Pentagon encircles Iran: Victory would take 3 weeks
Published: 02 May, 2012, 15:49
Edited: 04 May, 2012, 09:59
Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transits through the Arabian Sea (AFP Photo / US NAVY / Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Karolina A. Martinez)
As the US beefs up its military presence in the Persian Gulf region, Pentagon strategists estimate that they would need less than a month to defeat Iranian forces should a military conflict take place.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) believes it can destroy or significantly degrade Iran’s conventional armed forces in about three weeks using air and sea strikes, a defense source told The Washington Post.
“We plan for any eventuality we can and provide options to the president,” Army Lt. Col. T.G. Taylor, a spokesman at CENTCOM told the newspaper. “We take our guidance from the secretary of defense and from our civilian bosses in [Washington] DC. So any kind of guidance they give us, that’s what we go off of [sic].”
The American military has been building up its presence in the region amid rising tension in the area.
The US Navy currently has two aircraft carriers deployed near Iran and is upgrading mine-detection and removal capabilities.
The US Air Force recently dispatched a number of F-22 Raptor strike fighters to a base in the United Arab Emirates. The move caused backlash from Tehran, which said Wednesday it threatened regional stability.
Deploying a “floating base” in the Persian Gulf – a converted transport ship that would serve as a semi-stationary base of operations for the US military – is also on the table. USS Ponce is expected to host mine-sweeping helicopters, speed boats and probably commando teams.
The Pentagon has also intensified training of elite troops of its allies in the region. The members of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Gulf Cooperation Council commando team, who serve as instructors, may be ordered to go into the field as well, should such a need arise.
The measures are taken as contingency for possible attack by Iran on US troops or blocking of the Strait of Hormuz, the vital oil transit route, the US says.
CENTCOM says there are about 125,000 US troops in close proximity to Iran. The majority of them – 90,000 – are deployed in or around Afghanistan. Some 20,000 soldiers are ashore elsewhere in the Near East region; and a variable 15,000 to 20,000 serve on naval vessels.
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The military threat is just part of the mounting pressure on Tehran. Washington says it would use force only as a measure of last resort and is instead focusing on economic pressure.
On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama signed an order giving the Treasury Department more power to impose financial sanctions against those trading with Iran.
“Treasury now has the capability to publicly identify foreign individuals and entities that have engaged in these evasive and deceptive activities, and generally bar access to the US financial and commercial systems,” the department said in a statement.
The US and the EU have issued a ban on buying Iran-produced crude in a bid to cripple the country’s export-dependent economy. Part of this effort involves sanctions against companies and institutions engaged in the oil trade with Iran financially. They are banks transferring payment for the crude or firms insuring tankers transporting Iranian oil.
The Iranian oil industry is not suffering from sanctions alone. The country’s Oil Ministry reported last week that it had finally managed to contain a cyber attack on the industry’s facilities.
“The software attack has been fully contained and controlled with the help of experts three days after it was hit,” Iran’s deputy oil minister for engineering affairs, Hamdollah Mohammadnejad, told the state-run Mehr news agency.
In 2010 a malicious computer worm called Stuxnet damaged computer software at Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities. Some computer security experts said the malware was the work of a highly-professional hacker team, which was probably provided with know-how by US or Israeli governments.
Western countries and Israel suspect Iran of trying to build a nuclear bomb and are pressuring it to stop enrichment of uranium. Tehran insists it is pursuing a civilian nuclear power program only, which it is entitled to do as a sovereign state.
The row has escalated last year after the publication of a controversial report by UN’s nuclear watchdog, which Iran’s opponents used to justify issuing more sanctions.
May 4, 2012
A third explosion rocked Syrian city of Idlib on Monday, hours after twin bomb blasts killed more than 20 people in the northwestern city.
Casualties are feared in the third blast which shook the university neighborhood in Idlib on Monday.
Activists say at least 20 people were killed and dozens of others were injured in twin explosions targeting the Air Force Intelligence headquarters and the Military Intelligence buildings in Idlib earlier in day.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Webster Griffin Tarpley, an author and historian from Washington, to further explore the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription if the interview.
Press TV: Many point out the situation in Syria and the US involvement in the region in the past year specifically are part of the US plan for a new middle east. Would you agree with that assessment and how would you define the US’ views of a new Middle East?
Tarpley: I think the US strategic role in the Middle East is the destruction of all existing national states. There is an outline for this that has been known for many years as the Bernard Lewis plan.
It has been expressed again by people like Zbigniew Brzezinski. Microstates, mini states, rump states, secessionism, chaos, warlords and NATO feels free to seize whatever assets they think are important, be it oil or water or strategic ports or things like this.
If we just look at what is happening in Syria right now, I think we can say that –the so-called Syrian opposition, these Syrian national council and the terrorists of the free Syrian army– they are politically defeated and their only hope right now is to maintain a constant series of terrorist attacks, bombings, murders; they have had suicide bombings.
This is not a technique of the Syrian army; it is a technique of al-Qaeda. We have just heard, as you say, Idlib near the Turkish border three attacks in one day, coordinated attacks, another hallmark of the al-Qaeda.
So there is no political content here. It is simply a desire to keep something going so that there will be a pretext for foreign forces to intervene and I think that is where we are headed right now.
We have a movie here in the United States called ‘Wag the Dog’ and it is the story of a president who is facing defeat in an election and he looks around and he says how can I get a provocation going? How can I get people’s attention focused on a foreign war, a foreign enemy?
Well, maybe President Sarkozy of France fills the bill this week, as he looks at the coming defeat of his electoral hopes. He is a lame duck president; he seems to be on his way out; may he not mount something. His Foreign Minister [Alain] Juppe, at the end of last week, said it is time now to get serious and get that attack on Syria organized.
The other news of today or of yesterday is the arrival of General [Robert] Mood, the Norwegian NATO general who is supposed to direct these NATO observers. Now this, I would point as the reductio ad absurdum of this entire situation. Here we have a NATO general.
Norway is a NATO state. They are part of that aggressive neocolonialist group of states called NATO. He is now going to be the judge in jury of what is going on in Syria. His brother NATO officers across the border in Turkey are actively sending death squads, weapons, organizing these actions that we see; his brother NATO officers from France have been have been captured in the area of Homs.
So how can General Mood be impartial? We would need to see lots of observers from Russia, from China, from Cuba, from Venezuela, from North Korea, from what the West would call the rogue states. That is the only hope of getting some kind of an honest vision of what is going on in Syria.
Press TV: Dr. Tarpley , I’d like to pick up on a point that you made earlier which was even the Syrian media has drawn parallels between the recent terrorist attacks in Syria and those carried out by al-Qaeda. What do you make of al-Qaeda involvement under what the Syrian government calls ‘US backing’?
Tarpley: Well, al-Qaeda of course is the CIA Arab legion created by the CIA and by MI6 to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan back in 1980 and there are still people running around Washington who had a hand in that.
Robert Gates was Secretary of Defense until just a little while ago; Michael Vickers is going to be the head of the new Defense Clandestine Service. He is a top official in the Pentagon. He was present at the creation back in the 1980s.
So the trick is that these al-Qaeda fighters have been used for example to overthrow the government of Libya and they would then redirect it into Syria. Very interesting fact, this ship that was caught by the Lebanese navy, I believe, off the Coast of Eastern Mediterranean.
It was coming from the NATO puppet state of Libya which has been taken over by precisely these people, loaded to the gills with heavy weapons and this was going to be deliberate to the Syrian death squads and the Syrian rebel coalition.
So this is an example of hypocrisy and double-dealing, I guess, in order to find a comparison we have got to go back to Hitler and the Sudetenland in 1938 where Hitler was actively fomenting terrorism inside the country and then he could turn around and say, ‘oh, I am sorry I have got to intervene’, and he was telling his minions on the ground, ‘do not negotiate, make unreasonable demands, do not come to an agreement because we need an issue; we do not need an agreement; we need a reason to invade’.
That is the NATO posture today.
Press TV: Then I guess the multimillion question here is that who then is going to gain from this? Who stands to benefit?
Tarpley: We are talking about a significant piece of the world and a building bloc for world domination.
Everybody has observed that if Syria falls into chaos, if Syria is wiped off the map and replaced by Kurdish, Alewite and other entities and warlords, then Iran loses an ally, Hezbollah loses its strategic depth, the predicament of the Israelis is made much easier, there are probably hotheads in Istanbul and Ankara who think that they can seize pieces of this right on their way to some kind of new Ottoman Empire.
There are lots and lots of people who would like to carve themselves a piece of Syria. Naturally, I would warn them, especially the Turks that when the US offers Turkey this wonderful perspective of invading Syria, the goal there is to destroy Turkey as well as Syria.
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May 4, 2012
Is chaos on the Sini exactly what Israel and the U.S. want on the African Continent? And does Soros plan to bring this same exact violence to America?
America and NATO led coalitions have deposited 1000′s of mercenary al-Qaeda militants in the sini region and are now being cited by the IDF as reason to call up reserve soldiers to deal with the security issues they are now causing.
The Times of Israel recently reported that the IDF is calling up as many as 22 battalions of reserve soldiers to deal with security issues on the Israeli border citing an attack on the North of Eilat in which 8 Israelis were killed.
“An IDF spokesperson said intelligence assessments called for the deployment of more soldiers. An army statement highlighted last August’s infiltration from the Sinai north of Eilat in which eight Israelis were killed, and said the subsequent division of that area into two distinct military zones necessitated additional manpower… Rising tensions between Israel and Egypt and the ongoing unrest in Syria caused the army to ask the Knesset for special permission to call up more soldiers, more often. The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee approved the request recently, enabling the IDF to summon up to 22 battalions for active duty for the second time in three years. Already, the army has called up six of them. – Times of Israel“
The BBC article describing this violent attack against Israelis in Eilat, ironically depicts the culprits as “Pakistani militants” that have been active in the region since the ousting of American Dictator Mubarak during the Arab Spring revolution.
- Raid strains ties between Egypt and Israel
- NATO Helicopters Fire on Pakistani Troops
- NATO commander expresses concern over potential security issues caused by melting Arctic ice
- Movement of U.S., NATO Troops Concerns Waziristan Tribes
- Turkey sends 10,000 troops to Iraq border
- Israel Prepares for War
- Israel Warned Not to Attack Iran Until Obama Takes Office
- Obama Promises Israel Use Of Bases For Iran Attack If It Will Wait
- Obama inauguration security force larger than number of troops in Afghanistan
- NATO chief calls for more non-US troops in Afghanistan
- Sec. State Clinton Calls for Israel to Investigate Itself in Flotilla Incident
- Israel Cooks Up Terror Plot Against Bush
Press TV | In order to find a comparison we have got to go back to Hitler and the Sudetenland in 1938.
Washington Times | Moscow would strike and destroy NATO missile defense sites in Eastern Europe before they came online.
Jason Charles | Does Soros plan to bring this same exact violence to America?
You Tube | Investigative documentary promo for Call of Duty: Black Ops II video game using future weapon scenarios.
haaretz.com | Described as similar to the smell of chlorine.
ABC | During surprise trip to Kabul, Obama addressed Americans: “Our goal is to destroy al-Qaida, and we are on a path to do exactly that.”
RT | The opposition fighters in Syria might be getting help from a different source– private mercenaries.
Laurence M. Vance | Conservative Christian warmongers worship the golden calf of the military.
Tony Cartalucci | UN’s silence over Syrian opposition terrorism lays bare “international laws’” illegitimacy.
Associated Press | Cars rigged with bombs explode near military compound and hotel.
Huffington Post | White House Counterterrorism adviser John Brennan defends the strikes as “ethical and just.”
RT | Thousands of US soldiers are going into battle fueled by all sorts of prescription medications.
Saman Mohammadi | The most stupid and racist talking point that is repeated in the Israeli and Western media is that Iran is irrational and cannot be reasoned with.
abcnews.go.com | Air Force adamantly denied the jets’ presence is a threat to the Middle East nation.
BBC news | A soldier from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards serving in Afghanistan has died from a gunshot wound, the Ministry of Defense says.
presstv.com | Four consecutive explosions have hit the eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine, injuring at least 27 people.
Alexander Higgins | The stage is set and all systems are a go.
France24.com | France warns Syria unless Damascus complies with peace plan terms, UN Chapter 7 resolution may be sought.
Reuters | The latest embarassment out of Washington, following last week’s soldier session with dead Afghan corpses.
Antiwar.com | Kurdish President Massoud Barzani warns US that Iraq may use jets against Kurds.
LATimes.com | Pentagon sending hundreds of undercover intelligence officers overseas to steal secrets on national security threats.
BBC | Announced new sanctions against “digital guns for hire” in a speech at US Holocaust Museum.
Patrick Henningsen | The CIA’s al-Qaida fighters have been redeployed in Iraq, in an effort to increase insecurity in the region.
Prof. Ilan Pappe | The rulers driving the hysteria mean business.
The Hill | Potential for another war breaking out remains high in places like North Korea.
RT | This time it’s photos of US soldiers, along with Afghan police, photo holding up the dangling, disembodied legs from corpses.
RT | Ron Paul wants more transparency, says he would have protected Manning under the Whistleblower Act.
Patrick Henningsen | In his TV debut with Russia Today, Assange scores a rare interview with Hassan Nasrallah.
Nile Bowie | Theatrics of the US and Israel in their condemnation of Iran’s nuclear power program have come at a heavy price for the Iranian people.
Patrick Henningsen | Geraldo Rivera loses the plot completely, while FOX pump Americans with the Pentagon’s latest talking points.
The Times Of Israel | ‘IAF expects losses, and knows it can’t destroy entire Iranian program’.
Saman Mohammadi | The American-Iranian talks are designed to fail.
Patrick Henningsen | Latest Afghan resistance attack was coordinated across the country, causing worry among US and NATO occupiers.
Business Insider | Some Twitter followers brought this picture to light after it was taken in Libya over the skies of Derna April 10.
Tony Cartalucci | Mini-Documentary Exposes Imperial Expansion Through “Humanitarian Interventionism”
Agence France-Presse | US President Barack Obama has approved non-lethal US aid, including communications equipment and medicines for Syria’s rebels.
Haaretz | According to Der Spiegel, cruiser was carrying ammunition to Syrian port city of Tartus; German government says looking into report.
Chris McGreal | As US and Israeli officials weigh up prospect of military strike on Iran, critics say attack would go against international law.
Guardian | Xavier-Jean Keïta’s call for formal complaint follows inadvertent release of scathing report on treatment of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
RT | Michel Chossudovsky spells it out in plain English: Syrian rebels are a hired proxy army.
TIME | New ‘helicopter drones’ being tested in military theater, before being used domestically in the US.
Pepe Escobar | “Bomb Iran” crowd will do everything in its power to merge Obama’s “last chance” into the deafening drums of war.
Infowars.com | Infowars analyst answers the question: What would US and Russia do if they were in Syria’s shoes?
Russia Today | Turkey says it’s considering a tough response following skirmishes between Syrian forces and rebels across its border.
Nile Bowie | A divided and warring Nigeria ultimately serves the interests of the United States.
Haaretz | A ground offensive would be necessary.
POLITICO | The White House is pushing back against the media for what it sees as oversaturated coverage of this week’s forthcoming North Korean missile test.
Tim Kelly | Truth is that most of America’s wars have been waged for imperial conquest.
Washington Post | Syrian officials want written statement guaranteeing rebels against the government will lay down their arms.
Washington Post | It’s time to call-out those who are misleading America with the slogan “Support Our Troops”.