More Signs of an Upcoming Confrontation with Iran

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that “Navy officials acknowledged that they were moving with unusual haste to complete the conversion” of “an aging warship” the Navy “had planned to decommission into a makeshift staging base for the commandos” so it could send the ship to the Persian Gulf by early this summer. The converted warship would serve as a floating base that “could accommodate smaller high-speed boats and helicopters commonly used by Navy SEALs.”

More importantly, a Navy spokesman suggested that the “mothership” would support mine-clearance ships. Such ships would be a necessity in any operation against Iran, particularly if Iran mined the Strait of Hormuz. In 1987, the Iranians did just that. Furthermore, U.S. Navy Seals, Marines, and Army personnel operated from similar floating platforms in the Gulf to contain Iranian aggression against civilian vessels carrying crude oil.

The anticipated timing of the warship’s delivery to the region suggests that the Obama administration is planning for something as early as this summer. In the meantime, expect the Iranians to continue their diplomatic dance that has successfully confounded the Western world since at least 2003.

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About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Conservative clean energy crusader, national security hawk, financial analyst, engineer, and former military officer.
This entry was posted in Energy Security, International Security, Middle East, Nuclear Power, Nuclear proliferation, Policy, Politics, War and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to More Signs of an Upcoming Confrontation with Iran

  1. middleagedhousewife says:

    We should all be very worried about this. I have to wonder just how the Obama administration is going to plan for a victory over Iran while paring down the military. I feel that we failed in Iraq because we tried to “make nice” and make war at the same time. I think we should have gone in and secured the nation and it’s borders first, before beginning the process of “nation building”. The Bush administration tried to conduct a politically correct war and failed miserably. I think the Obama administration will make the same mistakes, and this time he will have fewer military resources to work with. Now, I concede that this is just my opinion and I have no military strategy experience, but then again, neither does our current President.

    • samuelprime says:

      There are successes in Bush’s Iraq war — which I still do support. No longer will Iraq be a threat to us with WMDs. Libya coughed up its WMD program as a result of the Iraq war. Iraq got what it deserved for being the regional threat that it was for many years – to us and our allies in the region. Further, don’t forget that it’s not all Bush’s decision, for the Congress along with most of its Democrat reps have supported the bill to launch strikes on Iraq thru passage of a Public Law document. This Law lists several other reasons beyond just WMDs for going after Iraq.

  2. samuelprime says:

    Will Obama have the audacity to strike Iran? That, I’d like to see. I can understand trying to stop Iran from shutting down or threatening the Hormuz, but will he strike the nuke facilities? I’d support that, of course, but not sure he’d do it.

    I hope that the US & West aren’t going to get suckered in by Iran for ‘more talks’ to give Iran more time to buy as they see fit. Iran did that several times in the past when it sensed that danger is nearing. The options for diplomacy have nearly run out.

    • If he listens to his advisers he will. He also appears to be putting all the pieces in place for a strike. I think he will do it.

      • samuelprime says:

        I hope you’re right, and that these are plans to strike rather than just precautionary measures in case things get uglier. By the way, I found this to be an interesting article on the issue (in case you didn’t read it):

        http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/magazine/will-israel-attack-iran.html

        (with an interesting ‘parallel’ between the current problem and the Six Day War).

        • Oh, there are always plans for a strike. The Pentagon has plans for all sorts of contingencies that will likely never happen. That said, the carrier deployments will certainly give the President the ability to do both. The murkier their intent, the better for the United States. Furthermore, all this positioning is also likely intended to serve as a stick at the negotiating table. That is, Plan A (a diplomatic solution) is proceeding in parallel with Plan B (coercion or strategic adjustment).

  3. middleagedhousewife says:

    Oh, he has audacity all right, just not militarily. I think he will strike at Iran but only to buy votes by appearing to be tough. I’m just afraid he will try to wage war with his new stripped down, sanitized, automated military and we will lack the military might to be successful. I agreed with going into Iraq. I just think that we messed up the aftermath.

  4. Chris Van Trump says:

    It’s possible.

    The real question, to me, is precisely who might strike first. Will Iran attempt to close the Strait in retaliation for sanctions, or will the US or Israel perform air strikes on Iran to shut down their nuclear program?

    I rather doubt Iran has the will to close the Strait, all things considered. While they’ve been training up an asymmetric naval force for a little while now, they have to know that whatever minor successes they might achieve there will be offset rather abruptly when the US retaliates.

    On the other hand, airstrikes to destroy Iran’s nuclear program seem equally unlikely. Israel might have the will, but I’m not convinced they have the capability to perform the necessary strikes without touching off a much larger conflict. The US, on the other hand, has the capability, but I don’t think Obama has the will.

    If the worst does come to pass, and Iran decides not to roll over and play dead in the first few days, I expect we’ll see something more akin to Desert Storm than Iraqi Freedom. No occupation, no sustained presence, and quite possibly no significant number of troops on the ground at all, simply a series of air strikes designed to wreck Iran’s military capabilities and nuclear aspirations.

    • Chris,

      I think we’ll strike first. The ideal model would be OPLAN 5026, a precision strike on North Korea’s Yongbyon reactor that the DoD recommended to President Clinton in 1994. The attack ultimately never came because Jimmy Carter negotiated an agreement at the 11th hour. As a result the North Koreans now have nuclear weapons and have been a burr in our side ever since.

      Some of the principals who planned that operation are now in the Obama administration. I am convinced that Obama, for all his faults, defers to the experts in his Cabinet. I think you will see a series of precision strikes over a number of months or years (think Operation Desert Fox against Iraq in the late 1990s), until the Iranians give up their nuclear program. If the Iranians decide to counter with a terror attack on American cities, then I do see things getting ugly with American forces overthrowing the Iranian government in Tehran.

      • Chris Van Trump says:

        Given the option, I fear my stance on nuclear proliferation would be… somewhat uncivilized, unfortunately. Something along the lines of: “Nations attempting to acquire nuclear weapons will see their wishes granted, as often as is required, until such aspirations are abandoned.”

        Probably unsurprising that “Deterrence” is one of my favorite films.

        I will say that the odds of Obama committing to a strike go up significantly if he wins a second term, in my opinion.

  5. Pingback: Will Israel Attack Iran This Spring? | Reflections of a Rational Republican

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