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nuclear exchange

implies two way nuclear traffic.

I guess you mean one way nuclear use?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 10:01:58 AM EST
If US goes tacnukes against Iranian bunkers, there is a possibility that China et al. would attempt to clear the Straits for their tankers of Iranian oil with a few tacnukes against the noisy US fleets. It would becomes a multi-party nuclear shuffle. Iran could at most blow up whatever fuel it has amassed in an attempt at dirty bombing the area. They still have no rods in Bushehr. Putin is still procrastinating the delivery. Once it is loaded and start up, it cannot be bombed without a new chernobyl.

Pierre
by Pierre on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 10:50:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Iran is nuked, it's within the realm of possibility that Pakistan would retaliate as punishment for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Muslims. And how much do you want to bet that Pakistan has not already smuggled a few bombs in a warehouse in NY Harbor or Long Beach?

This is all very speculative, but, notwithstanding the intense rivalry between Iran and Arab nations, I see it as unlikely that a US nuclear attack on Iran would not have major geopolitical repercussions with other nuclear powers.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:19:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A nuclear attack anywhere would have major repercussions.

Sane people try to avoid using nukes, by definition, especially in a first strike. Even with exceptional provocation, it's impossible not to consider first use a war crime.

In Bush's case it's just one more to add to the list. And this most supine of so-called Democratic Congresses will very likely stand idly by.

A nuke attack on US soil would be a godsend for Bush. Suddenly it's a real war, which means he gets to suspend the constitution, and the rest.

There's no real down side for him. At worse he gets to blow some shit up. At best he gets to be Dictator in Chief.

Unless someone from the Pentagon marches into the Oval Office with a gun and drags him out, he has nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:36:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure some Democrat somewhere will apologize for pointing this out.

Ah, there might be hope if there actually was an opposition party in the US.

Alas, there isn't.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:03:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not entirely true.

When Congress was controlled by the Republicans Bush got to do everything he wanted as soon as he wanted.  Now that Democrats have the majority they will fret and talk and quibble and then let Bush do what he wants.

The difference is crucial.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 08:38:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would Pakistan want to get wiped off the map?
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of all the nasty conceivable consequences, I have to say this is the least likely to my mind. The Pakistanis are neither Shia nor Persian. I expect they would be horrified by an attack, but I can't imagine them getting involved.

Also, while they are a nuclear power, they only have an estimated 30-80 warheads. I don't think that is sufficient overkill capacity to let them divert a warhead targeted at, say, Mumbai to park in a U-Store in Long Beach.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:15:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And how much do you want to bet that Pakistan has not already smuggled a few bombs in a warehouse in NY Harbor or Long Beach?

Rather a lot, actually. Unless intended for pretty much immediate use, I would tend to think that such bombs would be more risk than it's worth, due to the risk of them being found. If they are found, the political fallout - you should pardon the expression - will be profound. Thus, if they are to be used as an effective deterrent, the Pakistani government would have to count on them remaining undetected indefinitely. I don't believe that's realistic. Of course, it's possible that the Pakistani government disagrees with some aspect of my assessment...

As for the risk that they might be able to smuggle nukes into the US after the commencement of hostilities, OTOH... Well, unless the US wants to shut off all container-ship imports from the general part of the world, I don't see how it could be prevented.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:55:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I still maintain that if the US attacks Iran, with or without nuclear weapons, it will be the last mistake Bush will get to make.

Every militant group in Iraq will see this as a direct threat, every civilian in Iraq will understand that they will never be allowed their freedom. Within hours the larger proportion of the American forces in Iraq will find themselves taken hostage. Yes there will be firefights, but irrespective of whether we say it's 140k or 200k or even 350k armed personnel in iraq, they are outnumbered. Massively.

Equally, the only way the US seems able to win at sea on paper is by cheating. Any analysis of probable Iranian resistance, as opposed to the one the americans want, shows the US losing one or even two of their carriers. A devastating humiliation.

Of course, I could be imagining things, I had ideas about how Saddam could succesfully resist that never happened, so I could be totally misinterpreting how iraqis would respond to the bombing of Iran. Of course, we don't have to say, "he'd have to be mad to do this..." cos we that he is mad enough.

But in my opinion, this is a high-risk strategy with little to be gained. And yea, if I was the iranians I'd have some nasty (conventional) surprises parked in various sites around the US too.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:41:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But wouldn't these consequences create opportunities for even greater mistakes?

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:15:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If either of these things happened, there'd be another revolution. Politically, the President could not survive, even till next november. If he wan't removed by Congress, he'd run a serious risk of finding himself facing a wet-detail of aggreived citizens behind the WH who'd deliver more summary justice.

It's why I genuinely think the American Empire will fall if they cross the Euphrates into Iran.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:30:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're dreaming. Most Americans would rather blame the Iranians for fighting back rather than put the blame on the President.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:33:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as evidenced by his approval rating?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:37:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How do you think it might change if US forces were badly damaged by the dastardly Iranians? Sure, it could go either way, but if you've got nothing to lose and everything to win ...

And don't start getting all defensive about it: it's not as if it's unique to USians - look at the crap Europe is taking from its leaders.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:42:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can just see 24 hours a day the legend "The new 9/11" streaming across the bottom of tv screens, with all the blame being put upon the revolutionary guard.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:46:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That sort of nationalism will play, yes, but will be countered by the American public's current distaste for war, which started ratcheting up after the 04 election, and was definitely on display in last fall's election.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:58:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not going to lead to impeachment or mobs with pitchforks though, which is where this started. Americans may be most peeved, but they won't do anything.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:02:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That comes during the next depression. I don't know who is going to get pitchforked, though. We live in dangerous times.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:20:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so going back to the Hitler comparisons in the other discussion, if he crosses the Euphrates, then Baghdad becmoes bushes Stalingrad?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:34:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But there's noone about to invade Berlin.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:36:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My moneys on Canada and Mexico

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:36:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
heh.  Where are the Soviets when you need them?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:38:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How true.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politically, the President could not survive, even till next november. If he wan't removed by Congress, he'd run a serious risk of finding himself facing a wet-detail of aggreived citizens behind the WH who'd deliver more summary justice.

OMG, have you found our System of Checks and Balances in your couch cushions or something?  I've been looking for those for alomst 7 years now.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think she's been reading historical novels again. That sounds like the famous bodice-ripper "The Constitution of the United States of America".
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:39:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes we have, but you're going to need new batteries.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:39:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Map.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:38:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oooops

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:03:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With Bush at the helm and his outstanding geographical knowledge, you may be accurate, and the biggest thing keeping us safe is him arranging an attack over the wrong river.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:05:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Bridge Not Far Enough.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:44:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So is it called Euphrates or Tigris down there close to Basra where they meet and form the Iraq-Iran border?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:15:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Checked the map properly, Shatt al-Arab is apparently what you cross charging from Iraq to Iran.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:16:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US troops can be withdrawn into heavily defended bases quickly enough. They have been building them for years now. Supply lines can be sustained through the air until troops complete an organised retreat to the south east, where the main oil fields are. Bar a rapid incursion of the Iranian military, the Iraqis don't have the means to cut off the army in the middle of Iraq. They would have the means if the Americans were out on the street, but I'd expect that most forces will be withdrawn to the bases in the case of an attack.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:54:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That may be the plan, but reality rarely cooperates on this sort of thing ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:55:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. The current ineptitude of the US forces is due to fighting an urban guerilla war. Once they are in a simple mode of 'defend, blast your way through everything, retreat' it's hard to see what IEDs and civilians with mortars, machine guns and car bombs can do against them. They got to Baghdad fast enough. I expect they can get out just as quick.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:12:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're confusing the movement of the spear with the movement of a baggage train.

Armour and mechanised infantry are one thing: the support infrastructure of the entrenched US army is a different animal entirely.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:14:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair enough.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:19:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't have to dash back to Saudi Arabia in 2 weeks. A month or two would work well.

And remember, if need be the Air Force and carrier avaition can do most of the real fighting, at least if enemy civilian casualties don't matter. The Army can just motor out, trucks and all.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:41:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If they want to leave all of their supplies and equipment behind they can, but if they want to remove all of their equipment out the figures I've seen run closer to three months at a minimum, and that is assuming that they have the fuel and amunition to move all of their equipment out.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:53:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Driving out of Iraq has to be one of the most unlikely escape ideas in history.

Even assuming everything is left behind, it would be trivially easy for Iran to lob a few missiles at any convoy. And IEDs can be fantastically destructive - you don't just take out a truck or two, you block the escape route, which slows everything and everyone down, creates useful ambush opportunities, and generally plays hell with any concept of orderly evacuation.

Air cover is useless unless you try to eliminate all traffic on the roads and in a wide corridor around them, permanently, for the duration of the retreat.

There's also the small point that if there's a retreat Iraq will have been handed over, at least in part, to Iran - which might not be popular politically.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:03:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Air cover is useless unless you try to eliminate all traffic on the roads and in a wide corridor around them, permanently, for the duration of the retreat.

That would be the idea, I guess.
There's also the small point that if there's a retreat Iraq will have been handed over, at least in part, to Iran - which might not be popular politically.

Of course. But if the US decides to strike Iran, their situation in Iraq will soon become untenable. The discussion was on whether and how they can make it out.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:46:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shooting up roads can make it difficult for your forces to drive on them, so it's not quite that simple.

Also, unless you're planning to patrol the entire length of the convoy, which will be many, many miles long and unlikely to be practical, there will always be people wandering into your restricted area and leaving presents behind.

And if you're abandoing a whole load of ammunition and materiel to make a quick getaway, you've just armed your opponents with your own equipment.

There is no good here. However you look at it, any forced retreat is going to be a disaster of epic dimensions.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:09:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you leave stuff around, you blow it up instead of handing it over to the enemy.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Getting of the roads and out of inhabited areas might be one idea. Drinving out throgh the desert the same way they got in.

Ammunition or other things left behind is not handed over to the enemy - it is blown up.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:35:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This assumes you have time to blow it up.

As for the desert route - with what trucks, exactly?

The big airports will be the first missile targets, and as soon as those are gone - and it's wonderfully easy to crater a runaway - the supply lines are cut and the clock is ticking.

Best of luck with a quick getaway after that.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 09:15:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's also the issue that the current US regime is very possibly unable to make the decision to withdraw: I have a funny feeling that Bush will not, under any circumstances, issue that order. So all this academic: there may be no planned retreat because it will never be needed.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:49:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite possible. But then you have the issue of this bloated army sitting in the middle of Iraq with its supply lines cut. There will be a breaking point.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:10:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. They may have to break with whatever plans local commanders have come to  among themselves: there may be no grand co-ordinated withdrawal. That would be consistent with the refusal of this crowd to plan for downsides because downsides are inconceivable.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:15:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it is that attitude that provides situations like Stalingrad.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:20:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The 6th army would have had no problems getting out of Stalingrad if they had been up against a bunch of ragtag civilians with guns and mines.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:47:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Getting out? The whole point was that the they were not to get out, they were to hold Stalingrad.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:41:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, staying around there while bombing Iran and turning Iraq into an utter hornet's nest would constitute a Very Bad Idea.

That is, beyond the Very Bad Idea of bombing Iran in the first place.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:48:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's pretty much the point here.

The bottom line is that after a serious attack on Iran, most of the US army ceases to exist as a viable fighting force. The best that can happen is some kind of semi-successful retreat - which would be a military fiasco and a political disaster, castrating forever the fond image that the US has of itself as a paragon of force projection machismo.

The worst is very much worse.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 09:19:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus at some point, if you're going for very much worse, a decision would have to be made if the losses to be had in attempting a rescue are too big a risk. The remainig troops in the army may be seen as the necessary seedcorn for rebuilding the army after the disaster.

after all the Marine corps appears to already see the looming disaster and are maneuvering to find themselves somewhere else

Marines Press to Remove Their Forces From Iraq - New York Times

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 -- The Marine Corps is pressing to remove its forces from Iraq and to send marines instead to Afghanistan, to take over the leading role in combat there, according to senior military and Pentagon officials.

The idea by the Marine Corps commandant would effectively leave the Iraq war in the hands of the Army while giving the Marines a prominent new role in Afghanistan, under overall NATO command.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 09:36:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but it was the 6th Army, not the US army or USMC. And there is a world of difference. The Germans were very good at war. The US is not and never has been. By 'war', I mean having to fight seriously armed and determined opponents, not Third World countries (which the US has fought on several occasions, and notably lost or 'drew' its major engagements against such). The Germans could fight virtually all the major Western powers of their time serially and/or at once, and still come dangerously close to victory. The US has never managed such a thing ... and never will, unless it just decides to wipe the slate clean and nuke the world.

Besides which, you underestimate the dangers posed by determined irregular resistance. Ask the Germans who fought Tito.

Finally, William Lind, a US conservative and military freak, is much less sanguine about the US position in Iraq than you are, and thinks that Iran could roll up US forces in short order. US supply lines are very exposed. But this has already been pointed out here.

Do not fall for Hollywood BS. The US military fights really well on the silver screen, but not in real life. Check out Stan Goff's report about the death of Pat Tillman. Goff is an ex-Ranger himself, and yet his account completely strips US 'elite' units of any combat mystique. These were people who got stressed over a broken-down vehicle and one rocket fired by a couple of teenagers that blew up 500 metres away ... so they shot one of their own three times in the face when he came back to investigate. That's the sort of fire discipline that came from an elite unit. Go crazy and shoot one of your own mates.

With talent like that, massive failure is assured as soon as determined resistance is met.

by wing26 on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 09:38:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The relevant analogy to US fighting force (including, especially, its relationship to the US populace) is the army of France under Napoleon III.

Middle class largely out of it, working class obviously the backbone, high bourgeoisie occupying officers roles, not a citizen army but in name only.  Just waiting to get their asses kicked by a real citizen army. In this light, Iraq might be seen as a Sebastopol, a relatively long conflict with no real winners which served mostly to piss off France's most important ally, Russia.

We can only hope that when Sedan comes, the aftermath will be equally as bloodless. Though I can't imagine Bush (or his successor) in exile in England. Where oh where would such a man go?

Walk around the US a bit, take a look at bellies which recall images, at least for me, of the excesses of Rome, and ask yourself if the US could in fact field more than just a small force of elite citizen soldiers. No, without technology, there's no there there. All the rot of Rome, with none of the glory.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 10:44:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloodless aftermath ?

You're talking about the army that did the repression of the Paris Commune...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misŤres

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 11:33:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That happened a bit later.

Initially, the republic was restored, but they made the mistake of fighting on. If they had sued for peace, things may have been different, but, being the type of men of a certain class that they were, they didn't. That's the logic of these things.

But the coup that removed the monarchy was itself almost entirely bloodless.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:00:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean, the end of the empire ?

I'm afraid we won't get to see Dubya wandering in a Hummer, on the battlefield of the Najrah defeat, in desperation over his lost war and legacy... That's what helped the creation of the republic after the Sedan defeat. And don't forget that the third republic was initially monarchist...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misŤres

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I don't forget it at all. Just like the Democrats are hardly on the side of the people, either.

It's a nice though to imagine such Bush wanderings, but I imagine him more somewhere in Uruguay, far away from horses though, he's afraid of them. They might bite.

Monarchy, empire, six of one, demi-dozen of the other by that point in French history. In fact, Nap III needed that war in order to ensure ascension of his descendance, which is why many refer to the period as the imperial monarchy.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:42:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the US is not up against a citizen army.

Look, guerillas are fine. They win as long as they don't lose. That is, as long as they hang around, the enemy will leave and they will win.

But they can't beat conventional forces on the battlefield. That's just what the conventional forces want to, as the result is utter carnage.

They have to go conventional themselves at that point, like at Dien Bien Phu or the last offensive against South Vietnam.

This will obviously not happen in Iraq at this juncture.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:39:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Iraq's isn't.

But Iran's is.

And if it isn't Iran, there will eventually be another. That's the logic of what the US has found itself in, and eventually it will play out, as it always has.

Hopefully not on a battlefield, but here again, it's hard to see how this is avoidable.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:44:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the Iranians couldn't even beat the Iraqis when the Iraqis had an Army.

If the Iranians are mad enough to fight a conventional war against the Americans, they will be ground to dust. That's it.

If they fight unconventional (read Hizb Allah, and google Paul van Ripen and Millenium Challenge 2002) there will be huge problems for the Americans, but not huge enough to make retreat impossible.


Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:59:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We shall see.

It's one thing to fight your neighbor who has the advantage of knowing the terrain as well as you, and whose supply lines are at the very least not exposed and primarily within controlled, sovereign territory.

It is quite another to fight an isolated and demoralized expeditionary force whose supply lines are very exposed and primarily passing through increasingly hostile territory.

I think if you are suggesting that US troops in Iraq and, importantly, allied civilian personel, will be anything but sitting ducks, you are sadly mistaken. I mean, I saw Rambo in Afghanistan also, but the reality is something different...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 02:36:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
links to the goff and lind bits?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 10:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Google is your friend...

Stan Goff: The Fog of Fame

The first of three parts on the circumstances of Pat Tillman's death.

In 1979, after a break in my Army service and having recouped my sergeant's stripes as a mechanized cavalry scout in Fort Carson, I volunteered for the Rangers. Off to Ranger School I went, and upon completion I was assigned to 3rd Platoon, Company A (Alpha Company), 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Infantry Regiment in Fort Lewis, Washington. Each of the three rifle platoons (organizations of around 40 light infantrymen) had nicknames, in this case, First to Fight, the Blacksheep, and Third Herd. A Company, known for its iron discipline, was called the Alpha-bots. When I left there in 1981 to become a tactics instructor at the Jungle Operations Training Center in Panama, I never had a notion that I might somehow be entangled with Alpha Company again ... two-and-a-half decades later.

Brothers Pat and Kevin Tillman were Alpha-bots, assigned to the Blacksheep (2nd Platoon), when Pat was killed by friendly fire on April 22, 2004 near a tiny village called Manah in Paktia Province, Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. When I was a member of the adjacent platoon in the same building, Pat was a baby.

Stan Goff: How Pat Tillman Died

This is the second in a three-part series on the death of Pat Tillman. Click here to read the first installment: Pat Tillman Everyone's Political Football.

This is where there are conflicting stories, partly because of the "fog of war," but more importantly to evade possible prosecutions... and the Pandora's box of counter-accusation a recrimination that might be opened by prosecutions.

I won't belabor the minutiae.

Stan Goff: The Cover-Up of Pat Tillman's Death

Part 3 (concluding) of The Fog of Fame: the Death of Pat Tillman.

There is the cover-up (of the fratricide). There is the original lie (that Pat was killed in an intense combat engagement). There is the layering of plausible denial in case the stories unravel.

The motives of the spin-meisters were to pin a recruiting poster to Pat's coffin. The motive of the cover-up (at least one of them) was to preserve the mystique of the US Army Rangers -- the elite of the infantry -- as flawless, disciplined, steely-eyed commandos.

The Lind piece is left as an exercise for the reader ;-)

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 11:08:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I;#'m reading through a stack of Lind stuff as we speak.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 11:10:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Lind piece is left as an exercise for the reader ;-)
Unsystematic as I am, that left me reading the Lind on War archive for an hour or so. Very interesting. But here's the piece:

Operation Anabasis

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 03:01:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Wehrmacht was an excellent fighting force, probably the best the world has seen since the Mongols.

Still, the Americans defeated them on the western front, due to the American superior numbers and superior firepower.

If the US Army of '44 could beat the Wehrmacht, the US Army of '07 can beat some ragtag Iraqis. I have no doubt whatsoever about that.

Sure, the US Armed forces are still stuck in the French second generation mentality (infantry advance, artillery conquers!), but that won't matter much here as they are not up against, well, the Wehrmacht (or the Bundesmacht, as an op-ed in the IHT which demanded a more aggressive role for the Bundesheer in Afghanistan called it).

The individual courage and skill of American soldiers and Marines should not be underestimated. Reports I've read for example from the second battle of Fallujah shows that. The Americans are great at urban warfare, as long as they are allowed to leave only ruins behind.

Anyway, it will boil down to supply. And no one does supply better than the Americans.

By the way, I'm a great fan of William Lind. And I think he has a very good point. The US force in Iraq could indeed be lost if they are not given free hands, which will mean lots of civilian death and destruction.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:38:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the Americans did not beat the Wehrmacht on the West Front. The Wehrmacht had ceased to exist as an effective fighting force by 1944. By the time of D-Day, the Germans were in full retreat on the Eastern front, as fast as their crippled logistics could carry them. (OK, this is somewhat overstating things - to be sure, the Germans still had a sting, but hey, it's a two-paragraph post...)

Witness the fact that the American expeditionary force took fewer casualties on their trip to Berlin than the French army did during the German trip to Paris four years earlier. This does not speak to me of a smash-until-something-gives approach. It speaks to me of a pushover.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 04:06:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to agree. They gamed war with Iran a lot of times already and never liked what came out of it. See Laura Rozen, excerpting Newsweek here.

Relevant quote:

But America certainly could do it--and has given the idea some serious thought. "The U.S. capability to make a mess of Iran's nuclear infrastructure is formidable," says veteran Mideast analyst Geoffrey Kemp. "The question is, what then?" NEWSWEEK has learned that the CIA and DIA have war-gamed the likely consequences of a U.S. pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. No one liked the outcome. As an Air Force source tells it, "The war games were unsuccessful at preventing the conflict from escalating.

So if they attack Iran anyway, that's a sure sign of delusion.

And if the conflict escalates, it can quickly become possible that the US will use tactical nukes, if they don't do it on first strike already.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:36:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The war games were unsuccessful at preventing the conflict from escalating.

Hmmm there's several meanings in that phrase.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:42:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm the Stalingrad paralells grow and grow...

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:20:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Pentagon has been making continegency plans for a retreat for at least a few months.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:47:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Source?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:59:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was sure I had read it somewhere, but I googled and didn't fint what I was looking for. I did found some articles urging the Pentagon to do this kind of planning. Then I found this.

A spat between Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman over Mrs. Clinton's inquiries about Pentagon plans for the future withdrawal of troops in Iraq -- and whether talk of such plans was emboldening the enemy -- drew a response from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

In a letter to Mrs. Clinton sent yesterday, Mr. Gates offered his assurance that contingency planning "is indeed taking place with my active involvement as well as that of senior military and civilian officials and our commanders in the field." Mr. Gates added that he considers such planning "to be a priority for this Department."


http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/07/26/pentagon-responds-to-clinton/

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Danke

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:46:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Moving all equipment seems problematic, especially things which are not strictly military equipment.

I doubt the entire US presence in Iraq could retreat to Saudi Arabia or whatever with the current fuel supplies, even if this is speculation.

Supply lines must be reopened and kept open to maintain operations. This should not be too much of a hassle if enough force is allowed to be applied.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:03:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mother Jones has a feature up about leaving Iraq:

U.S. Out How?

It includes a section on logistics. But it assumes more or less peaceful circumstances.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2007 at 06:32:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A berlin airlift style support would be impractical. Largely because the airfields aren't where the troops would be.

Right now they only survive using huge lorry convoys across the desert. Such things oculd not survive a widespread insurrection involving most of the population.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:05:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True, the US would have to withdraw sooner rather than later. The question is if the army can do this intact.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:44:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Berlin airlift style support would have  consequences, firstly it would mean abandoning the forces in Afghanistan, secondly it would mean tying the US forces more closely to the airports and make them easier to isolate from each other.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:58:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nanne:
The US troops can be withdrawn into heavily defended bases quickly enough.

The heavily armed bases can be pounded by medium range missiles easily enough.

Militarily, this can only be a disaster.

You have a poorly equipped and significantly demoralised army with very fragile supply lines in the middle of hostile territory, surrounded by guerillas, next to a hostile state with long-range force projection opportunities, which also has the potential to control one of the most significant resource supply choke points on the planet.

I'm guessing, on some wild speculation, that a resounding victory seems unlikely.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:57:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes there will be firefights, but irrespective of whether we say it's 140k or 200k or even 350k armed personnel in iraq, they are outnumbered. Massively.

Which won't matter in the least.

Even if their supply lines are cut (which they most likely would be), the Americans can blast themselves out of Iraq and into Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. The US Navy and Air Force can make sure there is not a single living thing within 20 km of the retreating columns. With tactical nukes if need be. Just button down the tanks and turn the overpressure systems on.

And then we have air supply. Sure, it doesn't have the best of reputations, but Göring did not have the immense airlift capacity of the US Air Force anno 2007.

Even if all these things wouldn't be enough, a relief force (Der Manstein kommt!) can quickly be assembled in Kuwait, sent in with working supply lines and connect with the main force, holding a corridor open.

Sure, they would have to leave massive amounts of stuff behind, but hostages? Never.

Hey, this does sound pretty exciting. At least it'll be great TV...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:36:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They won't be in tanks. They'll be in soft-sided trucks and unarmoured buses.

You're dreaming the same dreams of overwhelming force that led the arrogant fools in the White House into this situation. You're playing the wrong video game.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:40:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Overwhelming force works if you don't care about the civilans.

Just ask Genghiz Khan.

And well, too bad if the non-tankers will have to have some fallout land on them, but war is dangerous. They knew that when they joined up.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:44:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree. Leaving wouldn't be much more difficult that the arrival.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:49:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, because shipping out thousands of accountants is just like rolling in a couple of thousand grunts. Exactly the same process.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:50:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's an actual military operation, as opposed to the "stand around and dodge the bullets" operation currently underway.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:54:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A very difficult military operation, much more difficult than the drive into Iraq. Running escort to lots of vulnerable convoys is much harder than a nice clean strike action.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:58:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The initial invasion also had to escort lots of vulnerable supply convoys.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:47:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it had to escort enough to keep itself going, no more.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:53:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same thing now. I don't advocate dismantling all the bases, putting them on trucks and driving them out.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The initial escort was driving through a population that wasn't entirely hostile, and fighting a toy army - to the extent that it was fighting at all, which wasn't much. With complete air cover.

Iran has an air force. It might not have an air force for long, but I doubt it's the pushover it might be supposed to be.

Iran also has missiles, is more than happy to use them.

Zip. Bang. No more convoy. Insurgents have fun picking over the pieces. Game over.

We're talking about a quarter of a million people or so, who not only have to be moved, but also require food and water.

You don't need to be a military genius to understand that the best possible outcome would be one of the most humiliating retreats in the long list of humiliating US retreats in recent history.

The middling outcome. would be Stalingrad, only with sunblock. (If they can find any.)

The worst is a friendly nuclear exchange between irritated superpowers.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:59:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This time the Americans will fight something even more feeble than the Iraqi Army, namely Iraqi civvies with guns.

The Iranian Air Force will be destroyed within hours.

Convoys might well be hit by Iranian rockets, but that's war for you.

As long as no care is taken to spare Iraqi civilians (fire at anything that moves reasonably close to a convoy), the operation is very doable. Especially if there is some reasonable preparation, but consdiering the Bushies, we shouldn't count reasonableness.

Anyway, this is what the US armed forces are good at. No counter-insurgency, no fancy blitzkrieg maneuovering, just excellent logistics work while driving straight ahead blowing everything up.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This time the Americans will fight something even more feeble than the Iraqi Army, namely Iraqi civvies with guns.

Mogadishu, anyone?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:54:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mogadishu doesn't really have anything to do with this situation. Even so, the casualty rates were something like 100 to 1 back there.

The kind of firepower available in this operation is immense in comparison. The question is not if there is enough firepower but if the American soldiers are allowed to use it, as doing that will entail big civilian casualties. But what will a few more tens or hundreds of thousands of dead civilians mean as this war has already killed 1-1.5 million?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:59:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If an operation like that was to be run, why shouldn't the rest of the world demand sanctions against the US? If the populace sets up these sanctions out of reach of the government, the US can hardly come round the rest of the world and demand that we all buy American Goods.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:08:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:39:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This time the Americans will fight something even more feeble than the Iraqi Army, namely Iraqi civvies with guns.

I don't know, those Iraqi civvies seem to have been more successful than the Iraqi Army at both killing and injuring Troops and destroying armored vehicles.

No counter-insurgency,

So they are suddenly no longer going to be fighting insurgents?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:05:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know, those Iraqi civvies seem to have been more successful than the Iraqi Army at both killing and injuring Troops and destroying armored vehicles.

That's because you can't fight insurgents in a conventional way. It's much more like police work. And when you actually do fight them, you just kill lots of civvies and create more insurgents. Now, that won't matter if you're leaving.

So they are suddenly no longer going to be fighting insurgents?

No, they will be killing everyone in their way. Far easier than finding out who the bad guys are.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:12:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to agree with you in this thread. The US will go genocidal on the Iraqis if they have to in order to evacuate. If they don't, they're toast.

It's not like the WSJ hasn't editorialised on the need to get genocidal in order to beat the insurgency.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:23:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I wouldn't say genocidal. That would imply intent.

I'm thinking more like in "collateral damage and we just don't care".

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:40:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though of course, if they want to beat the insurgency, instead of just getting out, genocide is not a bad policy. It might be the only policy that works.

Bribe'em, nuke'em or leave'em the Hell alone.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:44:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Put them on planes and fly them out. Moving people is quick and easy, moving stuff isn't.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:47:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You do know that you're way into the Donald Rumsfeld mind-set, don't you? None of the military types that I've read on this matter are anywhere near as optimistic as you.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:54:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's because they are thinking in a political (or you might say, reality-based) mind-set.

I'm here in the Genghiz Khan no restraint mindset.

The rest of the world would protest immensely against this kind of WW2/Vietnam blow everything up style, but since has worldwide protests fazed the Americans?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:26:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where are the planes going to land if there are big craters in the runway of Baghdad airport?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:04:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Repairing runways is SOP.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:35:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So is getting the crap blown out of you while you're waiting for a runway repair.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 09:22:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's war for you.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 12:39:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you heard or read any news reports on the topic of Iraq lately?

We have no troops (no draft), no supplies, no game plan, no idea who is on first, and we're basically getting our asses kicked.  

Sadly, directors of Hollywood movies come up with better strategery than our current Administration.

Wait. I am onto something here.   Put Clint Eastwood in the role of Sec. of Defense, and instead of a draft, hold a casting call for extras.  Get some producers to put up the money for the war.  Then and only then does America win in Iraq or Iran or anywhere, really at this point.  


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:58:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But if the straights have been cut, how do you form up the relief force?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:00:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Use reserve forces in Kuwait. Or tell the Turks to let you through. Or land in Saud Arabia or in Oman and motor through (that's bound to be popular...).

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:28:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
apart from the popularness of the operation, you're going to need to ship in about twice as many trucks as are already in theatre, just to deal with the extended lengthy of the supply lines, on top of that you're going to need extra to cope with increased  losses. (this will be equally true going through Turkey

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:27:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
popularness????

lets try poularity instead.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:32:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you operate out of Kuwait the supply lines won't be lengthened. And the Kuwaiti Army has 218 M1 tanks which might very well be leaseable...

I guess there are large supply depots in Kuwait anyway, and it's not like fuel is going to be a problem...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:48:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well half of the supply is supposedly coming through Um-Quasar, so the lengthening of supply lines is real. It depends wether you can opperate out of Kuwait. If the Iranians have managed to shut the straits, that may be something that is of little help.

The big problem would be the military supplies. on a war footing just for the real troops you're going to need in the region of 20,000 tons of supplies per day then you have to supply the contractors on top of that. (so probably in the region of twice as much)

Getting the right sorts of fuel to the right places will be a problem. Fuels one of the biggest supply headaches. Without that the US militarys combat capability drops away very sharply.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:09:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Forces operating out of Kuwait should be well supplied and could hold a corridor open northwards to supply the main forces in Iraq.

That is after all what they do today (or well, from Umm Qassr, byt the difference should not be big). This new situation with mugh greater insurgent activity could be countered with indiscrimante firepower.

Of course, there will be convoy losses, but that is not of great importance.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:35:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
depends how big those losses are

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:38:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The casualties are not likely to be relevant from a military perspective, but from a political perspective a few thousand casualties over a few weeks might be problematic.

I would worry a lot more over naval casualties. Losing an aircraft carrier is not at all unimaginable.

Still, that would not be a critical blow either. From a military perspective.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but Göring did not have the immense airlift capacity of the US Air Force anno 2007.

The entire US military airlift capacity, if you withdraw it from everywhere else (Afghanistan, Korea)  has about enough capacity to supply about third of the US forces in Iraq if it is being used in combat and movement operations. This capacity is only reached by activiating the emergency measures that allow the US to take over a range of comercial transport aircraft.

The US airforces transport abilities are at nowhere near the level they were at after the second world war which allowed the Berlin airlift to happen.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:14:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it will help a lot. Especially as the aircraft can lift stuff out on the return journey, leaving less soft units for the ground retreat.

And remember, you don't have to move all the forces out at the same time.

Just set up a corridor and move at leisure.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:28:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just set up a corridor and move at leisure.

I think "At leisure" is going to be a different order of problem all together.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:37:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the real question is: at whose leisure?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:46:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sometimes it looks like a choice between the seige  of ostende, and the retreat from Kabul.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 04:13:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The irony of is that nuclear weapons, specifically bunker-busters, would probably not be capable of destroying hardened underground (or even deep-underground) facilities. This animation by the Union of Concerned Scientists might be taken as the "for dummies" explanation.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 12:03:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sometimes accidents happen

If a Russian city was accidentally hit by nukes from a US aircraft heading to Iran from a UK base, what country would Russia hit back? Both - first UK then US (just because all military minds all over the world don't believe in accidents). And if a Russian strike just as well accidentally hit, say, the 16th arrondissement of one European city instead of Kensington you'd find a 3-4-etc way nukes' use

by lana on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:09:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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