this is in Iran's backyard, and I see them just as stubborn.
    This line of thinking goes back to April of last year when the US designated the IRGC as a terrorist entity. The Pentagon & CIA chiefs were against it as they thought it would make US interests a target whereas before they were not.

    Trump Designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a Foreign Terrorist Group | NYT | Apr 08 2019

    In response Iran declared CENTCOM a terrorist entity

    “These two forces (Guards and CENTCOM) that are designated as terrorist groups reciprocally might confront (each other) in the Persian Gulf or any other region. The United States will surely be responsible for such a situation,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA on Tuesday.
    Why Trump’s Latest Move Against Iran Was Pointless—and Dangerous | Time | Apr 09 2019

    Would not be surprising if the people that wrote these articles blame the current situation on the decision back in Apr. Would Iran have attacked the US contractor which then led to drone strike on Khataib Hezbollah's camp which then led to the embassy siege and finally Solemani being targeted.

    I disagree with both articles. If the US states that Iran is a terrorist threat and if Trump concurs in public and at foreign press meets then the question is what is he doing about it ?

    We got an answer two days back.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 04 Jan 20, at 12:48.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    People will chant death to America in Tehran
    They already did it in Baghdad today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    The Pentagon & CIA chiefs were against it as they thought it would make US interests a target whereas before they were not.
    See also https://www.cbsnews.com/news/qassem-...ichael-morell/ for their view:

    "So, yes it's good that [Soleimani's] gone, but it's come at an extraordinarily high price," Morell said. "And that's why the Bush administration and the Obama administration chose not to do something like this."

    (Morell back around 9/11 managed the daily intelligence brief and was chief intelligence advisor for Bush and later was deputy CIA director under Obama, he's also quite a Trump critic popping up with this kind of commentary every couple months)
    Last edited by kato; 04 Jan 20, at 12:52.

  10. #55
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    They already did it in Baghdad today.
    In the Shia neighbourhoods whereas the Sunni neighbourhoods were celebrating.

  11. #56
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    This news fell off my radar, or, perhaps this was not published earlier. DE can you confirm?

    Name:  Screenshot 2020-01-04 at 19.57.05.png
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    Source

    Trump's outlook is vile and narcissist, but few things he has done okay, like this one. From an Indian POV, is Qassam's killing a good thing? He was anti-ISIS, anti-Taliban and anti-Al-Qaida. He was anti-Pak too, to some extent. Onion prices shot through the roof, and if oil prices jump, BJP will be in trouble.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  12. #57
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    This news fell off my radar, or, perhaps this was not published earlier. DE can you confirm?

    Name:  Screenshot 2020-01-04 at 19.57.05.png
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    I vaguely recall an attempt on an israeli diplmat. What i do not recall is it was narrowed down to Quds. Makes sense.

    It won't be the only time i remember similar incident at a restaurant in Bangalore only a few years ago . Apparently an Israeli group was scheduled to visit that restaurant but in the end they did not show. The bomb went off and killed a couple of bystanders. They never caught the perps.

    I remember a street vendor nearby telling me of his experience with the cops. They wanted him to testify against some people they had rounded up. He refused because he did not recognise any of them. Still they made him come to the court numerous times. They offered him protection and a new job repeatedly but he put his foot down and said he did not know any of the people they showed him.

    Trump's outlook is vile and narcissist, but few things he has done okay, like this one. From an Indian POV, is Qassam's killing a good thing? He was anti-ISIS, anti-Taliban and anti-Al-Qaida. He was anti-Pak too, to some extent. Onion prices shot through the roof, and if oil prices jump, BJP will be in trouble.
    - If we could get the Pak general who ordered Pulwama or any general that green lights operations in India. Or even the outfit heads. Would that be good ? yeah it would be.

    - From any anti-terror pov this op makes perfect sense. Imagine if we lost 600 soliders and over ten years later the govt finally takes out the person responsible. Would that go down well ? yes and there would be a movie made about it. Previous govts would get bashed for not acting with alacrity.

    - NYT article in post #53
    Until now, American officials had never interpreted laws as permitting them to deem a government entity a terrorist organization.

    The Trump administration’s decision to breach that constraint with the Iranian group raises the question of whether other government intelligence services that use violence — including those of Israel, Pakistan and Russia — also now meet that standard. If so, should American officials deny visas to people who work with those agencies? State Department officials say the rushed announcement meant such policy details have not been worked out.
    Could Pak generals also be subject to similar sanctions ? Not death but can be denied entry if we can persuade the americans

    - GOI will be quiet in public but in private i don't think there would much disagreement if high fiving american officials is too much of an ask.

    - people who think its not good from a Indian POV are afraid a wider war might break out and Indians would have to leave the ME. This means we lose the $40 odd bn annual remittances.

    "We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war. I have deep respect for the Iranian people. They are remarkable people with an incredible heritage and unlimited potential. We do not seek regime change," Trump said.
    Sounds good to me

    I was with friends earlier and this subject came up so I read out the DoD's statement from #47 and said same what i did here.

    To my surprise one of them said i was being naive for believing the DoD's statement as the real reason.

    I said until something else turns up i'm going with that.

    He then fires back that reason for Iraq war was not what they said it was o_O

    .....

    Another insisted this was a wag the dog moment that would distract from Trump's impeachment. When i pointed out the movie was about Clinton's attack in Sudan naturally she disagreed that was a wag the dog moment to distract from his impeachment. And then came out with some thing i never heard before.

    That grenada back in '83 helped Reagan distract from the contra affair and Vietnam helped Lyndon Johnson o_O

    .....
    Last edited by Double Edge; 04 Jan 20, at 21:55.

  13. #58
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    Pence Links Soleimani to 9/11. The Public Record Doesn't Back Him.

    In a series of tweets Friday defending President Donald Trump’s decision to authorize the drone strike that killed Iran’s top intelligence commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Vice President Mike Pence reeled off a list of some of Soleimani’s most notorious attacks and machinations. Pence described “an evil man” who had threatened American national security interests for decades.

    In one of his tweets, Pence claimed that Soleimani helped 10 of the men who would go on to carry out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks cross through Iran and enter Afghanistan. That does not match established historical accounts of Soleimani or public U.S. intelligence about the hijackers.

    Pence said on Twitter that Soleimani “assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.”

    This lacks evidence. How Pence arrived at this number and this account is unclear. From what is commonly known about Soleimani and the group of men who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks, their paths did not cross.

    To start, many observers were quick to point out that 19 terrorists, not 12, were involved in the attacks. Katie Waldman, a spokeswoman for Pence, clarified that he was referring to a subset of 12 of the attackers who are known to have traveled through Afghanistan. She did not provide any evidence supporting the claim that Soleimani chose to assist only 10 of them.

    The notion that Soleimani abetted the attackers at all also appears dubious.

    By 2001, Soleimani had already been named head of the Quds Force, the powerful security branch that often coordinates with other terrorist groups worldwide. Yet the general was not named at any point in the 9/11 Commission Report.

    In fact, the report states in no uncertain terms that neither the Iranian government nor Hezbollah, a group that Soleimani worked closely with, ever knew anything about the attacks or helped facilitate them: “We have found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack. At the time of their travel through Iran, the al-Qaida operatives themselves were probably not aware of the specific details of their future operation.”

    Why Soleimani, leader of a hard-line Shiite Muslim military apparatus, would have come to the aid of members of al-Qaida, a Sunni extremist group with strong ties to Saudi Arabia, is also unclear.

    Soleimani spent much of his career undermining Saudi Arabia, and once even plotted to have the Saudi ambassador to the United States assassinated. At various points, he was also said to have helped facilitate the capture of al-Qaida militants on behalf of the United States.
    _____________

    This is the kind of ignorant shit that we don't need with this current crisis.

    FFS, does anyone in this administration have a minimum education that would allow them the truth of historical events?
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
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  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    It's going a bit beyond proxies.

    The Iraqi PM attended the mourning procession for Soleimani and al-Muhandis in Baghdad, and the Qatari foreign minister is in Tehran today to meet his Iranian counterpart.
    Adil Abdul-Mahdi resigned on 29 November 2019, after weeks of violent protests. The protest were for courption, Iranian influence and meddling,etc.. The Iraqi parliament approved his resignation on 1 December 2019. However, he will continue on in a caretaker role until parliament approves a full-time replacement.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post

    People who think its not good from a Indian POV are afraid a wider war might break out and Indians would have to leave the ME. This means we lose the $40 odd bn annual remittances.

    .....

    Looking at this issue from Indian prism is understandable but very problematic at the same time especially when we tend to make moral judgements like few journalists have already started to make by accusing the USA doing similar kind of interference in these states and promoting violence.

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    I’m startled by media commentators and experts condemning Iran for funding and arming murderous terrorist proxies across West Asia—which is true—without mentioning, even en passant, that the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others are doing exactly the same thing. Odd, no?
    Whatever the outcome in terms of financial loses that we may incur the take away for us is the lesson to build capacity to preempt against Pakistani terror enterprise (which you have already mentioned).
    Last edited by ambidex; 05 Jan 20, at 07:54.

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