Thursday, March 22, 2012

Iran, Nukes, and Oil: The Gulf Confrontation

Iran, Nukes, and Oil: The Gulf Confrontation  January 12, 2012
Seminar: NBC Executives and Producers
Barry R. McCaffrey
General, USA (Retired)

In my judgment we are now in a high risk situation in the Gulf-­-­-­ with a significant probability of Iranian escalation in the coming 90 days.
We are ordering three US Navy carrier battle groups into the region.
A basic axiom of military operations starts with an assessment of enemy CAPABILITIES-­-­ not enemy INTENTIONS.
There is now widespread intelligence agreement that the Iranians would be foolhardy (INTENTIONS) to blockade the Gulf inviting GCC and US retaliation-­-­ and also
shutting off their own oil exports which provides 80% of their foreign revenue.
There is also a widespread incorrect intelligence assessment that the Iranians lack the CAPABILITIES to shut down the Gulf exports.
NOT SO. * ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������-­subs-­-­-­ a significant sea mining capacity��some extremely effective shore based missile
batteries-­-­-­ some highly effective air defense capabilities-­-­-­ and a small number of high performance aircraft with missiles that could deny the two mile wide Hormuz
sea transit zone to safe tanker traffic. They could also place the GCC/Saudi Gulf oil terminals at risk.
The latest saber rattling by the Iranian Armed Forces threatening the US Navy Carrier Stennis Battle Group to not return to the Gulf was significant. It was immediately
and widely derided as an empty threat by 5th Fleet in Bahrain. In my judgment the US will not and should not place a carrier at risk in the narrow Gulf waters if
combat operations are deemed likely. There is a high probability that the Iranians could SINK a US carrier (with 5000+ sailors) in these constrained waters with their
current military capabilities. It would mean all-­out war if that happened.
Driving this confrontation was the extremely unwise move by Congress to overwhelmingly pass legislation forcing muscular Administration action to economically
strangle the Iranians ability to export oil. Obama felt politically he had to sign it. Diplomacy should be the lead of the White House NOT Congress. This ties Secretary
**��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������-­-­ and the Chinese 50% of their oil -­-­-­ and the world 17% of their oil thru these narrow waters. We
would have to spasmodically respond to Iranian interruption of the Gulf oil safe passage. We could not ignore a calculated interruption of transit.
We should not view the Iranian rhetoric as empty threats. They are likely to further escalate. There is great opportunity for miscalculation on their part. The Iranian
regime is in political trouble domestically. They have a huge economic problem. They will not under any circumstance actually be deterred from going nuclear. They
will achieve initial nuclear capability within 36 months.
IF the Iranians actually take further military action as a provocation and warning to the West we have very few good options. Substantially eliminating the Iranian
threat to the Gulf for safe transit would require a major US military air and naval action of several months duration. It is not clear if the Iraqis would support such
action. All the GCC states would back the US as an opportunity to avert the coming nuclear threat from Iran. The Israelis should welcome such a confrontation. They
have an existential threat to their survival looming in the very near
15% probability of major military action in the coming 90 days.

* They have three Kilo Class silent subs and perhaps 19 other mini subs, a significant sea mining capacity some extremely effective shore based missile batteries, some highly
effectife air defensse capabilities......

** Secretary Clinton's hands diplomatically. The Japanese get 65% of their oil, and -- the Chinese.....

Highlighted in yellow is what one can obviously expect given the Liberal Media Truth deprived Biased opinion and deductions.   This General, either way, estimated within "90 days" which is close, maybe 20 or 30 away.  Then again, the speed at which this administration makes crucial changes may make these numbers, the circumstances and all factors completely off the mark, in which direction no one knows for sure, except the dictator himself, either way, the Executive Order for  Defense Preparedness is a forewarning.  The dollar is on the verge of crashing --- a definite cause of chaos and defense, for the president.  Or the threatened attacks come to fruition by Iran, all brought on by this "president' himself.

NBC is a certified dissenter from the truth, heavily biased and mixes news with opinion, so those considerations are always applied when looking at pieces, broadcast and print, and evaluating that "information".

The 14 page report has statistics and graphs that have changed drastically, however, the conclusion was made by the Retired General based on other factors as well.  Things happen and change so quickly, those graphs and numbers, although only from 3-5 months ago, are not so accurate today.

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