Sunday, May 11, 2008

The South

Reuel Marc Gerecht, writing in the Weekly Standard, explains why events in southern Iraq -- which is part of the Shi'ite crescent -- matter to Teheran. Gerecht writes:

President Bush's surge caught the Iranians off-guard and turned what had been a winning situation for Iran in Iraq--multiple Shiite parties dependent upon Iranian aid and good will in a savage battle against Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda--into a potentially huge defeat for Tehran. Barring a strike by President Bush against Iran's nuclear sites before January 2009, Iraq is the only arena where the administration is capable of moving effectively against Tehran.

The success of the Surge has had two effects: it is at once a regional setback for Teheran's expansionary policies and secondly, a domestic defeat for the idea of theocracy.

It is a very good bet that Sistani and other prominent Iraqi clerics have remonstrated vociferously with their Iranian interlocutors in Qom against Iranian-fed violence among Iraqi Shiites. We can see the Iranian side of this in former president Mohammad Khatami's accusing Khamenei virtually by name of spilling Shiite blood in Iraq and turning Iran's Islamic revolutionary message into a call for violence and upheaval beyond its borders. Khatami's recent speech at Gilan University is an astonishing sermon from a man not known for boldness.

In the time remaining to it, the Bush administration should do all it can to reinforce this Shiite dissent and outrage. The surge aside, it is the most effective vehicle for checking Iran in Iraq and stabilizing Iraqi politics. The U.S. government should broadcast as loudly as possible any and all information showing Tehran's complicity in the death of Iraqi Shiites. If the United States can again arrest members of the Revolutionary Guards Corps inside Iraq, it should do so, interrogate them rigorously, and make the information public. The tide may have turned for good against Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, with potentially huge ramifications for hearts and minds throughout the Sunni Arab world. The clerics in Tehran could be dealt out of the inner circles of Iraqi Shia politics. With continued progress in Iraq, the next administration would be in a position to turn its full attention to thwarting Iran elsewhere in the region--and to preventing the mullahs from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Readers know I have made this argument before. While I don't believe that a physical invasion of Iran is in the works, unless in reaction to aggression by Teheran such as a closure of the Strait of Hormuz, I think that Teheran can effectively be hurt by nurturing a rival, pro-Western and democratic political power center in the Shi'ite world.

Iran considers southern Iraq an extension of its territory; a kind of Sudetenland. But that assumption cuts both ways. Because the revolving door opens in both directions -- literally in this case because millions of pilgrims transit the border in either direction -- the pathway for subversion is bidrectional. Creating an independent power center in Southern Iraq is to the Ayatollahs what Mao's stronghold in Yenan was to the Kuomintang, or the Confederate capital in Montgomery, Alabama was to the Union in 1861.




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27 Comments:

Blogger Lucky Pierre said...

With continued progress in Iraq, the next administration would be in a position to turn its full attention to thwarting Iran elsewhere in the region--and to preventing the mullahs from acquiring nuclear weapons.

That may be too late.

With Iran racing forward with its nuclear program, Israel now believes the Islamic Republic will master centrifuge technology and be able to begin enriching uranium on a military scale this year, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The new assessment moves up Israel's forecasts on Teheran's nuclear program by almost a full year - from 2009 to the end of 2008. According to the new timeline, Iran could have a nuclear weapon by the middle of next year.

5/11/2008 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger PapaBear said...

I would think that allowing Iranian men (and women) to receive hand-to-hand and weapons training in Iraq would upset the Iranians. Noting fancy or extensive, just the basics

The supporters of the mullahs are already armed and trained. If those who oppose the mullahs can also get some training, it might disturb the mullahs sleep a bit

5/11/2008 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger stackja1945 said...

Reminds of history of Sudetenland

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudetenland#Sudeten_Crisis_and_German_annexation

5/11/2008 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger Donald Douglas said...

Reuel Marc Gerecht is awesome!

Thanks for posting on this!

5/11/2008 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Depending on how Iran is acquiring the fissionable material for its warheads, putting the kibosh on their weapons program may not require huge raids. But it WILL require excellent intelligence, and that is the crucial aspect in all our dealings with them, isn't it?

You need acres and acres of buildings using a "cascade" arrangement to concentrate the targeted isotopes. This is particularly true for gaseous diffusion and centrifuge arrays.

The upshot of all that (which is why I'm layin' all this out) is that all the processing equipment presents a big fat target, but the earlier the better. Don't wait until they've been running it a long time, because once the final fissile material is concentrated to the needed purity, it can be stored anywhere and hidden easily.

It is possible that the facilities for the cascade-processing might be disguised so as to look like ten COMPLETELY OTHER FACILITIES IN A BUNCH. So the facility might be hidden in plain sight, so to speak. The way to identify the fake would be to study photos of new construction over time to see if the activities (traffic, power lines, water, waste, etc.) are congruent with the apparent purposes of the collection of buildings.

The WWII Manhattan Project gaseous diffusion plants in Tennessee and Washington state covered many score acres, and were clearly all similar in construction, as well as being connected by pipes and situated in patterns that were absolutely related to their purpose. That can be to a certain extent disguised, or camouflaged, but could be teased out of high-altitude photos, even if the facilities are partly buried.

It would be nice to think that Iran's leaders could be toppled simply by identifying their nuclear sites and making the data available to the world. I don't believe it for an instant --- too much willful contrariness among the Left, so-called progressives... anyone who believes in Peace-at-any-price-including-sacrifice-of-my-neighbors-and-mother.

5/11/2008 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

The problem Wretchard is that influence of Iran by Southern Shia Iraq will be the work of decades. By which time Israel will certainly be a smoking, radioactive ruin. Tehran will be hit too, but the Mullahs are correct. Once you accept a certain level of casualties victory becomes entirely possible.

Of course, long term that leaves you a broken people, unable to do much more than hang on to what they've got (the result of Stalin's "stand and fight" sacrifices costing 20 million or so, give or take 5-10 million). So long term Iran would be crippled. But that's a mere bagatelle, to the big thinkers in Qom and elsewhere.

Anyone looking for Israel to strike is deluding themselves. They won't. They've got Olmert. They'll be offering deals as their cities die. Oh a few hardened silos will hit back but that's it.

Once Iran has taken out Israel, they can and will demand the Gulf. Having made their example. Whoever gets nukes first in the Gulf, uses them (to intimidate others) wins. Wins control of the Gulf.

What can the US do at that point? Nothing. We can't be sure the Iranians have neither true intercontinental ICBMs nor hidden nukes in America. So our Aircraft Carriers, naval superiority, air superiority, and men in Iraq are rendered useless. Indeed they'll probably have to fight their way out like Xenophon's 10,000, to the Med and probably through a hostile Turkey.

I don't think the Iranian leadership is crazy, nuts, or insane. I do think their proven way of looking at casualties is far different than our own and they are quite willing to trade Tehran, Qom, and a few other cities for nuking Israel and control of the Gulf. They probably believe that they can survive 11 million or more dead. In the short run, they are probably right. Which is all they care about.

5/11/2008 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Before the Iraq war started I watched an interview with the older Hakim brother which took place in Iran. He was being really reassuring on what the results would be of the war, and that the Shiite in Iraq wouldn't be pro-Iranian. Now, I had heard during the '79-80 hostage crisis that the Mullahs allowed themselves to lie in the furtherance of their aims. So naturally I thought, "This guy is smooth." He had an even smoother side kick who'd spent a lot of time in the US -- Chicago, I believe, studying politics and selling used cars, no doubt.

Then Hakim was truck bombed in spectacular fashion and I thought, "Maybe he was telling the truth." If he were no liar, the Iranians done got him.

Now, many say it was AQ that blowed him up. But this happened soon after the invasion. Now, how does AQ arrive in Iraq and make all sorts of sophisticated and spectacular truck bomb attacks if it didn't have solid contacts with the previous regime? Actually, if Hakim were a truth teller, I can see the Baathist, AQ and the Mullahs working that one out together.

The matter of Iranian nukes seems like a theological question to me. Obviously, the US invented nukes and the Jews came up with modern physics so that the crusaders and the Zionist would make the weapon that Iran would use to destroy them. Is Allah an Ironic God? Much hinges on the answer!

Should nukes be used as a sword or shield? If a shield, they go on using terrorism and assassinations to further their ambitions. This is the safe option, but they have been doing it for 30 years without much sign of progress. Would Allah blind the West so as to give them the bomb without meaning for them to use it?

Fortunately for the religiously inclined in Iran, their President is a prophet and he pretty much says "use it." He will look at the hated enemy's use of peaceful means to dissuade him as a clever use of Irony by Allah. But if Iran's plans for the South go south, well, those around the new prophet may begin to doubt his grip on theology. I'd guess they already doubt his grip on reality.

5/12/2008 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I want to nuke Iran at least as much for the embassy take-over then as for the fact that they're killing Americans in Iraq now. Helping Iraq to stabilize itself by taking them out, and helping Israel be safer are both secondary considerations.

5/12/2008 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger section9 said...

whiskey, I absolutely disagree with your set of conjectures.

Once the Iranians launch against Israel, not only will the Israelis strike back, both with their silo-borne missile and those warheads on board their F-15's, but their cruise missiles will make short work of any remaining Iranian deterrent forces. The Israelis have done prodigious work along these lines.

And there's something else. I have no doubt that the Americans would join in to make sure that Natanz, Arak, Bushehr, and all the major-league sites were well and truly cratered. What you don't realize is that at that point we would have nothing to lose, and neither would the Isrealis.

Once they cross the Rubicon, the Persians are done as a working civilization.

One other thing to consider. All of this is occuring precisely because the Iranians have no idea of the power of American thermonuclear weapons and what they can do. One of the great tragedies of the American atomic campaign of 1945 is that its results were so horrifying that it has been a full 63 years since these weapons were used in anger.

Yet the weapons that were used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were low-yield tactical nuclear warheads. Little Boy's yield, as recorded by Harold Agnew aboard The Great Artiste, was a mere 13 1/2 kilotons. Three days later, Fat Man came in with a more heftier 22 kilotons. To be blunt, this is small potatoes, as Hyman Roth might say, in todays world o' warheads. Yet the destruction at both Japanese towns was immense, and the loss of life severe.

The Iranians cannot conceive of this, and I suspect won't conceive of this until it is too late.

Western weakness is a product of Western pessimism. However, recall this, these same Westerners are capable of industrial strength killing that the Persian mind has not quite considered. To them, everything is negotiable. They have not considered mass extermination.

Your pessimism is understandable, but it is misplaced. No one knows how to kill more people than Westerners. However, no one is more painful in their desire to negotiate out differences than Westerners. The problem, of course, is that when people like Obama come along, the Strong Horses of the Muslim World are encouraged to take the path of war and agression-which leads them to overreach and push us against the wall.

That's when they cross the Rubicon. It's rather tragic, but there's no going back for them. They're Muslims. It's what they do.

5/12/2008 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Whitehall said...

Properly used against civil targets, nuclear weapons would not create a crater. To maximize overpressure damage against soft targets, an optimal burst height would preclude the fireball touching the ground.

That said, ground zero would see maximum blast, nuclear radiation, and thermal radiation. However, no crater and no green glass ("trinitite").

The two short term objectives of the West are to prevent Iranian use of or threat of use of nuclear weapons and to maintain freedom of navigation through the Gulf and the Straits. I don't see where nuclear weapons are required for either goal.

Air attacks would handle uranium enrichment although they may need to be repeated. The Straits will require more intensive and long-term conventional military efforts. It will take a while to suppress all the shore-to-ship missile sites. The islands may need the Marines and occupation. The Iranian navy will quickly be sunk.

As others point out, if we have to use our military to achieve these short term goals, our long term goals will be made that much more difficult. However, that choice will be made by the Persians.

5/12/2008 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Elijah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/12/2008 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The West has been fighting the Persians for a very, very long time. The difference between those many Thens and Now is that when the Greeks or the Byzantines had the upper hand militarily they crushed the Persians without worrying about what the pansies in their own country or other people might think of them.

5/12/2008 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

"Once they cross the Rubicon, the Persians are done as a working civilization."

Seems to me that it would be an obligation of every civilization that has the means to make SURE that the Persians would be done after crossing that particular Rubicon.

It's been decades since we needed to do such a thing, and the fear of those weapons has more or less established the worldwide political framework that has made it possible not to use nukes to achieve our objectives. If that deterrent has worn off, then this time a much more in-depth and comprehensive demonstration may help make it CENTURIES before anybody tries it again.

At which point, hopefully man as a species has spread its eggs into other baskets, because I suspect that would be it for this one.

5/12/2008 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Section9 said:

"Once the Iranians launch against Israel, not only will the Israelis strike back, both with their silo-borne missile and those warheads on board their F-15's, but their cruise missiles will make short work of any remaining Iranian deterrent forces."

I was aware of the nuclear retrofitted Tomahawk cruise missiles in the Israel Dolphin class submarines and their F-15s but its news to me that Israelis have silo-borne ballistic missiles. Can you provide a URL that backs up this assertion?

5/12/2008 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

Once Iran has taken out Israel, they can and will demand the Gulf. Having made their example. Whoever gets nukes first in the Gulf, uses them (to intimidate others) wins. Wins control of the Gulf.

What can the US do at that point? Nothing. We can't be sure the Iranians have neither true intercontinental ICBMs nor hidden nukes in America.
- whiskey

Israel won't strike? Whatever gives you that idea? They've had the cunning and tenacity to ward off all comers for decades, and they'd suddenly belly-up if someone nuked Tel Aviv? I sincerely doubt it. Olmert would have nothing to do with it at that point. The nuclear response to Iran would be sudden and shattering.

Moreover, fear of a hypothetical nuke on our soil is only going to make it MORE likely that we'd strike Iran too. Maybe we can't be sure that they don't have an ICBM, but we can be darn sure they don't have enough to keep us from flattening them if they nuke an ally of ours or try to extort control of the entire Persian Gulf via a nuclear threat.

Iran's military and infrastructure would become an interlocking series of glass plates overnight.

5/12/2008 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger section9 said...

The point I am making is that the deterrent effect of nuclear weapons may have worn off.

Think about it. When was the last above-ground CASTLE test? Well over fifty years ago.

Few people are alive who actually witnessed MIKE, CASLTE BRAVO and the UNION test. The U.S., stupidly in my opinion, unilaterally ceased below ground testing in the early nineties when it cancelled ICECAP.

All we have are films. Old films that very few people watch.

The question is whether the Iranian regime is messianic or is motivated by Imperialist aims. I'm betting the latter. Their general staff has to have informed them of what Israeli thermonuclear weapons would do to them.

Of course, everyone thought Hitler was a reasonable man during the Czech Crisis, as well. No one paid attention to his ravings in Mein Kampf.

BTW, whitehall is correct about the employment of atomic weapons in combat against civilian targets. Iran is somewhat different in that it has at least two underground facilities: Natanz and Arak, that need to be taken out by atomic bombardment.

DIVINE STRAKE was proposed as a fractional orbital bombardment system to thread this needle. It was a conventional high-velocity "asteroid bomb" penetrator that would have much the same effect on underground facilities as atomics without the radioactive fallout. That's gone by the wayside, however.

5/12/2008 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger section9 said...

Eggplant. Let me get back to you. I was under the assumption, and it may have been mistaken, that the IDF had a force of silo-borne IRBM's in the Negev near the Damona facility. I'll go check. It would make sense for the Izzies to do triad and not put all their eggs in air-deliverable atomics.

5/12/2008 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Whitehall said:

"Properly used against civil targets, nuclear weapons would not create a crater. To maximize overpressure damage against soft targets, an optimal burst height would preclude the fireball touching the ground."

The physical phenomena that Whitehall is refering to is called "Mach stem formation". When an air burst is at the proper height, the blast wave reflects directly off the Earth's surface. This causes maximum over pressure and kills all unprotected people that the reflection passes over. However at some point, the surface reflection will pop up and ride on a normal shock wave, i.e. the blast wave changes from a "V" to a "Y". This normal shock wave is called a "Mach stem". After Mach stem formation, the over pressure is greatly reduce. The radius from ground zero to the radius of Mach stem formation is strongly a function of surface roughness and the properties of the surface soil, i.e. an optimal 100 kiloton burst altitude for San Francisco is different for Chicago. During the Cold War there were trained geologists quietly studying various towns in the Soviet Union to determine the optimal burst atltitude for American ICBM RVs. Years ago I had dinner with one of these people. It was sort of like having dinner with a gas chamber technician.

5/12/2008 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger section9 said...

I think I found it. You were right; no silos. The Israelis were much smarter than that; they went to the JERICHO system. From FAS:

Israel applies its nuclear weapons to all levels of this formula. The total Israeli nuclear stockpile consists of several hundred weapons of various types, including boosted fission and enhanced radiation weapons ("neutron bombs"), as well as nuclear artillery shells. Strategically, Israel uses its long-range missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft (and, some say, submarines with nuclear-armed cruise missiles) to deter both conventional and unconventional attacks, or to launch "the Samson Option", an all-out attack against an adversary should defenses fail and population centers be threatened. In addition, despite Israel's insistence that it "will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East," these systems represent an effective preemptive strike force. At the same time, Israel deploys tactical systems designed to rapidly reduce an invading force. Following the 1973 war, Israel fielded at least three batteries of atomic-capable self-propelled 175mm cannons equipped with a total of no less than 108 warheads, and placed atomic land mines in the Golan Heights during the early 1980s.

Nuclear weapons need not be detonated to be used as weapons. Early in the 1973 war, Israel went on a nuclear alert, partly in the knowledge that it would be detected by the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviets, Israel assumed, would restrain their Arab allies while the Americans would speed up resupply efforts. While the USSR did inform Egypt that Israel had armed three nuclear weapons, the extent to which Israel's nuclear alert affected the timing of Washington's subsequent decision to rearm Israel is not clear.

Israel does not have an overt nuclear doctrine beyond its insistence that it will not introduce nuclear weapons into the region. Instead, it follows a policy of what Avner Cohen calls "nuclear opacity" - visibly possessing nuclear weapons while denying their existence. This has allowed Israel to enjoy the benefits of being a nuclear weapons state in terms of deterrence without having to suffer the international repercussions of acknowledging their arsenal. Israel also has a strong commitment to preventing its potential adversaries in the region from becoming declared nuclear weapon states, as evidenced by Israel's 1981 raid on Iraq's Osirak nuclear installation.

Given the very long range of the Jericho-2 missile, some analysts have speculated that this system was developed to deter Soviet intervention in the region. The USSR has always been one of the primary targets of Israel's nuclear force, as Israeli assumptions hold that no Arab nation would attack Israel without Soviet support. The purchase of fifty F-4 fighters from the US in 1968 provided Israel with a platform capable of delivering a nuclear payload as far as Moscow, and it has actively pursued imagery and other information necessary for targeting weapons against the USSR. In 1979, the US agreed to provide Israel with access to high-resolution images of its neighbors taken by the KH-11 satellite. Israel was able to use this agreement to view targets of interest in western Russia (as well as to obtain targeting information for the attack on the Osirak reactor). Israel received more such data during the mid-1980s through the espionage activities of Jonathan Pollard.


JERICHO-2 is a two stage road mobile missile with a stated range of 1500 KM. The real range is probably considerably longer than that. It is capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

The FAS monograph emphasizes older Izzie systems, such as the artillery shells and mines. I suspect that since 2000, the Israelis have ramped up their SLBM force and the Jerichos, and have transferred many warheads to the submarines.

5/12/2008 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Section9: The U.S., stupidly in my opinion, unilaterally ceased below ground testing in the early nineties when it cancelled ICECAP.

Supercomputers can model very nicely the dynamics of new designs. At this point in history, nuclear testing is little more than a display of force like you see in the animal kingdom when rams butt horns. Or it can function as a coming out ceremony, like we saw in Korea in 2006, assumimg you believe that was a nuke and not just 400 tons of TNT in a mine with some plutonium sprinkled in for texture.

5/12/2008 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Whitehall said...

remember rumors that the Israelis also planted nuclear mines in stategic passes in the Sinai to block an Egyptian invasion. These were supposedly salted with sodium to create extremely effective local fallout. These were removed following the peace treaty.

BTW, my total paid experience in nuclear weapons was as a consultant to Industrial Light and Magic, beginning with "The Empire Strikes Back."

They were more interested in images from Starfish Prime and the real "star wars" research.

5/12/2008 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger section9 said...

Teresita said:
Supercomputers can model very nicely the dynamics of new designs. At this point in history, nuclear testing is little more than a display of force like you see in the animal kingdom when rams butt horns.

I'm not so sure that supercomputers are able to test the reliability of some of the older plutonium pits. I'd feel somewhat more comfortable with some small charge ignitions, especially since we appear to be ready to replace the W-88 with something called "the Reliable Replacement Warhead".

5/12/2008 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Don't know if you saw this, a retraction of sorts from Fred Kaplan which illuminates how our counterinsurgency strategy has been extended to the prisons. Overall, a positive story to go with the general theme of the thread.

5/12/2008 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Coyotl said...

Wrtechard wrote:
While I don't believe that a physical invasion of Iran is in the works, unless in reaction to aggression by Teheran such as a closure of the Strait of Hormuz, I think that Teheran can effectively be hurt by nurturing a rival, pro-Western and democratic political power center in the Shi'ite world.

Right. And just where would you find such a democratic, pro-Western power center Wretchard? Surely not with Dawa and SIIC, if you've ever bothered to read anything as to their goals, beliefs and ties to Iran and Hezbollah. Tellingly, you left this section out of Gerecht's analysis:

Yet Sadr's men are a hypercharged mix of Arabism and Islamism; as a rule, they are not terribly fond of Persians. They were inevitably going to clash with the followers of Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC)[aka the Badr Brigades], a group founded in Tehran and which has maintained deep ties to many in Iran's religious establishment. The Sadrs and Hakims dislike each other. In the streets of Qom, Iran's most prestigious seat of clerical education, the representatives of the Sadr and Hakim families often throw shoes at each other. (Among clerics that is very bad.) Tehran should have known that it couldn't back both the Sadrists and the SIIC.

Perhaps so. Recently the Iranian ambassador stated his support of one of the sides in the conflict in Basra. Which side do you think it was, Sadr or Badr?

5/12/2008 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Whitehall said:

"remember rumors that the Israelis also planted nuclear mines in stategic passes in the Sinai to block an Egyptian invasion."

The US did the same thing near the East/West German border during the Cold War. There were these manhole covers that when removed revealed a cavity only large enough to install an Atomic Demolition Unit (ADU). The idea was to allow the Soviet Forward Edge of Battle Area (FEBA) to sweep past the ADUs then detonate the ADUs behind them to cut off the Soviet FEBA from their logistical support. NATO could then cut the Soviets to pieces with air power and conventional weapons. Of course the Soviet fifth column knew where all the ADU manholes were so this probably was bad idea (it's a miracle that we won the Cold War).

Also, I can't imagine any sort of computer model that would be trustworthy for simulating a very old nuke where the explosives have decomposed due to radiation and the bomb pit's metallic phases have changed.

5/12/2008 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

eggplant: Of course the Soviet fifth column knew where all the ADU manholes were so this probably was bad idea

Well, no big deal, as you retreat you rig the ADU to blow when someone lifts the manhole cover. That's not a mistake you can call a "learning experience" since it would take out everyone in a very wide radius.

5/12/2008 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

I knew there had been an SOF plan for taking down Saddam and Co., but was not aware of any specifics till recently. John Arquilla, Professor of Defense Analysis, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, indicated their plan was to rise from the south and work north. I am unsure if this tactic would have worked, due to interference by Iran, as well as other factors, the least of which would have included the use of Iraqi Shi'ah trained in a separate Sunni territory. While there may have been the kinds of contacts required to make a go of it, the pending dissolution of Iraqi Sanctions by the UN would have unleashed a whole lot of bad, and we did not IMO have enough time to make such a plan work.

I don't have a clue, if the outcome using that approach would have been different, I tend to think not.

5/13/2008 05:32:00 PM  

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