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Iran Takes II: How the Iran War Will be Fought
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PS. Events overtook my writing of this blog post. Looking forwards to a resolution of the Stealth Question and the Aircraft Carrier Question.

How would an Iran War be fought?

I already addressed this question on several occasions, most notably on The Road to World War III (see 2.c. The Persian Gulf), as well as here and in a few other places.

Quick overview of different scenarios/strategies in approximate order of severity:

***

Iranian Strategies

I certainly don’t expect military miracles from a (largely brain drained) 90 IQ nation with largely obsolescent military technologies. It will need outside support from the real Great Powers – that is, Russia and China – to hope to come away with something better than a Pyrrhic victory (at best).

Regardless, Iran does have the capacity to make life hard for the US.

Cyberwar: Advantage = low cost, but will nonetheless likely invite US retaliation, even though the US has been waging cyber war on Iran for years (Stuxnet). I also don’t see it accomplishing much.

Resumption of nuclear program: This is a no brainer at this point, though – if the declarations are seriously followed through upon – they will almost certainly invite eventual Israeli/American strikes. OTOH, Iran has had many years to harden its nuclear facilities. I assume it didn’t sit on its hands during this period, and making blast-resistant concrete is one of the few (only?) areas in which Iran is a world technological leader. If successful, can achieve lasting security, though the end spurt will be fraught with severe dangers.

Attacks on US troops in Iraq: Continuation/intensification of existing policy. The Shiites now hate the US again, enough for them to vote to eject them out of Iraq (with the US apparently refusing to do so while making noises about sanctioning Iraq if it does). So this makes this than even easier option.

Increase support for Houthis: Presumably will happen, though don’t know if they can do much more than what they are already accomplishing.

Missile attacks on US bases: Coffins will make for a visceral show of vengeance, but won’t kill many US soldiers, consolidate the US against them, and will invite a devastating response.

Missile attacks on Israel: Bombing Tel Aviv is very based, redpilled, and powerful (see right), but what happens next? You’ll kill a couple dozen civilians – maybe 100 if you get lucky and get a square hit on an apartment block – but you will now be at war with both Israel and the US with nothing to really show for it. Those missiles would probably serve more productive uses elsewhere. Besides, Iran has Hezbollah to do the heavy lifting in this theater. Too bad for Lebanon, but oh well.

Missile attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure: Oil infrastructure is actually surprisingly resilient to missile attacks (oil and gas pipelines aren’t hard to repair). Iranian IRBMs aren’t very accurate. Perhaps relying on special forces will be more effective, or even better drones, as we saw last June. Of course point defenses at these installations will be strengthened and low hanging fruits will be rapidly picked off. That said, I don’t believe Iran has any chance whatsoever of making a major dent in Saudi oil production even over the medium term.

Close Strait of Hormuz: I have written about this at length before (see links above). This is Iran’s current most feasible “nuclear” option, so long as it doesn’t have actual nukes. I’ll just quote in extenso from my April 2018 article:

Anti-ship missiles: The bulk of the Iranian arsenal is based on Chinese C-802 missiles, which are similar to Harpoons and Exocets. Unless fired in salvoes, the USN can probably deal with them, though they would pose a credible threat to passing oil tankers – enough of a risk, possibly, to get insurers to stop covering the Strait of Hormuz route (which is ultimately what really matters). Ironically, at this point, many of them might start using the Northern Sea Route.

Mines: Iran’s naval mine stockpile is opaque, though its possible that it would be even more of a threat to shipping. It would be helpful to begin mine-laying operations before open outbreak of hostilities if at all possible, since doing so would become far harder afterwards. (However, since the US will be very much on the watch out for this in the wake of its destruction of Syria, a covert mine-laying operation will not stay secret for long).

One solid option would be to keep most of the anti-ship missiles in reserve, and use them primarily to attack US mine-clearing ships (which are less well defended than its capital ships, and far more fragile than double-hulled, multi-compartment oil supertankers). This might even force the US into launching ground operations on the Iranian coast, which will add body-bags to economic pain and possibly plunge it into political crisis.

Major problem – even back then US oil production had reached record highs, and has continued soaring into the stratosphere throughout 2019, so that it now produces more than 50% as much as Russia and Saudi Arabia. In a stunning refutation of the peak oil thesis, it is now close to self-sufficiency in petroleum and other liquids production. The North American continent as a whole would not be in overall surplus.

Of course oil is a globally traded and highly fungible commodity, so while an oil shock would be great for shale oil producers it would still be ruinous for the US economy. However, self-sufficiency opens the possibility of closing off the American or North American market, mitigating the price shock at home while making it even more acute abroad… and tanking the Chinese and European economies in the process. Which would admittedly be a pretty nice side benefit!

Ironically, exercise of Iran’s nuclear option may well actually be much worse for its putative (if fair weather) friend China than for its American nemesis.

***

US Strategies

US goals seem to consist of some combination of the following elements, although they are implemented in a somewhat haphazard fashion.

  • Contain Iran’s potential as a Shiite hegemon in the Middle East.
  • Even better, regime change it into a US ally and alternative gas supplier to Europe vs. Russia.
  • Avenge the Holy 52.
  • Assure Israel’s security in the Middle East, esp. as the sole nuclear power there.

Obama’s policy pursued the more modest objections, containment and denuclearization. The Trump regime’s objectives are more maximalist and have been aggressively pursued, up to and including outrageous human rights violations such as depriving Iranian gamers of League of Legends, as well as much more minor things such as destroying their economy and whacking their generals.

Should they step up their game:

Aeronaval campaign: My take is that modern automotive infrastructure basically annulls air power’s capacity to really cripple an economy (roads are quickly repaired, and there are millions of trucks). Serbian SAMs, despite being heavily outdated, continued posing a threat to NATO fighters to the very end of the campaign. Iran has ten times as many people as Serbia, and 20 times the land area. It is a good bet that Iran is not going to be subdued through pure air power.

Limited occupation: Strait of Hormuz clash is unpredictable IMO since it will test US naval capabilities against Shkvals, Bastions, etc. Geography favors Iran, since there’s plenty of islands and inlets for the Bastions to shelter behind, and the shallow seas will maximize the effectiveness of its three diesel subs. Also depends on whether Iran can get the jump on the US. May have to undertake limited occupation of Iranian southern coastline to put an end to it, especially if Russia provides support.

Occupy Iran: The US would need at least half a million troops – more likely a million – to effect a wholesale occupation of Iran. This is more or less flat out impossible short of a draft.

Relying on contractors is one thing. But average Americans themselves are not what they once were. The one really nice thing about the “Great Awokening” is that it crimps US capacity to fight imperialist wars.

At this point, it will be politically extremely unpopular and may topple the US into unrest if not insurrection.

***

Chinese/Russian Strategies

Although Iran is hardly an ally or even a good friend of either Russia or China, neither can afford it getting vassalized by the Americans. So we will likely see limited involvement from both of them in support of Iran.

Chinese involvement: Iran’s ability to threaten the Strait of Hormuz presents it with another possibility. China in particular has been recalcitrant about standing up for Iran against the US, e.g. forbidding Kunlun Bank from handling Iran payments (as it did with the pre-JCPOA sanctions). The implicit threat of closing down the Strait of Hormuz may encourage China to play a more cooperative role, especially with respect to financial support, perhaps weapons supplies, etc.

Incidentally, there were already rumors of big deals in the works several months ago:

Among other benefits, Chinese companies will be given the first refusal to bid on any new, stalled or uncompleted oil and gasfield developments. Chinese firms will also have first refusal on opportunities to become involved with any and all petchems projects in Iran, including the provision of technology, systems, process ingredients and personnel required to complete such projects.

“This will include up to 5,000 Chinese security personnel on the ground in Iran to protect Chinese projects, and there will be additional personnel and material available to protect the eventual transit of oil, gas and petchems supply from Iran to China, where necessary, including through the Persian Gulf,” says the Iranian source.

In reality, as pointed out by an Iranian commenter, this was very likely a leak by the Iranians to signal to the Americans that they have options should they refuse to drop sanctions and the Europeans make no effort to mitigate them. Now sure, this would not be optimal from Iran’s perspective, since it would basically make them into an economic colony of China. But they’d hardly have other chances in the event of a “warm” or outright hot war with the US.

Russian involvement: Russia would be stupid to avoid making a US air campaign against Iran even harder, so it would probably support Iran by default. This would presumably involve helping Iran with oil exports (selling its oil as its own), providing weapons, training crews, and perhaps even going head to head against American fighters under conditions of plausible deniability (as during the Korean and Vietnam wars). At the narrow level, this will hone skills and provide access to American miltech. At the broader level, it will create an opening for exploring geopolitical feasibilities elsewhere in its Near Abroad.

Involvement in Iran is not entirely riskless, since Russia’s position in Syria remains vulnerable. But they are substantially mitigated by Russia’s ability to escalate outside that theater (e.g. the Baltics).

***

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Geopolitics, Iran, United States 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. A brief moment of levity

    “This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it.”

    Also, google Millennium Challenge 2002.

  3. Mr. Hack says:

    Russia’s ability to escalate outside that theater (e.g. the Baltics).

    Are you serious? With all of the problems that Russia has encountered due to its involvement in Ukraine, this is all that’s left? An attack on the Baltic states would be a direct attack on all of the NATO alliance, not jut the U.S. So, according to your analysis, Russia would try and disguise its military assistance to Iran, but counter with a direct attack on NATO authority? This doesn’t make any sense… at all.

  4. utu says:

    Iran demonstrated complete lack of creativity. They could have attacked Russian fleet on Caspian Sea and claim that Trump acted in collusion with Putin in taking out Soleimani. And then appeal to Nancy Pelosy to add additional articles of impeachment to remove Trump asap from the office so peace can reign between Iranian and American people just as Obama intended.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  5. Neocons managed to provoke Iran into war. After the US assassination of Soleimani, which was an act of war by any standards, Iran is responding in the same vein. A second wave of Iranian ballistic missiles is hitting US military bases in occupied Iraq.

    Warmongers should have remembered: “be careful what you wish for, it might come true”.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  6. Attacks on US troops in Iraq

    This is the foreseeable future. It is the third Iraq war. This should almost fully occupy all the most belligerent protagonists for 2-4 years.

  7. I think you need to chill, Anatoly. No casualties reported at the US base. Iranian “retaliation” was a face-saving show.

    🙁

  8. Hit Trump personally by attacking his hotel sites outside the US and maybe one or two inside.

    Trump going bankrupt will be less attractive at the ballot box than Trump the war leader. This also avoids direct confrontation with the US. Are they clever enough to do this?

  9. @Mr. Hack

    In the theoretical and hopefully improbable scenario that this grows into a hot war, in which Russia assists Iran, and the US escalates further by decimating Russia’s presence in Syria, Russia will have no choice but to escalate in theaters where it has an advantage. The most obvious such indeed ultimately being the Baltics.

    I sketched out the logic behind that here: https://www.unz.com/akarlin/ww3/

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    , @Vaterland
  10. As far as Iranian strategies go, if they do go to real war with the U.S., I imagine wouldn’t take much to knock out the desalinization plants of the Gulf, in which case all of America’s gay Arab allies would be up the creek without a paddle. How would America handle that? Can one do a Berlin airlift of fresh water?

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Beckow
  11. Oh, lest I forget, the Iranians have manufactured Foliant aka Novichok. This is to say, they have a chemical weapons capability of a sophisticated kind.

  12. @Mr. Hack

    I also don’t understand his obsession with Baltic statelets. Personally, I would start with occupation of Belarus. And if we are actually talking about attacking a NATO country, Iceland looks much more interesting (it is of great strategic value to NATO, but at present completely undefended, however once captured, can be defended for a very long time).

  13. Obama’s policy pursued the more modest [objectives], containment and denuclearization. The Trump regime’s objectives are more maximalist and have been aggressively pursued, up to and including outrageous human rights violations such as depriving Iranian gamers of League of Legends, as well as much more minor things such as destroying their economy and whacking their generals.

    Trump and Obama, GOP and Democrats, have the same objectives: the destruction of Iran as a threat to Zionist-American hegemony.

    They merely differ in terms of tactics.

    This is made patently obvious by the way in which the Democrats have responded to this assassination: they support the death of Soleimani and the death of the Iranian regime. They merely prefer a different tactic.

    Incidentally, at this point, it should be obvious to all thinking observers that this simply reflects an identical split in Jewish and Israeli opinion about how to handle Iran…

  14. songbird says:
    @Philip Owen

    Hit Trump personally by attacking his hotel sites outside the US and maybe one or two inside.

    Seems like a good way to become a pariah. I mean, if you are killing civilians from non-involved countries, or just US civilians in general. And targeting urbanites and the jetset.

    • Replies: @Stavros
  15. Aeronaval campaign: My take is that modern automotive infrastructure basically annulls air power’s capacity to really cripple an economy (roads are quickly repaired, and there are millions of trucks). Serbian SAMs, despite being heavily outdated, continued posing a threat to NATO fighters to the very end of the campaign. Iran has ten times as many people as Serbia, and 20 times the land area. It is a good bet that Iran is not going to be subdued through pure air power.

    Iran has a large population, but it’s heavily urbanized. 75% of Iran’s population is urbanized. The Tehran metro area alone has about one-fifths of Iran’s total population. Air power can do a lot to this degree of concentration.

  16. @Philip Owen

    Iran has a history of retaliating via terrorism against civilians around the world. They’re suspected for the Lockerbie bombing, among others. Terror attacks against civilians at Trump properties would be a propaganda win for Trump and all but guarantee that Trump wipes the Iranians off the face of the Earth.

    • Replies: @WHAT
  17. WHAT says:
    @Valley Forge Warrior

    Oh how ironic it is to yap about history of terrorism against civillians in the face of Iran Air Flight 655 and whole countries destroyed on the orders from Tel-Aviv lol.

    • Replies: @Sean
  18. utu says:

    Javad Zarif: Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched.

    It is possible that the missiles were aimed to cause no casualties. Just a theater like the Trump missiles against Syria on two occasions.

    • Agree: Felix Keverich
  19. @Felix Keverich

    I am talking about how Russia is likely to respond to a humiliating defeat in Syria, not the optimal course of action. Would think that would be pretty clear…

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  20. @Anatoly Karlin

    how Russia is likely to respond to a humiliating defeat in Syria

    Current regime in the Kremlin will do nothing.

    N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  21. @Felix Keverich

    Many “rational” people were convinced Iran would swallow its pride and do nothing as well. But here we are…

    But you don’t even have to ascribe any particular “patriotic” feelings to the Russian elites. As in Iran, doing “N-O-T-H-I-N-G” may well be more dangerous (for regime survival) than doing something in the wake of a foreign policy humiliation.

    This is why these games by the US are so dangerous. Its as if they believe that foreign countries don’t have their own domestic politics.

    • Replies: @AP
  22. Mr. Hack says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Russia can and still does dominate Belarus. It could continue to do so into the future. It doesn’t have to be in an ugly and violent manner either. Leading through strength including expansion in the economic sphere is the way to do it. It could have even pursued this sort of approach in Ukraine, after the bumbling fool and bandit Yanukovych was toppled from power. Russia still had a lot of sway in Ukraine, and messed it all up by putting too much emphasis and hope on Yanukovych, and retaliating for his removal from office. It’s really been a disaster for Russia in Ukraine, it doesn’t have to be so in Belarus.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  23. @Felix Keverich

    Don’t be bloodthirsty, like neocons. Apparently, Iranians wanted to avoid serious loss of life at this stage.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  24. @utu

    Unlike Israelis (of USS Liberty fame), Iranians are honorable people. They don’t attack ships of their allies.

  25. @AnonFromTN

    Are you suggesting there will be further steps, and this is part of some “cunning plan” to lure US into false sense of security? Cause right now it looks like Iranians chickened out retaliating and US got away with killing their military hero. You can bet this is what the neocons think right now.

    • Thanks: Pegasus
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  26. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Many “rational” people were convinced Iran would swallow its pride and do nothing as well. But here we are…

    So far, it looks like Iran has hit parts of the base from which the assassination was launched, that had no Americans. There are no casualties of any kind either. So either a bungled attempt or hopefully a deliberate, face-saving gesture. Will Trump try to goad Iran into something more?

  27. Matra says:

    Possibly unrelated but there are reports of a Ukrainian Airlines (UIA) plane crashing not long after takeoff from Tehran.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  28. barr says:

    Iran will not survive .Fate will be worst than Fallujah . But if Iran manages to hit Saudi few times successfully, UAE successfully and if Baharian can break out in revolt like Yemen ,the effects will end current and future economic prospects of USA that depend on this part of the world . I am nit adding the possible effecst on the solderis in Iraq ,eastern Syria,western Afghnaistan .

    I am not including the possible preemptive attacks on Israel by Hizbullah by Houthi by Gazan and by Syria.

    Syria is obligated to help otherwise its future is kaput . This scenario doenst take into account of help from Qatar Turkey Russia or China .

    What does US get? long term neutralization of Iran . but people live and they will carry the wars They may take it to India to Pakistan to Saudi targeting US or Israel or both .

    Its no fun.

    While America will be busy trying to soothe control wipe out and reverse the losses in ME, China will make another giant leap and Russia will follow suit closely.India not economically but militarily will rise further .

    Islamic countries will kowtow to US work with US and accept more Islamophobic innuendo and economic pressures. But once the weakness of US becomes visible for other vultures ( India Russia China Brazil Germany ) to come and tear the meat out of bones , Muslims countries will join the feast So will Valenzuela NK and possibly Cuba and Nicaragua.

    Memory is history of the future

  29. @Felix Keverich

    My guess is that Iranians will wait and see whether the US makes any moves. If the US strikes anywhere it Iran, they take off the gloves and do real damage. They did not attack any US Navy ships, as sinking each one would result in loss of hundreds of sailors (in case of aircraft carrier, more than a thousand).

    Naturally, that’s my guess, nothing more. I am not a military analyst.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  30. @Matra

    Yes, there are reports of Ukrainian Boeing-737 with 180 passengers onboard crashing soon after takeoff from Tehran in flight to Kiev. Reports say it was technical problem.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  31. neutral says:

    You have left out a strategy what started this, assassinating leaders. If Iran killed Trump this would actually be a popular thing in America, when Trump killed some Isis leader he thought this would gain him support, but he was booed him at a baseball match he attended. There will be fury within the patriotard crowd, but there will be no big surge to rally around the flag if this happened, there will probably be more celebrations on the street than protests.

    They can also kill Netanayu and the Mossad chief, because it is obvious where ultimately this decision came from.

  32. @AnonFromTN

    Almost certainly it was a malfunctioning AA. Too big of a coincidence to be otherwise. Tragic replay of MH17.

  33. Beckow says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    …knock out the desalinization plants of the Gulf…

    They could always send them beer. As for taking showers, my guess is that they can do without, the women in the Gulf don’t seem to get much choice.

    Strategically a real war requires two sides. US can bomb and bomb, but that’s not fighting a war, it is just more random destruction. This is fundamentally about who controls Iraq – and let’s take a wild guess who will be in charge at the end in Baghdad: will it be Pompeo or some Iran-allied dude? All else is noise, some of it ear-shattering, but still just noise.

    This has been over for some time. The Queso Soliman guy was killed to cover up the loss, the West likes to do that, self-image means a lot to the narrative-creating class. They will give away everything if you agree to make them look good, look like ‘winners’. Iran’s best strategy would be to grovel and play dead. Who is really f..ed are the Kurds, no change there.

    • Agree: Max Payne
  34. I think an Iranian Assassination of Sheldon Adelson would be both feasible and have salutary effects.

    Those Zionist billionaires must assume they aren’t physically liable for how they use their money. Iran could disabuse them of that, eliminate what is probably the one biggest player pushing Trump to start this war, exact an appropriate revenge for Soleimani, and point up the role of Israel in all this — all with one hit.

    …and I doubt Adelson has anything like the security Trump has. Nothing that could stop a team of four or five hitmen who don’t mind martyrdom.

    • Replies: @neutral
  35. neutral says:
    @Colin Wright

    Adelson is going to die soon anyway, even better for future world peace would be if they took out zionist warmongers like that whiny Ben Shapiro or patriotard Charlie Kirk.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  36. @Felix Keverich

    The differences between Iceland and Baltics is that the former of course leads to full out hellish war while the latter still offers the possibility of descalation. A course to descalation is something the Trump admin simply refuses to understand.

  37. Not Raul says:
    @neutral

    Neither BS nor Charlie Cuck would be worth a bullet.

  38. dvorak says:

    Among the US options, what about special forces, including sappers, destroying the nuclear sites inside Iran? You’d need more than a Seal team, but less than an occupying army.

  39. Rahan says:

    A serious analysis of various hypothetical situations by Mr. Karlin, and also in the comment section some pretty good stuff, such as the desalinization Gulf plants thing proposed by Gettysburg Partisan. All perfectly feasible, and one can imagine Harry Turtledove doing a book series on this.

    However, thankfully, for now Iran seems to have caught on to the the “World Wrestling Mania” way of doing things with President Trump. Trump showed this with North Korea, he showed this also with Syria when he threw missiles at some shitty buildings in order to appease the hawks at home.

    You yell a lot while roasting and dissing each other, then you dramatically grapple with lots of bouncing and grunting, then someone carefully breaks a cardboard chair over the other’s head. Iran’s current “revenge via waves of missiles” is basically a duplicate of Trump’s similar theatrics against some Syrian govt buildings after he was pressured to “DO SOMETHING!!!!1111!!!!” because of totally real evidence that “Assad gassed six million civilians” or some such.

    Let’s hope things remain on this level. For now President Trump has a vastly better record than Obama the peace nobelist, Bush Jr, and Bill Clinton, in terms of warmongering. If Trump manages to continue buying off the war lobby and the Israel lobby with showy “gifts”, theatrical “revenge strikes” against empty buildings, and the occasional kidnapping or assassination, as opposed to flattening whole cities and having millions die, that would be great.

    • Replies: @Max Payne
  40. @AnonFromTN

    Iran is probably incapable of sinking a US ship. They might be lucky, but they’d need to try a lot. Sinking a supercarrier would probably be impossible even if they tried a lot.

  41. Max Payne says:
    @Rahan

    I just puked a little in my mouth…

    If this is going to be the “war of shooting empty buildings”… I… I don’t think I can handle that right now.

  42. @reiner Tor

    Soviets had this capability since 1960s. Just because it’s big, doesn’t mean it’s “unsinkable”. This is what they used to say about battleships.

    Reports indicate that Iranian plane crash killed 73 Canadian citizens.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @songbird
  43. @Felix Keverich

    The USSR would’ve used nuclear warheads. It was enough to hit somewhere near the ship, they didn’t have to hit it directly. Iran is different.

    It’s like they launch 20 missiles at one ship, and one or two of them hits the target. Now the defense of ships is better than in the 1960s. It’s far from sure the Iranians can shoot many missiles simultaneously. It’s also not sure if they can target the ship – the ships normally keep moving.

    To destroy the carrier, they first need to sink some of its escort ships, with the above difficulties, then they’d need to have multiple hits on the carrier. The carrier is farther away, with a swarm of aircraft protecting it and doing their best to destroy any possible Iranian launch platform in the vicinity. And right after the escorts got destroyed, the carrier would start to move away from the danger zone.

    If a carrier strayed close to Russia, Russia could probably destroy it, especially if the Russian satellites are intact. But we’re talking about Iran.

    They might get lucky with one of their subs. But they need luck, it’s not like the Iranian supreme leader suddenly tells his military to destroy a carrier, they have a week to prepare.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Daniel.I
  44. S says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Link below has a purported video of the plane on fire and crashing. If it was Iran’s own AA, highly believable, it’s something they might not ever admit to. [The one comment at the link already mentions an errant Iranian missile may have done it.]

    TWA Flight 800 which crashed off New York coast in late 90’s is thought by many to have been shot down accidentally by a US naval ship. Despite all the eye witnesses who reported seeing a missile, there’s been no US gov acknowledgement of that to this day.

    https://www.foxnews.com/world/ukrainian-plane-crash-tehran-iran-180-passengers

  45. @reiner Tor

    It’s actually even questionable if Russia could destroy a carrier without nuclear warheads.

    • Replies: @WHAT
  46. @Anatoly Karlin

    Ukrainian President Warns Against “Speculation” After Plane Crash
    “I ask everyone to keep from speculating and putting forth unconfirmed theories about the crash,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Facebook

    https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/ukrainian-president-volodymyr-zelensky-warns-against-speculation-after-plane-crash-2160639

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  47. It’s getting serious folks. Stay safe.

    • LOL: AP
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @AP
  48. @for-the-record

    That’s fine, but it doesn’t prevent my brain from functioning, and the thoughts I have match those of Karlin. It’s likely an air defense error: adrenaline overload (and possibly nervous exhaustion after several days on high alert, probably sleep deprivation due to the nervous strain) on the part of the air defense operators led them to make a pretty basic, beginners’ mistake, identifying a target, and forgetting to go through a basic checklist: we are near an international (civilian) airport – could this be a civilian aircraft? does it have a civilian transponder? did we try to identify it?

    • Replies: @AP
  49. @Blinky Bill

    Once Ethiopia and Moldova protecting Ethiopian and Moldovan guest sex workers in Dubai step in, it will quickly become a world war, involving countries on four continents (Asia, America, Europe, Africa!), so Iran must now reconsider.

    The Filipinos tried to be very fast, but somehow they missed the Iranian attacks, and only came out with their fearsome threats after it became clear that Iran has chickened out.

  50. Daniel.I says:
    @reiner Tor

    Now the defense of ships is better than in the 1960s.

    I dunno man, the military folks I’ve spoken about this seemed pretty skeptical.

    It’s also not sure if they can target the ship

    A ship is a big slow thing, emitting huge amounts of radiaton across the spectrum.
    If your armed forces finds it hard to target, it’s not an actual force.

    Even US admirals have gone on record stating that carriers would last 48 hours in an actual shooting war.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Jim Christian
  51. I read some rumors that Iran had forewarned the US in back channels. A dozen missiles are not that many, but it’s still curious how they managed to avoid any casualties. The Syrians had very little casualties (9 people killed) when several dozens of missiles hit their airbase in 2017, but they had some forewarning (like 30 minutes). Anyway, given that several dozens of missiles resulted in 9 casualties, it’s not entirely unreasonable that the Americans had 0 casualties (especially if they were more competent and the soldiers immediately took to the shelters after the first explosions or the first warning from their air defense), even if the Iranians wanted to inflict some.

    So it could simply be just a very small scale attack, which had a low chance of inflicting casualties. In which case we just had luck – had an American soldier been killed, Trump would’ve had to escalate further.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  52. @Felix Keverich

    I think you need to chill, Anatoly.

    Anatoly needs to chill? Why? All theories put forward are mere muse. I don’t want Anatoly to chill, I want him to run wild, name the ways it could REALLY get outta hand. And I wish Martyanov would appear with a blow-by-blow, a theoretical blow-by-blow, weapon-by-weapon.

    Anatoly, don’t chill. I don’t say launch the nukes, but I’d like to know if ya think that could happen. Also, is this where the US breaks out shiny new hyper-weapons to take out for a test spin?

    • Replies: @iffen
  53. @Daniel.I

    Since it’s Iran, we’re mostly talking subsonic anti-ship missiles here. Subsonic missiles can surely overwhelm the defenses of a ship, if enough of them are launched simultaneously, but they are also relatively slow. For example, a missile traveling at 1,150 kilometers an hour (the speed of the Exocet) will take over 15 minutes to reach a target 300 kilometers away. A ship traveling at 20 knots (pretty leisurely for a ship, most relevant ships are capable of speeds exceeding 30 knots) will be some 10 kilometers away from its original location. Are you suggesting that the ship will be kept illuminated with a targeting radar for 15 minutes, without the radar being taken out by a missile of the CBG air wing? It’s not as trivial as you imply to correct course inflight, if the missile has no idea where to look for the ship – it could surely have traveled in any direction.

    Subsonic missiles are usually sea skimming (not usually true of supersonic and hypersonic missiles, though I think by the 1980s the Soviets created sea skimming supersonic missiles), but it doesn’t make it fully impossible to shoot them down. Or else airplanes could do the same trick, flying very low to avoid detection. (Sure, they do this, but does this make them impervious to danger?) Supersonic or hypersonic missiles will likely travel higher above the sea, at least in the last phase, which might actually make them easier targets. Does Iran have sea skimming supersonic missiles? What is the range of such missiles?

    Ships are not easy to find, if you have no aircraft in the air. Once war starts, within a few days there will be no Iranian aircraft in the air, or very few of them, at any rate. Even before the war starts, all Iranian aircraft outside Iran’s own airspace will be escorted by American planes, at least if it ventures anywhere close to an American ship. Do you think the Americans will just let it close enough to their ships? (It would probably still be a suicide mission for such a plane.)

    Of course, one possibility is that Russia will share satellite information with Iran. It’s unlikely to avoid the Americans’ attention, though. Is Russia going to do this? We don’t know, but possibly not.

    Iranian launch platforms and radars within several hundreds of kilometers of a CBG have a difficult enough time. The moment a radar is turned on, a missile is launched, it’s noticed, and has to move away quickly. It takes time for a mobile land launch platform to start moving (I think usually just a couple minutes or less), and then its speed might not be much faster than that of a ship. (Granted, it’s way smaller.) So a nearby airplane might find it.

    No carrier will venture close to the Iranian shore, so the ship destroyed from the shore will likely be not a carrier, but even with other ships, the Iranians will need some luck finding it, and especially illuminating it with radar for long enough to guide the missiles there. Probably they will just launch a salvo of missiles, hoping for one or a few of them to find the ship. Provided they can launch a salvo in a coordinated manner.

    Another possibility is if they have luck with a submarine. Are they going to have such luck? I don’t know, but probably they cannot just tell their subs to have luck tomorrow. In a longer war, such an even might happen, but no Iranian sub commander can deliver luck in five days, even if he has orders to be lucky.

    American admirals in the past often talked about a full-scale war with the USSR, which would be nuclear – sure, CBGs wouldn’t survive in an environment where their enemy is launching nuclear-tipped anti-ship missiles at it. (Even so, the Soviets didn’t imagine to launch just one missile, they would’ve launched a salvo of several missiles, to make a near certain kill.)

    And it’s well-known that all military commanders love talking about the horrible dangers their enemies pose to them, which would explain why they need a much higher budget than they currently have. (Regardless of current spending.)

    In general, the interesting thing I find is that people who are the most skeptical of the ability of ships to protect themselves agains cruise missiles are often the ones to hype the S-300 air defense the most.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  54. WHAT says:
    @reiner Tor

    Torpedoes have existed for a century now.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    , @reiner Tor
  55. Stavros says:
    @songbird

    Killing civilians is what America excels at

    • Replies: @songbird
  56. @Daniel.I

    Even US admirals have gone on record stating that carriers would last 48 hours in an actual shooting war.

    You don’t sink aircraft carriers, you don’t destroy them. Carriers buttoned up to full watertight integrity as they are during General Quarters cannot be sunk. The move with aircraft carriers is to deny them peaceful-enough passage to launch, recover, re-arm/refuel, launch, rinse, repeat. They really aren’t that powerful offensively and with cruise missiles, even swarms of Exocets, you easily get a couple of fires on the flight deck going, a little ordinance popping and if you kill a few of the Airdales on the roof you need to DO that stuff it’s over. You don’t replace flight deck crew with swabbies, it isn’t next man up, those guys are specialists, once those guys are out of the game, the ship as a power-projector is out of the game, it might as well run off. Further, as an American enemy, even if you could, you don’t WANT to sink or destroy a carrier off your coast because they’re nuclear powered and likely nuclear armed, you don’t want that sinking off your shores even if you could accomplish it. Break a pair of reactors, it gets ugly for a pretty good-sized area. Standoff weapons with a missile presence on the shore and fighters in the air to take down the carrier’s deadly-critical aerial re-fueling and AEW are all you need to handle U.S. carriers.

    Remember, gents. Carriers (in fact, ALL surface combatants) are good for ONE thing in this day and age and that’s bombing Third-World, undefended, poverty-stricken countries because of their many vulnerabilities to missiles and torps. Only other function I can think of is tripwire, but we have nothing after carriers to escalate to outside of ICBMs and nuclear war.

    Anatoly and Andrei Martyanov have broken down THAT sad little factoid in detail in several articles.

  57. @WHAT

    Torpedoes have existed for a century now.

    Good take and that points up how vulnerable carriers always were. My Pop got two sunk out from under him in WW2 and I spent 5 years and change aboard Nimitz. Everything has to be perfect, every aspect or it’s through. Look at a photo or diagram of the hull of a U.S. Nimitz Class carrier. The shaft housings, the screws, the rudders, all very delicate. The slightest mine or torpedo-induced imbalance or loss of one or two screws on one side and all that puppy can do is turn circles or worse, sit and drift. Fragile as the shafts and screws are, the gearsets that turn them, not to mention the turbines are even more so. It’s EASY to take a carrier out. Easy, real and very and extremely.

    I bet an engineering type like Achmed E. Newman could draw up all sorts of juicy mechanical scenarios with attached explosives to explain how shaft bosses and the gears they connect to could be damaged by the slightest under-hull trauma. Russia has Navy Seals, too. All you need is the carrier not moving, launching and bombing. Hell, let the crew live and most of the population couldn’t care less about the ship. By next week, all will be forgotten.

  58. @Jim Christian

    Exactly, anyone who pretends that an aircraft carrier is particularly hard to sink – or cripple – is laughably wrong. I have a very difficult time believing someone is a military expert if they can write that. I myself do not pretend to be a military expert, but I’ve done my reading.

    John Keegan wrote decades ago that the carrier, the surface ship in general, was a sitting duck today, and he was thinking specifically of the threat posed by submarines, let alone modern missiles or even something like a suicide yacht*: https://www.amazon.com/Price-Admiralty-Evolution-Warfare-Trafalgar/dp/0140096507

    * Which is what Paul Van Riper used in Millennium Challenge 2002, an exercise that many folks clearly haven’t Googled…

    • Replies: @utu
  59. @AnonFromTN

    Exactly. And another thing. Many Generals and Admirals have had a rather large hand in the killing of Muslims the past thirty years. Retired, but serving in the Diplomatic Corps, these Generals and Admirals are frequent visitors in other countries on Diplomatic, supposedly protected, status. They’re just like Soleimani on the night of his assassination. How are any of these guys safe anywhere outside the United States?

    Would not targeted assassinations of our military/diplomatic sorts be merely a reply-in-kind? There are no innocents, really.

  60. iffen says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Tragic replay of MH17.

    I know you are a transhumanist and lean toward the Terminator side, but you don’t have to keep harping on operator errors.

  61. utu says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Here are some articles, some written by real bu-water navy admirals, that challenge optimism (for those who have no aircraft carriers) or pessimism (for those who have aircraft carriers) according Brown-Water Navy Rear Admiral Martyanov.

    Ten Reasons A U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Is One Of The Safest Places To Be In A War
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2019/05/21/ten-reasons-a-u-s-navy-aircraft-carrier-is-one-of-the-safest-places-to-be-in-a-war/#21b326142f7a

    Five Reasons U.S. Aircraft Carriers Are Nearly Impossible To Sink
    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/five-reasons-us-aircraft-carriers-are-nearly-impossible-sink-17318

    US aircraft carriers are the world’s most powerful ships and are nearly impossible to kill — here’s why
    https://www.businessinsider.com/us-aircraft-carriers-are-hard-to-kill-heres-why-2019-1

    Will the Aircraft Carrier Survive?
    https://www.japcc.org/will-the-aircraft-carrier-survive/

    Now Hear this – Demise of the Aircraft Carrier? Hardly
    https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2015/october/now-hear-demise-aircraft-carrier-hardly

    The US still needs aircraft carriers
    https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/09/27/the-us-still-needs-aircraft-carriers/

    Will ground-based hypersonic missiles replace aircraft carriers in the defense budget?
    https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/10/14/will-ground-based-hypersonic-missiles-replace-aircraft-carriers-in-the-defense-budget/

  62. @Anatoly Karlin

    Hey Anatoly? Reaction of Asia/China/Russia/Koreas/Japan to a bombing of Iran’s nuclear sites leading to fallout over vast areas of their countries?

    On a couple of levels, isn’t this existential for them? Any chance the Hotlines are Hot and we’re talking to those we need to be talking to behind the scenes? Military professionals used to keep things from getting too hot. Trump has become such a berserker Carnival Barker In-Chief, I wonder.

  63. iffen says:
    @Jim Christian

    And I wish Martyanov would appear with a blow-by-blow, a theoretical blow-by-blow, weapon-by-weapon.

    Maybe Smoovie’s forte is in the fantasy world and not so much in the real world.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  64. utu says:

    Desirable scenario: Trump doesn’t escalate and keeps claiming that there were no casualties and Iran makes its people happy by telling them that the revenge was exacted and 80 or so American soldiers were killed and that the helicopters over Bagdad carried many wounded Americans. Iran quietly hires a hit team to arrange demise (that may look like accidents) of few selected targets sometimes in the future. And in the meantime some rapprochement is sought by Iran and Trump.

    • Agree: AP, reiner Tor
    • Replies: @utu
  65. @iffen

    Maybe Smoovie’s forte is in the fantasy world and not so much in the real world.

    Oh, Martyanov is probably doing a little evaluation of the landscape as we speak. Theater is Persian Gulf to middle of the Mediterranean, includes Israel, Syria and especially, Iraq. Stakes are the oil fields everywhere. I expected Russia and China to sign mutual defense pacts with Iran by now. Our intel and military are operating with impunity, no convention unbroken. They’re feeling for resistance, finding none so far outside of bleating and farting and a jokesters rocket ‘attack’.

  66. @WHAT

    Which is why I mentioned submarines. But, correct me if I’m wrong, their range and speed are both limited. Which means that they need to be launched from up close. What can get close?

    – according to John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan, small boats masquerading as fishing vessels. It’s been questioned several times if it was possible (perhaps), but you cannot count on it as a certainty.

    – submarines. If they are lucky.

    – aircraft. Except, against the Americans, unlikely, especially for Iran.

    So?

    Also, why do you think that the Global Hawk was stealthy? Especially since it was on a reconnaissance mission, probably emitting large radar signals. Is there any evidence that it was stealthy?

    It’s interesting how we are talking about something which is inherently unknown and unknowable (there hasn’t been a major naval war for three quarters of a century now), and yet people can be so sure about a third world country’s ability to destroy the most expensive weapons systems ever produced. It’s not impossible, but then you must know more than American, Chinese and Indian admirals, since all three are planning to expand their carrier fleet. The Russians don’t have the money, probably, or else they’d be doing the same, but they have other priorities, and are way less dependent on maritime trade.

  67. Vaterland says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    That would be extremely stupid. Beyond even the idiocy of the Neocon escalation towards Iran. If Russia would indeed attack the Baltics that would actually lead to WW3 and it would force even me to side with the USA and NATO. And I currently hate their fucking guts like never before. Don’t.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  68. I was hoping that Iran would outmaneuver Trump diplomatically and make him look like the stupid Zionist thug he is, but unfortunately the large number of deaths because of a stampede at the funeral procession and the downing of the Ukrainian airliner has just made Iran look like a stupid third world country and made it very difficult to defend them.

    I initially thought that this latest act of aggression from the US might be the beginning of the unraveling of their empire, but unfortunately it appears not. Unfortunately Trump now looks even stronger than he did as far as the majority are concerned and Iran looks even more backward and contemptible than it did before.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  69. iffen says:

    There seems to be an unmistakeable stench arising from the commentariat bemoaning the paucity of body bags thus far.

    • Agree: AP, Haruto Rat
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  70. AP says:
    @Blinky Bill

    I laughed at this, but the Filipinos have an extensive history of guerrilla warfare and there are decent numbers of Filipino-Americans in the US military where they take combat roles:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramon_S._Subejano

    Pvt. Ramon S. Subejano served with Company A, 358th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division and saw combat at Normandy Beach, Ardennes, Northern France, the Netherlands, and the Rhineland.[3] He was a scout sniper and was wounded several times. During the course of the war he earned 17 medals, credited for killing more than 400 Germans in battle.[4][5] During one battle he was the sole survivor of his unit.[3]

    One of the medals was the Silver Star which cited him for “Gallantry in action on December 7, 1944 in the vicinity of Dillengen, Germany.” The citation continued, “At the risk of his life, Pvt. Subejano made his way along through devastating 20 mm and machine gun fire and hand grenade explosions to the building. He then entered the strong point and going from room to room, killed five enemy, wounded six and forced the remaining 37 to surrender.[3] At the end of the war he was flown to London for the victory parade, where he was presented to King George and Sir Winston Churchill.[3]

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  71. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Victims seem to have been all Iranians or Iranian immigrants visiting home and using Air Ukraine as a cheap carrier:

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/08/middleeast/plane-crash-victims-iran-intl/index.html

    The 176 victims onboard the Ukraine International Airlines flight that crashed after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday hailed from various countries around the world.

    They included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British nationals, according to a tweet from Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko.

    ….

    Some of the dead were apparently students at the Sharif University of Technology Association in Tehran. Siamak Aram, a board member of SUTA, told CNN: “Yes, unfortunately at least 14 Sharif Alumni died.”

  72. Daniel.I says:
    @reiner Tor

    all three are planning to expand their carrier fleet.

    USA / UK / Germany felt the need to build many battleships.
    Which mostly stayed in port, due to fear of the torpedo.

    One can make a general argument that it’s better to have many small units than a few large ones – Lanchester’s equations support this.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @reiner Tor
  73. @Europe Europa

    I certainly don’t expect military miracles from a (largely brain drained) 90 IQ nation with largely obsolescent military technologies.

  74. @AP

    I hope people don’t misunderstand my post. I genuinely like Pinoys they are good people. What I have always found distasteful is the level of subservience they show to Westerners in particular Americans, but also Gulf Arabs. They should have more pride in themselves and not behave as a servant caste to the aforementioned groups. Rodrigo Duterte should be leading the way.

  75. @Vaterland

    I am hardly in a position of influence, and it’s not like I am advocating for one thing or another, just looking at things dispassionately.

    Should there be a US-Iran war that spreads to encompass the Syrian theater and escalate to direct US-Russian clashes, the US will not find it overly difficult to completely defeat Russian forces in Syria. It would be a humiliating defeat and one that would likely cause a political crisis if there is no response.

    There will be three major options at this point:

    (1) Do nothing, or something purely symbolic like missile strikes on some empty US base. Geopolitically safest, at least in the short term, but domestically riskiest.

    (2) Escalate in the Ukraine, e.g. by occupying the Novorossiya territories. Carries moderate domestic (costs of occupation) and geopolitical (West will surely fund insurgents and funnel weapons) risks. I suspect this is the likeliest response.

    (3) Escalate in the Baltics. Geopolitically very risky, though highly lop-sided in distribution. Best result (at least for Russia) is there is no coordinated response and NATO de facto falls apart. Worst result would be a state of war with multiple NATO countries, which could ultimately escalate to nuclear war.

    • Replies: @Vaterland
  76. Vaterland says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Oh gawd, I am so afraid of Iran! Oy vey, it’s anudah siege of Vienna! Only an anti-American would be against invasion now! Never forget the holy 52 million!

  77. @Anatoly Karlin

    And to think I was defending the intrinsically high capabilities of the Persian Race only a few days ago. Don’t they have any more people like this left in their country to lead it’s defense ?

  78. @Anatoly Karlin

    It is particularly humiliating how the US is able to dominate the world with such impunity considering the country is now majority non-white and its majority are increasingly low IQ Hispanics and blacks, and yet despite this they still are the undisputed superpower and according to various IQ results posted on this site, American Hispanics and blacks still outrank most of the world and even some European nations in IQ levels.

    Maybe that magic dirt thing is real after all?

  79. Vaterland says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I’d escalate in Ukraine. I think, if you have pro-Russian or neutral people here, they understand the special situation of Ukraine, Kievan Rus and all, Crimea and the people who are behind the situation. The final solution to the Ukraine question is the breakup of Ukraine anyway, Schröder said as much three years ago. It should have already happened imho. West Ukraine goes to us…, I mean the EU, Donbass and Crimea go to Russia. When Belarus naturally goes to Russia, we’d more or less have a return to the pre-WW 1 borders which could guarantee a century of stability. Uncle Shmuel ofc not counted. But the Baltics have to remain safe.

    The primary fear of people skeptical of Russia is two-fold: that it uses Russian minorities in order to justify invasions under dubious claims; secondly the revival of neo-Stalinist or other forms of Russian Imperialism. The situation in Ukraine can be held up as a defense and reaction of Russia, although it’s difficult against the pentagon press, an open attack on the Baltics not so much. It would be broadly seen as an attack on Europe, not the USA, let alone the Neocons. And indeed Europe would have to react on this again, or face total desintegration, not just NATO, but the EU.

    We’ve reached a good way to untangle ourselves from Washington on foreign policy, refusal to go to Iraq, Iran deal, cooperation with Russia, Northstream 2, not recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of greatest ally and so forth. I think, given our situation, as the occupied vassal state and corner stone of US control over Europe, that’s not that bad. France is even more ahead, even under Macron. If you want a Eurasian century and a free-trade zone from Lissabon to Wladiwostock, escalating towards Europe would ruin it. Uncle Shmuel currenty wrecks his reputation again worse than under Dubya. It’s an opportunity for Russia and China to look sane and more reliable. Build on that. If we get another Schröder it will look hugely different than under the opportunist Merkel and her yes-“men”.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @AnonFromTN
  80. neutral says:
    @Europe Europa

    The South African military was relatively strong before the fall of apartheid, despite the whites only being around 10% of the population, after black rule the decline in strength was rapid and steep. The patriotards still have a significant presence in the military, but once the non whites are truly in all positions of power it will follow the same path as South Africa.

    Even if the jews (and their brown India coolie labour) in Silicon valley try to keep the lights on for their military and fully automate war into a games console that the dumbest black can understand, this will still not be sufficient because the third world population will rot away at society at all levels. There is no evidence that this can end any other way.

  81. @iffen

    If you haven’t been paying attention there have been hundreds of body bags today already. No one likes seeing death and destruction.

    • Replies: @iffen
  82. WHAT says:
    @reiner Tor

    Torpedoes nowadays can be delivered by missile and have quite the range. There are even mine minitorpedoes.

  83. @reiner Tor

    – according to John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan, small boats masquerading as fishing vessels. It’s been questioned several times if it was possible (perhaps), but you cannot count on it as a certainty.

    I didn’t mention that specifically. What I hinted at was the tactic used, to great experimental success, by Paul Van Riper. I believe the small boats he used were masquerading with yachts.

    It’s interesting how we are talking about something which is inherently unknown and unknowable (there hasn’t been a major naval war for three quarters of a century now), and yet people can be so sure about a third world country’s ability to destroy the most expensive weapons systems ever produced.

    I’m telling you, more people need to study that 2002 exercise. I repeat: Millennium Challenge 2002.

    Also, what Jim Christian said above makes more sense – we shouldn’t be arguing about whether or not Iran can sink the damn thing, but whether or not they can damage it out of action. And Jim, at least, has actual first-hand experience with these oh so invulnerable U.S. aircraft carriers.

    And if Iran is a third world country with no ability to do potentially crippling damage (I’m not gonna use your word, “destroy”) to these carriers, then why has CentCom not gotten out of the way and let the neocons have their war (a war designed to destroy the regime in Tehran)? Maybe, just maybe, the generals and admirals know something that we don’t.

  84. Some of the takes here are so zealously pessimistic about the Iranians that they make me, an American, shake my head. Some of you sound more arrogant than we did before the Iraqi insurgency began.

    First of all, in an apparent desire for more entertaining bloodshed, some of you are panning this Iranian retaliation and using your disappointment to claim it wasn’t enough. They sent Soviet Scud type missiles against the U.S. base that happens to be where they launched the drone that killed Soleimani. The other base, Erbil, is the main U.S. logistic center. No U.S. missile defenses were reported, and that’s interesting in light of the fact that the Patriot missiles couldn’t stop Scuds either, back in the first Gulf war. Plus Iran has more capable missiles than the Scud knockoffs, so I see no reason to think Iran can’t target U.S. bases anywhere in the region. This is not an ineffective message by Iran.

    Moreover, Khameini today said, “What is important in addition to retaliation is that military operations do not suffice. It is important to end the US corrupting presence in the region.” This implies a willingness on Iran’s part to not back down.

    Iran has shown that it is willing to attack U.S. bases in response to American aggression. That isn’t some chickenshit move like some of you are making it out to be.

    However, I will say I laughed really hard at the guy on Unz who suggested Iran should target Adelson instead. That guy is funny.

    Second of all, the evidence indicates that the plane crash in Tehran might well have been caused by a turbine disc rupture as much as it might have been AA fire of some sort. Certainly the fact that it crashed only 3 minutes after takeoff is interesting – I’ve heard of *very* few accidental military shoot downs that happen while the plane is still in the midst of gaining altitude. On the other hand, the takeoff and landing phases are where most mechanical breakdowns happen. Some of you guys here call the company in question a cheap Ukrainian company – well, if there’s one thing we should have learned from past plane crashes, it’s that cheap companies tend to save money in maintenance. So while anti-aircraft fire might have been responsible, we really should wait for an investigation before doing all these “low IQ population!” hot takes. I’m gonna reserve judgment until, you know, at least a few hours have gone by. Good grief, people. Making hot takes on this plane crash right now is stupid. I’m not gonna pin myself down like some of you.

    I won’t dispute that America has a massive set of advantages in many areas, but I repeat myself: if this was gonna be such a cakewalk, then America would have attacked Iran, on a serious level, decades ago. And the reason we don’t isn’t just because they’re a country with lots of strategic depth.

    But, of course, I’m an American, and many of you are not – we have experience with getting our asses kicked by “low IQ” people with antiquated technology. I guess the aura of invincibility is pretty strong. Ever hear of a little place called Vietnam? One of my relatives almost died fighting a rice-fed, AK-toting, low IQ Southeast Asian combat unit…

  85. AP says:
    @Vaterland

    The parts of Ukraine that want to leave Ukraine have already left. Further annexation will mean occupation with various degrees of resistance (light IRA style attacks or sniper hits in Kharkiv or Odessa, partisan warfare in central Ukraine). Plus, Ukraine’s military is no longer non-existent.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Mr. XYZ
  86. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Speaking of Vietnam, here’s a video by frequent Unz Review commenter, Mr. Carlton Meyer, formerly a Marine officer and a great anti-interventionist

  87. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    I mean, one of the world’s safest planes (it’s not a MAX), and a pretty new one at that, going down in the midst of what is probably the most intense US/Iran military clash to date, would be quite the coincidence. In an era where there’s usually no more than 1-2 fatal passenger jet crashes per year, that is quite remarkable. But certainly stranger coincidences have happened before.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @LondonBob
  88. A123 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The plot thickens. Iran confiscated the flight recorders (1):

    UIA flight director Ihor Sosnovsky even ruled out pilot error as a potential cause of the crash, explaining that the ill-fated flight was manned by a “reinforced crew,” including Captain Volodymyr Yaponenko, Pilot Instructor Oleksiy Naumkin and First Officer Serhiy Khomenko.

    All of this makes Iran’s rumored decision not to fork over the black box data more suspicious. Was the plane accidentally struck by an Iranian missile? The timing sure seems suspicious, given that the plane crashed over Iran during the same timeframe that the country was lobbing missiles at American bases in Iraq.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    (1) https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/iran-refuses-hand-over-crash-data-stoking-speculation-plane-was-accidentally-shot-down

  89. @reiner Tor

    I don’t know about you or the Orange clown and his pseudo-strategists, but I was taught not to count my chickens before they hatch.

  90. iffen says:
    @Blinky Bill

    No one likes seeing death and destruction.

    Wrong, very wrong, sad to say.

  91. @Anatoly Karlin

    I agree that it might have been a provocation organized by the agency that has no scruples about civilian deaths (most people remember Iran Air Flight 655, where 290 civilians, including 66 children, were killed) that organized MH17 shootdown. However, I don’t see who could have been the murderer on the ground. In contrast to MH17, there were no Ukrainian Buks in the area. One theoretical possibility is that it was shot from occupied Afghanistan. But in that case the US military would have to do the dirty work, whereas usually the US delegates the dirtiest tricks to worthless disposable puppets, like in case of MH17. We’ll see.

  92. AaronB says:

    It has often been said that wars are about making the enemy psychologically accept he is defeated.

    Is it, then, wise to allow Iran a “face saving” gesture, however weak? As long as you save face, as long as you still have pride, you do not feel your self defeated.

    Japan tried various ways of partial surrenders with face saving conditions – at the time, Americans understood that nothing short of unconditional surrender would truly create the conditions for a lasting peace.

    That America will – it seems – allow Iran a face saving gesture means they are not yet interested in forcing the Iranians to psychologically consider themselves defeated.

    America still seems intent on pursuing Iranian collapse through a patient strategy of squeezing them, and this last round of violence was merely a warning to Iran that it was getting too aggressive and stepping too far out of the line of containment America has decided for them.

    If Iran accepts this message and learns to limit its behavior, America may well merely continue with its strategy of squeeze until it becomes clear it is no longer working – although it may well succeed.

    If the Iranians don’t get the message, then we may reach a point where face saving gestures will no longer be tolerated, and total psychological defeat will be demanded.

    But it seems this was merely a boundary-defending move by America, and not a shift to total defeat of Iran.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  93. @Vaterland

    This suggestion might have been viable in 2014. Now the mood of the majority of Russian population is that they don’t want Ukraine even if it asks to join voluntarily, like in the times of Khmelnitsky. Russia might eventually accept Donbass, or, more likely, leave LPR and DPR as independent client states w/o formally accepting them.

    • Replies: @Vaterland
  94. songbird says:
    @Felix Keverich

    During Desert Storm, the Iraqis shot a silkworm at an actual US battleship that was near the coast. They missed due to countermeasures. The Iranians don’t really have something better, and a carrier would not be so close.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Mitleser
  95. @AP

    The only reason Crimea left is because Putin sent troops there in February 2014. Local populace had minimal agency in this affair, so if Putin had sent troops to Kharkov instead of Crimea…Kharkov would have left instead of Crimea.

    Much of southeastern Ukraine is inhabited by the bydlo, waiting for someone shepherd them. Right now they are being shepherded by the Kiev regime, but if Kremlin decided to get in the game, it could result in a drastically shrunk Ukrainian state.

    And we did have multiple attempted terrorist attacks in Crimea since 2014. This is how Sentsov and others got arrested.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  96. utu says:
    @utu

    Just as I thought and hoped for.

    Iran DELIBERATELY failed to hit US military targets in Iraq missile attack for fear of escalating conflict with Donald Trump, intelligence sources reveal

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7865559/Iran-DELIBERATELY-failed-hit-military-targets-fear-escalating-conflict.html

  97. songbird says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    we have experience with getting our asses kicked by “low IQ” people with antiquated technology.

    I’ve never liked this construction – that is, that we got our asses kicked in Vietnam. I think it gives people who don’t know about the war (most people) the wrong impression.

    In Vietnam, the truth is that the US was a killing machine. Its kill count was multiples. There were elite units that probably killed about 12x their losses, but, by comparison, most troops hardly saw any action at all. Even if you add in the allies and civilian deaths, it still comes to 2:1. Hardly getting your ass kicked.

    And that’s not me being jingoistic. I think Vietnam was a mistake, but what happened was just what you’d expect. The US with, its B-52s and night-vision goggles, helicopter troop drops, and endless supplies was just better at killing.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Blinky Bill
    , @iffen
  98. @songbird

    Don’t have anything beyond 1950s technology? I refuse to believe that. Back in 2019 Iran successfully hit Saudi oil installations using a combination of drones and cruise missiles. So they have some reach. US aircraft carriers show up in the Persian gulf on a regular basis.

    • Replies: @Matra
  99. AaronB says:
    @songbird

    Right, there is widespread misconception about the Vietnam war.

    In fact, the US won militarily. Ho Chi Min admitted after the failure of the Tet Offensive that they were on the verge of giving up and were stunned by the US decision to leave. The US won every single battle in Vietnam and killed many more of the enemy than it lost.

    I get that its too rhetorically juicy to not describe as a US military defeat, and I don’t grudge them that.

    But if you let your propoganda points cloud your sober military analysis and guide your military planning, that’s an own goal. That’s very common of the Muslim world.

    You gotta know when to deploy your propaganda points, when to use rhetoric, and when to be brutally honest about what’s really going on.

  100. A123 says:

    US aircraft carriers show up in the Persian gulf on a regular basis.

    U.S. carriers and other large vessels “show the flag” in the Persian Gulf during peacetime. However, the large amount of shipping traffic means there cannot be a proper exclusion zone for combat operations.

    Task Force combat operations would take place in the Arabian Sea / Indian Ocean. This would allow the fleet to set up a proper picket. And, it would avoid incidental risk to civilian vessels.

    Another option is land based aircraft. A wing of B-52’s has been sent to Diego Garcia, because it is out-of-range for any Iranian attack. (1)

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    (1) https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/indian-ocean-naval-base-diego-garcia-launchpad-attack-iran

  101. iffen says:
    @songbird

    We “lost” in Vietnam because we did not achieve our objective which was to prevent the commies from taking over the country. But as L. D.’s posts and other reports make clear, in the longer run it hasn’t made a damn bit of difference whether we “won” or “lost.” The reason that we lost was that the commies were willing to kill, or to see killed, as many Vietnamese as was necessary to win and we were not willing to match that killing.

    We would have left Afganistan some time ago if the end didn’t run the risk of another Saigon rooftop escape for the last Americans in country. In Vietnam, we were able to get the commies to agree to stop killing us while we withdrew, but we have been unable to secure such an agreement from the Taliban.

  102. LondonBob says:
    @reiner Tor

    Could be like when Hezbollah hit Israel a few months ago, no casualties ever admitted.

    Iran just needs to keep on doing what they have been doing, the Gulf Arabs have recently put out peace feelers. The Soleimani hit was an act of weakness, the US position in Iraq and Syria is now untenable.

    The hit has gone down like a lead balloon in Britain, even Johnson hasn’t supported Trump.

    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
  103. LondonBob says:
    @reiner Tor

    How do you know what the Chinese have given them.

    Iran clearly has some pretty useful missile technology, a mass attack on US bases would be pretty devastating and US retaliation beyond what the US could manage societally, and logistically too.

  104. Mitleser says:
    @Europe Europa

    It took two very expensive global wars to break the Anglo Empire.

    The US-Empire is no less enduring than that their predecessor.

  105. LondonBob says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    That plane crashing in NY a few days after 9/11.

  106. Mitleser says:
    @songbird

    On the other hand, Iran-backed Hizbollah did mission-kill an IDF ship in 2006 with an anti-ship missile.

    The more competent MENA militaries might have more success against the USN than the unfortunate Iraqis.

    • Replies: @songbird
  107. Matra says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Back in 2019 Iran successfully hit Saudi oil installations using a combination of drones and cruise missiles.

    Yet, strangely, they missed everything last night. The whole thing – including the Soleimani assassination – almost looks like it was all arranged between the two countries’ leadership from the start.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  108. Vaterland says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Even more easy to resolve then, if true. But honestly, Europe is not excited for an EU Ukraine either. To put it bluntly: “Oh great, another East-European, former commie shithole to sink billions of Euros into!” One of the main reasons why especially the Netherlands voted against accepting Ukis into the EU. And also why this “based Poland” meme is so utterly absurd.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  109. songbird says:
    @Stavros

    Killing civilians is what America excels at

    I must quibble at your language. In relative terms, the US is congenitally bad at killing civilians. That is, speaking specifically of modern times. Its wealth means that it can afford precision-guided weapons (though these are a bit of an exaggeration). Its estrogen-filled government and media means that it recoils at the sight of blood.

    Again, we are speaking in relative terms here, but a good comparison would be the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

    But the US is good at destabilizing countries and plunging them into ethnic warfare, where many civilians are killed. I fully concede that, but it is more of an indifferent effect.

    • Replies: @songbird
  110. @Matra

    Now, why would Iranians arrange to kill their best general? The one, who let the country punch above its weight in conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq?

    What happened is that the Mullahs shat themselves, and decided not to retaliate. I hate to say it, but Iranian failure to avenge Suleimani’s death vindicates American decision to kill him. US dealt severe blow to Iran’s regional strategy at no cost to American interests. The people predicting that it will lead to US withdrawal from Iraq are grasping at straws: Iraqi parliament vote is non-binding, and the government won’t enforce it. US isn’t going anywhere.

  111. songbird says:
    @Mitleser

    A toyboat by comparison, and it was still able to limp away. Attack happened only about 10 miles offshore. Not sure a carrier will even go into the Gulf at this time, and it would be a real feat to strike one outside of it.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  112. songbird says:
    @songbird

    “Indifferent” should read “indirect.”

  113. LondonBob says:
    @Felix Keverich

    LOL

    Openly and brazenly hitting a US base with missiles not enough for you? Same daft mentality that led to the Tsar going to war over Serbia, despite that being exactly what the Germans wanted them to do. I will give Putin credit, never does what the opponent wants him to do, neither will the Iranians.

  114. Mitleser says:
    @songbird

    And Hizbollah is just a militia.
    Don’t you think that the IRGC are capable of much more than their clients In Lebanon?

    Deterring the carriers from getting close is already a small victory.

    • Replies: @songbird
  115. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    It is consistent with Iran’s careful responses to the US anti-JCPOA policy which have proven to be ineffective so far.

  116. Mitleser says:

    “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures” says Iranian FM Zarif

    Eliminating the IRGC general and his allies was more than worth it if this was the peak of the Iranian response.

    • Agree: Felix Keverich
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  117. @Europe Europa

    As is expected from Third Worlders.

    Some people on this thread are ignoring this HBD handicap.

  118. @Europe Europa

    Miguels and blacks aren’t running the U.S. military, yet.

    The whites of Rhodesia also used lots of blacks because of manpower limitations.

    They also made heavy use of helicopters like in Vietnam for mobility and to cover vast distances, a tactic copied from the British during the Malay Insurgency.

    • Replies: @neutral
  119. Leafy_ says:
    @Felix Keverich

    It’s not about predicting the future with help of a crystal ball, but about remaining sober enough to draw conclusions about the future on the basis of facts.

    The IRGC is running a major military intervention in Syria since 2011, and nothing at all happened to it because of that. On the contrary, neither Oblablah nor Dump could find a single IRGC in all of Syria.

    Now Dump snap-shoot at Soleimani because he thinks that’s ‘ah so super sexy’ and has no trace of clue about the IRGC. Soleimani wasn’t even important as a ‘commander’ already since years: half the IRGC was belittling him ever since he was dismissed for his failure during the Battle of Tikrit. nevertheless, the IRGC is now hell-or-bent on kicking the USA out of Iraq, and on the best way of achieving just about that.

    Dump can now do like he’s cool or whatever, but he’s in election year, and his electorate – as much as predomintantly supportive for him (even for the assassination of Soleimani) – is definitely fed-up of the never-ending war in the Middle East.

    Is it logical to conclude that the IRGC is ‘going to pay’? For what, and how? By Dump embroiling the USA into an even bigger war in the Middle East than all the wars fought there by the USA over the last 30+ years?

    https://www.reddit.com/user/x_TC_x/comments

  120. Beckow says:
    @AaronB

    Your interpretation is basically wishful thinking. I may wish the same, but it seems to me that ‘winning‘, if it has any meaning, can’t be a stalemate and boundary-defending.

    Let’s call spade a spade: by any historical standard, US is running a modern-day empire and that requires obedience or at least passivity on the part of potential rivals. Agreeing that there is more to be lost than gained (by both sides) in staying put instead of a bloody, unpredictable escalation is not a victory for the empire. It is more likely a victory for the object of the empire, they in effect avoided being ‘empired‘. So did Iraq, that will inevitably now slip even more out of US control.

    Look at historical patterns with empires: Rome, Spain, Ottomans, etc… The moment a number of stalemates with undefeated enemies reaches certain point, the inevitable unraveling happens.

    In 16.-17. century Spain – equally powerful as US today – with numerous allies and initially an unbeatable military, it was the unresolved conflicts with England, France, Ottomans, and above all the relatively tiny Netherlands, that led to its collapse. The enemies sit and wait, while the center (the empire) becomes unsustainable.

    The winner in the US conflict with Iran over Iraq will be the one who ends up ruling in Baghdad. Not the one who shoots more missiles – wars are after all only meaningful if they achieve a political goal, all else is just vandalism.

    Who will the Baghdad government be more closely allied with from now on? Washington or Tehran. That is who won this skirmish.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  121. neutral says:
    @Amerimutt Golems

    If one watches these old videos of Rhodesia or South Africa, it was always same daft talking points about fighting communism or terrorism. The same cuck language that is used today by globohomo US/UK warriors that want to fight all over the world while their own lands are overrun and miscegenated by non whites. The end result of Rhodesia was never in doubt as they refused to fight for what it was really about, the same will apply to all the cucks in the world, no matter how magic they think their dirt is.

  122. songbird says:
    @Mitleser

    And Hizbollah is just a militia.
    Don’t you think that the IRGC are capable of much more than their clients In Lebanon?

    Yes, but at some point you are limited by your hardware. China and Russia haven’t sold them their best stuff, and I don’t expect them to do so now.

    Deterring the carriers from getting close is already a small victory.

    Yes, but it is largely a moral victory. It doesn’t mean that US assets, even our theoretical carrier, are out of striking range.

    It is good that they can’t hit one, IMO, because a carrier is the ultimate status symbol of the US MIC. It is the saber that the US rattles. Striking one would probably require the US establishment to act hyper-aggressive in order to save face.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  123. AaronB says:
    @Beckow

    The fight is for the whole region, not just Baghdad. It doesn’t matter if Iran is more closely allied to Baghdad if Iran is pacified, afraid, neutralized.

    And Baghdad will likely continue balancing both the US and Baghdad, as it wants to be dominated by neither.

    For the time being, a pacified Iran neutralized Iran is enough, as the US pursues its long term strategy of slow squeeze till collapse.

    The end game is the regime being replaced by a friendly one. Right now America thinks this can be accomplished through a patient squeeze, and Iran only has to be slapped down if it gets too uppity. This calculus may change.

    You seem to believe that the greatest source of power is the goodwill of your adversary – a notion very similar to how conservatives fought the cultural wars in America, where not offending the moral sensibilities of the Left dictated their policy.

    It is s get strange notion – and for that reason I find it highly interesting. I seem to encounter it time and again among conservatives – a real fear of forfeiting the goodwill of your enemy, and an aversion to any decisive or bold move.

    Psychologically, I think it is the attitude of someone without stomach for victory, whose main desire is comfort. It is an essentially defensive attitude – no stomach for victory, but a desire to maintain a familiar and comfortable status quo – and an essentially fearful one.

    I understand the attitude – but a defensive attitude is already half way to defeat.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  124. Max Payne says:

    Well like everything American this was more Hollywood than action. What did I expect.

    At least we learned that Iran has more balls than Russia, America has no balls at all and Israel and its lobby bitched out like little girls at a golden chance to get Iran and the US to fight the war they were dreaming of.

    Americas REAL power was it’s disproportionate military response to any slight. Shit even US police respond with disproportionate power. It’s the AMERICAN thing.

    Now that it is gone what’s left?

    Not a good move Trump. Not a good move at all. I guess it’s true, the US will fall from faggotry on the inside…. sucks…

  125. Sean says:
    @WHAT

    Ukrainian Scareways. Plane was refuelled and fully loaded. So was pilot.

  126. Matra says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Now, why would Iranians arrange to kill their best general?

    A legendary & powerful military & intelligence chief who is more popular and, supposedly, less corruptible than all the country’s leading politicians? Hmm. That’s a tough one. Also, as a bonus, the protests have subsided with everyone now focussed on a foreign enemy rather than the economy.

    But that’s a conspiracy theory and as we all know only crazy people believe powerful people conspire this way.

  127. Mitleser says:
    @songbird

    China and Russia haven’t sold them their best stuff, and I don’t expect them to do so now.

    Currently, UNSC sanctions ensure that, but what would stop Russia from providing with better anti-ship weapons after the expiration of the United Nations arms embargo in 2020?

    Why wouldn’t they want to improve Iran’s deterrence capability against the USN and get paid for it?

    • Replies: @songbird
  128. Beckow says:
    @AaronB

    …Iran is pacified, afraid, neutralized…

    It is none of those things compared to a month ago. The balance is: minus one general; pluses: US failed to get anyone to line up for a war on its side, US military is on its way out of Iraq. This will be hard to repeat, so it is a spent bullet. It created a fear among assorted elites all over the world that Washington might see droning them to death as an option. What do you think are the consequences of that? Do you think that they will all preventively surrender or possibly instead harden their defenses?

    …You seem to believe that the greatest source of power is the goodwill of your adversary

    Do I? Where? It is an absurd notion to assign one’s ideas to others and then proceed to argue with that straw-man. The greatest source of power is a strong strategic position and internal cohesion on your own side. US is in a weaker strategic position and seemingly more divided, how is that good?

    Baghdad is a key to controlling ME. (I am sorry but having Hashemites in Jordan emasculated doesn’t do much.) You can’t sit on bayonets and that seems to be your preferred posture, scare the enemy, blow some smoke, yell and scream, threaten and then quietly scatter away.

    In a normal strategy, when trying to subdue a nation of 80 million you look for division and potential allies there. You don’t boast that they are all so scared of you that they will surrender. They won’t and there is zero chance that US would muster enough forces to do it the hard way and fight its way in. That leaves a stalemate and locals always eventually prevail in stalemates. Look it up.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  129. songbird says:
    @Mitleser

    Why wouldn’t they want to improve Iran’s deterrence capability against the USN and get paid for it?

    It’s a good argument, and I can’t speak to their mindset. But, if I were China or Russia, I’d want to keep something up my sleeve.

  130. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Philip Owen

    Trump-branded hotels outside of the U.S. aren’t owned by him: he gets a licensing fee for allowing the use of the Trump name and making sure the design meets his standards of opulent tackiness.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  131. neutral says:

    https://dailystormer.name/american-mercenary-killed-in-iraq-was-actually-an-iraqi-given-us-citizenship-in-2017/

    The “American” who died that started this whole thing was an Iraqi who got citizenship in 2017. There is no better incident than this to smoke who is anti white or pro white.

    • LOL: EldnahYm
  132. @Matra

    From the photos I’ve seen on Twitter it seems that the Iranians hit huge structures (probably hangars) with remarkable accuracy. They have apparently gave the Iraqis advance warning, who then relayed it to the Americans.

    Probably they wanted to just let the American military leadership know their capabilities. (“We could’ve targeted the barracks. Or the hangars while people were inside. A real war with us will be bloody.”)

  133. Bliss says:

    Karlin wrote:

    I certainly don’t expect military miracles from a (largely brain drained) 90 IQ nation

    Surely, as someone who is drunk on the HBD Kool-Aid, you must know that the national IQ of Iran is 82 not 90. And the national IQ of Lebanon, which certainly will be involved in Iran’s “severe revenge”, is 79. Both of which are well below the average global average IQ (90).

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  134. @Bliss

    I don’t hold Iranians in such contempt as to put them below American Blacks.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
    • LOL: Dan Hayes, Yevardian
  135. Bliss says:

    I don’t hold Iranians in such contempt as to put them below American Blacks.

    You don’t have a choice, your HBD Bible says they are.

    • Replies: @utu
  136. Bliss says:

    Here’s what I suspect may have happened in Iran’s first response to the assassination of its national hero:

    The missile attacks on American bases in Iraq, which while accurate caused no casualties (amazing), were not the actual revenge, being weak not “severe”.

    The real Iranian response, which took place at the same time, was the shooting down of the Ukrainian Boeing as soon as it took off from Khomeini International Airport.

    There was a suspiciously large number of Canadians (over 60) on that aircraft. It is well known that Mossad uses Canadian (and New Zealand) passports as cover for its spies/agents.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  137. GodHelpUs says:

    It seems there will be no war between the United States and Iran, at least for now. This situation calls to mind a passage from the Dao De Jing:

    (Transformation according to circumstances)
    The government that seems the most unwise,
    Oft goodness to the people best supplies;
    That which is meddling, touching everything,
    Will work but ill, and disappointment bring.

    Misery! – happiness is to be found by its side! Happiness! – misery lurks beneath it! Who knows what either will come to in the end?
    Shall we then dispense with correction? The (method of) correction shall by a turn become distortion, and the good in it shall by a turn become evil. The delusion of the people (on this point) has indeed subsisted for a long time.
    Therefore the sage is (like) a square which cuts no one (with its angles); (like) a corner which injures no one (with its sharpness). He is straightforward, but allows himself no license; he is bright, but does not dazzle.

    https://ctext.org/dao-de-jing#n11649

  138. Mitleser says:
    @Bliss

    Why not just follow China’s lead and detain them?

    • Replies: @Bliss
  139. utu says:
    @Bliss

    IQs are decided by a committee that takes into account what contempt they feel for the subject country.

  140. @Mitleser

    I made the same point and one reply I got insisted that bombing empty US base was a smart and powerful response. Another person belittled general Suleimani, claiming he wasn’t all that powerful anymore. Another person suggested that this whole assassination was an inside coup: Iranian leaders wanted Suleimani dead precisely because he became too powerful in Iran.

    Amasing, how people would twist themselves into contortions to deny the obvious!

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  141. The Iranians hit the American bases in a precision strike. Had there been people in the buildings, there would be dozens of dead. In a real war of course there’d be no forewarning.

    https://www.npr.org/2020/01/08/794517031/satellite-photos-reveal-extent-of-damage-at-al-assad-air-base

    • Replies: @utu
  142. @Felix Keverich

    It was not a powerful response, but it advertised some nice Iranian capabilities. They apparently hit several buildings. What I thought that they’d need to launch dozens of missiles to cause serious damage was an underestimation of their capabilities.

    Of course, a base is a static target, but there are lots of static targets around Iran. So a real war would be likely costly for the USA.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @AP
  143. @reiner Tor

    Iranians hit Saudi oil infrastructure earlier in 2019. It is only a surprise to those, who’ve been under a rock.

  144. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Mr. Hack

    A Russian escalation in Ukraine would be far, far more likely than a Russian attack on the Baltics. Plus, why would Belarus want itself to be involved in a war with the West in order to help a neighbor that wants to dominate and outright annex it?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  145. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    The more prudent course of action for Russia in such a scenario would be to only seize the rest of the Donbass, Kharkiv, Odessa, and the Budjak–with the latter two being outright annexed to Transnistria in order to significantly boost Transnistria’s population and demographics.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @AP
  146. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Vaterland

    One of the main reasons why especially the Netherlands voted against accepting Ukis into the EU.

    The Dutch are willing to accept Muslims into the EU but not white Christian Ukrainians. Sad! 🙁

  147. @Mr. XYZ

    The rest of the country should be destroyed to prevent any stable Ukrainian polity from forming there. Ideally, this territory would see an exodus of people into Poland and the rest of European Union.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
  148. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    “The Iranians hit the American bases in a precision strike.” – The photo they made available of Ain Al Assad base show only 5 hits while 10 missile supposedly hit the base.

    So maybe you are right but it could have been luck.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Mitleser
    , @A123
  149. @utu

    Most of the base area is empty. What are the chances of five missiles hitting the middle of one building each, purely by accident, without any of the rest of the missile craters being seen nearby?

    In other words, a bag contains ten balls. You randomly take five, each black. What are the chances of this happening, if each of the other balls are white? So, would you think that the other balls are mostly black, too?

    • Replies: @utu
  150. Mitleser says:
    @utu

    That pic does only show the most hit part of the base.

  151. A123 says:
    @utu

    The Iranians hit a civilian aircraft in a precision strike.

    SAM missile debris has been found at the crash site: (1)

    There were 176 passengers and crew aboard: 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainian passengers and crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three Britons on board. Additionally, what appears to be the nose of an M1 Surface to Air Missile (SAM) has been identified in a debris field near the crash site.

    Obviously we are not to 100% proof yet, but things are looking grim for Khameni and his shills.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    (1) https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/01/08/iran-refuses-to-hand-over-black-box-from-fatal-boeing-crash-near-tehran-nose-of-sam-missile-discovered-near-crash-site/

    • Troll: utu
  152. Mr. Hack says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Much of southeastern Ukraine is inhabited by the bydlo, waiting for someone shepherd them. Right now they are being shepherded by the Kiev regime, but if Kremlin decided to get in the game, it could result in a drastically shrunk Ukrainian state.

    What good reason can you offer for Russia getting involved again in SouthEastern Ukraine, if it had absolutely no success in 2014 (outside of the Eastern half of Donbas) in trying to rile up interest in separatism by the “bydlo” (in actuality the Ukrainian populace), as you put it? It didn’t work then, when there was a window of opportunity to do so, and it certainly wouldn’t work now. There was no interest then, and there isn’t any now. The price to pay now, is infinitely higher than it was then, as even Karlin has reluctantly had to point out several times at this blogsite. Russia needs a huge war in Ukraine, like you need to join the local branch of the Azov battalion.

  153. I am quite bemused by the massive overestimation of military options of the US against Iran that seems to be prevalent here.

    In the last decades there were countless hysterical war threats by the US (and Israel) against Iran – but again and again these threats were not carried out. Obviously the grown-ups in the Pentagon advised in each case that this was way too risky.

    So why the hell should this now be different with Iran having made continuous progress in military technology since then? Iran now makes a variety of of increasingly sophisticated ballistic and cruise missiles both against land- and naval targets as well as drones and air defence systems – see for instance Bavar 373, which is in the same class as the Russian S300/S400, but of quite independent design ( https://irangeomil.blogspot.com/2019/08/irans-bavar-373-profile.html ). At least in those areas, Iran is no longer dependent on the fickle willingness of Russia and China to withstand US pressure in supplying armaments.

    So, I am willing to bet a quite large sum of money that this time will be no different than all those instances before.

    And the killing spree in Iraq by the bloodthirsty Jignats in the Trump administration was ovbiously a great own goal – the US position in Iraq is now wholly unsustainable and they will be forced out of Iraq (and Syria) soon, one way or the other.

    • Agree: LondonBob, Passer by
  154. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    I agree with you that an escalation of war in Ukraine would be slightly less detrimental if done within Ukraine, than starting a new war in the Baltics. But even this is highly unlikely as it would provide little benefits and huge costs. Don’t forget that there already are many NATO and US advisers within Ukraine. And they don’t seem poised to leave for a long time. Also see my reply to Keverich in comment #155.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  155. AaronB says:
    @Beckow

    You don’t boast that they are all so scared of you that they will surrender. They won’t and there is zero chance that US would muster enough forces to do it the hard way and fight its way in.

    I think at the root of our differences in opinion is that we disagree over how powerful the US is.

    Much of your advice seems appropriate to a smallish country – allies are important, but they are a secondary concern for a powerful country. Small countries cannot survive without alliances. How you are perceived is important, but they are not primary concerns.

    A small country may have no choice but to allow itself to be attacked and humiliated if it will anger its allies and lose popularity.

    You also engage in anxiety-driven hyperbole of the kind that is natural to small, fearful states – that the US killed a general responsible for the deaths of thousands of American will not make leaders of friendly states fear us, while it will strike fear into the right places.

    I am not discounting your concerns – but for a powerful state, they are secondary, not primary. You also seem not to see a role for violence and bold moves – it is all caution and seeking to placate others with you. You do not appreciate the role of fear in creating favorable responses – again, the attitude of the powerless. Understandable.

    I think its a natural desire of weak states to try and reign in the powerful, and enmesh them in consensus-driven processes where no one can act independently or boldly. This alone guarantees their safety. But I think this is to misunderstand the true nature of how the world works.

    Allies, popularity, and consensus are good things – but fear and respect are more important. If one must be sacrificed, it is clear which. The Iranians were escalating their attacks on us – at that point, restoring fear is more important than consensus. A weak and ineffectual state will end up losing even its allies. Again, I can see an argument for just not engaging in the region at all – but if you engage, losing the fear of your opponents to placate others and remain popular will end up in making even your allies despise you.

    But I understand why you seek to reign in America and impose the standards of a small state on us.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  156. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    The most prudent thing would be to take the rest of Donbas and formally annex it. At this point Ukraine has an army with lots of armed soldiers, so taking Kharkiv or Odessa (large cities) would involve urban warfare against well-armed troops (regular military plus armed militias such as Azov, which is based in Kharkiv). This would incur Russian casualties and would destroy large parts of the city, requiring expensive rebuilding. Occupation would be free of large-scale resistance but would involve ongoing light IRA-style attacks for years.

    Again, the parts of Ukraine that would smoothly leave have left.

    Also Ukraine, which like Iran has not much of an air force, is also like Iran pursuing a compensatory strategy of building up missile capability. At this point Ukraine can’t strike deep into Russia but neighboring oblast capitals are within range of Ukrainian missiles and rockets. Ukraine’s military started getting the Vilkha rockets in November.

    Here is the newest one it is developing:

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a29775951/ukraine-unstoppable-missile/

    Did Ukraine Really Create a Missile That Can’t Be Shot Down?

    It won’t be impossible to shoot down the new Lightning missile, but it will be awfully hard.

    https://www.janes.com/article/91824/arms-and-security-2019-ukraine-s-yuzhnoye-introduces-new-supersonic-asm-development

    [MORE]

    Ukrainian design bureau Yuzhnoye has revealed the next phase of a previously unannounced programme to develop a long-range, supersonic, air-to-surface missile (ASM) designated the Bliskavka (‘Lightning’).

    The bureau announced the programme at Ukraine’s Arms and Security 2019 defence exhibition, held in Kiev from 8-11 October.

    The Bliskavka will be in the same performance class as the Russian-made Kh-31, one of the programme’s designers told Jane’s , but will be slightly faster than the Russian missile’s Mach 3.5 top speed and have a longer range.

    Like the Kh-31, the Bliskavka will be built with three different seekers: an active homing seeker for the anti-ship role; an electro-optical seeker; and a passive, anti-radiation seeker for Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses missions.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @Dreadilk
  157. @Mr. Hack

    Russia has just cut off oil supplies to Belarus.

    It does this now and again, also electricity, to remind the Belarusians who’s boss.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  158. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Overall, God willing, things have turned out very well. Iran learned that escalation will have deadly consequences for its leaders. America has learned that invasion of Iran will be costly, given Iran’s missile capability. Both sides appear to be backing off. America getting embroiled in a Mideast war is hopefully off the table. Good for Iran and the USA, bad for Russia. Trump is looking smart.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  159. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    OK. Maybe you are right. This would mean that the CEP was about 20m which is achievable only with access to accurate SatNav system. Which system did they use? Russian? Why Americans did not jam it?

    Here

    https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/iransource/iran-s-ballistic-missile-inventory/

    they says that Iran in 2015 had Shahab-3 with CEP=50m

    “The missile carries a 750 kg payload and uses satellite navigation in its MaRV that guides it during terminal phase for an alleged CEP of 50 m. The missile was tested on October 11, 2015 and declared operational four days later.”

    But the radius of damages in the picts is small so payloads were much smaller than 750kg.

    So OK, I agree pictures show very accurate strikes but I have a problem believing that Iranians are capable of such accuracy with ballistic missiles.

    • Replies: @Menschmaschine
    , @utu
  160. @Dave Pinsen

    He directly owns almost two handfuls. Two in Ireland, two in Scotland. One in Pakistan of all places.

  161. @utu

    They likely don’t use GPS, but IR imaging for terminal guidance (e. g. https://irangeomil.blogspot.com/2018/08/fateh-mobin-elevates-iranian-precision.html)

    • Replies: @utu
  162. utu says:
    @utu

    Or maybe it is all a staged charade on much greater scale than this article implies:

    US troops got a heads up of missile attack: Iraqi PM reveals he warned America of imminent strikes after getting tip-off from as US official says early detection system based 6,000 miles away in Maryland worked
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7863629/U-S-troops-took-cover-bunkers-Iranian-missile-attacks.html

    What if to absolutely avoid any American human loss and not to risk Trump’s wrath all ballistic missiles were sent somewhere out into the boonies and Americans did the damage with explosives to give Iranians satisfaction but did it too well for Iranian missiles precision capabilities? Bedsides do we have any proof that there were any American soldiers or any soldier on the two bases?

    • Replies: @utu
  163. Bliss says:
    @Mitleser

    Why not just follow China’s lead and detain them?

    What are you, a comedian?

    That would not be a “severe” response to Soleimani being blown to smithereens at an international airport, would it?

    It does look like the Ayatollahs may have decided to target Israel for the blood revenge instead of America. For Trump has now shown the world that he is too dangerous and unpredictable to mess with.

    The leader of Hezbollah (Lebanon) in a very detailed speech the other day warned that he would attack Israel if America escalates its conflict with Iran. Of course he made the threat only after emphasizing that Iran would never ask them to do any such thing for its sake, and after telling his Hezbollah audience to leave american civilians alone for they are not the guilty ones.

  164. Beckow says:
    @AaronB

    I was wondering in how many different ways you can boast about how powerful you are, how there are no rules for the powerful, and how power rules uber alles. Nice, but not exactly mentally healthy.

    First of all, as of right now, it seems that it is actually Trump who is backing down. What we had in the last few days was a killing on the way out. If you find that powerful, remember that is a standard behaviour of losers: Hitler ordered Paris to be destroyed on his way out too (his order was ignored).

    You make one factual point, the rest is empty posturing:

    killed a general responsible for the deaths of thousands of American

    Wow, ‘thousands’, and you speak of ‘hyperbole‘ in others. What does it exactly mean in your book to be responsible? He was a general, a fighter in a war. With your logic pretty much anyone even remotely connected to a war-like situation is a ‘killer’ (maybe even a ‘terrorist’ why don’t you up the hyperbole even more).

    I don’t know much about the guy, but he was a high government official in a recognised country. You seem to have no standards for how to classify people you dislike, that shows either fear or hatred.

    Regarding the omnipotence of US military: I think not, any military whose first priority is (and has to be) force protection is not that powerful. US is unable to take casualties, so they won’t really fight. They can blow up things from distance, but so can others. That’s not omnipotence, it is more like a gang threatening everything in sight with destruction if they don’t get their way. They are scared of having a war in the Middle East – that’s why since the killing both Trump and Pompeo have been almost desperately signalling that they would like it to be over. Everybody sees it, imagine what Russia or China must feel now (they are both about two orders of magnitude more powerful than Iran).

    Boasting seems to be the only thing you have left. I will retire into my ‘smallish’ place as you suggest and focus on quality of life.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  165. utu says:
    @Menschmaschine

    Maybe. Once it locks onto something in its FOV it may steer towards it within a narrow range of angular parameters but it will be unable ahead of time to know which something it’s going to be. So if there were two barracks near each other they will not know which one will be hit or what if its image recognition system locks on the space between the two barracks. The image recognition system must be very rudimentary so for example it may look for objects that are circular or rectangular or possibly it may have a model pict of the object and try to match it in the scene within the FOV with some spatial correlation method.

  166. AaronB says:
    @Beckow

    I will retire into my ‘smallish’ place as you suggest and focus on quality of life.

    And that is the true lesson of this all. There is this delusion that human power struggles can be made civilized. It is an illusion, understandably prevalent in Europe.

    As a Greek said, the strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must.

    The sooner we give up our illusions about making the world perfect, the sooner we can focus on the real important things – which is not politics or war. And perhaps see the world for the comedy that it is.

    I was wondering in how many different ways you can boast about how powerful you are

    Whats wrong with boasting? Is it ungentlemanly? Is it indecorous? Those things won’t save you. Unserious people are concerned with those things – although it is true that unserious people are the best people who see most deeply.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  167. Mr. Hack says:
    @Philip Owen

    Does this sort of action of Russia’s elevate it in your mind? Do you think that this kind of brutish response helps to promote good neighborly relations?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  168. Mr. XYZ says:

    Contain Iran’s potential as a Shiite hegemon in the Middle East.

    Why would this necessarily change even if there’s going to be a US-led regime change in Iran (which is highly unlikely, IMHO)? After all, couldn’t a more pro-US Iran still aim to be a Middle Eastern Shiite hegemon?

    If anything, what might change is that the US could become an arbitrator in various Middle Eastern conflicts. For instance, Israel and Hezbollah–or Saudi Arabia and the Houthis–could fight it out a bit, then have a cease-fire and have their negotiators meet with each other and drink Cola-Cola to celebrate–then fight it out some more–and then have another cease-fire and have their negotiators drink some Coca-Cola with each other to celebrate–and so on!

  169. utu says:
    @utu

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/01/fake-news-might-have-allowed-iran-and-the-u-s-to-avoid-an-all-out-war.html
    By the end, the standoff felt like a stage-managed event concocted to give both sides enough to claim victory and step back from the precipice. The idea that, in order to resolve an escalating crisis, both sides need to be able to save face and claim partial victory is certainly not new. But it’s a lot easier when both sides are so comfortable misleading their publics.

    False images and facts are being shared on the internet following Iran attacks
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/01/08/misinformation-surfaces-web-following-iran-attacks/2844122001/

    These photos of Iran’s missile launches are all years old — and some aren’t even from Iran
    https://theweek.com/speedreads/888229/photos-irans-missile-launches-are-all-years-old–some-arent-even-from-iran

  170. S says:

    Things seemed to have calmed down for the moment and apparently there’s been some back peddling on the subject of the United States attacking Iranian ‘cultural sites’. Regarding the latter, however, the meme is now out there publically and it still may yet happen.

    The threat is believable as the deliberate targeting of culturally important sites is something the Capitalist US has done in the past, ie the orders to stand down when Iraq’s antiquities were being looted in Baghdad circa 2003, or the fire bombing of Dresden in 1945, etc.

    As Karlin has mentioned, it was the same with the Russian churches and Communism.

    You can’t achieve the ultimate objective of total world power with a bunch of various peoples running around thinking they’re distinctive in some way, or, that they even exist at all in any positive sense for that matter. All (for the most part) must be made ‘one’.

    The idea is also now out there in the msm of the US withdrawing from Iraq and Russia (‘dangerously’ it’s said) filling in the vacuam.

    This may well have been an ulterior motive of the provocative US strike on the Iranian general to begin with, to draw Russia (and perhaps China as well) deeper into the region with an apparent (and plausable) drawing down of some major US assets in the region.

    Why?

    So as to ultimately destroy Russia and China as a force in a future major Middle East centered war (ie WWIII) in accordance with historic (and unfortunate) Anglo-Saxon British and American Israelism beliefs, not to mention the A-S ‘New Rome’ ideology.

    There may be an even larger picture, however, that some may have in such a scenario..ie that the US/UK also be majorly broken as a force in such a mega war with Russia/China.

    The path then (at least in theory) would be cleared for the introduction of a world state/empire not necessarily centered upon a US/UK Anglo-Saxon axis, but rather on Jerusalem. Powerful elements of the elites of the Jewish people and their hangers on might well be working on the latter scenario.

    Ideally, this entire analysis is way off the mark.

    In the meantime, let’s hope things continue to calm down.

  171. Beckow says:
    @AaronB

    I am not much into decorum. My issue with boasting is the same as with constant threats (a bit of a Western disease) – it shows weakness and insecurity. If you want to make someone suffer, make the punishment speak for itself, no need to announce it ahead of time.

    I don’t get your projections, where did I suggest that I like the world to be perfect? I take the world as it is, and what I see in the Iraq-Iran Trump-Pompeo show are two guys way over their head, with no identifiable goals, incoherent rhetoric, insane hyperbole like ‘he is responsible for killing hundreds (thousands?) of our soldiers‘, and desperately looking to extricate themselves. What I don’t see is strength.

    You look at the same situation and see a super-power display, ease of killing the enemy, and the ability to blow up more things at will. And you propose that the intimidation itself is winning – that the other side is scared and in any case, even if they are not, there is nothing they can do.

    Reality can be described in different ways and the truth is that none of the different observations are binding. We can each define what success or winning means: to me it’s who prevails politically on the ground, to you it seems to be who bloodies the enemy more. Both are valid, but mine is lasting, and yours is largely for show.

    A deeper – and for me a more important issue – is the visible way in which Washington (as a stand-in for the Western elite) has been over-reaching. Over-reach is not a small forgivable sin, it is a fatal misreading of reality, how the world works, and what can be done with power and where. And when to stop. Hannibal over-reached and lost. Napoleon did too. So did Hitler. The key to success in the past of the Anglo world was that they had a sense of restraint. They did math. Now not so much. And when you stop doing math, you are done no matter how many things you can still blow up.

  172. https://mobile.twitter.com/FrankBullit67/status/1214959989577658368

    So just a slightly better version of low-qual Turkish hordes||

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  173. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Well, as AP side, Russia could probably limit itself to conquering the rest of the Donbass.

  174. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    The most prudent thing would be to take the rest of Donbas and formally annex it. At this point Ukraine has an army with lots of armed soldiers, so taking Kharkiv or Odessa (large cities) would involve urban warfare against well-armed troops (regular military plus armed militias such as Azov, which is based in Kharkiv). This would incur Russian casualties and would destroy large parts of the city, requiring expensive rebuilding. Occupation would be free of large-scale resistance but would involve ongoing light IRA-style attacks for years.

    Would a siege of Kharkiv be more successful? Or would it still have some of the same issues–such as large-scale Russian casualties and a lot of destruction to the city of Kharkiv?

    Also, what about conquering Zaporizhya or at least its southern portion? I know that it has a lot of Russophones:

    Again, the parts of Ukraine that would smoothly leave have left.

    Agreed.

    Also Ukraine, which like Iran has not much of an air force, is also like Iran pursuing a compensatory strategy of building up missile capability. At this point Ukraine can’t strike deep into Russia but neighboring oblast capitals are within range of Ukrainian missiles and rockets. Ukraine’s military started getting the Vilkha rockets in November.

    Very interesting!

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
  175. The airbase has a lot of air defense. And the defenders had an hour’s warning. The 17 missiles went through and destroyed a few hangars. Any planes and drones inside are destroyed. Is the big takeaway there is no defense even against small missile barrages ? What about naval ships? If an attacker gave warning and fired a missile at the deck of an aircraft carrier could it cripple the carrier from launching planes without the loss of a single life?

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  176. @Daniel.I

    Since the number of comments is limited, I will make my general points here, but this is answer to all the other commenters like John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan etc.

    Carriers have a useful minimum size, and it’s just a little smaller than an American supercarrier. Anything significantly smaller will have problems simultaneously launching and receiving aircraft, which will slow down operations considerably. So many smaller carriers actually are a terrible investment.

    My point is this:

    #1 regardless of how cocksure you guys sound, no-one really knows how useful those weapons are. There’s a huge amount of wishful thinking going on about these issues. We would all like to see Globohomo power diminished, so we’d be happy if it turned out that the Globohomo military is far weaker than it appears, because “stealth doesn’t work” (it obviously works somewhat, some of the time, and that might or might not be enough to give an edge), and because “carriers are sitting ducks.”

    #2 the carriers’ commanders don’t know either, so they will likely keep their toys relatively far from the shore. Arguably this is already a win for Iranian missiles, and given that the missiles might not work at all, it’s probably good for the Iranian leadership as well.

    #3 all this means that Iran didn’t have the option of sinking a carrier. Which was Felix Keverich’s original point, which I disagreed with. The only carrier in theater is probably far away from the shore, and even if it was close, it’d be a difficult task which either would or would not work. They didn’t want to do something like that, they wanted to do something which was easy to do. Anywhere where we’re talking about air defense, evasive maneuvers, whatnot, the impact cannot be precisely known, and thus should be avoided (unless they wanted to start an all-out war, which they obviously didn’t).

    #4 this obviously doesn’t mean that a war would be a cakewalk for American troops. Far from it. The static American bases are all obviously easy targets for Iran. Many of those bases will have air defense (the Iranians wisely chose sites without air defense, so that they could demonstrate their accuracy, and without having to use too many missiles, getting a distortion if too many or too few hit etc.), but Iran has probably enough missiles to easily overwhelm those defenses.

    #5 many people have heard of Millennium Challenge 2002. The internet is full of debates about how to interpret this – the Navy rigged it, or Paul Van Riper cheated. (There were arguments that he used a loophole where basically the pixels were too large or something and so gave capabilities to small ships they never were supposed to have. In other words, maybe the original exercise was already flawed.) Could there be many yachts or fishing boats close to the American fleet? Maybe in a real war they’d be kept away, and they’d be treated like pirates if they didn’t comply with orders to move out of the theater. In short, it’s not the be all, end all of arguments.

  177. @AP

    Trump backed down because he watched Tucker Carlson’s TV show.

    The problem is the same as with the many crises before 1914. People are often learning the wrong lessons from them. People are learning that such crises are an annual occurrence, but that they amount to nothing, because, see, we survived each one of them without a war. So there’s no real danger of war. Which is far from the truth. Have you seen the pictures of the Iranian strike? If there was just one person in one of those hangars, that person would be dead. It all came down to the lowest IQ soldier being smart or lucky enough to evacuate quickly enough. Had just one low IQ serviceman died because of his own incompetence, we might be talking about an American counter-strike etc.

    In the worst case, both sides might have learned that they can get away easily with things they didn’t think was possible before. Iran directly hitting a US base with huge rockets – this has never happened before, and it was even seen as a friendly signal by Trump.

    Also, before 1914, there were crises where one or both parties thought afterwards that they weren’t hard enough – “we could’ve gotten away with much more! we chickened out! we should’ve stayed firm!” Maybe that’s what many Iranian leaders are thinking right now.

    The US is just ratcheting up sanctions, which probably means that the fundamental dynamics of the situation haven’t changed.

    • Replies: @AP
  178. Passer by says:

    Dumb takes by Karlin, who i otherwise respect, because he never mentioned that the US will have to be fighting not only Iran but most of the Shia Millitias in the Middle East plus Iraq. Moqtada Al Sadr just threatened Trump. Iraq has young, combat ready and growing Shia population.

    Dumb low 90 IQ people? Anatoly, you are getting lazy. In conditions of globalisation, which means wide spread technology and knowledge proliferation, dumb people benefit a lot and improve their playing field, as they reverse engineer technology, or copy already available technology, and Iran has done so. They have a large number of 2000 km range ballistic missiles, attack drones and long range high-precision cruise missiles.

    Here is why there is very low probability for an all out war between the US and Iran and what will happen if there is.

    All US bases in the Middle East (2000km radius) will be leveled.

    Remnants of US bases will be besieged in Afghanistan and Taliban, with iranian military supply, will fully take over that country.

    Big uprising against the US in Iraq.

    The biggest US embassy in the world – in Iraq, will be captured, together with all the US diplomats in it.

    Iraqi Shia will attack Kuwait by land and Saudi Arabia by air with long range high-precision cruise missiles and attack drones.

    Shia Millitia Proxies will attack and capture/destroy many US embassies or objects in the region.

    Lone wolf attacks by shias in many countries against local US interests, including within the US.

    US will target iranian oil and gas infrastructure.

    Iran will target regional oil and gas infrastructure.

    Persian Gulf will be heavily mined and blocked for some several years.

    Oil price will reach 150 – 200 $ leading to global economic crisis.

    Israel will be attacked by Hizbulla and many israeli cities will be damaged. Israel will launch attacks on targets in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Some Israeli cities will be struck by iranian missiles too. Israel will demand from the US to use low yield nukes so that it is not forced to use its israeli nuclear arsenal.

    No european country will support such attack and this will lead to the EU marginalising NATO and replacing it with its own independent european military pact, moving away from the US.

    Whole world will condemn the US and will start moving away from dependency on that country, as no one wants such a war in the Gulf.

    50 000 americans (mostly in the middle east) killed and allmost of their objects in the Middle East destroyed.

    US companies infrastructure in the Middle East and in Iraq destroyed.

    The whole US military will have to concentrate on Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, etc. leaving the rest of the world wide open.

    China enters Taiwan.

    Pro-russian forces take over half of Ukraine.

    US economy enters recession.

    Stock market collapse.

    Global Recession

    150 – 200 $ oil price

    US, Canada and Russia handle better the oil price increase than Europe and China, due to their large oil and gas production. Serious economic crisis in Europe, italian and greek economies might collapse.

    US is crippled by war debt. Large Money printing and inflation follows, after which the world moves away from the dollar.

    The US way of fighting the war will be US long range attacks via bombers, carriers, ships and subs, long range missiles and aviation based in Saudi Arabia and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, who will not be very effective vs secretly russian supplied ISR data to Iran’s anti-air defence/ anti-ship defense. Russia will support Iran in other covert ways too. It will take a long time for Iran to be destroyed, and low yield nukes will be necessery for hardened mountain objects. US will be forced into war with Iraq too, as well as to try to save besieged/captured americans in Afghanistan. Meanwhile the global economy will enter recession until the war is over. There will be massive anti-US protests all over the world blaming it for the resulting global economic crisis and recession. NPT regime will be dead and most countries will get their own nukes.

    In the long run (2-3 years), the US will be able to destroy Iran by conventional means and low yield nukes targeting hard targets in the mountains, but the US itself will be crippled by debt and will lose its superpower status, as well as the dollar main reserve currency status. Probably the UN HQ will be moved out as well. In other words, it will be the Suez Moment for the US. Unfortunately Iran will be destroyed/irradiated too.

  179. @Jatt Sengh

    Is Frank mentally ill?
    The Iran-Iraq war started barely a year after the revolution, when the country was recovering from a near total collapse, what’s more it started with an operation Barbarossa style surprise attack for which Iran had no way to prepare, despite all this they pushed the Iraqis back and eventually started attacking Iraq itself
    All this while relying on China, North Korea, Libya, and Japan for equipment and using what was leftover from the Shahs purchases, from this war we have the pilot with the most F14 kills, an Iranian fellow

    Now I don’t doubt Israel would smash any ME country on the battlefield (it is after all backed by the most powerful military in history) but this comparison is just idiotic, it’d be like judging the modern Russian army by their performance in the Chechen wars

  180. Military action against Iran would result in the creation of millions of refugees, and yet read the comments on any “conservative” Western media outlet and it is clear that this is what most Western “conservatives” want.

    It seems most conservatives are so stupid that they don’t understand that continual war in the Middle East is what is destroying the West with Muslim refugees, and they are the idiots who keep warmongering and antagonising in favour of it. If Western countries keep voting for governments who support war in the Middle East, like the UK voting overwhelmingly for Boris Johnson, then frankly they fully deserve the millions of refugees it creates.

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  181. @china-russia-all-the-way

    If an attacker gave warning and fired a missile at the deck of an aircraft carrier could it cripple the carrier from launching planes without the loss of a single life?

    Pass a missile through the hull into a berthing area, you could kill plenty. Somehow hit the flight deck, get some fires going, get some bombs to cook off, you’ll get some number of flight deck people injured and killed putting the fires out, then they have to make things ready again to launch planes. I saw them kill 11 aboard Nimitz one night with a couple of mistakes and a crash, the ship had to retire for a couple of days back to Norfolk for repairs and to offload the dead and many wounded, the worst of the injured, burns, etc., they’d already flown to hospitals at NAS Jacksonville. May 1981 that was. In 1966, USS Forestall killed a hundred thirty or forty just from a couple of mistakes. Oriskany killed a couple of dozen, maybe more, from a couple of mistakes. Ya have to be there to see the entire enterpise, an awful, awful lot can go wrong just being IN that business to begin with. How many can you killed with a missile? Who knows? It’ll be a first. I’m betting PLENTY. You ain’t winging a carrier without killing. No way. Whether you gut-shot one at the waterline or get a conflag going up on the roof, people are gonna get croaked.

  182. @Mr. XYZ

    I suspect the extent to which Ukrainian is the majority language is deliberately over-stated by the government for propaganda reasons. My understanding is Ukrainian and Russian are similar enough that most Ukrainians and arguably even some Southern Russians code-switch and mix the languages and that the line between the two languages in most areas is quite blurry.

    I guess a similar scenario is the idea of English and Scots as two separate languages, if Scotland became independent then they would likely declare Scots as an official language, maybe even as the main language, and yet in reality the line between English and Scots is also blurry, most Scottish people mix standard English and Scots features in their speech all the time, in colloquial Scottish speech you aren’t likely to hear either pure English or pure Scots but rather a mixture of the two. I also suspect that whether Ukrainians declare themselves to be speakers of “Ukrainian” or “Russian” varies depending on nationalist sentiment at the time, a bit like how Scots sometimes say they speak “English” but at other times might say they speak “Scots” if they wanted to be nationalistic about it despite the fact their actual language hasn’t changed.

  183. @Europe Europa

    Yes but did you see this picture of Persian girls in skirts?

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Beckow
  184. @Daniel.I

    You guys also seem to be considerably overestimating the effect of aircraft on battleships in WW2. The thing is, many battleships were attacked by aircraft, but only relatively few of them were destroyed in such attacks. A big problem was finding the ships – Bismarck was sunk (by a fleet of other capital ships) when basically the whole Home Fleet was trying to catch it and destroy and it was alone. I’m sure it wasn’t a surprise that battleships were vulnerable to… a fleet of many other battleships and heavy cruisers and destroyers. The British had to station a significant force in the North Sea because Tirpitz was just there, doing nothing (the Germans were afraid their toy might get destroyed, but even so, it was somewhat useful in tying up enemy assets), and it was only destroyed quite late in the war, at a time of basically total Allied air dominance. It certainly wasn’t like any country with any naval air force could just easily sink any battleship anywhere.

    I think it’s fair to say that battleships were vulnerable and thus obsolete, but not fully useless, and certainly not as vulnerable as it seems in retrospect. Certainly, you couldn’t just destroy a battleship with 100% certainty on the first day or even first week or first month of the war, no matter how hard you tried.

    The same might apply to carriers. They might be highly vulnerable, but it doesn’t mean that Iran could just sink a carrier hundreds of kilometers from its coast in just one surprise attack.

    • Replies: @Daniel.I
  185. AP says:
    @Europe Europa

    I suspect the extent to which Ukrainian is the majority language is deliberately over-stated by the government for propaganda reasons.

    No. The map is for self-declared “native language” and not for language actually spoken more often.

    My understanding is Ukrainian and Russian are similar enough that most Ukrainians and arguably even some Southern Russians code-switch and mix the language

    Correct. Languages are like Spanish and Italian. If a state existed with speakers of both languages they would each be code-switching a lot.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  186. AP says:
    @Korenchkin

    The Iranian Revolution, like the Russian Revolution, was very sad and horrible.

    • Replies: @Dr.Areg the 2nd
  187. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Trump backed down because he watched Tucker Carlson’s TV show.

    This played a role, which is rather shocking, but his aversion to war has been longstanding.

    The problem is the same as with the many crises before 1914. People are often learning the wrong lessons from them. People are learning that such crises are an annual occurrence, but that they amount to nothing, because, see, we survived each one of them without a war. So there’s no real danger of war. Which is far from the truth. Have you seen the pictures of the Iranian strike? If there was just one person in one of those hangars, that person would be dead. It all came down to the lowest IQ soldier being smart or lucky enough to evacuate quickly enough. Had just one low IQ serviceman died because of his own incompetence, we might be talking about an American counter-strike etc.

    It seems a lot of steps were taken to minimize the risk. Americans were warned in advance, a part of the base without any people was hit.

    In the worst case, both sides might have learned that they can get away easily with things they didn’t think was possible before. Iran directly hitting a US base with huge rockets – this has never happened before, and it was even seen as a friendly signal by Trump.

    Destroying a few hangars (while warning the Americans so as to prevent loss of life) in exchange for getting their top general and national hero killed was a lopsided trade and tacit admission of weakness. IIRC Iran has stated it was the last act. Iran providing such a “weak” response, really the bare minimum, indicates that it really doesn’t want war.

    Trump doesn’t want war either. He seems to have been forced into killing the general after Iran had been escalating for awhile. Since neither side wants war, I wouldn’t expect any more crises in the near term.

    You are correct that vigilance is necessary to avoid another crisis, which may come next year or in five years. Biden had a nice quote – “No one wants war, but it’s gonna take hard work to make sure we don’t end up there accidentally.”

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  188. Worth noting to all the Iran pessimists that the Commandant of the Marine Corps does not believe his organization can do an amphibious assault in this day and age

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/us-marines-might-be-souring-amphibious-assault-ships-heres-why-67752

    If we were to go to full-on war with Iran, we will inflict damage – but so will they. And it may be too much to bear. Years of theory and actual U.S. war games have proven this.

  189. Realist says:
    @reiner Tor

    It’s interesting how we are talking about something which is inherently unknown and unknowable (there hasn’t been a major naval war for three quarters of a century now), and yet people can be so sure about a third world country’s ability to destroy the most expensive weapons systems ever produced.

    Over charging for war materiel does not constitute efficacy. More than any other country the, US has more over cost for the benefit of the Deep State.

    It’s not impossible, but then you must know more than American, Chinese and Indian admirals, since all three are planning to expand their carrier fleet. The Russians don’t have the money, probably, or else they’d be doing the same, but they have other priorities, and are way less dependent on maritime trade.

    The only purpose of aircraft carriers is to project power for hegemonic purposes.

  190. @AP

    “Iran” is not a person. There are different people in the leadership, and the final decision was to avoid war, if possible, for now.

    In the Annexation Crisis Russia backed down, eventually leading to the dismissal of the foreign minister, Izvolsky. As a result Izvolsky became bitter and deeply regretted having backed down. He was determined never to repeat the mistake. He was ambassador to Paris in 1914. His successor Sazonov (in office in the fateful year of 1914) was also determined not to show weakness, to avoid the fate of Izvolsky. There is a serious risk that there is a number of similar people in Tehran right now. Especially if the issue will be perceived as a failure by the Iranian public.

    Regarding the Trump administration, I’m pretty sure that the hawks there feel vindicated. “Iran is weak. We could push them harder!” The USA is not a person, and there are many in the top leadership wishing for a war with Iran.

    Overall, the issue is that Biden

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin, Mitleser
    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @AP
  191. @AP

    Languages are like Spanish and Italian. If a state existed with speakers of both languages they would each be code-switching a lot.

    Río de la Plata or is that more an example of fusion ? Code switching at first then fusion ?

  192. Beckow says:
    @Korenchkin

    Wow! But what are their PISA scores? AP, have you been tracking it? This beats Finland by a mile…

  193. Dreadilk says:
    @AP

    Nope your fake and gay country will roll over.

  194. @Europe Europa

    My two cents. Ukrainian is similar to Russian, but it is a different language, with many different words and some differences in grammar. It is seriously underdeveloped in areas of science and technology. If self-proclaimed “patriots” really cared about Ukrainian language, they would fund a creation of a good comprehensive dictionary (like Webster) and development of terminology for science and technology. Instead, they are pushing underdeveloped village-level language down people’s throats.

    For the majority of educated or semi-educated Ukraine residents (including their previous and current “presidents”) Russian is the mother tongue. Google tricky non-question (in what language do you want your questionnaire?) showed that >70% want it in Russian. This is an overestimation, as this by definition was answered by the people with above-average education using Internet. But the number of hillbillies for whom Ukrainian is a mother tongue is less than 50%. Besides, these people speak different versions of Ukrainian: Poltava version (considered literary Ukrainian) in Central Ukraine, and various Polonized or Germanized dialects in the West.

  195. Beckow says:
    @reiner Tor

    Your analogy with slowly escalating back-and-forward before 1914 is appropriate and we might have to relive it. This time the force was on the side of wrapping it up and de-escalating. But there are definitely frustrated crazies running around Washington yelling ‘f..ing, we should had gone all the way!‘, and a similar version in Tehran, whatever their rough language is (can mullahs swear?). They will spend the next few months verbally attacking the ‘appeasers’.

    The neo-cons must redo the Middle East in order to live their dreams, so they won’t stop. And there are tens of millions of local people standing in their way. This will be turbulent for a while and somebody could snap.

    There is a disparity in force that makes it more dangerous. Some in Washington think they are omnipotent, that sky is the limit. There must also be atavistic tribal thinking in Tehran that they are on their home territory and that with enough sacrifices anything is possible. A bad combination.

    Regarding naval assets, one thing that makes them less useful are the potential massive casualties – and the horrible visuals – if things go badly. It immediately moves things to another level. So precise calibration of how easy they are to destroy is less relevant. Not knowing how vulnerable they would be is paralysing.

  196. @Jim Christian

    1. What if the carrier was given warning 1 hour warning to clear the deck at a certain time?
    2. What if the missile was designed to only strike the deck?
    3. Would a crater on the take off part of the deck cripple the carrier from taking off planes?

  197. Bottom line is, both Iran and the US chose to avoid all-out war. Both got scarred by Trump’s stupid terrorist attack on Soleimani. Iran lost one of the best military commanders. But the Empire lost more. Just 10 years ago it was a popular wisdom that shooting at the US military bases is bad for your health. The latest skirmish showed that it’s OK for a regional power to target military installations of presumed super-power. This is more dramatic than the loss of innocence. Many countries will draw their conclusions from that. Those conclusions will reflect new reality, not the image the Empire wants to project. Ultimately, this might be good for the world.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @A123
  198. AaronB says:
    @AnonFromTN

    This is exactly what I mean when I say that it may not be wise to let Iran have even a face saving gesture. As long as there is the slightest wiggle room for your opponent to do so, they will claim some sort of victory, and not feel defeated.

    As the narrative in your comment grows, it will create the conditions for Trump to be much harsher next time. He is sensitive to any perception of weakness.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  199. @AaronB

    Yea, Trump has Al Capone mentality. Accordingly, Trump’s action was mafia-style assassination. This does not bode well for the Empire and for the rest of the world. Interestingly, even the most subservient US vassals (Europeans and NATO in general) tried to distance themselves from unambiguously criminal actions of the US military. Unilateral criminal acts push the US alliances to the breaking point. It is not clear whether this is good or bad for the survival of humanity.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @A123
  200. A123 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Bottom line is, both Iran and the US chose to avoid all-out war. Both got scarred by Trump’s stupid terrorist attack on Soleimani.

    Bottom line, only the idiot Khameni was scared. His cowardly terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy failed. He showed his true intellectual inferiority by not understanding the difference between Trump and Obama. Anyone with even superficial understanding of current events would have grasped that the embassy move would bring dire consequences from Trump.

    Iran lost one of the best military commanders. But the Empire lost more. Just 10 years ago it was a popular wisdom that shooting at the US military bases is bad for your health.

    The U.S. lost nothing, Trump graciously gave the weak Iranian leader a way out. The clearly desperate Khameni grabbed it with both hands. The staged PR stunt was pre-approved by the U.S. Thus, it sets no precedent for future events.

    Also, you shouldn’t confuse the terms U.S. and “Empire”. They describe diametrically opposing sides:
    — The U.S. is winning.
    — The Globalist Empire is losing.
    Trump defeated the Globalist Empire’s candidate, Hillary Clinton, at the ballot box.

    PEACE 😇

  201. AaronB says:
    @AnonFromTN

    The best prospects for peace is leaving Trump with a sense of victory, and the Iranians demonstrating that they acknowledge on some level this was a defeat for them.

    But if a narrative starts emerging that this is really a humiliation for Trump, and this gains traction, this makes a much harsher response more likely next time.

    The powerful can often be appeased, but a direct challenge may invite destruction. Only engage in direct challenges when you can win.

    I understand the emotional appeal of trying to portray this as an American defeat on some level – but that is the path of direct challenge, and a wise person would at least try and “humor” Trump.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  202. A123 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Yea, Trump has Al Capone mentality. Accordingly, Trump’s action was mafia-style assassination. … Unilateral criminal acts

    There was no mafia-style assasination. Trump acted prudently, proportionately, and legally in response to an attack on a U.S. Embassy.

    even the most subservient US vassals (Europeans and NATO in general) tried to distance themselves

    Untrue. Globalist Empire elites (e.g. Macron and Merkel) ran away from Trump’s justified actions. Most of Europe and NATO was neutral or supportive of U.S. actions against the Globalist Imperial agenda. The UK leader stayed on vacation because the incident was trival, except to failing nation of Iran.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  203. @A123

    Trump graciously gave the weak Iranian leader a way out. The clearly desperate Khameni grabbed it with both hands. The staged PR stunt was pre-approved by the U.S. Thus, it sets no precedent for future events.

    The end result is that loudmouth coward Trump once again immediately chickened out after his twiterring word diarrhea about attacking Iran’s 52 sites. As soon as Iran not just threatened, but really attacked US military directly, Trump just managed to whimper “all is well”, lol 🙂 If you cannot walk the talk then better just shut up in advance. If I’m not mistaken, Suleimani was taken out without any prior stupid twiterrings, which was the right way to do it.

    • Replies: @A123
  204. A123 says:
    @sudden death

    Trump is cursed with the Fake Stream Media at home. Tweets are his way of working around this establishment roadblock. Look at how he threw WaPo/NYT thinkers into pointless frenzy with one tweet about the 52 people held hostage by Iran decades ago.

    If we had real reporters instead of info-tainment, Trump wouldn’t need to use Twitter to reach the people of the U.S.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @sudden death
  205. @A123

    Trump twittering in principle is not a problem, but stupid twittering not to US people but to reach and threaten Iran and then doing nothing, certainly is a huge losing and dangerous idiocy.

    • Replies: @A123
  206. A123 says:
    @sudden death

    It is hard to see this as losing or idiocy. Trump promised to hit back if Khameni escalated. Khameni caved and took the offered PR stunt.

    Are you saying that Trump should have attacked after arranging the PR stunt, because of the PR stunt?

    The permitted and pre-approved, PR missile launch was not an ‘attack’. Thus, it does not need response or retaliation.

    PEACE 😇

  207. @A123

    Trump graciously gave the weak Iranian leader a way out.

    I am sorry, but the words “graciously” and “Trump” do not belong in the same sentence.

  208. @A123

    Good to know hasbara version. Sorry to disappoint, but it is becoming farther and farther away from reality. Tell your superiors that while lying to others might be beneficial, self-delusions are deadly.

    • Troll: A123
    • Replies: @A123
  209. @A123

    Simple question: how many thousands of miles separate the US from the Persian (sic!) gulf? Or from the South China (sic!) Sea? Only wonnabe global empires rattle sabers so far from their territory. Wonnabe is the key word here.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
  210. Are you saying that Trump should have attacked after arranging the PR stunt, because of the PR stunt?

    If Trump indeed is “arranging the PR stunts” such as hitting his own army bases with enemy missiles, then without any doubt he is a clueless traitor and should be removed ASAP.

  211. A123 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    How much is Soros paying you? You are very reliable at using the script he provided.

    PEACE 😇

    • Troll: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  212. @AaronB

    Trump can’t really escalate either, so an actual direct challenge is not a terrible idea.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @sudden death
  213. AaronB says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Why can’t Trump escalate next time around? It will be easier for him to say see, we clearly weren’t harsh enough last time.

    If the narrative of him being weak this time gains traction, it will goad him into a stronger response.

    People are saying they want peace, but then trying to depict Trump as weak and America as having suffered a defeat on some level – that shows that they are not really interested in true peace, but in America getting humiliated. They are interested in their side winning.

    Someone genuinely interested in peace would try and soothe egos. Wanting your side to win is perfectly natural – and a good tactic for the weak is to claim you want peace while working to humiliate your enemy.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  214. AaronB says:

    According to the NYT, U.S. officials are now confident that the Ukrainian plane was shot down by Iran.

    In an interesting development, Iran is now inviting the US to help investigate the crash. Perhaps this suggests a softening of attitude on the part of Iranians.

    Iranians are also openly saying their missiles were not intended to kill.

  215. @AaronB

    Why can’t Trump escalate next time around? It will be easier for him to say see, we clearly weren’t harsh enough last time.

    No, it doesn’t seem like escalation is possible since the material and political cost of escalation isn’t viable. The missile attack was clearly telegraphed, and it would have been entirely acceptable to attempt to counter them with anti-missile defenses if they existed. They either don’t exist, or aren’t capable of stopping the missiles.

    This means that on a material level, the bases remain under threat in the event of actual war.

    Realistic escalation would usually suggest a major air campaign, but that doesn’t seem like it’ll degrade Iranian capabilities as much(and there almost certainly will be Russian and Chinese involvement to bolster her air defense, if only to capture downed wreckage). Beyond that would be a land invasion, which is pretty much impossible at this point.

    Someone genuinely interested in peace would try and soothe egos. Wanting your side to win is perfectly natural – and a good tactic for the weak is to claim you want peace while working to humiliate your enemy.

    This is silly. We have no authority one way or another; our role is limited to observation and comment.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @AaronB
  216. @A123

    Standard reaction: if you cannot argue with the message, attack the messenger. BTW, Soros is likely an even bigger criminal than Bibi. Similar to Adelson, he looks as if he died a couple of weeks ago, but no such luck. Should be corrected in both cases.

    • Replies: @A123
  217. A123 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    You are looking in a mirror again. From your Post #211:

    Good to know hasbara version. Sorry to disappoint,

    You had no message and were attacking the messenger. Anything your Soros does not like is automatically “hasbara”. All I did was, follow your lead.
    _____

    FYI: If you want to have a higher quality discussion, you need to behave better.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @GodHelpUs
  218. A123 says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    The missile attack was clearly telegraphed, and it would have been entirely acceptable to attempt to counter them with anti-missile defenses if they existed. They either don’t exist, or aren’t capable of stopping the missiles.

    Knowing that there would be no loss of life and minimal damage, there was no reason to use anti-missile systems. On a cost basis, it is cheaper to spend a few hundred thousand patching holes in buildings versus consuming $30-60MM+ on interceptors. Each Patriot costs around $2MM.

    One of the key reasons why the U.S. wants to buy Iron Dome from Israel is the consumables are *much* less expensive.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Daniel Chieh
  219. @Mr. Hack

    It is zero sum lose-lose negotiation. Russia is very good at it. Exert all your brute force advantage upfront every time. Then wonder why no one wants to cooperate. (Economically, this includes China).

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  220. @LondonBob

    Pure wishcasting. Iranian regime has maybe two years left in power.

  221. songbird says:
    @A123

    You mean the US paid for it and doesn’t even own it? That is funny.

    But I suppose there might be some perverse incentive to fund Israeli defense tech and then buy it back. If it starts in the US, there is probably more budgetary fat to bid up the costs of development and production. The Israelis might set a lower unit price because of political and economic constraints and then also test the system out against Arabs.

  222. @Europe Europa

    Exactly right, ‘Ukrainian’ to Russian is as ‘Scots’ is to English.

    (Both ‘Ukrainian’ and ‘Scots’ aren’t really real languages, of course, they’re more like an informal register for expressing petty nationalist sentiments.)

    • Troll: Mr. Hack
  223. @A123

    The US military does not lack for funds. From a prestige perspective, destroying incoming missiles would be enormously positive optics as well as increase the influence of Patriot defense systems as a carrot to friendly nations.

    A more likely scenario(though doubtful) is that the US is intentionally not flaunting the capabilities of defense in order to keep it as a surprise in the event of an actual emergency.

    But the most likely scenario is that hitting a bullet with a bullet just doesn’t really work all that well.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @A123
  224. @Philip Owen

    ‘Belarus’ is not an entity that can (or should) be negotiated with. Like the so-called ‘Ukraine’, it is a demented mistake of communist central planning, and must be sooner or later fixed.

  225. songbird says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    I was thinking that maybe the system was turned off, that they might have been worried about it hitting planes. This is in an area where Iran Air Flight 655 was shot down by the US, after all.

    I don’t know if that is a sensible objection. Aren’t planes and missiles different enough? Shouldn’t the missile be smart enough to tell the difference? Well, think about the area that they clear when they are doing a normal satellite launch. Of course, that is generally a bigger rocket. But we are talking about a planned air-explosion, with debris. There may have been a high-level political directive to avoid any risk, for reason of optics.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @A123
    , @Daniel Chieh
  226. A123 says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    The US military does not lack for funds. From a prestige perspective, destroying incoming missiles would be enormously positive optics as well as increase the influence of Patriot defense systems as a carrot to friendly nations.

    In a rational universe you would be correct. Alas, optics are impacted by the Fake Stream Media [FSM] so it is not that straightforward.

    Assume that the intercept rate is 70%, and the system ‘double taps’ two interceptors per inbound to achieve a 91% hit rate. For every 10 inbound, 1 will still get through. What will FSM headlines read if a missile gets through, “U.S. Systems Useless! — The Sky is Falling! — Troops in Immanent Danger! — Run Away!!!”

    Best to deny the opportunity for FSM deceit.

    A more likely scenario(though doubtful) is that the US is intentionally not flaunting the capabilities of defense in order to keep it as a surprise in the event of an actual emergency.

    Yet another factor to consider is time to replace. Once a system has launched its supply of interceptors, it is useless. How long does it take the:

    — Supplier to build new consumables?
    — Pentagon to resupply to the front?

    It is tactically wise to avoid chewing up a resource that is in limited supply with lengthy replacement cycle. Using them now to protect empty buildings could place lives at risk in the future.

    PEACE 😇

  227. AaronB says:

    Iirc, Iran shot ballistic missiles from Syria into Israel that were shot down by the Patriot system over the Golan.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  228. Why is the MAGAtard mocking Talha of all people here?

    • Agree: LondonBob
  229. @AaronB

    By the Iron Dome, which ironically the USA doesn’t have.

    I think they were all small scale attacks with a few and sometimes just one missile.

    • Thanks: AaronB
    • Replies: @A123
  230. A123 says:
    @songbird

    From #224: If it starts in the US, there is probably more budgetary fat to bid up the costs of development and production.

    “Budgetary fat” is being very kind to U.S. Military procurement. With the outright failure of the Littoral Combat Ship [LCS] program hopefully something will change. But, I am not holding my breath.

    Even when the technology is successful, it is always overpriced.

    Aren’t planes and missiles different enough? Shouldn’t the missile be smart enough to tell the difference?

    Using a Patriot to shoot down an enemy bomber makes sense, so plane shapes cannot be locked out. Also, some military aircraft are civilian pattern. For example, the KC-135 and P-8 are based on the 707 and 737.

    Theoretically, the programming on the day should prevent the interceptor from chasing a target outside the envelope. However, “should” is a really dangerous word when civilian lives are on the line. A wise commander would not use the system unless troops were at risk.

    PEACE 😇

  231. A123 says:
    @reiner Tor

    By the Iron Dome, which ironically the USA doesn’t have.

    I think they were all small scale attacks with a few and sometimes just one missile.

    One of the nifty features of Iron Dome is predicting where unguided Katyusha rockets will land. The system does not engage every launch, only those with a projected path to a populated area.

    This significantly cuts down on the cost of running the system.

    PEACE 😇

  232. AaronB says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    I think it was always known that Iran could overwhelm missile defenses with a large enough salvo. And even with accurate hits, damage isn’t so extensive. Hezbollah fired thousands of missiles at Israel over weeks, many of them precision, and killed less than a 100 civilians.

    If Iran unleashed its entire missile arsenal on Israel’s unprotected densely populated cities, maybe a few thousand people would die. If anti missile batteries work well, much less.

    I don’t think America expects to take zero casualties.

    Its true we don’t have authority as individuals, but public reaction and perception always plays a political role – we are the gallery. And the more people who contribute to the narrative that America suffered some kind of defeat here, the more likely it makes war in the future.

    Obviously many don’t care, as their hatred for America makes them think the destruction of Iran may be worth it if some American soldiers die in the process – but anyone who sincerely professes to be interested in peace should work to sooth egos, and calm Iran down and get it to limit its ambitions.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Daniel Chieh
  233. AaronB says:

    If this is for real, it may change things. Israel might have developed a laser anti-missile system, with no need for costly amunition and infinite supply –

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/defense-ministry-announces-breakthrough-in-anti-missile-laser-development/

  234. @AaronB

    Hezbollah fired thousands of missiles at Israel over weeks, many of them precision

    I’m not sure any of them were precision strikes. This is a relatively recent technology, I think the Soviets only acquired it by the late 1980s. I’m pretty sure that Iran was rapidly improving this part of its technology over the past decade and a half, and I seriously doubt that in 2006 it could have had anything close to what they have now.

    their hatred for America makes them think the destruction of Iran may be worth it if some American soldiers die in the process

    My long standing opinion is that the American Empire would work, if it was bound by rules. The system (the UN with the permanent seats in the UNSC, the dense web of international law, etc.) is designed to both give an advantage to America (the only superpower, the center of the rich First World, the country with the most soft power), while giving stakes to other important powers. (The only serious design flaw is India’s absence from the UNSC – it’s a big country, and also semi-legally a nuclear power. Even if it’ll forever stay third world.)

    However, American elites in their hubris started to break the rules (the number of illegal wars fought over the past few decades is astonishing; but they also started the extraterritorial sanctions, denying the rights of other powers to have their own interests, etc.), thereby destroying the stakes other powers might’ve had in the (America-led) international system, eventually leading to a big conflagration.

    I think that the American course might not change until it leads to a nuclear war, but maybe a big enough war could change it even if it’s not nuclear. But it has to be a war for which America pays a big price. So that would be Iran. As long as America is celebrating victory after each such crisis (like the two big Assad Gassing His Own People Crises in 2017 and 2018), the chances of the next unprovoked crisis keep growing. And eventually, one of these crises, something bad will happen. An Iran War would already be the biggest war since 1953, but perhaps since 1945. Though still smaller and better than WW3.

    It’s pretty bad when sanity is represented by the Democrats.

  235. GodHelpUs says:
    @A123

    I can’t wait until the federal guarantee on student loans is ended and the university system gets cut down to size so we can get rid of second rate foreign academics who openly express their hatred of the deplorables who pay their salaries. This AnonInTN is really pushing his luck here.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  236. DRA says:

    “Russian involvement: Russia would be stupid to avoid making a US air campaign against Iran even harder, so it would probably support Iran by default. This would presumably involve helping Iran with oil exports (selling its oil as its own…”

    Or buying Iran’s oil a reduced price for consumption in Russia and exporting more Russian oil to Europe by the existing pipelines. Functionally the same thing, but less traceable or provable. Perhaps it is already happening?

  237. AaronB says:
    @reiner Tor

    A rules system is necessary, but they can always be subverted by bad faith actors. Iran used proxies to attack the US, formally not breaking the rules. China denied market access unless it obtained favorable terms. Japan did not put tariffs, but somehow US cars got delayed at customs.

    So rules are good, but they are only a framework. Absolute adherence to the letter rather than spirit of the rules ironically makes it impossible to do what it takes to uphold the rules based system.

    And no rules system will be perfect. You want the cop to use discretion about who to arrest and not just follow the rules, and the good judge uses discernment in which rules to enforce. But of course you still want the rules there as a framework.

    I think small countries have a natural desire to neuter big ones – such that they will try and prevent even necessary, morally defensible actions and enmesh them in a strict legal net. I think the better approach would be for small countries to put their resentments aside and follow their natural leaders.

    And today, you are seeing many ignore the rules subverting of China and Iran, and focusing on the US response to them, which involves operating within the rules framework in a flexible, responsive manner.

  238. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    *On Iran post, reads “The only serious design flaw is India’s absence from the UNSC – it’s a big country, and also semi-legally a nuclear power.”

    *Adds reiner Tor to growing list of crypto-Indians. Decides to create a whitelist of confirmed non-Indians for AK’s blog, as it will be shorter.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  239. @reiner Tor

    An Iran War would already be the biggest war since 1953, but perhaps since 1945. Though still smaller and better than WW3.

    There have been many frozen conflicts and simmering grievances bottled up. I think there’s a substantial chance that an Iran War could escalate into a proper WW3.

    * China seizes the opportunity to bring Taiwan back into the fold, exert dominance over SCS
    * Russia seizes opportunity to return its clay
    * Even Best Korea, at this point, might say, why not join in the fun (if China already in)

    There’s an inherent escalatory dynamic here because each new player to join the confrontation with the US will face fewer and fewer risks in doing so. Marginal costs of doing so decrease, too (e.g. if two major players already in, world economy is already wrecked).

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @utu
    , @reiner Tor
  240. utu says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    China, Russia, Korea? What about Israel? They would implement final cleansing of Palestinians, don’t you think? Jordan is kept pretty much intact and was spared color revolution for this purpose.

    • Replies: @JL
  241. @GodHelpUs

    Reading and comprehension problems? How about math? Here is the link to info on the US budget for 2019:
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/budget-fy2019.pdf

    Using skills you should have learned in the elementary school you can calculate that out of every dollar you pay in taxes ~0.7 c go to NIH, and another 0.18 c go to NSF. So, science gets a whopping 0.88 c per every dollar you pay.

    MIC gets a mere 15.8 c per dollar, plus another 8.8 c per dollar goes to servicing national debt, run up by previous outlays to MIC and for bailing out banksters.

    BTW, here is the info on national debt:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_of_the_United_States

    Again, using skills you should have leaned in the elementary school you can calculate that every American, from newborn to an old person on his/her deathbed, right now owes >$66,000.

    These numbers surely show that science makes you poor, whereas MIC makes you rich.

    • Replies: @GodHelpUs
  242. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Good points.

    There is a serious risk that there is a number of similar people in Tehran right now. Especially if the issue will be perceived as a failure by the Iranian public.

    Very possible. However, IIRC the assassinated general was one of the hawks. I’ve heard a rumor that he was sacrificed so that the others could make peace (after a period of time when mourning and public anger subside). I don’t know enough about the Iranian elites to know. The fact that the Iranians are already inviting the Americans to investigate the crash is a good sign though.

    Regarding the Trump administration, I’m pretty sure that the hawks there feel vindicated. “Iran is weak. We could push them harder!” The USA is not a person, and there are many in the top leadership wishing for a war with Iran.

    \

    Out of curiosity I looked for what neocons thought and even they did not think that Trump should have escalated.

  243. @AP

    I’ve heard a rumor that he was sacrificed so that the others could make peace (after a period of time when mourning and public anger subside).

    One of the more absurd ones even so far as conspiracy theories go.

    • Agree: AP
  244. @Daniel Chieh

    Iran will certainly escalate further escalate as it obvious to them Trump can only twitterblow his hot stinking brainassfarts:

    Iran’s supreme leader has said a missile attack on two US bases in Iraq was “not enough”

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/iran-missile-attacks-us-bases-114820799.html

  245. S says:

    I don’t in anyway support the US getting into a war with Iran.

    Having said that, I’m a little surprised it hasn’t been brought up that Iran was invaded once before by Europeans, ie British and Russians, in 1941. [To be sure, a great many of the ‘Brits’ were in reality Indian colonial troops.]

    It was 200,000 Anglo/Russian forces attacking from four fronts against about 125,000- 200,000 mobilized Iranians.

    Both the British and Russian’s had modern armies. The Iranian army had been undergoing a decade long uncompleted modernization program upgrading itself with tanks, armored cars, and aircraft.

    The start of the surprise attack upon Iran (Operation Countenance) was August 25, 1941, and it was all over by August 29 when Iran surrendered.

    Despite some Iranian resistance, it was overall an embarrassing nearly immediate complete collapse, and reading the account I almost feel bad for the Iranians and their Shah.

    So was the poor performance largely about poor human capital on the Iranian’s part?

    If (hypothetically) instead of Brits, Russians, and Indian colonial troops attacking Iran in 1941, it had been instead an equally numbered and similarly armed force of Iraqi Arabs manning the Allied armies, would it then of been something much closer to a years long Iran-Iraq War type slugfest, instead of the four day walk over it in reality was?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Soviet_invasion_of_Iran

    • Replies: @Jatt Sengh
  246. @S

    Acc to Karlin Indians are even worse than Arabs/Iranis at war.

    This despite, every enemy to ever face them praising them for their valour||

    :shrug:

  247. JL says:
    @utu

    Because in the event that Iran and the US are engaged in all-out war, China is invading Taiwan, Russia Ukraine, and NK SK, the first thought on everyone’s mind will be, “But, what about the Palestinians?!”

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
  248. Daniel.I says:
    @reiner Tor

    I’m going to re-iterate my point – a large number of smaller units is more cost-effective than a small number a large units.

    This principle applies to battleships / super-carriers / super-heavy tanks / etc

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  249. @Daniel.I

    There’s no such general rule. If it was the case, than very small tanks weighing 5 tons with a one-man crew would be better than big 40-50-70 ton tanks currently in use.

    What you are looking for is that there are optimal sizes for each weapon system. The optimal size might be different depending on the constraints you are facing. For example Germany in WW2 had a very high quality manpower, but it was relatively limited in quantity. So complicated high quality heavy tanks probably worked better for them than for the USSR, where technology was more seriously limited, manpower of lower quality, but higher quantity. So mass production of T-34 worked better for them. (Both could’ve done better, but nothing is perfect.)

    Regarding carriers, the minimum size is determined by the size of the runway: you obviously need some runway (unless you are willing to restrict yourself to less useful VTOL aircraft), and this means we’re talking about super-heavy ships in any event. The French carrier Charles de Gaulle is already over 40,000 tons displacement, so already bigger than any Russian ship save the Kuznetsov. The Kuznetsov is larger still, but it’s still too small for simultaneously launching and recovering planes.

    It’s certainly likely that once the size required for simultaneous launch and recovering planes is reached, further increases in size carry less obvious benefits, but certainly there are some benefits, so I doubt we could determine the optimal size just by looking hard at Wikipedia.

    Because all people like bigger toys more than smaller ones, probably there’s an element of unnecessary size inflation, but if carriers are useful at all (far from clear), their optimal size is probably not very much smaller than American supercarriers.

    • Replies: @Daniel.I
    , @songbird
  250. @AP

    The general could only have been “sacrificed” if the Iranians knew in advance that he would be killed. How? Did Trump or the Deep State tell them? I think that’s a kind of a conspiracy theory which is unlikely to be true. How would Trump or the Deep State know which Iranian to contact (without those Iranians telling Soleimani in turn, botching the operation), and how did this relationship develop?

    The neocons don’t want full-scale war, but some of them must now be sure that they can get away with further similar incidents in the future. To most people Iran’s response seemed weak and ineffectual. Given how the US screwed up major foreign policy issues (like attacking Iraq to bring there democracy…), I have very limited confidence that US elites know what they are doing.

    The US policy with regards to Iran is that Iran should “amend” the deal made with Obama, to now include the following things:

    – remove all Iranian troops, volunteers and assets from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, or anywhere else where they might be present

    – destroy the stock of ballistic and cruise missiles

    – stop supporting proxy groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon

    – they don’t say this, but I guess they’d still be opposed to Iranian imports of high technology weapons systems, regardless of their type

    In exchange, I’m not sure what Trump is offering other than “stopping the crippling sanctions.” But what if, down the road, he changes his mind? What if one of his successors will think that even this improved deal was “not good enough?” Iran wouldn’t have many options then.

    Basically the official US policy is that the only thing they’d accept from Iran is a unilateral disarmament and total surrender by Iran, and/or regime change. (Despite the latter being officially denied, how could the regime survive such a surrender domestically?)

    This has not changed, and since unilateral disarmament and surrender is not an option the Iranian regime is ever going to accept, the US stays on a collision course with Iran. Even if they don’t want outright war. (Because they obviously hope the regime will collapse without a war, only due to the economic warfare.)

    So avoiding war is not trivially easy, and there’s a very high chance that one or both of them have learned the wrong lessons from this incident.

  251. @Anatoly Karlin

    Yes, lots of things like that could happen. There is also the issue of Russian, Iranian and American troops in Syria – things could flare up there, too, especially if the Iranians were launching rocket attacks on Israel, or maybe some US base in the region (are there US assets in Jordan?) and the US decided to destroy the Iranian presence there.

    Therefore it’s pretty bad that Trump tore up the JCPOA. It’s now probably impossible to restore it, because trust has been eroded (who would believe a next US president, if he signed anything, that it would honored by future US administrations?), so either a war or a nuclear Iran is now bound to happen. Iran is restarting its nuclear program, while the US has already said that it’s unacceptable to them. So what would happen, if Iran was getting closer to the Bomb? It’s bound to get closer to it.

    This is the reason for my pessimism: the US is on a collision course with Iran, and it hasn’t changed this week. But we have no war right now.

  252. GodHelpUs says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I touched a nerve there didn’t I?

    You know that federal grants are only a tiny proportion of the funding that the universities need to keep themselves going. You suck the teat of student loans which will never be repaid and are reducing our young adults to a life of debt slavery. Everyone knows this. It’s just a matter of time before the whole thing comes crashing down. If you’re not careful it will crush you as it falls apart. The fallout from the next crisis will not be hippies in the park chanting “we are the 99%”. It will be antifa hoodlums smashing windows and knifing pedestrians. You reap what you sow.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  253. Daniel.I says:
    @reiner Tor

    This is devolving into autistic hair-splitting.
    Lucky for you, I’m fond of this.

    There’s no such general rule.

    Yes there is.

    if carriers are useful at all (far from clear)

    More than a century ago, an admiral of a nation embarking on a massive naval expansion asked “Of what use is a battleship against an enemy without them ?”

  254. @songbird

    [MORE]

    This joke might go over the heads of none Australians.

    • LOL: songbird
  255. @GodHelpUs

    I must congratulate imperial propaganda for making people believe all sorts of crap. The total outstanding debt on student loans is ~1.6 trillion:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_loans_in_the_United_States
    So, in worst-case scenario, when not a penny of it gets repaid and has to be covered by the government, it accounts for less than 10% of national debt (~$4,900 out of >$66,000 you and every US citizen owes). What’s more, the sum total of student loan debt is smaller than the outlays for MIC (direct to DoD, plus indirect via Department of Energy, which makes and maintains nukes, and various intelligence agencies, which appear to lack intelligence of any kind) in two years. It is less than the price of servicing national debt for the next four years.

    FYI, research in Universities does not get anything from the tuition money those Universities charge and student loans cover. If it’s not too hard in your mental state, do some web research.

    • Replies: @GodHelpUs
  256. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    if carriers are useful at all (far from clear)

    I am sure you don’t mean this. Obviously, they are useful for multiple tasks, one being they are supreme objects for saber-rattling third world countries. CNN will report two carriers moving towards target, if desired. That ought to scare any half-rational, khat-chewing warlord into changing his behavior, or else make him regret it.

    But here’s the thing: some khat-chewer is not likely to know the difference between an America-class amphibious ship and a Ford-class supercarrier, especially if you can get the media onboard. And even if he did, the marines might scare him more.

    The real question here is not about take-off load and number of sorties. It is, is there extra status to be won by having a supercarrier? In other words, is there deference and position to be won, that is worth the cost? This question doesn’t apply to your Somalias of the world. It is mainly to do with your third-rate powers like France and India that have their own toy-carriers.

    Of course, a carrier would be useless in a war against China or Russia, and Russia never had a good reason for operating one, other than status-seeking.

    BTW, if you are talking a vs. battle, you are dead wrong about expensive tanks. Technicals mounted with anti-armor missiles would defeat tanks, on a dollar vs. dollar basis. The reason they are not employed is wealthy countries are casualty-averse, and if you have tanks, then you probably control the skies, making technicals useless.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  257. GodHelpUs says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Your comments are so poorly thought out, filled with non sequiturs and hypocrisy that I’m starting to think you are a sock puppet. Surely a college professor couldn’t be as foolish as you are, even one imported to warm a seat in a third tier college. Then again, you might just be an example of Nassim Taleb’s intellectual-yet-idiot.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  258. @AaronB

    If Iran unleashed its entire missile arsenal on Israel’s unprotected densely populated cities, maybe a few thousand people would die. If anti missile batteries work well, much less.

    Glad you see where you’re really focused upon(“Israel!”).

    I actually wasn’t thinking of that at all and I don’t believe that is a good use of weaponry; targeting civilians typically doesn’t bring about effective results.

    I think it was always known that Iran could overwhelm missile defenses with a large enough salvo. And even with accurate hits, damage isn’t so extensive. Hezbollah fired thousands of missiles at Israel over weeks, many of them precision, and killed less than a 100 civilians.

    Hezbollah did not use high-tech missiles; their precision technology were anti-tank missiles, which was never really designed for wide-spread destruction for what should be self-evident reasons(anti-armor focuses impact on a small area, anti-infantry weapons have large effective radius, genuine “terror” weapons against civilian populations are technically banned but would typically be forms of incendiaries).

    At any rate, this is completely beside the point since I would believe that Iran, now having demonstrated effective ability to deliver ordinance would do so against military targets to impede operations against herself. And that is why I said that it appears to have made escalation unviable.

    Since the bases are now apparently vulnerable, this means that the hangers are vulnerable with their planes on the ground. Killing the pilots would be a bonus for them, but simply being able to destroy airframes on the ground impedes the ability to launch air attacks against them. This would be much assisted if Iran, I suspect, gets passive assistance from Russia or China on the intel of American jets.

    The alternative would be to launch from carriers, but this actually makes the carriers themselves vulnerable – a risk that I don’t think that Trump will take. And once launched, the air attacks themselves remain vulnerable to modern anti-air defenses(the Russian-made S-300 seems quite a competent system, assuming good operators – so that remains an open question). As in Serbia, even a basically uncontested aerial supremacy had to labor to degrade Serbian capabilities; such difficulties would be significantly multiplied in Iran, partly due to technology gap closure and partly due to third-party intervention.

    To escalate from that will require a ground invasion, which is really quite beyond the pale at this point and would be likely to trigger WW3. Most of what I said is basically just rephrasing Mr. Karlin – I essentially reflect his analysis and I also agree that an adequately large conflict would touch off a number of pressure points in the world to opportunistically finish off their grudges. I don’t think that any president or decisionmaker is ready for that yet.

    So no, escalation is unviable.

  259. @Daniel.I

    This is dedicated autism. I commend you, sir for giving me great reading material 😛

  260. @GodHelpUs

    So, you see relevant numbers as non-sequiturs? Tells me all I need to know about you, sorry to disappoint.

  261. @Daniel.I

    After reading through the article, I see its applicability toward battleships but I do not agree that this is true universally because some of the assumptions cannot be carried forward to many combat situations, something the article indicates itself:

    All cases assume no differences in a myriad of factors effecting actual battle conditions, including but not limited to: range, speed, rate of fire, rate of hitting versus range, location and effectiveness of hits, compartmentation, armor quality, armor distribution, tactics, communications, electronics, damage control, morale, weather and skill. As Hughes notes in his text, Lanchester’s equations were never intended – and do not – address the effects of synergy brought about by “force multipliers.”

    The most fundamental assumption here is perfect ability of all involved units to engage and concentrate offensive potential – perhaps applicable to warships who lack intervening obstacles and have incredibly long range weaponry.

    On the converse, ancient elite forces were incredibly effective(as Sun Tzu noted) since they could not only be more reliable to follow orders, etc. but the actual point of contact between them and an opposing force was pretty brief and short, often followed by a morale break by the losers that would spread panic even in the more numerous but lower quality forces.

    Although we no longer fight at melee ranges, I do think that still more applies to ground forces who operate at much closer engagement ranges, with much less ammo, and thus experience quite a few more “force multiplier” effects.

    • Replies: @utu
  262. utu says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    the effects of synergy brought about by “force multipliers.”

    Engels quantity into quality has origin in Napoleon’s observation:

    In conclusion we shall call one more witness for the transformation of quantity into quality, namely — Napoleon. He describes the combat between the French cavalry, who were bad riders but disciplined, and the Mamelukes, who were undoubtedly the best horsemen of their time for single combat, but lacked discipline, as follows:

    “Two Mamelukes were undoubtedly more than a match for three Frenchmen; 100 Mamelukes were equal to 100 Frenchmen; 300 Frenchmen could generally beat 300 Mamelukes, and 1,000 Frenchmen invariably defeated 1,500 Mamelukes.”

  263. @songbird

    I don’t know if that is a sensible objection. Aren’t planes and missiles different enough?

    The Patriot system has shot down planes before, so this is possible.

    https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2003-apr-21-war-patriot21-story.html

    • Replies: @songbird
  264. songbird says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Wow, I knew the Patriot was bad, but I didn’t know that it was as bad as that!

  265. @Daniel.I

    Thanks for your link, it was very interesting. However, as they themselves admit, the true determinate of which is better lie somewhere in the caveats.

    Many smaller units usually require a larger number of crew than one big unit. I have already hinted at that when mentioning the big heavy German tanks in WW2. They had a limited, but high quality, manpower reserve, so it made sense to put their resources into fewer, but heavier and more complicated, tanks. It might not be possible to recruit high quality crews into many small ships, while it might be significantly easier to do the same with a few big units.

    Also, unit size always has a minimum requirement. The logical conclusion of “smaller is always better” would be small one-man motorboats with machine guns. Yet somehow I’m pretty sure that those would prove ineffectual against… well, anything. For one thing, they’d get destroyed in a serious storm.

    So my point about there being an optimal size stands, it’s actually embarrassingly obvious. You might quibble if dreadnoughts are better than smaller battleships, or perhaps heavy or even light cruisers would be better still. Light cruisers are still enormous ships themselves.

    “Of what use is a battleship against an enemy without them ?”

    They could effectively blockade a city. Or they could bombard the shores. They had a higher range than cruisers, and cruisers would find it more difficult to concentrate their fire, so a fleet of cruisers would find it difficult to break such a blockade. In contrast, it’d be difficult for a fleet of cruisers to effectively bottle up a fleet of battleships in their ports. Could Britain have blockaded Germany with a fleet of light cruisers? Probably yes. But could it have bottled up the High Seas Fleet with its several battleships? Probably no. The German High Seas Fleet could’ve broken out, entered the mouth of the Thames, and bombarded the port of London. Destroying, of course, any commercial shipping found there. Then they could’ve returned home. In fact, something like that was practiced against countries with no modern fleets, like the British did it against the Chinese in the Opium Wars. A cruiser can escape a battleship, but a fleet of battleships would be difficult to harm by a fleet of cruisers.

    Then you didn’t address my specific points about carriers. A big enough carrier (I think currently it’s only true of the American supercarriers) could simultaneously launch and recover aircraft, and because of the time lost while changing the deck from recovering to launching configuration, this means that a twice as large carrier can launch and recover planes at four times the rate of that of a small carrier. So, maybe, building a 100,000 ton carrier costs four times as much money as building a 50,000 ton carrier, but the former needs only twice as many people (this is also a significant cost item in first world countries), but can carry almost three times as many aircraft, and can launch aircraft at four times the rate of the 50,000 ton carrier, which means a much sharper tip of the spear. They also need exactly the same air defense or submarine defense, so, the number of escort ships is probably the same for one supercarrier as it is for the French Charles de Gaulle, or, if the latter has fewer escort, then it already is less well protected and thus less useful, its commanders probably being more nervous to engage the enemy and more likely to flee at the first sign of danger to preserve the (still quite valuable) carrier.

  266. @songbird

    I meant carrier usefulness against capable opponents. Which certainly includes China, Russia, India (!), but perhaps also middling powers like Iran…

    Technicals mounted with anti-armor missiles would defeat tanks, on a dollar vs. dollar basis.

    I dispute this. How can you train and motivate high quality soldiers to mount the technicals? It gives motivation to soldiers when they can see that their commanders don’t use them like cannon fodder. Of course, for high enough salary, and long enough training… but then, wouldn’t it be cheaper to just build them the bloody tanks?

    I don’t think it’s a good method what you guys are doing, just assuming that you could provide the same quality crew to the technicals as to the tanks, even if you need four or ten times as many, and also to assume that you will be able to coordinate the larger number of soldiers just as well, and you could concentrate their firepower, etc.

    I’m not really saying that tanks are necessarily better than many technicals, but given real-life constraints, I think it’s a good bet that they are. (Even Somali militias employed tanks whenever they could get them. Because, even Somali militias had manpower constraints, and so found it advisable to spend resources on better quality weapons.)

    Regarding carriers, I think it’s an open question.

    • Replies: @songbird
  267. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    Morale is primarily an issue in a low-stakes war – such as one where you can surrender. Technicals require very little training. Of course, they would be cannon fodder, like Chinese conscripts at the Yalu River, who steamrolled the advance units of the US, but this is not a dead issue because of the population explosion in Africa. Life will get pretty cheap there.

    And this is a dynamic that can be brought beyond flesh, to swarms of cheap drones. The principle is the same. When you do that, you are talking no training, or blood and guts, just flashing lines of code and machine-line assembly.

    I’m a bit puzzled by your support of carriers in a war between real powers. I wonder what you’d want to do with them? I mean, if it is penetrating their airspace or hunting and killing naval assets (some of them nuclear), then that is a lot of escalation. I think it would mean nuclear war. In that case, carriers aren’t your best delivery mechanisms, and their survival is uncertain.

    Maybe, to keep the sealanes open (hunt attack subs) and to scare smaller powers who might engage in post-apocalyptic piracy, but I’m not sure a smaller carrier wouldn’t be more desirable for this. In such a scenario, you’d need to conserve you resources, so you’d be trying to not use a lot of jet fuel, or do “shock and awe.”

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @reiner Tor
  268. @songbird

    Morale and troop cohesion are issues in all wars. Fighting in a war is a very dangerous activity, especially if you cannot 100% trust your fellow soldiers to be following their orders in a sensible manner. It’s well known that soldiers often just panicked and surrendered whenever some small parts of their troops were destroyed, for example history has recorded battles where the basically winning side suddenly panicked and fled the field after its commander was killed.

    Also, even you seem now to acknowledge that such an army of technicals could only be used in an all-out defense of the homeland, and only if surrender was out of the question. So, basically, a Nazi invader. Given how the nominally superior French (and, lest we forget, British and Belgian) troops panicked when confronted with a Nazi German breakthrough, even that might not be a sure case.

    And even then, as I wrote, there’s the issue of range. A complex modern army with lots of complicated weapons systems (like main battle tanks, helicopter gunships and fighter jets) is going to have a lot higher range, and suitable systems to fight against the simple rudimentary army of Toyota technicals with very low or no casualties. I simply cannot imagine how the technicals could be anything but a cakewalk for a modern army.

    Of course, if you had an air force (but airplanes tend to be even more complex things than battle tanks…), and an unlimited supply of sufficiently fanatical soldiers (that latter one is already a big assumption…), then maybe the army of technicals would be superior to an army of battle tanks.

    • Replies: @songbird
  269. @songbird

    We’re mostly talking non-nuclear scenarios.

    Though even in a nuclear scenario, Russia would need to sacrifice something like 5-10% of its warheads to destroy the American Navy, which is not insignificant, and would probably make the investment worth it.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  270. @reiner Tor

    Okay, maybe just 1-2%. But still.

    • Replies: @songbird
  271. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    Either way, I wouldn’t like to be on the other side of a Russian nuclear barrage, but maybe this is an argument for China to get more nukes. Though personally my theory is that they have about the ideal number for cost-optimized deterrence. You really only need enough to destroy the apartments of the urban class, to scare the elites.

  272. I thought that Trump’s latest aggression might finally be the end for American imperialism and that the general public had finally had enough of it, but unfortunately events have transpired in such a way that public support for military aggression against Iran is now at its highest level for years and the neo-cons have significantly bolstered their rule.

    Trump has demonstrated that the American empire still has the ability to run rings around its adversaries, even relatively formidable countries like Iran, and that there is no serious threat to American dominance of the entire world, it really is a hopeless situation. Essentially the only real option for most countries is to side with the American neo-cons, any countries that attempt to resist will be smashed sooner or later and there is no serious competitor to American that can do anything to help nations that that America deems to be adversaries.

    • Replies: @A123
  273. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    Germany had signed the Geneva Convention, but anyway, I think there was an expectation that they would act in a civilized manner towards surrendered Western Europeans. (and perhaps, they did not wholly)

    But I’m not sure that it is possible to extrapolate this sort of, yes, I will say it, “cultural unity” going forward. Nor do I think it is necessarily a good lens to judge the future conflicts of other peoples, or conflicts between Europeans and others. Or serious political conflicts between Europeans.

    When you put it through a racial lens, then your example is the Japanese, and they did not easily surrender, though they faced long odds. Anyway, if we have a nuclear war, it might easily devolve into genocide.

    I don’t want to stretch what is mainly meant to be an analogy too far, but in some ways technicals have superior range compared to tanks. I mean, how many miles are a tank’s treads good for? Like 500? It is probably easier to keep Toyotas going. You don’t need the same sort of supply lines, and they can serve other functions, like helping to maintain the supply lines. And then, I’m not sure how good choppers really are against even a primitive, but well thought out air defense (say, machine guns of a large enough caliber).

    Of course, that leaves more mismatched air units, but one thing that I think you have overlooked is that modern military forces require modern economies to keep going. It is unlikely the supply chain for an F-35 will survive a nuclear strike, and it is an open question how functional economies will be going forward under the increasing burden of diversity, and various population pressures.

  274. iffen says:
    @reiner Tor

    Putin Warns Full-Scale War in Mideast Would Be ‘Catastrophe’

    I don’t know why AK gives Putler such a hard time. A man this prescient should be treasured.

  275. A123 says:
    @Europe Europa

    I thought that Trump’s latest aggression might finally be the end for American imperialism and that the general public had finally had enough of it

    Trump defended a U.S. embassy from Iranian aggresion. Then he took proportionate, legal retaliation on the military commander who ordered the attack. These distinctly non-imperial actions are supported by the citizens on Main Street.

    The Democrats and Fake Stream Media cannot make this obvious win into a failure.

    the neo-cons have significantly bolstered their rule.

    Bolton quit because he was unable to influence on Trump’s policy. No ‘bolstering’ can be found.

    NeoconDemocrats like Hillary want boots on the ground in Iran. They are not going to get it. Their goal is a Globalist Empire (not an American one).

    PEACE 😇

  276. @AP

    The Russian revolution resulted in the massive increases in population, literacy, production, healthquality, and urbanisation in a country for which disproportionately high urbanisation is most neccessary. It continued the Tsarist success of great achievement in high culture and science. It influenced the domestic social and human rights policies of many western states.

    Now compare that to any of these braindead colour revolutions (LOL)

    The Labour party in Britain, as one example, only became a significant force in England as soon as the Russian revolution happened- which in turn helped to improver workers rights and safety

    Anyone it confounds logic how some clown (claiming) to be a Banderite lunatic with heritage from Galicia could even be remotely hostile to the Bolsheviks.
    The Bolsheviks, lead by a profound intellectual, hated the bourgeois. Obviously there is absolutely zero connection between bourgeois or aristocracy in a wasteland reject dump like Galicia – an unwanted loathsome reject of Austrian,Polish and Russian empire. Simply no human, financial, cultural or industrial capital there to be interested in for the Communist to have tried to upend lol. As such it doesnt make sense to have been negatively affected by bolshevism

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