I was copied this through my blog e-mail network, and the General kindly allowed this old Staff Sergeant to post it. ~Bob
A Nuclear Iran
Below is my response to two articles sent to me by the Republican National Committee. Check out the articles forwarded to me below.
The below articles are very interesting. I think the Reuters article is on target and the James Traub article is more intellectual and requires more thought to put it all in perspective. My thought is the Obama Administration keeps kicking the can down the road concerning a nuclear Iran while Russia, China and Iran plays the US like a fiddle. I don't agree that we have achieved any significant gains from Russia.
Here is my take on the seriousness of the current nuclear issue with Iran:
Neither China nor Russia will approve sanctions that will have any impact on Iran's nuclear program...sanctions will not work. Both China and Russia like to see the US tied down in the Middle East militarily and economically, while they develop their own high tech deployable military and further develop their economies. Considering our national debt and need for China to buy our treasury bonds, this Administration will not put much pressure on them. China is really in the drivers seat and will dictate their foreign policy objectives to the US, and sanctions are not in their interest.
I have a different perspective about Russia. Russia does not want Iran to develop nuclear weapons, but they very well may want Israel or perhaps the US to bomb Iranian nuclear sites. If this happens, the price of oil will sky rocket (maybe $400 a barrel) and Russia will benefit as an oil producing Nation. Iran has been trying to get Russia to provide their new surface to air missile technology, but they have resisted so far...there is a limit to their support. As indicated in the Reuters article, over a year ago Israel attacked facilities in Syria (potential nuclear facility being developed by North Korea) and was able to get in and out of Syria undetected. Iran has the same missile defense system and they know they are vulnerable.
I agree with the Reuters article that the reported additional nuclear facilities in Iran probably will not happen anytime soon, but you should never underestimate clandestine support and their ability to construct them.
Ahmadinejad often talks about the 13th Mahdi, and the Mahdi will return to earth when there is absolute chaos. When this occurs, infidels will be killed and Muslims will rule the world. A logical thinking person would find this to be an absurd concept, but we are dealing with a sociopath and religious cult who believes this can happen. I believe he thinks the only way to create total chaos is from nuclear weapons. This is why a nuclear Iran is so dangerous not only to Israel, but to the world. There are many ways they could employ nuclear weapons: man packed carried across borders; surface detonation via missiles, and electronic magnetic pulse (EMP) from atmospheric nuclear detonation. Iran recently launched a satellite into orbit with a missile so we now know they have the capability to strike the US, but I don't think this would be their option, as it would be detected. A man packed nuclear weapon is the easiest way to deploy nuclear weapons and it would be very difficult to determine if Iran provided such weapons to terrorists. The most devastating would be through EMP. This can be done with just a simple SCUD missile fired from a cargo ship off the coast of the US or any Nation. The ship would then be destroyed and it would be hard to determine who was responsible. Nuclear weapons exploded in the atmosphere would destroy all electronics...nothing would work. Electronic grids, cars, trucks, phones, hospital equipment would no longer work. Food could not be delivered, and those on medications and life saving equipment would perish very quickly. Perhaps only a small percentage of the population would survive. You don't hear much about EMP in the news, but it is for real and many other countries have this capability. Iran is the real threat though.
The issue is what is the Obama Administration doing about this potential devastating threat? Essentially, they are pursuing diplomatic efforts to obtain sanctions. They are playing nice with rogue countries and hoping this will all go away. I think Obama, Clinton and his extremist Czars are both naïve and stupid about foreign affairs and overall implications of having a nuclear Iran. Should Iran finally develop nuclear weapons, this will impact the balance of power in the Middle East and will likely result in nuclear proliferation by other Middle Eastern countries.
This Administration is trying to appease Israel by establishing deadlines for Iran to stop their nuclear program, but Iran just keeps marching on. Israel probably feels they have no choice but to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. This will be a very difficult task for them if they use conventional weapons and the Iranian nuclear facilities are deep underground. It would take a specific type of MOPP bomb to penetrate these sites, and it is unknown if the US ever gave them any. If so, it was done during the Bush Presidency. Israel just announced their new very large drone aircraft, which could provide many operational advantages. If Israel decides to bomb these facilities, then the US must give flight rights over Iraq, so we will have knowledge and will be blamed along with the Israelis. Since this is the case, the US should take out the surface to air missile sites and boats that will likely mine the Straits of Hormuz (this would impact the flow of oil out of the Middle East). I doubt we will provide such assistance as Obama's left wing base will raise hell. Should Israel attack Iran, there will be a global economic impact, but I believe that is preferable to a nuclear Iran. A conventional attack would probably only set the program back a few years, but that may allow enough time for a potential coup to occur as the Iranian people might overthrowing the existing government...that is a big if! Israel should also bomb their refineries as Iran is the 3rd largest importer in the world of gasoline. You can probably count on the Russians providing them gasoline, but it would not be sufficient to meet all needs. Such an attack could bring Iran to their knees.
The other and more devastating attack would be for Israel to conduct an EMP attack on Iran, but this is not likely as the world would demonize them. It would; however, send a strong message to the Nations sponsoring terrorism.
This is just a quick take on my perspective about the Iranian nuclear program and the Obama Administration's failed diplomatic approach. When it comes to foreign policy, I can't think of one thing they have accomplished. They are causing the US to lose National prestige.
Geoffrey B Higginbotham
Major General, USMC (Ret.)