February 11, 2006


US prepares military blitz against Iran's nuclear sites (Philip Sherwell, 12/02/2006, Daily Telegraph)

Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb.

Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation, the Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

They are reporting to the office of Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, as America updates plans for action if the diplomatic offensive fails to thwart the Islamic republic's nuclear bomb ambitions. Teheran claims that it is developing only a civilian energy programme.

"This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment," said a senior Pentagon adviser. "This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months."

It's important to do North Korea at the same time, to establish that even putative nukes won't stop us, only provoke us.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 11, 2006 8:35 PM

The article mentions that this military plan is not imminent, but may be necessary in 2-3 years. We have some time for other options. It is often easier, and just as effective, to attack the supporting infrastructure rather than the facilities themselves. Sabotage of power grids and electrical generation, computer control systems, netwar and targeted elimination of essential managers and technicians could seriously impede their program.

Iran is fertile ground for a classic insurgency: an unpopular government with disaffected groups (the young, the Arabs in the south, and the Kurds in the north), the support of a major power (US) and their relative isolation, and ability to support such efforts via the bordering countries of Afghanistan and Iraq. Their dependence on oil revenue makes their production, pipeline, and port facilities high-value targets, and they can't defend them all. Attacks on unpopular local politicians and religious police might be welcomed by the populace. The purpose would be to delay their nuclear program, call into question their ability to govern, and perhaps provoke some repressive actions which would further alienate the people. This could be combined with an aggressive propaganda program on satellite TV and the internet to shake the government and unsettle the people.

Concurrently, an IAEA referral to the Security Council gives us the opportunity to institute sanctions on machine equipment, spare parts, chemicals, and computer equipment which Iran does not have the industry to replace if damaged. Their bellicose behavior is turning the world, even France, against them, so effective sanctions are a real possibility.

I believe the more we pressure them, the more irrational they will become, so that if the time comes when we must attack militarily, there might be widespread support. A combined strategy serves to delay their nuclear ambitions, further pressure and isolate them, and perhaps lead to the overthrow of the mullahs (One can always hope).

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 11, 2006 10:51 PM

They also have a large and (putatively) powerful friend to the north, one who will certainly use them to irritate the West.

Posted by: ratbert at February 11, 2006 10:55 PM

the dprk does not have nukes, otherwise they would have lit one off in a test/demonstration.

Posted by: toe at February 11, 2006 11:36 PM

Thus, putative.

Posted by: oj at February 12, 2006 12:34 AM


We should do China as well.

Posted by: oj at February 12, 2006 12:35 AM

I thought the Norks were to have allegedly "tested" a nuke in Sep. 2004. Or were the South Koreans just playing their usual games with the world?

Posted by: Brad S at February 12, 2006 1:48 AM

We're about due for an emphatic statement from the illustrious Iranian president that the Zionists and Jews (and those they control) are intent on plunging the world into global war.

Whereupon we should sadly nod our heads and get on with it.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at February 12, 2006 2:57 AM

Good to know that our military plans are being dutifully reported in the press.

Posted by: AWW at February 12, 2006 11:09 AM

I didn't realize I posted a double entendre - I was actually thinking of Russia.

The French were not going to "do" anything after Osirak collapsed. Putin might not be quite so accomodating if we nail Buhsher (among other sites). Although we have a very strong marker on our side - we could always start arming the Chechens. Kind of a throwback to the 50s, no?

Posted by: ratbert at February 12, 2006 3:12 PM

Other than launching a nuclear strike (assuming the Soviet nukes stil work), what could Putin do to us? Russia is a paper tiger.

Posted by: Bob at February 12, 2006 8:48 PM


I wouldn't be surprised if part of the plan included mentioning in the press.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at February 13, 2006 8:02 AM