View Full Version : US, Israel, Iran...and war?
Jun 25th, 2010, 8:11 AM
Been having this awful gut feeling...like lead in the pit of my stomach, for the past day and a half, and kept thinking it was the gulf deluge (I absolutely refuse to call it a "spill" anymore; it's gone way past that point), but I don't think it's just that anymore..I think shit is seriously getting ready to hit the fan, and that time is running very short. I'd say we are within 30 days of a teotwawki event, and it's actually closer to within a few days than within a few weeks. The signs have been there, I just haven't been paying attention...but I am paying attention now...I have even been getting prickly feelings on the back of my neck like I do before a very bad storm, but there is no bad weather coming my way. I have to admit it, I'm scared and think we are on the brink...
Report: Israel, US preparing for war with Iran
A flurry of news reports over the past week indicate that Israel and the US are readying for an imminent military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
On Wednesday, Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency reported that about a week ago a squad of Israeli military aircraft landed at a military airstrip in Saudi Arabia, of all places. It was reported earlier this month that Saudi Arabia had agreed to let Israel pass through its airspace in order to strike Iran.
The Israeli aircraft reportedly landed at the airport in Tabuk in northwest Saudi Arabia, which according to the report will act as the central base of operations for the Israeli air campaign against Iran.
Fars cited a local Saudi resident who said the Israeli presence and cooperation between the ruling local Saudi prince and the Jewish state was the talk of the town.
Saudi Arabia does not have formal relations with Israel, and publicly refers to the Jewish state as an enemy. But Riyadh is just as fearful of an Iranian nuclear bomb as Israel, and would likely resort to any means to avoid having its regional economic influence disturbed.
At the same time, Iran's Press TV reported that a very large contingent of US ground forces had massed in neighboring Azerbaijan. The independent Azerbaijani news website Trend confirmed the report.
Those reports came just days after the Pentagon confirmed that an unusually large fleet of US warships had indeed passed through Egypt's Suez Canal en route to the Persian Gulf. At least one Israeli warship reportedly joined the American armada.
edit: I was with the 101st Med Sup BN for a while when in the Army...and the troops in Azerbaijan are the 101st Airborne. My prayers go with them.
Jun 25th, 2010, 8:21 AM
Okay, sorry about that if anyone caught it..here is a better article:
Israel launched an "Ofeq 9" satellite on Tuesday, an advanced remote sensing satellite that likely is capable of high resolution surveillance to monitor Iran's nuclear program. The satellite was launched on Israel's Shavit launch vehicle.
The Israel Defense Ministry gave no public details on the satellite, only releasing this statement following the launch: "A few minutes ago the State of Israel launched the Ofek-9 (Horizon-9) satellite from the Palmachim base (Israel's Air Force test range). The results of the launch are being examined by the technical team."
But in an Israel Defense Ministry document provided to Universe Today, the Ofeq 9 satellite was listed as capable of scanning a swath 7 km wide, with a resolution better than 70 cm and a pointing accuracy to within 20 meters. The satellite will initially be launched to an elliptical transfer orbit – 620 x 307 Km, and following the checkout, the final orbit will be approximately 500 km above Earth.
The Shavit launcher is a 3-stage launcher, 20 meters high and weighs approximately 30 tons.
With the launch of Ofeq-9, Israel has six spy satellites in space.
The satellite was made by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. The Shavit launcher has been in use since 1988, when the first Ofeq satellite was put into orbit.
Israel, which has the Middle East's sole undeclared nuclear arsenal, regards Iran as its principal threat after repeated predictions by the Islamic republic's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of the Jewish state's demise, according to news reports from Jerusalem. Israel suspects Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons under the guise of its nuclear program, a claim Tehran denies.
Jun 25th, 2010, 8:35 AM
Report: IAF planes spotted over Saudi Arabia
Israel Air Force aircraft have been spotted in recent days at a Saudi Arabian military base unloading military equipment in the city of Tabuk, in northwestern Saudi Arabia, according to a report from Iranian news agency FARS.
The base will reportedly be used as a forward operating base by the Israelis as part of an offensive on an Islamic country.
Jun 25th, 2010, 8:51 AM
man, this just keeps getting better and better...doing some net surfin and I think I'm going to stop for a while and just digest this..
Israeli Military Attack on Iran This Summer?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/12/2010
Late last year, Israel embarked on a coordinated campaign of leaks to the press regarding its determination to take out Iran's nuclear facilities if Obama's then-new administration fails to sway the Iranians diplomatically. Israel is unwilling to accept a nuclear Iran: "It is not an option", say its senior intelligence and military leadership. In the event, the promised attack on Iran did not materialize and many journalists, this author included, felt duped and manipulated.
On January 20, 2009, I appeared as a guest in the most popular political affairs program in Macedonia ("Glasot na Narodot", or The Voice of the People). I warned that Israel is willing to wait 6 to 8 months for Obama's "diplomacy" with regards to Iran's nuclear capability to show some progress. If Iran remains recalcitrant, Israel plans to bomb two facilities in Iran as it did in Iraq in 1981, I said. Refueling won't be a problem, I assured the program's host, Slobodan Tomic: both Egypt and Saudi-Arabia offered to help.
Israel has now decided to go ahead. It has little to lose, its relationship with the Obama administration being at a low ebb and Iran having secured nuclear fuel for two atomic bombs. Taking into account political, geopolitical, military preparedness, and climatic conditions, there are two windows: between July 21 and 24 and between August 6 and 8, 2010. Advance teams comprised of Mossad agents and military personnel are already on the ground in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iraq (including in the Kurdish lands, adjacent to Turkey).
A mock has been erected not far from Eilat (near the Red Sea, opposite Aqaba). A defunct airbase in Biq'at Ha'Yareach (Moon Vale) has been resurrected to accommodate Air Wing 10. In a country as small and intimate as Israel, it is amazing that this has been kept a secret: hundreds of recruits and reservists - from mechanics and pilots to cooks and administrators - have been re-stationed there in the last few months.
A mysterious facility also sprouted up not far from Dimona's nuclear reactor, next to a university town called Sde Boker. It is not known what is its role, though speculation is that it is intended to shield the sensitive facility from an Iranian counter-attack. Several batteries of aged Patriot missiles have been recently replaced with brand new anti-missile rockets developed by Israel.
Citizens are again reporting dry runs in the skies of the Negev, Israel's traditional air force training grounds and a desert with some resemblance to Iranian conditions. Piecing these scant testimonies together, it seems that the Israelis are concentrating their effort on midair refueling and surgical strikes on multiple targets.
Finally, HAG"A (Hagana Ezrakhit), the Civilian Defense Force, a part of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), has been instructed to begin preparations for a possible Iranian counter-strike with long-range conventional missiles. At this stage, Israel is not contemplating chemical or biological warfare (though the distribution of gas masks does seem to be part of the drill).
No one knows for sure where will Israel strike. Wiping off all the widely distributed and impregnable components of Iran's capability to enrich uranium is close to impossible. The after-effects of even a limited air attack may be devastating and not necessarily short-term, as the Israelis are convinced. The price of oil is likely to spike and radicals and extremists throughout the benighted region are bound to leverage the attack to smear and taunt Israel and its allies but, then, what else is new. The Arab countries are likely to breathe a sigh of relief that the Iranian bully has been humbled.
The big question mark is how will the Obama administration react to such a fait accompli that flies in the face of the new President's stated policies. Will Obama try to make an example out of Israel and harshly punish it - or will he merely verbally lash it and proceed with business as usual? Time will tell. Soon.
An eventual attack on Iran may include ground forces. Units of Sayeret Matka"l ("Headquarters Scouts", Israel's elite special forces) and the navy's Shayetet have been transferred to the mock in Biq'at Hayareach ("Moon Vale"), not far from Eilat. They have spent the last few weeks training there: parachuting, paragliding, urban warfare (laba"b in Hebrew), and hand to hand combat. Special emphasis is placed on explosives. The area is isolated (it got its name from its eerie similarity to the moonscape), but various civilian suppliers have reported massive explosions during the day.
In a previous article, titled "Preparations for Attack in Iran Almost Complete" (dated July 10, 2009), I revealed the existence of the training mock near Eilat and Aqaba by the Red Sea. A few days later, Israel made the presence of its Navy in the Red Sea public. Though it has not been a secret hitherto, it has hardly been trumpeted. The navy's role is support the mission with sea-launched precision cruise missiles (of Israeli manufacture). In general, Israel is trying to minimize the involvement of American materiel in its forthcoming foray into Iran.
One word about the "windows" mentioned in my earlier article. As any military planner and intelligence agent knows, these are not actual operational dates. "Windows" are possible operational dates and are dictated by the confluence of weather projections, known troop movements, political and geopolitical circumstances, and military preparedness. Additional windows exist in September and October this year. It is likely, therefore, that Israel will attack in July or August, but no later than October 2010.
The targets for Israel's attack on Iran have been chosen: one is close to the sea, the other is inland. Members of Sayeret Matka"l are now conducting joint (often nightly) exercises with Israel's Navy SEALS (the "Shayetet") off the coast of Ashkelon and on the beaches of Haifa. While the deployment of the commandos and other ground forces will be done mostly by air, their evacuation, 4-6 hours later, will be accomplished by sea.
The role of the commandoes was re-defined last year to exclude the kidnapping of Iranian scientists. This change in operational goals followed a row among the upper echelons of Israel's military and intelligence community. Now, Israel's elite warriors are merely to return with soil samples and equipment from the facilities in the wake of the aerial bombardment. They are also to mine the area and to detonate explosives in sensitive locations. They are to avoid Iranian losses of life and collateral damage. Two Mossad A-Teams are already in operation inside Iran, close to the coast, having been deployed there by a submarine last week.
Faced with what it regards as an existential threat, Israel is reviving old and dormant intelligence networks and assets worldwide. Erstwhile members of the Lishka le-Kishre Mada (Laka"m, headed in the 1980s by Rafi "The Stinker" Eitan), or the "Bureau for Scientific Contacts" of Pollard infamy, were recently called to duty. They are working closely with physicists from the Weitzman Institute, the Technion, and Tel-Aviv and Beer-Sheba Universities. These combined team of seasoned intelligence operatives and top-level scientists have spent the last two weeks briefing the commando units in their base of operations near Eilat and in the nuclear reactor in Dimona.
Prominent members of the Israeli government, the Headquarters of the Israeli Defense Forces, and the intelligence community are still against any military operation in Iran. They believe any such a move would be tantamount to geopolitical and, in the long-term, physical suicide. But they are in the minority. The majority of decision-makers are siding with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who is pressing for an early military resolution of the problem.
Yet, the very phrase "military solution" is an oxymoron, claim his critics. Iran's nuclear program is spread over 60 sites, some of them deep inland. Redundancy is high and there is no way to take Iran's nuclear capacity out as was done in Iraq in 1981 and in Syria, lately. Better to wait for political change and voluntary disarmament as happened in Libya, they insist.
As was first published here, Russian senior air defense officers, accompanied by mid-level diplomats visited Israel in 2009. The discussions focused on Iran and their contents are only partly know. Israel may be asking Russia to leverage its growing influence within Iran to rein in the latter's nuclear weapons agenda. In return, Israeli sources claim that Israel has shared with the Russian visitors intelligence, including hard to obtain HUMINT, about the Iranian leadership, its oil economy, and military. The Americans were apprised of the discussions. Israel asked Russia not to supply Iran with strategic air defense systems "in the next 3 months" (presumably, until after Israel's aerial bombardment on Iranian facilities). Russia remained non-committal, "noting" Israel's concerns. It later denied Israel's request and decided to supply Iran with the systems.
Last year, out of courtesy, Netanyahu decided to postpone any military action until after the visit of Gates, the US Defense Secretary at the end of July. Then he agreed to wait 12 months to see the results of Obama's various initiatives, including the imposition of sanctions. But this was never to be construed as an abandonment of the martial option. With Turkey actually forming an axis with Iran, time is running out. Exercises have been resumed and stepped up, live ammunition and all. Some of these are taking place at nighttime. Are the Israelis going to attack during the night? Doubtful. But they are sure going to use the cover of the dark to try to rescue pilots shot down over hostile territory and to extract trapped warriors. This means that they will attack in the afternoon, at around 2 or 3 PM.
Jun 25th, 2010, 9:01 AM
The Wages of the Belief in a Divine Being at work. We should really be concerned now.
Humanity can only find progress by ditching these stupid superstitions of divine beings and uniting in one school of thought.
Jun 25th, 2010, 9:25 AM
scuttlebut is looking more and more like the raid on Iran is going to take place very soon...I am literally sick to my stomach....
Report: IAF helicopters unload equipment 'meant for attacking a Muslim state' at Saudi airport
Helicopters landed at a Saudi airport and unloaded equipment intended for attacking targets in a Muslim state, semi-official news agency reports.
By Jack Khoury
A semi-official Iranian news agency reported Wednesday that Israel Air Force helicopters recently landed at a Saudi Arabia airport and unloaded equipment intended for attacking targets in a Muslim state.
This follows last weekend's reports of an American fleet passing through the Suez Canal, triggering fears that the United States and Israel were preparing for an attack on Iran, with Egypt's cooperation, the Arabic language newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi said
The Israeli aircraft reportedly landed at Tabuk Airport on June 18 and 19 and that the Saudi airport canceled numerous flights to enable the Israeli aircraft landing, the FARS agency said in an unconfirmed report titled "Suspicious military activity of the Zionist regime in Saudi Arabia."
The agency quoted a Saudi passenger as saying the aviation authorities canceled a flight scheduled to take off from Tabuk Airport without giving any reason.
The U.K. daily The Times reported some 10 days ago that Saudi Arabia had agreed to open its air space to Israeli aircraft as part of preparations for a possible attack on Iran. The report claimed the Saudi air force had begun training to enable safe passage for the Israeli planes, thus shortening the flight time to the Persian Gulf considerably.
Israel did not comment on this report, but Saudi Arabia firmly denied having agreed to such a move.
Arab news sites reported Wednesday that following the flotilla affair, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has canceled a number of agreements for military cooperation with Israel, including one enabling IAF training in Turkish air space. According to the reports, Israel was planning, under this agreement, to fly to Georgia and from there to continue toward Iran.
Over the weekend Egyptian sources said that an American fleet consisting of 11 frigates and an aircraft carrier, believed to be the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman, crossed the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.
The report, which appeared on Friday in Al-Quds, said commercial boat traffic in the canal had been suspended for several hours to enable the American fleet to pass. Eyewitnesses were quoted as saying the fleet also included an Israeli frigate. The report also alleged that thousands of Egyptian soldiers were deployed along the Suez Canal to guard the ships' passage while two Egyptian fighter helicopters circled above.
Some reports said the fleet was on its way to the Persian Gulf, presumably as part of the efforts to implement the sanctions against Iran and supervise the ships going to and from Iran.
Al-Quds said that following the American fleet's passing through the Suez Canal, Egyptian opposition lawmakers warned the government not to repeat the mistake of opening the canal for American ships to attack Iraq. They also reportedly warned the government not to cooperate with the United States and Israel, saying the Arab and Muslim world will not take it lying down this time.
Jun 25th, 2010, 9:41 AM
Guys, please bear with me on this..I am only copying verbatim the articles I think are particularly relevant, and given how serious this is, I think it is best not to read just a part of the story, but the whole of it, and let it sink in....this particular report shows exactly why the parties involved have left themselves little to no wiggle room to backpedal from what looks to be an ever more likely possibility that we could be looking at the beginning of world war III.
Executive Summary of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Updated Report on Iran
07:22 GMT, June 24, 2010 The most immediate national security threat to the United States is Iran’s rapid progress toward achieving nuclear weapons capability – and time is running out. A nuclear Islamic Republic of Iran must be prevented, as it cannot be contained. Indeed, it would spark a dramatically destabilizing proliferation cascade in the Middle East – already a combustible region – and lead to a critical conflict.
In this, our [the Bipartisan Policy Center's – Ed.] third report on this most serious challenge, we elucidate the outcomes we are likely to face if we do not now act decisively to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We recognize the difficulties we face in addressing this threat. Any solution requires imagination, resolve and risks. But compared with what will happen when time runs out, the choice cannot be clearer. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) data indicate that by July 2010 Iran is on track to stockpile sufficient low-enriched uranium (LEU) to develop, with further enrichment, a small-yield nuclear device. That would make it possible for Iran to turn this LEU into fissile material for a weapon in less than three months.
Our best chance for successfully meeting the Iranian nuclear challenge is a robust and comprehensive triple-track strategy, involving the simultaneous pursuit of: diplomacy; sanctions; and visible, credible preparations for a military option. This strategy, which we have advocated in our earlier reports, is consistent with President Barack Obama’s pledge last year at Camp Lejeune “to use all elements of American power to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”
Decisiveness is now essential, yet to date the White House has not matched its determined rhetoric with an assertive policy that demonstrates its commitment to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We supported the Obama Administration’s diplomatic outreach to Iran last year and its current pursuit of international sanctions, but after eighteen months neither has proven successful in slowing, let alone stopping, Iran’s nuclear program. Furthermore, the decision to downplay potential military options has weakened our leverage and undermined the possibility of a peaceful resolution.
We recognize the difficulties inherent in pursuing a comprehensive strategy that includes military preparations. Our support for this strategy is informed by an evaluation of possible outcomes in the absence of a more forceful and effective U.S. effort. With time rapidly dwindling before Tehran achieves nuclear weapons capability, two outcomes become likely. The most probable outcome, regardless of U.S. objections, is an Israeli military strike against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities. Israeli military action would trigger retaliatory strikes by Iran and its proxies – Hezbollah from Lebanon and Hamas from Gaza – and terrorist attacks.
If Israel strikes Iran, the U.S. will be put in a very difficult position. If the U.S. stood neutral in such a conflict this would only embolden Tehran, antagonize our regional allies, and lead to greater conflicts down the road. On the other extreme, the U.S. could be dragged into a conflict at a time not of its choosing. We expect the U.S. to stand by our Israeli and Arab allies threatened by Tehran and remain focused on the overarching strategic objective to prevent a nuclear Iran – thus assuring our continued commitment to the security and stability of the region.
The second likely outcome is that Iran, in the absence of effective international opposition, will gain all the elements needed for a nuclear weapon – fissile material, detonators and delivery vehicles. Even without assembling or testing such a device, the Islamic Republic would become a de facto nuclear power, which would threaten U.S. and regional security and set off a proliferation cascade across the Middle East, effectively ending the international nonproliferation regime. As one of the world’s chief sponsors of terrorism, Iran would be in a position to transfer nuclear materials to its terrorist allies. Further, a nuclear-capable Iran would seek to dominate the energy-rich Persian Gulf, threaten Israel’s existence, destabilize moderate Arab regimes, subvert U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, embolden radicals, violently oppose the Middle East peace process and increase support for terrorism and proxy warfare across the region.
There is a growing belief in Washington that these negative consequences could be minimized through a strategy of containment and deterrence. However, we do not believe a nuclear-capable Iran can be contained as the Soviet Union was during the Cold War. American credibility, so integral to deterrence, would be seriously diminished, if after repeatedly issuing warnings to the contrary it permitted Tehran to cross the nuclear threshold. Restoring U.S. credibility would then require extraordinary action. In addition, nuclear capability would embolden the already risk-tolerant Iranian regime. Moreover, we lack politically stable, militarily robust and reliable Arab allies who would permit the permanent stationing of U.S. troops as a tripwire.
Precisely because containment will not work, a strategy of acquiescence would lead to a far more dangerous conflict involving a nuclear-armed Iran, one that would inevitably drag in the United States at even greater cost.
Many put their faith in the fall of the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad regime, and its replacement by an internationally responsible government, as a way to avoid military action or Iran achieving nuclear weapons capability. Hope, however, is not a strategy. There is no credible evidence that even reformist elements will abandon the country’s nuclear quest. Nor, amidst the brutal suppression of the opposition, does it appear plausible that the regime will fall in the little time left before the Islamic Republic acquires a nuclear weapons capability. Some have pointed to this hope as a rationale to discourage the U.S. from taking a more aggressive stance over the past several months. However, the only regime change that is currently taking place in Tehran is the militarization of the already hard-line government.
With an Israeli strike very risky, containment almost certainly ineffective, and regime change improbable in the near term we return to the strategy we originally recommended, the simultaneous pursuit of a triple-track approach: diplomacy; sanctions; and visible, credible military readiness activity. We support unilateral sanctions legislation that is overwhelmingly supported in Congress. We also welcome the new United Nations sanctions that were passed by the Security Council in June 2010. While they lack sufficient bite, we hope they will encourage other nations to strengthen their own sanctions.
To maximize the possibility of a peaceful resolution, the U.S. must negotiate with Iran from a position of strength. Toward that end, the U.S. needs to set nearterm deadlines for the parallel pursuit of diplomacy and sanctions and for determining their effectiveness. To lend these deadlines greater credibility, and to gird itself for the potential next step, the Administration needs to embrace active and public preparation for the military option.
Many who condemned the Bush Administration’s lack of transparency prior to the invasion of Iraq today discourage public discussion of military options concerning Iran. But we ought not shirk this debate or dismiss it as warmongering; it is precisely a public recognition of a viable military option that might reduce or even preclude its need. The Administration needs to actively engage in a reasoned and public discussion and make clear that it is prepared to employ the military option as a last resort.
Specifically, we recommend the United States: augment the Fifth Fleet presence in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, including the deployment of an additional carrier battle group and minesweepers to the waters off Iran; conduct broad exercises with its allies in the Persian Gulf; intensify our enhancement of the defensive and offensive military capabilities of our Persian Gulf allies; initiate a “strategic partnership” with Azerbaijan to gain enhanced regional access; and work with the Saudis and Iraqis to improve their capacity to ship oil out of the region without using the Strait of Hormuz. If such pressure fails to persuade Iran’s leadership, the United States and its allies would have no choice but to consider blockading refined petroleum imports into Iran, to send a strong signal and to ensure the effectiveness of proposed sanctions on gasoline imports. A blockade would effectively be an act of war and the U.S. and its allies would have to prepare for its consequences. Should these measures – in conjunction with diplomatic and economic pressures already being pursued – not compel Tehran to terminate its nuclear program, the U.S. military is capable of launching an effective targeted strike on Iranian nuclear and military facilities.
This would only set back Iranian nuclear development; it would not destroy Iran’s nuclear knowhow. Taking military action would require continued vigilance in the years that follow, both to retain the ability to strike previously undiscovered sites and to ensure that Iran does not revive its military nuclear program. We fully recognize the risks of a strike against Iran: U.S. and allied casualties; rallying Iranians around an unstable and oppressive regime; Iranian reprisals against us and our allies – be they direct or by proxy; and Iranian-instigated unrest in the Persian Gulf states.
We are under no illusions: there exist no easy or risk-free solutions. Our triple-track approach is complicated and challenging, without a guarantee of complete success. However, as we argue in this report, the likely alternatives are far more dangerous. The stakes are too high to rely on containment and regime change while not seriously preparing for the potential need for a military strike. We cannot wish this problem away, nor should we fall prey to the inertia of resignation. Sanctions and diplomacy have a chance to work only if backed by a credible military option. Bold U.S. leadership is required. The risks of inaction are too high and time is rapidly running out.
Jun 25th, 2010, 10:06 AM
I have long believed that if and when the shit does hit the fan and war started that it will begin at the Strait of Hormuz...looks like Iran is preparing for just that eventuality:
Iran's leaders have in the past said that if attacked, the country would respond by shutting off the Strait of Hormuz, the mouth of the Gulf through which around 40 percent of the world's oil and gas supplies passes, as well as by attacking American bases in the Gulf.
the article is here: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/05/05/iran-kicks-new-war-games-strategic-persian-gulf-waters-nd-exercise-month/
It's all coming together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
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