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The Middle East War


Simon Tan
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2 hours ago, Josh said:

See my edit to that post; the US as no interest in striking Iran unless Iran does something to seriously interrupt the flow of oil.

Agreed.  The flow of oil is one thing.  An Iranian-Israeli war is another.  US interests are in contradiction, because to assure the flow of oil, they need to stay neutral if there is a war in Syria.

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If the US did retaliate against Iran, it would probably use aircraft based in Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Diego Garcia, the CONUS, and whatever carrier was assigned to the 5th fleet.

Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE might decide they do not want to be a combatant and refuse the USAF basing rights for that purpose.  Diego Garcia is too far to do much on its own, and the US Navy can't possibly be planning on war with Iran if NATO just sent Harpoon missiles to Ukraine, a precedent that would not have been taken if a naval war was so quickly planned afterwards.

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It would last until Iran no longer had a significant ability to engage regional shipping or oil infrastructure and likely include their nuclear program since there’s no reason not to at that point.

That does not sound like a quick campaign.  Europe needs the Gulf (and Iranian) oil, and now you're in a campaign where they're going into next winter without it.  Do you think Putin will send what the EU needs to make up for what is lost from the Gulf, and take payment in Euros?  I don't.

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Major operations would probably last a week or two with a no fly zone type patrol being conducted indefinitely, assuming the regime lasted and continued open hostilities.

A two week campaign followed by a no fly zone.  But a no fly zone implies perpetual hostility, so not two weeks.  Zero chance of regime change, zero control over the Russian and Chinese reaction, zero ability to supply Europe with the oil it needs unless this comes from the US itself.  (And Biden surely must fear that if gas goes to $10 or $20 a gallon that the Democrats are finished in 2022 and 2024 elections).   

 

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5 hours ago, glenn239 said:

MZ will say anything to get what he wants, which is a US war against Iran. 

False.

5 hours ago, glenn239 said:

But I don't think the US wants a war against Iran right now because the globalists have so badly fucked up their response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine that they cannot afford any interruption of Gulf oil supply.

What makes the US a superpower is its supposed ability to conduct foreign policy, including military one, anywhere in the globe, and on multiple fronts. Being preoccupied by only one theater makes it a global power, which it isn't, so you're not giving them enough credit.

5 hours ago, glenn239 said:

The Russians just sent a message to the Americans that they do not fear a war in the Middle East.

By announcing they'll bomb the positions of Syrian rebels? They've been doing that since 2015. Where is the middle eastern war between major powers?

5 hours ago, glenn239 said:

I think Biden has one play with Isreal, and that is to warn the Israelis not to expect any US support if it gets into a wider conflict of its own making.  

This is a common misconception. An Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would not be a conflict of Israel's making. It would be a conflict of Iran's making.

But this general tone of US not providing support is the usual MO. The big problem is that Israel is far away from the US and Europe, so they dismiss these problems until they become theirs. So when Ukraine is invaded, the non-dormant Europeans are supporting them - because Ukraine is in Europe, and they could be next. When Israel is invaded, it's condemnations and everything but that on the agenda, because who cares about the middle east. 

The US commits tens of thousands of troops to some of its allies, even shielding the larger part of an entire continent. None seems to mind that. But with Israel, the US thinks an offset agreement of a few billion dollars a year is enough. To be frank, it is. What the European and Asian allies ask of the US is definitely too much. But the US also thinks that it's enough to make Israel strong enough to power through every conceivable enemy. It isn't. While Israel is militarily strong, it also has many other inherent limitations like a small territory, concentrated population, being surrounded by enemies, and a not so big economy. So even with the aid, Israel's defense budget roughly matches that of the US, and far exceeds every European country's. 

All these taken together have created a reality in which Israel cannot rely on any of its "allies" for support, particularly European ones. And a symptom of that is that Israel would be naturally less attentive to its allies' requests, as the relationships aren't mutual enough. 

Hence, to Israel, the possibility of Iran closing down the straits of Hormuz is much more a subject of diplomacy vs the US, and much less a domestic concern for fuel prices.

5 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Well yes, im sorry I rather think it does. Because as soon as you do an overt military strike on Iran, they go all in on fucking with the worlds oil supply (when its rather in a state of flux because of events in Eastern Europe), and all Israels backers suddenly find themselves in a world of hurt.

As opposed to all the previous overt military strikes on Iran? What was the attack on Natanz then? Or the destruction of a large drone factory? Or the half a dozen other attacks that were claimed to be conducted by aircraft?

5 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

What I would do? Continue with the targeted attacks on their scientists, which they seem to tolerate. Maybe even the odd car bomb, sabotage. And hope we can transition towards alternative fuels faster than they can work through the sabotage schemes.

Iran already has enough enriched material to create a bomb. They've already been caught planning geological surveys for nuclear tests, and it's estimated to take about 2 years for a proper bomb from now.

Your method brings Iran straight to a bomb. It only slightly delays it. A strike is needed now more than anything.

 

I personally think it's kind of odd the only person who actually believes it's doable is the only person who's likely to live for a month or two in a bomb shelter because of said decision. 

For you it's oil prices. For me it's survival. Reactionism brings destruction.

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2 hours ago, glenn239 said:

Agreed.  The flow of oil is one thing.  An Iranian-Israeli war is another.  US interests are in contradiction, because to assure the flow of oil, they need to stay neutral if there is a war in Syria.

Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE might decide they do not want to be a combatant and refuse the USAF basing rights for that purpose.  Diego Garcia is too far to do much on its own, and the US Navy can't possibly be planning on war with Iran if NATO just sent Harpoon missiles to Ukraine, a precedent that would not have been taken if a naval war was so quickly planned afterwards.

That does not sound like a quick campaign.  Europe needs the Gulf (and Iranian) oil, and now you're in a campaign where they're going into next winter without it.  Do you think Putin will send what the EU needs to make up for what is lost from the Gulf, and take payment in Euros?  I don't.

A two week campaign followed by a no fly zone.  But a no fly zone implies perpetual hostility, so not two weeks.  Zero chance of regime change, zero control over the Russian and Chinese reaction, zero ability to supply Europe with the oil it needs unless this comes from the US itself.  (And Biden surely must fear that if gas goes to $10 or $20 a gallon that the Democrats are finished in 2022 and 2024 elections).   

 

The GCC seems quite motivated to take Iran down a peg. In any case B-2s could easily make the round trip from Diego and drop a squadrons worth of bombs each, or potentially a pair of 15 ton bombs. Iran would be hard pressed to do anything to a CVBG; their military has barely advanced since the 80s. I’m not sure what link you are trying make to Harpoon; presumably you think Russia will gift Iran Bastion and that they will magically be able to use it with no training. In short, the US could easily conduct its own operations if the GCC suddenly did a policy 180.

The end game would be messy which is why the US doesn’t want to engage, but once the oil is cut they will have to. Nothing China or Russia can do will have any significant impact even if they had a mind to interfere.

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10 hours ago, glenn239 said:

But I don't think the US wants a war against Iran right now because the globalists have so badly fucked up their response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine that they cannot afford any interruption of Gulf oil supply.

Trump was if anything an anti globalist and he too had no interest in engaging Iran militarily even after ballistic missile brain damaged a hundred us troops. The lack of will to start a war with Iran has crossed several administrations; it isn’t a Ukraine specific thing.

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12 hours ago, glenn239 said:

Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE might decide they do not want to be a combatant and refuse the USAF basing rights for that purpose.

The US is only expected to refuel Israeli aircraft. Last time I checked, those refueling aircraft have quite the range, and can take off even from Israel and loiter for hours above/near Oman or UAE.

12 hours ago, glenn239 said:

That does not sound like a quick campaign.  Europe needs the Gulf (and Iranian) oil, and now you're in a campaign where they're going into next winter without it. 

Why don't they just start buying Russian oil again? 

If the US+Europe can decide on gradually halting Russian oil trade via sanctions that force Israel to stop buying Russian goods as well, leading to skyrocketing oil and certain goods' prices in Israel, without having Israel in the decision making, why can't Israel ensure its own security and risk the west's oil trade with Iran as well?

As was said here, Israel gets hurt just the same. But it's worth it.

Or am I missing here something? Is it okay to ban oil trade with a country led by a lunatic that invaded one country, but not okay to ban oil trade with a country led by a religious fruitcake that invaded an entire region?

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3 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

...If the US+Europe can decide on gradually halting Russian oil trade via sanctions that force Israel to stop buying Russian goods as well, leading to skyrocketing oil and certain goods' prices in Israel, without having Israel in the decision making, why can't Israel ensure its own security and risk the west's oil trade with Iran as well?...

Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi.

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16 hours ago, Josh said:

Trump was if anything an anti globalist and he too had no interest in engaging Iran militarily even after ballistic missile brain damaged a hundred us troops. The lack of will to start a war with Iran has crossed several administrations; it isn’t a Ukraine specific thing.

All Biden's dilemmas are self-inflicted.   

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14 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

All Biden's dilemmas are self-inflicted.   

Yes, the world revolves around him and nothing else matters. More BDS, which is strange coming from a Canadian. Don’t you have your own political leaders to criticize?

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42 minutes ago, Josh said:

Yes, the world revolves around him and nothing else matters. 

I said all Biden's dilemmas are self-inflicted.  Your response is that the world does not revolve around Biden alone.  You understand that both those things can be true, right?

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1 hour ago, glenn239 said:

I said all Biden's dilemmas are self-inflicted.  Your response is that the world does not revolve around Biden alone.  You understand that both those things can be true, right?

Yes, but only one of them is. I don’t think Biden is a particularly capable politician but I think his administration is functional at the mediocre level and is dealing with an economic condition largely driven by Covid and a foreign policy largely driven by Russia while restricted domestically by a senate that is effectively antagonistic even before the filibuster. He’s a gaffe machine but in terms of actual policy mistakes I fail to see how the malaise of the US is his responsibility; if anything I think the Federal Reserve had a much bigger part to play and I think his foreign policy is bleeding Russia white militarily for pennies on the dollar. The latter of course has raised the price of oil which contributes to inflation, but IMO money well spent and at a much lower cost than having to ever directly confront Russia.

 

I know you would prefer that Russia just be allowed consequence free stomping grounds in their sphere of influence, wherever they deem that sphere to be, so we’ll never agree on that point.

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10 hours ago, Josh said:

economic condition largely driven by Covid and a foreign policy largely driven by Russia

It has been Biden adminstration that so bungled Internationaly that Putin saw an oportunity. Second it has been Biden and his party that have been restricting oil business expension. It has been Biden and his party that have been increasing regulation.

 

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23 hours ago, Josh said:

I know you would prefer that Russia just be allowed consequence free stomping grounds in their sphere of influence, wherever they deem that sphere to be, so we’ll never agree on that point.

 What an embarrassment, a US president flying to Riyadh to beg for oil.   Yet, this is where this president has led us.  Myself, I would prefer that Biden does not further risk an economic catastrophe for the West by doubling down again and again on what is clearly a failed Ukraine policy.

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2 hours ago, glenn239 said:

 What an embarrassment, a US president flying to Riyadh to beg for oil.   Yet, this is where this president has led us.  Myself, I would prefer that Biden does not further risk an economic catastrophe for the West by doubling down again and again on what is clearly a failed Ukraine policy.

One of the only good things Trump did was get the Arab states to normalize ties and even make peace with Israel. This was no less than historical!

When Biden came in, all that momentum was lost. But not only was it lost, but US policy came to a standstill. By doing so, the US is not preserving the situation, no. The MENA region is far too dynamic for that. It's making matters worse.

If Biden wants to start fixing things, and above that show that the US is a superpower that can multi-task, he will get that Saudi oil and repair the sour relations between them.

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2 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

One of the only good things Trump did was get the Arab states to normalize ties and even make peace with Israel. This was no less than historical!

Yes, this might be Trump's greatest foreign policy outcome.

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When Biden came in, all that momentum was lost. But not only was it lost, but US policy came to a standstill. By doing so, the US is not preserving the situation, no. The MENA region is far too dynamic for that. It's making matters worse.

Exactly!  Trump was setting up for deeper Israeli-American cooperation against Iran.  Trump deeply mistrusted the goals and motives of the Kyiv regime and treated Ukraine like an opponent of the United States.  That, in turn, kept the Donbass on ice meaning that if Trump had been reelected the Ukraine war would not have happened.  US-Israeli options would have been expanded.   Biden ruined the clear outlines of the Trump polices and placed Israel in a much worse situation.

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If Biden wants to start fixing things, and above that show that the US is a superpower that can multi-task, he will get that Saudi oil and repair the sour relations between them.

Yes, but Biden's reputation from 40 years in Washington is toxic and unforgiving.  MBS will know that as soon as he can, Biden will turn on him and resume his earlier announced intention to punish him for the death of Khashoggi.  Who knows what will happen - I could see the Saudis doing literally anything from increasing oil supply in a deal with Washington to reducing producing in OPEC and raising prices towards $200 a barrel.  The globalists in Washington have needlessly threatened so many cooperative regimes all over the world with their arrogant demeanor of moral superiority.  Perhaps the Republicans can repair the damage in 2024, but until then I have no confidence that idiots like Blinken will do anything except make the situation worse.

Happy to be proven wrong....

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9 hours ago, glenn239 said:

Exactly!  Trump was setting up for deeper Israeli-American cooperation against Iran.  Trump deeply mistrusted the goals and motives of the Kyiv regime and treated Ukraine like an opponent of the United States.  That, in turn, kept the Donbass on ice meaning that if Trump had been reelected the Ukraine war would not have happened.  US-Israeli options would have been expanded.   Biden ruined the clear outlines of the Trump polices and placed Israel in a much worse situation.

I personally disagree here on Ukraine. If the war's gotta happen, then it's gotta happen. No point in delaying the inevitable. The US could prep its allies better by getting them to opt for alternative energy sources, and threatening them over plans to close nuclear plants, and encourage setting up more.

Tell Saudi Arabia and Iran that it'll need both of them to supply oil, but at the same time take hard measures to show Iran the military option is very much on the table. Assassinating Soleimani was a solid step in that direction.

Then when the war starts with Russia, capitalize on the fact that Russia will lose its ability to be a credible military threat for decades to come.

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17 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

One of the only good things Trump did was get the Arab states to normalize ties and even make peace with Israel. This was no less than historical!

When Biden came in, all that momentum was lost. But not only was it lost, but US policy came to a standstill. By doing so, the US is not preserving the situation, no. The MENA region is far too dynamic for that. It's making matters worse.

If Biden wants to start fixing things, and above that show that the US is a superpower that can multi-task, he will get that Saudi oil and repair the sour relations between them.

However, 'repairing the sour relations' should not mean 'kowtowing at the regime doing abhorrent things'. Invading other countries, brutally assassinating opposition figures - hmm, sound familiar? If Biden turns blind eye to that just for convenience of oil, it will end up damaging US prestige.

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1 hour ago, Yama said:

However, 'repairing the sour relations' should not mean 'kowtowing at the regime doing abhorrent things'. Invading other countries, brutally assassinating opposition figures - hmm, sound familiar? If Biden turns blind eye to that just for convenience of oil, it will end up damaging US prestige.

1. When did Saudi Arabia invade another country?

2. Assassinating opposition figures is bad. Increasing the cost of living for hundreds of millions of people because of that, is even worse.

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7 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

I personally disagree here on Ukraine. If the war's gotta happen, then it's gotta happen. No point in delaying the inevitable. The US could prep its allies better by getting them to opt for alternative energy sources, and threatening them over plans to close nuclear plants, and encourage setting up more.

The US will improve matters by fighting wars in the Gulf and in Ukraine at the same time and threatening its own allies to go nuclear or else?  I disagree.  The US would want Ukraine and Iran taken on sequentially, not simultaneously, and threatening its own allies is just doubling down on the globalist arrogance towards potentially cooperative countries that has caused much of the US headache in the first place.

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 Tell Saudi Arabia and Iran that it'll need both of them to supply oil, but at the same time take hard measures to show Iran the military option is very much on the table. Assassinating Soleimani was a solid step in that direction.

For Israel that sounds great.  You get what you want, which is war between the US and Iran.  For America and Europe, not so good - we get an energy crisis.

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Then when the war starts with Russia, capitalize on the fact that Russia will lose its ability to be a credible military threat for decades to come.

Yeah, let's wait and see how this turns out before making wishes to the war fairies about an unlikely Russian military industrial collapse. 

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30 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

Yeah, let's wait and see how this turns out before making wishes to the war fairies about an unlikely Russian military industrial collapse. 

I don’t think anyone is expecting a collapse, they are just adjusting for the fact that Russia’s wartime performance  has been underwhelming across the board and that they’ve lost a lot of equipment. Their next gen platforms like Su-57 and Armata already had anemic production rates pre war. Even assuming import controls have no effect, it’s going to take years for Russia to make good its MBT/AFV losses. A total reorganization of the BTG structure seems likely as well which is going to take some time. Plus NATO likely gets two new members, eventually. It’s hard to see how Russia would be a near or medium term conventional threat to NATO even if there was a ceasefire tomorrow.

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On 6/17/2022 at 9:10 PM, Mighty_Zuk said:

False.

What makes the US a superpower is its supposed ability to conduct foreign policy, including military one, anywhere in the globe, and on multiple fronts. Being preoccupied by only one theater makes it a global power, which it isn't, so you're not giving them enough credit.

By announcing they'll bomb the positions of Syrian rebels? They've been doing that since 2015. Where is the middle eastern war between major powers?

This is a common misconception. An Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would not be a conflict of Israel's making. It would be a conflict of Iran's making.

But this general tone of US not providing support is the usual MO. The big problem is that Israel is far away from the US and Europe, so they dismiss these problems until they become theirs. So when Ukraine is invaded, the non-dormant Europeans are supporting them - because Ukraine is in Europe, and they could be next. When Israel is invaded, it's condemnations and everything but that on the agenda, because who cares about the middle east. 

The US commits tens of thousands of troops to some of its allies, even shielding the larger part of an entire continent. None seems to mind that. But with Israel, the US thinks an offset agreement of a few billion dollars a year is enough. To be frank, it is. What the European and Asian allies ask of the US is definitely too much. But the US also thinks that it's enough to make Israel strong enough to power through every conceivable enemy. It isn't. While Israel is militarily strong, it also has many other inherent limitations like a small territory, concentrated population, being surrounded by enemies, and a not so big economy. So even with the aid, Israel's defense budget roughly matches that of the US, and far exceeds every European country's. 

All these taken together have created a reality in which Israel cannot rely on any of its "allies" for support, particularly European ones. And a symptom of that is that Israel would be naturally less attentive to its allies' requests, as the relationships aren't mutual enough. 

Hence, to Israel, the possibility of Iran closing down the straits of Hormuz is much more a subject of diplomacy vs the US, and much less a domestic concern for fuel prices.

As opposed to all the previous overt military strikes on Iran? What was the attack on Natanz then? Or the destruction of a large drone factory? Or the half a dozen other attacks that were claimed to be conducted by aircraft?

Iran already has enough enriched material to create a bomb. They've already been caught planning geological surveys for nuclear tests, and it's estimated to take about 2 years for a proper bomb from now.

Your method brings Iran straight to a bomb. It only slightly delays it. A strike is needed now more than anything.

 

I personally think it's kind of odd the only person who actually believes it's doable is the only person who's likely to live for a month or two in a bomb shelter because of said decision. 

For you it's oil prices. For me it's survival. Reactionism brings destruction.

Yeah, 2 years to a bomb. And its been that for what, the past 15 years?

Ive no doubt they will get one, I doubt its as immiment as you insist it is. A strike will just make what operations they are running underground and impossible to verify. Do you recall where the worlds first radioactive pile was built? Under the stands of a football court in Chicago IIRC. How are you going to strike all those nooks and crannies Iran is going to squirrel its program away to? And you arent is all. If they have the resolve to get a bomb, they will get one, and bombing them will just increase their resolve to get one.

Look at the breadth of the German V weapons program in WW2. We knew it was coming nearly 4 years before it did. We had airpower coming out our ears, we bombed every corner of the Reich we had to to stop it, and all we did in the end was slow it down. In the end it was only the invasion of continental Europe and overruning the launch sites that stopped it. As for the Nazi nuclear weapons program, that ran almost till the last day of the war. Why? Because nobody could provide intelligence good enough to pinpoint the right hole in the ground to bomb. I doubt Iran will be any different, Mossad stripper assassins notwithstanding.

Slowing Iran down simply isnt good enough reason for military action, bearing in mind all the consequences the rest of the world will have to bear to achieve that. I daresay we will have to face that in time anyway, but how about dealing with one tyrant at a time, instead of piling it all on with haste that to my mind seems completely unnecessary.

I remember saying all this 10/15 years ago. Nobody was listening then either.

 

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2 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

1. When did Saudi Arabia invade another country?

2. Assassinating opposition figures is bad. Increasing the cost of living for hundreds of millions of people because of that, is even worse.

1. In 2014, if you remember...

2. Well, prepare to be disappointed if you think those values are widely embraced in the West.

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1 hour ago, Yama said:

 

2. Well, prepare to be disappointed if you think those values are widely embraced in the West.

Western consumers have near zero tolerance for enduring the pain of costly economic decisions motivated by lofty principles.   I think at this point the Saudis are probably willing to forget the past and help Biden to an extent.  But, I don't think there's much room for much in the way of discussions about Western values.

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2 hours ago, glenn239 said:

Western consumers have near zero tolerance for enduring the pain of costly economic decisions motivated by lofty principles. 

I would say that popular reaction to pandemic-related confinement measures, most of them proved ineffective by the way, shows otherwise.

Even if those were no lofty principles, the frog is already use to water more than warm.

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On 6/17/2022 at 7:09 AM, glenn239 said:

MZ will say anything to get what he wants, which is a US war against Iran.  But I don't think the US wants a war against Iran right now because the globalists have so badly fucked up their response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine that they cannot afford any interruption of Gulf oil supply.

Iran should get a pass right now. As you point out, another war is nit what the world needs right now.

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On 6/16/2022 at 9:57 AM, TrustMe said:

To those that believe that the US could fight Iran and win.

The US and the UK has been supporting the Saudi's in Yemen for 7 years. This support has including arms delivers but more importantly intelligence, aerial refueling, commando raids and naval blockades yet the Houthi's have consistently been able to keep fighting. This is due to Yemen's large population and terrain.

If you look at a map of Iran this has similar mountainous  terrain and a high population (85 million) who could also be called "fanatics" in its defence of its terrority. Sure and invasion could happen, but that would turn Iran into a insurgency and Russia would supply weapons to it simply to piss off the US, as they have been  giving weapons to Ukraine. The US wouldn't win this war.

You are right. To "win" would need to be a desert storm 3. There is no where for them to stage and build up for months. Iraq? I don't know if that would work politically. 

The best they could hope for a is bombing and missile campaign. The Iranians would be given whatever support they need by the Russians. The Iranians would grin and bear it.

If the Israelis strike on their own, they should hope to have perfect intelligence.

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