With the streets of Iran heating up in recent days and the Trump Administration’s threats hanging over the nation, a look back at an analysis paper by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute gives us a strong sense of what is driving Washington and the Deep States agenda in the former Persian Empire.
The paper, entitled “Which Path to Persia” looks at the options available to the United States as it deals with Iran and its supposed threat to Middle East stability, peace and tranquility. The paper looks at two broad types of options; the persuasion approach, the engagement approach and the military approach. In this posting, I will take a look at what the authors of the study recommend for the military options given that they believe that Iran will be less than willing to co-operate with either the persuasion or engagement options. Obviously, as was the case in both Iraq and Afghanistan, a military invasion is the recommended course of action. Let’s look at the authors’ recommendations for an invasion.
1.) Iran is nearly 4 times the size of Iraq – 1.648 million square kilometres compared to 437.1 thousand square miles
2.) Iran has population that is more than twice the size of Iraq – 80.28 million people compared to 37.2 million people
3.) Iran’s military is far more advanced and well equipped than Iraq’s was at the time of the invasion in 2003. There were roughly 400,000 to 500,000 members of Iraq’s armed forces in 2003 compared to 934,000 in Iran’s armed forces.
The authors note that the most compelling reason to invade Iran sooner rather than later is that Iran’s agenda could become much more difficult to deter once it has the capability to develop a nuclear weapon. As well, the nation’s wealth of both oil and natural gas mean that the United States and any partner invasion forces would have to ensure that the country does not slide into post-invasion chaos.
If the invasion option was the option of choice, it would take at least several months to move sufficient forces into the theatre and from one to six months to conduct the invasion. Given Iran’s larger geographic area, larger population and better military preparedness, the United States can pretty much assure itself that the invasion of Iran would be a far larger project than the Iraq invasion of 2003. As well, the American bases throughout the Persian Gulf region in Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar that were key during the Iraq operations may well not be available unless Iran were to provoke hostilities.
To mount an invasion, the authors suggest that an initial invasion force of roughly the same size as the force used to invade Iraq in 2003; four U.S. divisions plus a British division. The Americans added a fifth division later in the invasion for a total of around 200,000 military personnel. An invading force would face two issues:
1.) Insurgent fighters
2.) Mountainous terrain
“As in both Iraq and Afghanistan, post-invasion reconstruction would be the longest (and possibly the bloodiest) part of the whole endeavor. if it were handled very well, applying all of the lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, it might require only a few years of major military and financial commitments, followed by a significant diminution of U.S. presence and aid thereafter. If the reconstruction were to go badly, either because of American mistakes or forces beyond U.S. control, it could take many more years to produce an acceptable end state.” (my bold)
What would it take to provoke an invasion and would the United States require provocation to justify an invasion of Iran? If the Iranians provoke an attack, it will make it far easier for the Americans to justify invading to the international and domestic communities. Given the history between the United States and Iran, it is seen to be unlikely that Iran would be responsible for or take credit for an Iranian version of the 9/11 attack. Most European, Asian and Middle Eastern nations and their people are against any American-led military invasion of Iran, save two important American allies in the region; Saudi Arabia and Israel.
While this invasion scenario is mere conjecture, it is interesting to see that one of Washington’s larges and most influential think tanks, the Brookings Institution, has provided the Trump Administration with a roadmap to a military solution to the “Iranian problem”, a solution that must have the military-industrial-intelligence community rubbing their collective hands with glee. It is also interesting to note that the report that was used as the source material for this posting was generated in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. In case you’ve forgotten, Haim Saban, the founding funder of the Saban Center back in 2002, was also a massive donor to the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2016 presidential election as shown here:
With his total donations of $13.78 million during the 2016 cycle (all to the liberal side of the political spectrum), he and his wife came in 14th place overall as shown here:
Prime Minister Mossadegh back in 1953 and the installation of his replacement, the west-leaning Mohammad Reza Shah who ended up being turfed out of Iran by his own countrymen, one might almost be able to draw a straight line between Washington and the current unrest in Iran and the nation’s strong anti-American stance.
In another posting, I will further examine this interesting report from the Brookings Institution which provides us with a glimpse into what may lie ahead for Iran.
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