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Washington's apparent aversion to disproportionate measures against Tehran involving casualties may limit its response options.

 

As far as independent Saudi options go, they certainly would be able to afford mercenary manpower to fight in place of their own.

 

The Pakistanis won't lease brigades to them anymore. And in any case, the conflict would be air and naval, not ground based. The Saudis would have to strike with their airforce and accept consequences, which they won't do. They will either push the US to do it for them or forever keep their peace.

 

 

The Saudi's IIRC, still have ballistic missiles. They could loft some of those into an Iranian oil terminal with little in the way of immediate consequences.

 

Yeah, I know they wont of course...

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The broad question for the Saudis is whether it is in their interests to be drawn into a potentially large scale regional war with Iran over the actions of the American President. Because this isn't about Yemen or Saudi meddling in Iraq and Syria. It's about the end of the nuclear deal and the sanctions imposed on Iran, and the triumph of the hardliners in Tehran because of it.

 

The war option risks the stability of the Gulf States (fair weather allies at best, all of them flight risks), and poses the question of whether the West is trustworthy given its extreme hostility to the MBS regime in the wake of the journalist murder. The alternative for the Saudis would be a broad accommodation with Iran. The outlines of that deal would be to recognise Syria and Iraq as Iranian spheres of interest, the Iranians respect the Saudi sphere in the Gulf, and the war in Yemen is mediated to a ceasefire, presumably by the Russians.

 

CNN this morning is reporting a Pompeo inspired deal where the Saudis fight the Iranians and the US does not. I doubt that one is going to fly in the Kingdom - the Saudis were attacked because of US actions, not Saudi actions. If that deal really is what Trump is thinking MBS might look to fly high level delegations to Moscow and Beijing to kick some tires there too. Certainly he should not attack Iran without doing some serious footwork in all the relevant capitals.

 

The most amusing aspect of this is that Bolton got himself ejected from the administration just before all of this broke. He must be chewing the furniture right now that Pompeo outmaneuvered him.

Edited by glenn239
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Washington's apparent aversion to disproportionate measures against Tehran involving casualties may limit its response options.

 

As far as independent Saudi options go, they certainly would be able to afford mercenary manpower to fight in place of their own.

 

The Pakistanis won't lease brigades to them anymore. And in any case, the conflict would be air and naval, not ground based. The Saudis would have to strike with their airforce and accept consequences, which they won't do. They will either push the US to do it for them or forever keep their peace.

 

 

The Saudi's IIRC, still have ballistic missiles. They could loft some of those into an Iranian oil terminal with little in the way of immediate consequences.

 

Yeah, I know they wont of course...

 

 

Why not use their usual MO of flying multiple hijacked airliners into tall buildings and denying they had anything to do with it?

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Possibly because it knows that Iran and some of its more fanatical junior officers may be more than capable of doing the same.

 

The USN will shoot down any pesky airliners by misidentifying them as F-14s.

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The USN will shoot down any pesky airliners by misidentifying them as F-14s.

 

Then hand out medals to the crew later.

 

Such actions may have gone a long way toward the creation of said Iranian young officer corps and its fanaticism.

 

Whether it is as capable of mass insubordination at IRGC headquarters as its Kwangtung Army counterparts were a century ago remains to be seen.

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Wherever the strike were to fall, it would be met with a more blatant Iranian response against the KSA. Probably ballistic missiles and a proxy war with Israel.

Iran is unlikely to use Hezbollah right now, and so it would need to be pushed quite hard to decide to use it. Meaning the KSA and US may have some freedom of action against Iran without dragging the entire region into war.

 

You see, there are multiple factors here:

1)Hezbollah is an economical asset in that it is the army of Lebanon and can therefore apply a lot of pressure to let them have all sorts of strategic assets and contracts IRGC-style, that would have the money flow to Iran.

 

2)The Israeli military top brass and political leaders, including PM and COGS, have announced more than once that their policy of containment has switched to setting an objective of utter destruction of Hezbollah and Hamas in any future major conflict (containment made some sense years ago but not anymore).

 

3)In the time between the last war in 2006 and today, the IDF has acquired a number of capabilities that partially or completely negate some of Hezbollah's biggest strengths.

If 3rd elections don't happen, then within the next few short years (less than half a decade), the IDF should acquire several more strategic capabilities for the ground army that would negate even more strategic capabilities of Hezbollah.

 

Hezbollah, in that time, has not done any meaningful progress towards negating IDF capabilities.

 

It acquired more ATGMs but they're redundant when the IDF has entire divisions equipped with APS.

They built more tunnels, but their importance is greatly diminished considering the vast experience, techniques, and specialized equipment, acquired by the IDF in its many anti-tunnel operations.

They acquired more rockets but their launching potential hasn't increased much and they may be forced to fire them at their own cities as the IDF advances.

 

Their attempts to acquire, via any means, guidance kits for their rockets, are their way at negating a strategic IDF capability - they could overwhelm the Iron Dome and David's Sling systems.

But the airstrikes campaign in Syria and Iraq has massively hurt their progress, and therefore Hezbollah is still not ready for a conflict.

 

If they enter war right now, they'll be mauled and won't be able to inflict much damage in return.

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US to try to implement the ship escort mission consisting of 55 coalition ships in November.

 

WASHINGTON (Kyodo) -- U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is planning to form an international maritime surveillance mission involving 55 vessels in a key waterway off Iran in November, a source familiar with the plan said Thursday.

 

The plan came to light amid heightened tensions between the United States and Iran following recent attacks on major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, an incident Washington has blamed on Tehran.

 

But the administration is likely to face difficulties in implementing the plan because only five countries -- Australia, Bahrain, Britain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- have agreed to join the U.S.-led coalition aimed at ensuring safety in the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

 

The United Arab Emirates became the latest country to announce its participation in the mission, known as the International Maritime Security Construct, according to the state-run Emirates News Agency.

 

"The UAE's accession to the alliance comes in support of regional and international efforts to deter threats to maritime navigation and global trade, and in order to secure the flow of energy supplies to the global economy and contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security," the news agency said Thursday.

 

While the United States has lobbied other countries to join the coalition to increase pressure on Iran, Japan has expressed reservations about participating.

 

According to the source, the United States presented the surveillance plan to allies and partner countries in a meeting Monday in Bahrain.

 

Representatives from 28 countries attended the meeting aboard a British navy ship, with Japan believed to have participated.

 

France and Germany, key U.S. allies, did not take part in the meeting in an apparent effort to maintain a distance from Trump, who withdrew the United States from a 2015 international deal to curb Iran's nuclear program.

 

Japan has refrained from making a decision on the U.S. initiative, partly because it does not want to damage its traditionally friendly relations with Iran.

 

Sending its Self-Defense Forces overseas is a sensitive issue in Japan, as entanglement in a foreign conflict could violate the country's war-renouncing Constitution.

 

Stability and safe passage in the Strait of Hormuz is vital for Japan, which relies on the Middle East for 90 percent of its crude oil.

 

In Monday's meeting, Finland, Kuwait and Latvia said they were considering sending personnel to the U.S. coalition headquarters in Bahrain, according to the source.

 

The United States launched the coalition initiative after two oil tankers, including one operated by a Japanese company, were attacked near the Strait of Hormuz in June.

 

Washington has put the blame on Tehran, which has denied responsibility.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190919/p2g/00m/0in/102000c

Edited by JasonJ
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Wherever the strike were to fall, it would be met with a more blatant Iranian response against the KSA. Probably ballistic missiles and a proxy war with Israel.

Iran is unlikely to use Hezbollah right now, and so it would need to be pushed quite hard to decide to use it. Meaning the KSA and US may have some freedom of action against Iran without dragging the entire region into war.

 

You see, there are multiple factors here:

1)Hezbollah is an economical asset in that it is the army of Lebanon and can therefore apply a lot of pressure to let them have all sorts of strategic assets and contracts IRGC-style, that would have the money flow to Iran.

 

2)The Israeli military top brass and political leaders, including PM and COGS, have announced more than once that their policy of containment has switched to setting an objective of utter destruction of Hezbollah and Hamas in any future major conflict (containment made some sense years ago but not anymore).

 

3)In the time between the last war in 2006 and today, the IDF has acquired a number of capabilities that partially or completely negate some of Hezbollah's biggest strengths.

If 3rd elections don't happen, then within the next few short years (less than half a decade), the IDF should acquire several more strategic capabilities for the ground army that would negate even more strategic capabilities of Hezbollah.

 

Hezbollah, in that time, has not done any meaningful progress towards negating IDF capabilities.

 

It acquired more ATGMs but they're redundant when the IDF has entire divisions equipped with APS.

They built more tunnels, but their importance is greatly diminished considering the vast experience, techniques, and specialized equipment, acquired by the IDF in its many anti-tunnel operations.

They acquired more rockets but their launching potential hasn't increased much and they may be forced to fire them at their own cities as the IDF advances.

 

Their attempts to acquire, via any means, guidance kits for their rockets, are their way at negating a strategic IDF capability - they could overwhelm the Iron Dome and David's Sling systems.

But the airstrikes campaign in Syria and Iraq has massively hurt their progress, and therefore Hezbollah is still not ready for a conflict.

 

If they enter war right now, they'll be mauled and won't be able to inflict much damage in return.

 

 

I don't think Iran will start with mobilizing proxies, but I think before the whole thing is done it will go there. If it thinks its losing, it will play all its cards. And I think once the ball gets rolling, the Party of God staying out of it will be like a tactical nuclear war: purely hypothetical.

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1. Store LAV 25s on a floating armory inside the gulf
2. Sling-load them over to a ship about to make the transit
3. After the transit, sling-load them off the ship to another floating armory on the other side

Charge just a little less than the pirates, and you've got yourself a lucrative solution at a fraction of the price!

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Wherever the strike were to fall, it would be met with a more blatant Iranian response against the KSA. Probably ballistic missiles and a proxy war with Israel.

Iran is unlikely to use Hezbollah right now, and so it would need to be pushed quite hard to decide to use it. Meaning the KSA and US may have some freedom of action against Iran without dragging the entire region into war.

 

You see, there are multiple factors here:

1)Hezbollah is an economical asset in that it is the army of Lebanon and can therefore apply a lot of pressure to let them have all sorts of strategic assets and contracts IRGC-style, that would have the money flow to Iran.

 

2)The Israeli military top brass and political leaders, including PM and COGS, have announced more than once that their policy of containment has switched to setting an objective of utter destruction of Hezbollah and Hamas in any future major conflict (containment made some sense years ago but not anymore).

 

3)In the time between the last war in 2006 and today, the IDF has acquired a number of capabilities that partially or completely negate some of Hezbollah's biggest strengths.

If 3rd elections don't happen, then within the next few short years (less than half a decade), the IDF should acquire several more strategic capabilities for the ground army that would negate even more strategic capabilities of Hezbollah.

 

Hezbollah, in that time, has not done any meaningful progress towards negating IDF capabilities.

 

It acquired more ATGMs but they're redundant when the IDF has entire divisions equipped with APS.

They built more tunnels, but their importance is greatly diminished considering the vast experience, techniques, and specialized equipment, acquired by the IDF in its many anti-tunnel operations.

They acquired more rockets but their launching potential hasn't increased much and they may be forced to fire them at their own cities as the IDF advances.

 

Their attempts to acquire, via any means, guidance kits for their rockets, are their way at negating a strategic IDF capability - they could overwhelm the Iron Dome and David's Sling systems.

But the airstrikes campaign in Syria and Iraq has massively hurt their progress, and therefore Hezbollah is still not ready for a conflict.

 

If they enter war right now, they'll be mauled and won't be able to inflict much damage in return.

I don't think Iran will start with mobilizing proxies, but I think before the whole thing is done it will go there. If it thinks its losing, it will play all its cards. And I think once the ball gets rolling, the Party of God staying out of it will be like a tactical nuclear war: purely hypothetical.

Hezbollah may still be one of its economical tools of rehabilitation, so it's indeed very hypothetical.

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It's about 150-200 thousand, but it's not that much of a threat to Israel. The real threat is the long range rockets, of which they may have, at best, a few hundreds. And by few I mean the lower end, like 200-400.

 

The vast majority of their rockets are 40km max range. It's not much to go through in a week. And to launch even 10% of their rockets they'll need their launchers working full capacity for a month at least, if past and not too distant conflicts are used as reference.

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the 2014 stats suggest about 4,500 rockets a mortars fired and 5 Israeli civilians killed, plus another 250 wounded. 150,000 rockets would be x30 that effect, or 150 killed, 7,500 wounded. For accurate missiles, their performance would probably be x100 these figures on a round per round basis.

Edited by glenn239
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KSA navy brings 11 Frigate/Corvettes and 9 patrol boats to the party (assuming all are operational), not a minor number considering they be based locally. The question would be is how effective they would be and how much risk is KSA willing to accept?

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US put sanctions on Iran central bank.

 

 

 

The United States Department of the Treasury on Friday slapped sanctions on Iran's central bank and its sovereign wealth fund, ratcheting up the pressure on Tehran nearly a week after attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure that Riyadh and Washington have blamed on Iran.

Speaking at a White House press conference alongside visiting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, US President Donald Trump described Friday's action as the "highest level of sanctions".

Trump has said he wants a peaceful solution to the conflict following the weekend oil attacks, which the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has described as an "act of war".

Iran has denied any involvement in the September 14 attacks on Saudi state oil giant Saudi Aramco, which shook global oil markets and ratcheted up tensions between Washington and Tehran. On Friday, Saudi officials took reporters to inspect the damaged facilities.

A statement issued by the US Treasury on Friday said, "Iran's brazen attack against Saudi Arabia is unacceptable." It also accused Iran's central bank of providing "billions of dollars to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its terrorist proxy Hizballah [sic]".

"We are continuing the maximum pressure campaign," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters at the White House. "This is very big. We've now cut off all source of funds to Iran."

In addition to Iran's central bank and its sovereign wealth fund, the National Development Fund (NDF), Friday's round of sanctions also targeted Etemad Tejarate Pars Co, which the US treasury said is concealing financial transfers for Iran's military, including funds originating from NDF.

Most of Iran's economy is under sanctions as part of Washington's "maximium pressure" campaign against Tehran. Targeting the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran could, however, inhibit Iran's ability to pay for imported humanitarian goods, which are exempt from sanctions.

In recent weeks, Trump had weighed the possibility of easing sanctions on Iran as he sought to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who is scheduled to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York City next week.

The Trump administration has imposed a wide range of sanctions on Iran after pulling out of the world powers' 2015 Iranian nuclear pact. The sanctions, part of a US campaign to increase economic pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme, were championed by former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who was ousted this month.

Previous US sanctions have targeted Iran's foreign minister, its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, space agencies, and various networks that Washington has said helped boost Iran's nuclear programme, among others.

https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/sanctions-iran-central-bank-wake-aramco-attacks-190920155439930.html

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The game changer, as Zuk pointed out some time ago, will be long range rockets with guidance kits.

And it will be interesting to see how terrorist groups will acquire that capability. They already have access to GPS data and sat imagery.

 

States could smuggle loads of bolt-on GPS guidance kits, and terrorists could use Grads to a whole new level of deadliness.

 

No more small packs of drones or highly expensive cruise missiles, but small, cheap, and saturating fires with pinpoint accuracy on tankers and infrastructure from within Houthi territory.

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That game change is for Israel. For the rest of the world, nothing chanbges. Except that the USA builds its foreign policy on a country smaller than any of the half dozen cities. Most importantly, no one wants to lose FLA. So Cuba and Israel are more important than any American city.

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KSA navy brings 11 Frigate/Corvettes and 9 patrol boats to the party (assuming all are operational), not a minor number considering they be based locally. The question would be is how effective they would be and how much risk is KSA willing to accept?

 

The effectiveness of the Saudi Arabian Navy in combat against armed naval opposition could be nil. The danger would be in losing a number of its frigates to the Iranians as prizes of war, inshallah.

 

That game change is for Israel. For the rest of the world, nothing chanbges. Except that the USA builds its foreign policy on a country smaller than any of the half dozen cities. Most importantly, no one wants to lose FLA. So Cuba and Israel are more important than any American city.

 

I may not like that Israel and Israelis have managed to accomplish this, but I also respect that they have actually managed to accomplish this.

Edited by Nobu
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