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The United States spends $1,549 per capita on its military (population 298,213,000).  

Iran spends just $91 per capita on its military (population 69,515,000).  And yet we are told that Iran poses the most formidable threat to the United States of America at this moment.

I wish we had some Iranian military budget planners working for our side!  Think what we could do with all the money we'd save!  Free primary, secondary and higher education for all students (as in Iran).  Free universal public healthcare for children (as in Iran).  

Iranian efficiency at military development and defense is totally awesome when compared to the USA.  Despite spending only $6.2 billion annually and suffering from restrictive sanctions limiting their procurement, Iran has developed a truly formidable defense capability.

The Iranian military is so formidable, in US military war games in 2002 the Iranians kicked US butt - sinking 16 US Navy vessels including an aircraft carrier - until Rumsfeld suspended the games and made the bad guys follow a script ensuring US victory.

One event that shocked Van Riper occurred in 2002 when he was asked, as he had been before, to play the commander of an enemy Red Force in a huge $250 million three-week war game titled Millennium Challenge 2002. It was widely advertised as the best kind of such exercises -- a free-play unscripted test of some of the Pentagon's and Rumsfeld's fondest ideas and theories.

Though fictional names were applied, it involved a crisis moving toward war in the Persian Gulf and in actuality was a barely veiled test of an invasion of Iran.

In the computer-controlled game, a flotilla of Navy warships and Marine amphibious warfare ships steamed into the Persian Gulf for what Van Riper assumed would be a pre-emptive strike against the country he was defending.

Van Riper resolved to strike first and unconventionally using fast patrol boats and converted pleasure boats fitted with ship-to-ship missiles as well as first generation shore-launched anti-ship cruise missiles. He packed small boats and small propeller aircraft with explosives for one mass wave of suicide attacks against the Blue fleet. Last, the general shut down all radio traffic and sent commands by motorcycle messengers, beyond the reach of the code-breakers.

At the appointed hour he sent hundreds of missiles screaming into the fleet, and dozens of kamikaze boats and planes plunging into the Navy ships in a simultaneous sneak attack that overwhelmed the Navy's much-vaunted defenses based on its Aegis cruisers and their radar controlled Gatling guns.

When the figurative smoke cleared it was found that the Red Forces had sunk 16 Navy ships, including an aircraft carrier. Thousands of Marines and sailors were dead.

The referees stopped the game, which is normal when a victory is won so early. Van Riper assumed that the Blue Force would draw new, better plans and the free play war games would resume.

Instead he learned that the war game was now following a script drafted to ensure a Blue Force victory: He was ordered to turn on all his anti-aircraft radar so it could be destroyed and he was told his forces would not be allowed to shoot down any of the aircraft bringing Blue Force troops ashore.

Heck, we probably did the Iranians a favor when we isolated them from the biggest international arms markets.  It used to be that they bought almost all their hardware from the United States.  Even after the revolution, they still bought most of what they needed from the United States via Israeli middlemen and Reagan's lunatics like Ollie North.  When we started getting tough, we forced Iran to self-sufficiency.

Now Iran is almost entirely self-sufficient for its frigates, submarines, tanks, jet fighters, ballistic missiles, small arms, artillery and armour.  Iran now claims to be among the top six countries in the world in missile production, able to produce missiles to defeat any attack platform likely to be used against it.

And it seems that self-sufficiency is a lot cheaper than buying from the US or other merchants of death, so I guess they'll be sticking with that strategy.

I know those ayatollahs are pure evil, and that Iranians wish they were suffering the brutal repression they enjoyed under the Shah instead, but it's not all bad.  Who would have guessed that those woman-hating ayatollahs would have promoted universal female education to the extent that enrollment rates for girls are almost equal to boys at 97 percent, and post-revolutionary women are marrying later, having fewer children and getting better educational and professional opportunities.  Public health statistics have improved to the point where 93 percent have safe drinking water and 98 percent have safe sewerage.  

No doubt Iranians would be happy to trade all that civil infrastructure, education, healthcare and opportunity for the joys of democracy as they see it exercised in neighbouring Iraq.  Heck, they'll probably just throw down all those missiles, air defenses, gun boats and RPGs as soon as our boys and girls start bombing and invading, welcoming them with sweets and flowers.  

I just hope that if we do go to war with Iran we capture some of their military planners.  If we followed their strategies for procurement and defense rationalisation and got our budget down to $91 per person, we might actually be able to improve civil infrastructure, education and healthcare for Americans over the next 20 years as much as the ayatollahs have done for Iranians.  

Originally posted to LondonYank on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:13 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Very amusing... (26+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, your diary contains a very big grain of truth.  Of course, the Iranians do not have to contend with earmarks, do you think?:)

    Excellent food for thought.  Cheers:)

    Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

    by wgard on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:17:07 AM PDT

  •  Leave a tip jar, damn you! (9+ / 0-)

    So what you are saying is that the US should try to get the Iranian military to adopt the Pentagon way of using money? Brilliant strategy. Of course the ever rising price of oil brings ever more money to the Mullahs in Teheran..

    "I never had ties with a female employee that went beyond professional relations." Moshe Katsav

    by allmost liberal european on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:28:13 AM PDT

  •  great diary LondonYank (11+ / 0-)

    It probably has something to do with the fact that we've got enough nukes stored up to blow up the world 12 times over (nevermind the fact that we only have 1 world and I for one would rather not blow it up). Cuz you know they don't spend all that cash on body armor.

    •  But CNBC broadcasts stock tips (15+ / 0-)

      that the wars are good for our defense contractors' earnings per share.  No love for our war profiteers? {snark}

      -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

      by sunbro on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:41:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What about maintenance & development? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure that just maintaining our current arsenal (and the technology behind it) is costing us a ton as well.

        Also, Iran is in the business of acquiring hardware only after some country (like ours) that has the resources ($ and people) develops and tests that hardware.  I'm sure R&D in Iran is a speck compared to the kind of R&D we do for our military.

        How does that hit the per capita?

        "I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat."
        ~Will Rogers

        -5.25, -4.87

        by cotasm on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 08:38:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about maintenance & development? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure that just maintaining our current arsenal (and the technology behind it) is costing us a ton as well.

        Also, Iran is in the business of acquiring hardware only after some country (like ours) that has the resources ($ and people) develops and tests that hardware.  I'm sure R&D in Iran is a speck compared to the kind of R&D we do for our military.

        How does that hit the per capita?

        "I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat."
        ~Will Rogers

        -5.25, -4.87

        by cotasm on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 08:38:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about maintenance & development? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure that just maintaining our current arsenal (and the technology behind it) is costing us a ton as well.

        Also, Iran is in the business of acquiring hardware only after some country (like ours) that has the resources ($ and people) develops and tests that hardware.  I'm sure R&D in Iran is a speck compared to the kind of R&D we do for our military.

        How does that hit the per capita?

        "I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat."
        ~Will Rogers

        -5.25, -4.87

        by cotasm on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 08:38:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about maintenance & development? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure that just maintaining our current arsenal (and the technology behind it) is costing us a ton as well.

        Also, Iran is in the business of acquiring hardware only after some country (like ours) that has the resources ($ and people) develops and tests that hardware.  I'm sure R&D in Iran is a speck compared to the kind of R&D we do for our military.

        How does that hit the per capita?

        "I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat."
        ~Will Rogers

        -5.25, -4.87

        by cotasm on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 08:41:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about maintenance & development? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure that just maintaining our current arsenal (and the technology behind it) is costing us a ton as well.

        Also, Iran is in the business of acquiring hardware only after some country (like ours) that has the resources ($ and people) develops and tests that hardware.  I'm sure R&D in Iran is a speck compared to the kind of R&D we do for our military.

        How does that hit the per capita?

        "I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat."
        ~Will Rogers

        -5.25, -4.87

        by cotasm on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 08:41:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about maintenance & development? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure that just maintaining our current arsenal (and the technology behind it) is costing us a ton as well.

        Also, Iran is in the business of acquiring hardware only after some country (like ours) that has the resources ($ and people) develops and tests that hardware.  I'm sure R&D in Iran is a speck compared to the kind of R&D we do for our military.

        How does that hit the per capita?

        "I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat."
        ~Will Rogers

        -5.25, -4.87

        by cotasm on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 08:58:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about maintenance & development? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure that just maintaining our current arsenal (and the technology behind it) is costing us a ton as well.

        Also, Iran is in the business of acquiring hardware only after some country (like ours) that has the resources ($ and people) develops and tests that hardware.  I'm sure R&D in Iran is a speck compared to the kind of R&D we do for our military.

        How does that hit the per capita?

        "I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat."
        ~Will Rogers

        -5.25, -4.87

        by cotasm on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 09:09:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, nukes are cheap. (11+ / 0-)
      Conventional weapon systems, training, and most importantly SALARIES are expensive.

      Best regards,

      The Republicans are on a roll. Now they've introduced a resolution that says we stay in Iraq until Ann Coulter joins the Dixie Chicks...Bokbluster.com

      by USAFguy on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 08:06:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LondonYank, snacksandpop

        That was one of the explicit thesis' in the book I just got done reading, We Now Know: Rethinking the Cold War, that nuclear weapons actually prolonged the cold war because it was cheaper to maintain a nuclear arms race than it would have been for conventional forces.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Republicans believe in training Al-Qaeda, but not in training American workers.

        by Lestatdelc on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 09:37:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And another supremely important tenet.. (0+ / 0-)
          Losing militaries have ROTTEN retirement plans.

          ;)

          Best regards,

          The Republicans are on a roll. Now they've introduced a resolution that says we stay in Iraq until Ann Coulter joins the Dixie Chicks...Bokbluster.com

          by USAFguy on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 09:46:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Ahh-there's the point (0+ / 0-)

        central to Rumsfeld's and the NeoCons transformation strategy is to reduce troop strength to free more bucks for technology.  People are expensive.  Unfortunately the weapons systems they want to buy are still oriented on a 3G war opponent.

        The fate of the wounded rests with the one who applies the first dressing- Nicholas Senn

        by Eiron on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 11:20:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, since I found out about that in (0+ / 0-)
          1980...I am sure the big thinkers already knew about that WAY before me.  Think Truman or Eisenhower.  And the drawdown has been pretty steady of multiple administrations.

          There isn't a NeoCon conspiracy under EVERY bed...just some.

          Best regards,

          The Republicans are on a roll. Now they've introduced a resolution that says we stay in Iraq until Ann Coulter joins the Dixie Chicks...Bokbluster.com

          by USAFguy on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 11:41:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Huge blind spot (25+ / 0-)

    America (and Canada, unfortunately) has a huge blind spot when it comes to modern warfare. Of course countries like Afghanistan, Iran, and groups like Al Qaeda and the Taliban, are going to use guerrilla tactics.

    They're not stupid, and they know they have no other option to deal with a large, well-armed and well-trained force.

    If we were smart, we would work on diplomatic relations rather than conventional war tactics.

    But, as Jimmy Carter says in Our Endangered Values, Bush has sabotaged many diplomatic initiatives around the world.

    The Next Agenda a dkos-style blog for Canadian politics

    by Thursday Next on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:41:11 AM PDT

  •  If the Bushistas do attack Iran... (5+ / 0-)

    they may get a heaping dose of just what they deserve.  Of course everybody else in the world will be getting screwed as usual.

    Nice work on a very interesting diary LY!

    Recommended.

    Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:55:20 AM PDT

    •  Our dead pilots, sailors and soliders will get (17+ / 0-)

      the blowback, not the rich fat cats with stock options in their defense portfolios who steer Bushista policies.  Only if they stand trial at the Hague for war crimes is it possible that the Bushistas get what they deserve, and I'm not holding my breath for that.

      "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing - after they have exhausted all other possibilities." Winston Churchill

      by LondonYank on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 05:57:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can't agree with that sentiment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LondonYank

      I just can't agree with that sentiment because they will not get what they deserve.  We will suffer, ordinary people in the Middle East will suffer, but the ones at the top will not.

      What they deserve is to be removed from power, and to be held accountable for their reckless, destructive actions.

      If we get involved in a war with Iran, it will be just another tragedy for all the real people involved on both sides, as you mentioned.  We'll pay, the leaders will remain safe and monied.

      I think we've learned a lot lately about how vulnerable we are to unconventional warfare.  But I also think that people are showing too much confidence in Iran in this diary.  Van Riper was a U.S. military expert, a Lt. General from the Marine Corps University, not an Iranian military leader.  And if our military took a significant hit, I really fear for what would happen if they completely took the gloves off.

  •  A few months ago (13+ / 0-)

    I posted a similar diary with the top 10 military spending nations and how far ahead the US was.

    The diary has some nifty charts and pie charts.. mmmm... pie

    The Shock and Awe of Military Spending

    Weird enough, the second highest per capita military spending is France, with about $775.

  •  That is one of the funniest things (6+ / 0-)

    I have read in awhile.

    Thank-God Democrats have a sense of humor.

    "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

    by bonddad on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 06:06:01 AM PDT

  •  I'm not holding my breath either... (8+ / 0-)

    but I'm not giving up hope.

    Only if they stand trial at the Hague for war crimes is it possible that the Bushistas get what they deserve, and I'm not holding my breath for that.

    I will never again feel contentment or satisfaction until I see this with my own eyes.

    A Nuremberg chief prosecutor says there is a case for trying Bush for the 'supreme crime against humanity, an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.'

    Could Bush Be Prosecuted for War Crimes?

    Until we bring these bastards to trial we will owe a solemn and unpaid debt to the world.

    Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 06:06:37 AM PDT

  •  I remember that story (3+ / 0-)

    After reading the first paragraph I recalled that story being published in the Washington Post. Talk about unconventional war fare and using what assets you have to your advantage: It was perfect. In 1988 during what was then called Re forger: A joint NATO military exercise held each fall in Germany a similar situation occurred involving ground forces. In this case the Blue force "The allies" was opposing the Red Force " The Warsaw Pact" which was much larger: Lost the battle in 3 days of which was supposed to have been a 5 day war game.

  •  Three Points (5+ / 0-)

    The Blue Force was playing within guidelines that makes taking out suicides difficult.  With relaxed restrictions, civilian casualties go way up but he could have defended the task force better.  But we don’t commit war crimes. Go ahead and flame.  But that’s what the description of the war game comes down to.  The Red Force used “illegal combatants” while the Blue force restrained from taking out everything in sight.

    Second, it is a good thing for us that they are in the arms race business.  It will be detrimental in the long run if it takes away from other infrastructure expenditures. Remember, the money invested in weapons is intended for destruction.  That is, weapons have very little long term value.  So the real question is defense versus other expenditures.

    Third you are very much on target that our expenditures on a meaningless war and useless military systems is dreadful.  It is hurting us big time.

    Do the right thing 'casue it feels better.

    by John Boy on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 06:54:05 AM PDT

    •  you may be right (5+ / 0-)
      that the Blue team was playing by the rules when they got wholloped. But what kind of Defense Sec. would war game the other team by rules that politically he admits our enemies don't recognize in real life? A myopic one blinded by his own hubris? One that just can't stand to be proven wrong and ineffective?

      Please. If Rumsfeld isn't creative enough to learn a lesson from that exercise then we have serious failures of leadership at the top of the Pentagon. (big surprise.)

      Also, I think your second point misses the point that Iran has been capable of establishing quite enviable civil infrastructure and social programming AS WELL AS an enviable and self-sufficient military defense for pennies on the dollar compared to what other nations spend. All in a restrictive global environment that has forced them to be creative and resourceful. If we fuck with Iran we are going to get stung very hard in ways that will SHOCK. Repeatedly. For YEARS. And they will not be playing by the "RULES".

      SO if Rummy has to win on paper we lose for poor planning and hubris in real life. Oh, sure. We could probably devastate Iran in a real confrontation. But only through massive bombing. 'Cause we don't have the troops for the ground. Because we went to Iraq. So unless we reinstate the draft (which is coming, eventually) it has to be by air. And that means massive collateral damage. Dead babies and women and old people. And despite what the politicians and talking heads and military planners might say, those are, in real practice, crimes of war.

      BTW, we are so undereducated and unaware in America of how other countries live that it would shock many Americans to know that Iran has such standards of civilized society. Do we have clean water and sewage in the 90% zone in our country? Whose literacy rate is higher, USA or Iran? Whose standard of living is higher across the board? How about poverty figures? See, we have a lot of things in America that are the envy of the world (or used to be). One thing we DO NOT HAVE in general is awareness of others in this world. We are like the spoiled only child. We have never gotten past that stage in our development where the whole world revolves around us.

      ...and now that I'm cooking with THAT line of seasoning...

      by bastrop on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 08:11:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Clarification (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LondonYank, Iberian, snacksandpop

        No doubt Rumsfeld is a fool.  My comments are to mitigate fears that we are defenseless.  The sailors onboard the ships deserve to know there is a way to survive, and bluntly it is to kill everything that comes near.  I would hope Rumsfeld would realize that to get an even footing in such a war, we would have to be so ruthless that the world might rally to Iran’s side.  But I doubt it.

        The second point was more along the lines of absolute spending numbers are not adequate to predict who will go broke first.  It’s not a per capita number; it is more like % of GDP that matters.  I assume our % is higher, but probably not as bad as the per capita numbers suggest.  Just trying to clear some murky water here.

        I agree, the general public does not know the standards of living of the rest of the world is very true.  Much of Europe has a higher standard, especially when you factor in health care.  But the analyst within the intelligence agencies are not so ignorant.  You won’t see defense spending in absolute terms as a point of cross country comparison, even in the spin based public assessments.  But in the same way the Fed looks at debt as a percentage of GDP, not a per capita, defense spending as % of GDP should be consider as a factor in effecting future economic growth.

        It is rarely mentioned, but Japan’s and Germany’s economic growth is in part a result of relying on us for defense.  Do you recall that Bush I got money from Japan and Germany for the first Iraqi war?  

        Rumsfeld, and other neocons, as you say, in their hubris are threading on dangerous ground.  They are also digging a hole that will take some time to get of.  Of course they are counting on the inflation caused by gas prices to alleviate some of this debt.  An Iranian adventure might cause a world wide economic collapse, if not a nuclear war.  It is big time dumb to contemplate such an adventure. And it would accomplish nothing accept more hatred of America.

        Do the right thing 'casue it feels better.

        by John Boy on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 09:04:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LondonYank, Iberian

        Most Americans are surprised to learn that Europeans have cell phones and internet access, let alone hospitals often better than ours, and way more accessible.

        Iran is a democracy - not like ours, but a democracy nonetheless - with a duly elected government.

        Women have educations, jobs, the country just has cultural norms that aren't ours. Big whoop.

        It's THEIR country.

  •  Iran Doesn't Have to Defend Itself Against (0+ / 0-)

    the Nazis, the USSR and a massive Chinese ICBM first strike.

    We do.

    We don't actually face those threats. We just have to defend against them.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 06:54:07 AM PDT

    •  The Nazis and USSR? Are they coming back? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925, mattes, snacksandpop, KiaRioGrl79

      And I thought the Germans were on our side . . .

      Yeah, it's sure different for a little country like Iran that just has to defend itself against Russia to the north, China to the east, Israel to the South and the USA to the west.

      "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing - after they have exhausted all other possibilities." Winston Churchill

      by LondonYank on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 06:57:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank, snacksandpop, Hannibal

    Is LondonYank trying to be serious or funny? I can't tell by reading it.

    Mostly because it is insanely stupid. Reminds me of the type of armchair military analysis on CNN prior to Gulf War I.

    Lets seriously hope there is never war between the US and Iran, because I don't think people understand how many people will die if the US ever unleashes the complete arsenal of the US military, as opposed to the extremely limited arsenal used in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    In 1990, Iraq was considered to have the most powerful military in the Middle East too, and 100,000+ Iraqi's died to a US military that has become many, many times more lethal since that war.

    I think it is pretty stupid to trivialize the incredible firepower the US military represents, because if you don't understand the magnitude of destruction possible, and I'm not even talking nuclear, then I think it trivializes the magnitude of death likely to any country the US engages in an all out war.

    The military is built to be a deterrent to war; it just isn't used like one under this administration. Misunderstanding that point is the path of blissful ignorance.

    •  SOH failure? I am both funny and serious. (9+ / 0-)

      I am despairing of stopping the next war of senseless aggression against Iran and Syria.  It is clear to me that the Israeli invasion of Lebanon has as its sole purpose providing a pretext for launching the wider war.  

      Bush & Co. (the PNAC crowd) have always had as a primary objective securing the Khuzestan oil fields from Iran (with 90 percent of Iranian proven reserves) and gaining a pipeline from Iran and Iraq through Syria to the Mediterranean to provide oil security to Israel and avoid the security bottleneck of the Arabian Gulf shipping route.

      I have been angry for a week about this, but a serious diary would not have made the Recommended List or been as much of a wake up call to so many as a bit of snark.  

      You get more Kossacks with snark than you do with vinegar, Raymond P, and I am veteran enough to use what works.

      "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing - after they have exhausted all other possibilities." Winston Churchill

      by LondonYank on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 07:04:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Recommended (5+ / 0-)

        I share your concerns completely.

        I am yet convinced if this is an administration attempt to start a war, or if there is an outside element attempting to engage us in a war, but I agree completely that there are devious minds at work here that want the US engaged in another war.

        I am yet to be convinced the Iranian President and Mullahs aren't as insane as Bush and his neo-con windbags. It has been my observation they are men of the same mold as the western neo-cons, because they also use words that don't match actions. From my perspective, the combination of Iran and the US right now is an elixir with dangerous combustible consequences, and the elixir is igniting everywhere the US has influence in that region (Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan).

        Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    •  Shouldn't military force (2+ / 0-)

      be considered as part of an overall foreign policy strategy? Not a foreign policy on its own?

      Have you been on vacation and missed the events of the past few days? Bill Kristol, (remember him?), is advocating war with Iran. Last time around he and his buddies (PNAC etc.) were quite successful in convincing this administration.

      •  Absolutely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        paul2port

        I am in complete agreement that Kristol and crowd are dangerous, however I don't see them as the only dangerous element involved in the events taking place in the Middle East.

        While we can certainly choose different options than Kristols, I'm not convinced the Iranian's don't want war. I considered Iranian actions towards the IAEA, control of Hezbollah, and threats of Israel as empty rhetoric until last week when this war started, now I'm not so sure anymore.

        •  Iran has politics too... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Raymond P

          ...and whatever posturing you may be seeing by them is as much a product of others bloviating against them as it is some inherent, inevitable character of Iranian foreign policy. Part and parcel of the strategy being employed here is to threaten a subject nation, overtly and covertly, until it begins behaving as societies under threat do, which can then become itself a causus belli. See LondonYank's PsyOps diary for more.

          Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

          by adios on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 09:38:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is both sides (0+ / 0-)

            I see it as both sides. There has been plenty of midnight oil burned regarding neo-con strategy on the right in the US and the agents in print promoting the "Bomb Iran" agenda.

            However what I have also noticed the lack of an intelligent and blunt discussion on the left regarding Iran's mettling in unstable states through violence and military power.

            I think there is a positive effect to accurately calling out neo-con approaches to solve troubling developments that threaten stability and peace, I think there is a dangerous effect in ignoring the problems Iran is creating through their destablization actions altogether. The lack of discussion at even the dkos level of the issues seriously might explain the lack of genuine diplomacy in America, after all, absence diplomatic voices of concern that discuss the concerning facts of Iranain issues, why have high expectations that diplomacy would work at all?

            I fear the stance progressives have taken regarding Iran is to ignore the developing problem while we are at the early stages, and make excuses for blatently troubling developments over the last 10 months. The Lebanon situation is a good example, if the solution to stop the fighting doesn't involve Iran, it will surely fail, however many people aren't even ready to admit the role Iran plays in this conflict.

            If we don't address these issues in dialog with careful thought and ideas, they will be larger problems down the road, limiting the options that can be negotiated in a diplomatic solution.

            Like I said earlier, I believe there are also elements within the Iranian government that want war as bad as the neo-cons in the US do. I think we have a responsibility to take on that tough issue in a foriegn policy discussion just as we have a responsibility to take on the neo-cons domestically. To not do so would be our failings, and a repeat of failures in history.

            •  Think you're comparing apples and nukes. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LondonYank, Raymond P

              I'm not going to defend all or even most of the externally-directed actions of the Iranian government, but some of their missteps seem to be as much a result of a lack of consensus - and simple inexperience as significant actors on the world stage - as they are indicative of some larger, sinister strategy. Remember Iran's recent (and not-so-recent) history; this is a state still emerging from an era of colonialism and foreign domination.

              Compare this with the planet-threatening actions of the current US/Israeli consortium and the utter disproportion of the face-off seems clear. I remember reading some years ago that the "Evil Empire" had been consigned to the dustbin of history; it's disconcerting, to say the least, to find it not only thriving (and evil-er than ever) but that some of us are living inside it. Back to the drawing board.

              Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

              by adios on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 10:46:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  maybe (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LondonYank, snacksandpop

                I guess I see things that way, except with a twist.

                I'm a product of the cold war, and retain my beliefs how the root causes for conflict in the cold war was the export of ideologies, usually initially through covert means.

                Whether it was the imperialistic expansion of communism or democracy, it was usually through the same process of interfering in the political of other nations and providing military assistance behind the scenes that led to violent outcomes. I believe the same holds true today, and I present exhibit A: The Bush Administration, as an example.

                In that regard, I see this ideological export policy in the US and I see a very similar ideological export policy in Iran, and I hold the leadership of both countries accountable for those policies.

                My concern is what we are seeing is the right of America holding Iran accountable but not the US, while the left is holding the US accountable but not Iran. I see the lack of consistancy in the progressive policy as a disturbing trend (a little too similar to the conservative policy in reverse if you get my drift), because while we can count on the right for lack of personal accountability in governmental policy, I'd like to think the progressive movement is based on the ideals of an accountable approach backed by the evidence to formulating our policy.

                I can't say I think the current progressive approach to Iran of giving a pass is accounting for the growing evidence that says they don't deserve it, in fact I think we let too much of it slide, and when we fail to take a stand against obviously troublesome behavior, well, that simply isn't what I believe the progressive movement is about.

                Maybe I am looking for an Ivory Tower, but I don't believe simply formulating policy reverse of the conservatives or neo-cons is progressive, in fact I think it is regressive. Progressives think out of the box on domestic policy, but not on foreign policy... progressive foreign policy is too often 'the opposite of them' policy (which might be why Democrats are seen weak on the subject in polls). For the sake of future diplomacy in the United States, particularly since diplomacy in the US today is dead, I think that is a concern all of us should have.

                I do agree with you though, we need a new drawing board.

                •  Well-spoken. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LondonYank

                  Some excellent points. I guess my take is based on decades of continual American interference in Iranian affairs, which has arguably generated much of the blowback we're seeing today. I can't recall the Iranians interfering in our national life - maybe I was out of town that day - but Mossadegh alone earns us a prominent place on their shit list. Now we seem to be at it again.

                  Ahh, the Sorrows of Empire...

                  Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

                  by adios on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 12:27:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  People See The Incredible Firepower... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LondonYank, Iberian, snacksandpop

      ...of the US arsenal, but miss the incredible weaknesses.  

      Our incredible weakness is the logistical support that all that firepower requires.  

      The tanks, ship, and planes require mass quantities of fuel.  Fuel which was handily supplied by Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, and in Iraq is now presently being ferried through and from Kuwait.

      They require ammo for the weapons, food and water for the people, and spare parts.  Currently in Iraq all of these are being ferried either through Kuwait or airlifted in to the one protected airport and redistributed.  If you read some of the combat reports that are unfiltered by the Pentagon, yu'll realize all of these vital groups of supplies are in short supply.

      Finally, our whole military concept is based on a  war with an adversary who will obligingly fight us on our terms.  Van Riper's approach was only the most recent and best publicized incident that showed the weaknesses in our miliary, but the same sort of rigged military exercises have been going on for years now.

      If we were to get into a war with Iran now, I fear greatly for our soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen.  They will be paying for bu$hco's folly.

      •  I know (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Iberian, Eiron, StrayCat

        Don't get me started, the military logistics discussion and the state of the military discussions are two discussions I have professional expertise in.

        It is why I am frustrated with the cries about the evacuation of Lebanon made by ignorant people, and why I am much more frustrated with Rumsfeld who has taken the largest military budget in US history and crippled our armed forces for years, even without a war.

  •  I await the RWNM taking this seriously (4+ / 0-)

    "Oh the leftinistas at Daily Kos LOVE Iran and want to marry it!"

    "Iran and Kos, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G"

    Recommended.

    This comment was screened and authorized by Kos. All hail the King of the Blogosphere.

    by Scientician on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 06:55:26 AM PDT

  •  Perhaps Pork (7+ / 0-)

    is forbidden in their political diet too.

    [ Anyone who thinks my bark is worse than my bite, has never seen me bite. ] -6.63 | -5.38

    by dj angst on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 06:56:28 AM PDT

  •  This should be required reading (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank, mattes

    at the NRO.

    They'd have fits.

    Great Diary.

    Recommended

  •  Robert Baer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank, snacksandpop

    He is the ex-intelligence/cia or whatever guy that has gone around promoting his book.  Very credible.
    When asked about Iran and the implications, he stated the Iranians would likely strike at all oil ports throughout the middle east in order to create a catastrophe for oil supply and sky rocketing prices.
    If that is the case which is logical, the american economy would make the dot.com implosion look like childs' play.  
    If you want to bet on dumb decisions put money in oil stocks.  Its a good bet because stupidity and wise diplomacy never sleep together.

    "I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5lb perch in my lake" -gwb describing his greatest moment since becoming president in 2001.

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 07:13:30 AM PDT

    •  I read his first book, I thought it (0+ / 0-)

      was good...but this is only one opinion.

      Want to see how a python kills, take a good look at the West Bank. 4,000,000 hostages? Lebanon. The veil is gone.

      by mattes on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 07:17:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you mean oil options, of course (0+ / 0-)

      (can you even buy options on oil?)

      Apparently, the Iranians have been quite blunt recently in explaining to the Emirates that it would not hesitate to destroy their oil export infrastructure shoulf he US strike.

      if i make them very tiny, may i have more letters for my sig?

      by subtropolis on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 08:53:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kudos London Yank. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank

    Thanks for the much needed info on what they are really up to.  Now let's see if anyone is paying attention.

    Not the church. Not the state. Women will decide their fate.

    by JaciCee on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 07:24:03 AM PDT

  •  The Land of Shirin Ebadi (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank, snacksandpop

    The "brain" of Persians/Iranians here in America:

    at Harvard:
    http://hcs.harvard.edu/...

    at MIT:
    http://web.mit.edu/...

    at Standford:
    http://www.stanford.edu/...

    at Cornell:
    http://www.rso.cornell.edu/...

    "According to a study carried out by Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  Iranian scientists and engineers in US own or control around 880 billion dollars." source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_in_Iran

    Economic sanction on Iran did not destroy the country,instead Iranians learn to be creative and innovative.It's weird what a country can do when it's called "axis of evil".

    •  but (0+ / 0-)

      i'd wager that the majority of people of Iranian descent in the US are not exactly on good terms with the Ayatollahs. That's one reason they're in the US.

      if i make them very tiny, may i have more letters for my sig?

      by subtropolis on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 08:55:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  absolutely (0+ / 0-)

        yes.

        Shirin Ebadi is one of them.

        18 million Iranians voted for Ahmadinejad.There are millions more who didn't vote for him.

        I'm taking away the politics here and treating Iran as a nation.

        •  perhaps i misunderstood (0+ / 0-)

          Economic sanction on Iran did not destroy the country,instead Iranians learn to be creative and innovative.It's weird what a country can do when it's called "axis of evil".

          I thought you were suggesting that the majority of these were fifth columnists.

          In any case, i completely missed the mention of Shirin Ebadi.

          if i make them very tiny, may i have more letters for my sig?

          by subtropolis on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 11:23:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Why spend anything (4+ / 0-)

    on the military, or anything else for that matter. Spending should have a purpose. The purpose should be important to the people who are spending. Spending so much more than the rest of the world is obviously not for self defense, yet we allow people to call our military spending "defense spending", we fund the "Department of Defense". The PNAC people claim they are focused on "Rebuilding America's Defenses", as if we were at risk.

    Blowing up another country, building military bases on their soil and then claiming self defense when they attack our troops is an insult to the intelligence and decency of every American. Why don't we talk about what we want to get out of our spending on the military? It seems absolutley taboo to talk about this in public forums of any kind.

    The military budget in the U.S. is a bloated, wastefull, disgrace that make everyone in the world less safe. We could spend 1/2 as much and still be spending a lot more than Russia, China, Iran and N. Korea combined. We also have allies that would support us if we were really threatened.

    Military spending is not even a good economic stimulus. I don't remembered where I read it, but studies on government spending spending show that military spending has a very low multiplier effect.

    The purpose of U.S. government spending should be to benefit the American people. The purpose of military spending should be to provide an adequate defense of the American people against agression.

    We should develop a set of proposals, and a way to communicate them, that ultimately re-invests 1/2 of our military spending in creating a clean energy infrastructure and confines the purpose of the military to defense.

    The purpose of this plan would be to provide the people with an economic boost by investing in development of a new energy infrastructure, decrease the effects and costs of global warming, and to provide adequate military defense against agression. If we don't start creating and proposing things like this we limit the range of public discussion in a way that ensures we will always be burdened by bloated offensive military spending and unable to spend our money in truley beneficial ways.

    •  An example of a good military investment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LondonYank, Raymond P

      In calculating the cost of downed airplane, one has to consider the loss of the pilot.  The cost to the military is his training.  To America it’s his life time taxes as an airline pilot.  (Cold blooded calculation of a persons worth, I know.  But more realistic than claiming medical waste is the most valuable community on earth.)  

      Of course, the same should be said about any higher education.  An excellent investment.  

      My point is paying attention to the men and women in the military is good military and economic sense.  Keeping them alive is very sound thing to do.  And as the common defense is part of the American charter, providing for good training, especially if it can be used on the civilian side, and ways to keep them alive should be a rather high priority.

      Do the right thing 'casue it feels better.

      by John Boy on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 09:24:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly Right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LondonYank, snacksandpop

        While all the neato equipment and high tech gets the publicity, it is the men and women of the armed services that make up most of the cost of the military, and the expertise of the soldier or sailor has always been where the value is.

        It is noteworthy that Rumsfeld's agenda has been to change that reality under the slogan of "transformation" buying big budget items that are supposed to require less manpower. Nevermind they almost never require less manpower, which means they cost more to operate than experted, and usually lack the same capability as manned equipment.

        Rumsfeld is the single worst thing that has happened to the US Armed Forces since Vietnam.

  •  Q: What's the difference (7+ / 0-)

    between the U.S. and Iran?

    A: Both countries have governments that want theocracy, but at least Iran has healthcare for kids.

  •  no doubt the iranians (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank, snacksandpop

    have been paying attention to the lessons learned from the Kosovo war as well as Iraq.  If they can use piles of tires and plastic sheeting to consistently divert million dollar bombs and cruise missles away from the real targets then you can be certain that the Iranians will do that and much more.  Despite a lot of fawning here about the "effectiveness" of the Kosovo war, the  Yugoslav army emerged essentially unscathed despite 20,000 "precision guided" bombs.

  •  One bet (0+ / 0-)

    One lesson we learned from the cold war and the Gulf wars is that we're very good at overestimating the military capacity -- especially in terms of the quality of the armor (in the military sense of the word) -- of our enemies.

    We overestimated the capabilities of the Soviet Union, we overestimated the capabilities of Iraq.

    It's one thing to build tanks and missiles etc., it's a whole different problem to build ones that work right and to have the ability to maintain them.

    In other words, my (completely uninformed) bet is that lines like this "Now Iran is almost entirely self-sufficient for its frigates, submarines, tanks, jet fighters, ballistic missiles, small arms, artillery and armour" need to be taken with a grain of salt.

    Although I certainly do agree with the thrust of the article.

  •  Well sure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John Boy

    When you don't have to physically overthrow governments around the world, you don't need such an expensive military.  Iran knows how to use proxies to get the job done (Hezbollah) which, while I of course don't agree with the jobs getting done, certainly is effective when considering the economic impact and the cover it gives the homeland.

    •  Another point: quality versus quantity (0+ / 0-)

      Third World countries are more willing to take heavy casualties because of their high birth-rates.  They choose to spend blood, while the casualty-averse West prefers to spend money.

    •  CIA got bin Laden started (0+ / 0-)

      Are you aware that bin Laden learned his craft when we sponsored the insurgence against Russia in Afghanistan?

      It's not like we haven't or would do exactly what they accuse Syria and Iran of doing.

      Do the right thing 'casue it feels better.

      by John Boy on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 09:36:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes I am (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snacksandpop

        During the Cold War, the US used proxies much more than now.  They tried it with Afghanistan and that didn't work out all that well, they got burned by Bin Laden and so aren't wild about doing that again (that we know of).  The U.S. over the past six years has completely lost it's willingness and/or ability to legitimately work with other countries or sub-national/trans-national groups, organizations, and individuals towards any sort of common goal.  It belies bullheadedness, incompetence and laziness among other fun words I could throw at this administration that they can't even figure out how to get other people to do their dirty work anymore.

  •  'Mercy rule' in war gaming? My goodness gracious, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank, snacksandpop, John Boy

    now we know where the "Office of Lessons Learned" learned its lessons: playing tee ball.

  •  The rightwing here and in Israel (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank, Eiron, Subtitles

    is going for it all.  The whiff of regime change in WDC has them in a panic.

    Pity the mere humans - the brown ones - who get in their way...

    www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

    by chuckvw on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 09:36:43 AM PDT

  •  I think they'd sandbag Baghdad and Baghram (0+ / 0-)

    The air hubs linking both central Iraq and Afghanistan to the outside world, a move that would greatly degrade the ability of Coalition forces to do, well, pretty much anything against local troubles.

    In other words, no ground invasion.

    In fact, the Americans would suddenly have their hands full trying to figure out how to rescue not one but two armies cut off from supplies, deep in hostile territory.

    Oh, silly me. I keep forgetting. The reason we have a Green Zone in Baghdad is because the Iraqi people love us so.

    I wonder what Tom Friedman will be wrong about next. :)

    by cskendrick on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 10:18:57 AM PDT

  •  As Far as Bush/Cheney and Israel Go, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snacksandpop

    Escalation of this conflict is about only ONE thing:

    The legitimization of the use of NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

    Make no mistake, that is what this proposed war with Iran is about.

    There is nowhere else a war with Iran can go.

    Kristol, Cheney, Perle, Wolfy, and all the other nutbags have only one goal in mind, to escalate the development and legitimacy of small-midsized NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

    That was one of PNAC's major goals from the beginning.

    War with Iran will only accomplish one thing, the world-wide escalation and use of NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

    Nobody has any excuse at this point for being fooled by Israel or anyone else into thinking this is about anything else at this stage.

    The legitimization of NUCLEAR WEAPONS is the necessary next step for Israel and the U.S. to force an aggressive NeoCon stance on future administrations who will then be dealing with the radical escalation and use of NUCLEAR WEAPONS by developing countries. That was and is the main reason Dick Cheney wanted to be Vice President.

  •  hmmm, quarter of a billion on war games (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snacksandpop

    that are compromised for feel good results. yep, very lean military budget. how's our boy in afghanistan anyway? any word?

    i'm an agnostic, i'd be an atheist if it weren't for mozart

    by rasbobbo on Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 11:35:46 AM PDT

  •  Does that number include (0+ / 0-)

    the money funnelled into the hands of private military contractors?

  •  I think everyone should read this (0+ / 0-)

    short interview with Shimon Peres which notes:

    Peres ventured that Iran was behind the Hezbollah attack last Wednesday that instigated the crisis. He pointed to the timing of the attack on an Israel Defense Forces patrol in which two soldiers were kidnapped, noting that it came just a day after Tehran's reply to the demands made of it regarding its nuclear program.

    According to Peres, the crisis has escalated because under the current international circumstances, nobody has influence over Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas - not the United States, not Russia, not the United Nations, not the Europeans and not the Arab League, "and the only country with guts is Israel."

    Peres said such a political situation was new, and that question now was how to make use of it. He believes that the fighting should continue while simultaneously conducting a diplomatic process.

    Peres isn't a hawk, he's a pragmatist and a diplomat.

    Now I disagree with much of the gist of this diary, Iran couldn't prevail in a conventional conflict with Israel much less the USA. But if their defense needs and their energy needs are met for the forseeable future, why the huge nuclear program (that you can see for yourself with Google Earth)?

    No one's going to occupy Iran like the madmen have done with Iraq. All that's under discussion is destroying the Iranian nuclear facilities (along with various defenses of them of course). While Iraq did not have any of those, Iran does, and it's hard to argue that they should be allowed to keep them, given that, as Peres says, no one has any control over them and they are an immature theocracy.

    •  Saw Peres interviewd (0+ / 0-)

      last weekend.  I had always thought he was not hawkish, but he did seem very hawkish in that interview.  (I believe it was a CNN interview.)  This gave me great concern since I always had the impression that he was a voice of reason in Israel.  I wasn't sure what to make of it.  Your comment sheds some light on it, but it still doesn't allay doubts and fears about what's going on.

      Here is another thing I don't understand.  Why will Israel not stop the bombing when they know there are citizens of friendly countries in Lebanon who are trying to evacuate?  Is time so of the essence that they can't let up at least long enough to let the innocent people caught in the crossfire get out safely?  Personally I'd like them to stop bombing entirely, but why not at least long enough to let people get out?

      •  Well they are steering clear of hitting them (0+ / 0-)

        Because they know that will play into the exact plot against them (to blacken Israel's image in the world community). And they are leafletting and radio broadcasting instructions for where the civilians should move.

        Their operational plan is to remove Hezbollah's warmaking machine in the south including all the rockets and launchers, and to do that with minimum losses they need to keep Hezbollah on the run or cowering underground and prevent it from resupplying itself. So they knock out bridges and continue bombing.

        War is an ugly business, but the border was nearly entirely peaceful until Hezbollah did its seriously asinine attack and kidnapping.

  •  Millennium Challenge 2002 (0+ / 0-)

    was a wake up call, for sure, but I have reservations about its importance in predicting the outcome of a U.S. /Iran war.  It was more indicative of what Rumsfeld is like, and how our military industrial complex works at home, as they do their regular hype to show off flashy new technology.

    In the 80s I worked for two military contractors and got a sense of how things are in the MI complex.  One was doing the Aegis radar system and I happened to be working for them as it was installed on the first cruiser (hype level = high).  The other was designing and building the ill fated V22 Osprey, and it was also building, refurbing and refitting Chinook helicopters.

    They had all kinds of literature and promotion films that they would show everyone to "shock and awe" the people in the military, in the contractor companies, and the civilians, so that they would continue to get funding.  

    So, IMO, Rumsfeld arranged this game to wow everyone and Van Riper got too real on him.  Rumsfeld threw a temper tantrum and started things over, changing the rules, guaranteeing success to protect his ego and to assure that the pet programs would continue.  They were testing new technologies of "network-centric" warfare and Van Riper poked a huge hole that would prevent them any further testing of their cool stuff if he kept being so real with his low tech tactics :)  

    What it said to me was that Rumsfeld is idealogical about his vision for transforming our military, and clearly he got his ass handed to him, but wasn't willing to learn that lesson in public.

    But I also considered the fact that Van Riper is a Marine Lt. General, not an Iranian military leader.  He was willing to risk a first strike because he knew he wouldn't get nuked (for real, anyway) and when Rumsfeld "reset" the game, and started over after the "victory" - well it was a pretty despicable move, IMO, but it also wasn't realistic.  What would really have happened next is that there probably would be no more Tehran.  I really fear what would happen if there was a big strike on our military because I believe they are willing to use the nuclear weapons.

    Also, I'm not sure if, during the war game, the U.S. had troops in countries on three sides of Iran.

    I think Iran is formidable but not as formidable as perhaps you have painted them in the diary.

    PBS had some interesting things on this and NOVA has a whole section of their site dedicated to the question "Can the U.S. military's high-tech weaponry prevail against insurgents?"  Here's a link to that page called Battle Plan Under Fire  

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