Welcome, Guest: Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New
Stats: 2,641,857 members, 6,184,539 topics. Date: Monday, 08 March 2021 at 03:44 AM

What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like - Foreign Affairs - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Politics / Foreign Affairs / What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like (562 Views)

Thousands Flee Syria To Turkey As Idlib Conflict Escalates (Photos) / Us-iran Conflict: More Than 30 Iran Strike Soldiers Diagnosed With Traumatic Bra / 'Our Enemy Is Not US ': Iran Protesters Demand Leaders Quit After Plane Downed (2) (3) (4)

(1) (Reply) (Go Down)

What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by Ftheophilous(m): 5:22pm On Jun 21, 2019
Just suppose the US president had not changed his mind. What might have happened? The first US strikes would have been limited in scope, targeting Iranian missile sites or radars, either associated with or similar to the ones that shot down the US drone. They would have been accompanied by a clear diplomatic warning to Iran (as appears to have been delivered over-night on Thursday) that this was indeed a limited attack, solely in retaliation for the loss of the US aircraft.

Mr Trump also reportedly offered an olive branch; according to reports the message to Tehran - which was relayed through Oman - included a further request for talks.

Say the strikes had gone ahead. What would happen then? The next move would be Iran's. According to one report, it responded last night that it was not interested in talks, and gave a warning of its own: "Any attack against Iran will have regional and international consequences," one un-named official told the Reuters news agency.

So where might such a conflict go and what would it look like? There are many variables to consider, and it is easier to say what will not happen. The Trump administration may be an implacable foe of the Iranian regime but there is not going to be a full-scale ground invasion of Iran to topple the regime. This is not Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Iran is an altogether more complex challenge both militarily and politically. Some in the White House clearly want regime change. They are likely to be disappointed. So rule out a major land war.

Any follow-up Iranian attack on US ships or aircraft would almost certainly be met by an escalation from the Americans. Iranian naval installations, air bases and so on would be hit by aircraft and cruise missiles with the focus, in part, on the Revolutionary Guard Corps whose naval arm appears to have played a prominent role in recent events.

Of course the United States can deliver punishing strikes against Iran's military infrastructure. But Iran has the means to strike back too. It can use a variety of measures from mines, swarming small boat attacks or submarines to disrupt operations in the confined waters of the Gulf. Oil tankers could be attacked forcing the Americans to take steps to protect them too.

Where the US clearly has an extraordinary advantage is in intelligence gathering and situational awareness. But as the downing of the very sophisticated and hugely expensive drone illustrates, there are significant US vulnerabilities too. All Iran may think it needs to do is to damage or sink a few US warships to make the price of this conflict one that Mr Trump will not want to pay.

Any war would be characterised by this "asymmetric" aspect. This term suggests a war of the weak against the strong - two sides with very different goals and very different metrics for success. If a war does break out the US will seek to pummel Iran's armed forces. It would probably go about it in its time-honoured fashion; initially taking down Iranian air defences and so on. But the Iranians simply need to do enough damage to turn US public opinion against the conflict - to make it appear open-ended and uncertain.
Iran, if under sufficient pressure, might also seek to spread the conflict more broadly, urging its proxies in Iraq, Syria or elsewhere to attack US targets. In extremis it might even try to prevail upon Hezbollah (in concert with its own forces in Syria) to launch rocket attacks on Israel. The goal would be to demonstrate to Washington that what Mr Trump might see as a short-punitive campaign actually risks setting the region on fire.

But why would either country allow themselves to drift into a war? After all, modern conflicts are not "won" in any conventional sense. The Americans should have learnt this lesson all too well from Afghanistan and Iraq. And Iran surely cannot think it can "beat" the United States in any meaningful sense? But the reality is that somewhere between punitive attacks on the one hand and a full-scale conflict on the other, both countries may believe that they can make strategic gains.

The US wants to contain Iran. Severely damaging its military capabilities - especially those of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - would serve this purpose. A serious reversal for Tehran might ultimately impact domestic politics in the country, though a war could equally have the unwanted result of consolidating support for the current regime.

Iran may be pursuing its own high-stakes version of a "regime change" policy too. It may see the current US administration as aggressive, but equally as indecisive and lacking support from its key western allies. By drawing the Americans into a costly and open-ended conflict, the Iranian leadership may believe that they can absorb the pain while damaging President Trump's chances in the next Presidential race. An Iranian reading of the US political scene may see the Democrats as more likely to return to some kind of nuclear deal and as more willing therefore to relax economic sanctions.

The problem for Tehran is that time is not on its side. The economic pressure of sanctions is hitting hard. Iran has relatively few cards to play beyond threatening chaos. Thus it may see escalation as a route out of this crisis. President Trump on the other hand, according to his own tweets, says he is "in no hurry".

Let's hope all this discussion is academic. President Trump appeared ready to strike back at Iran after the downing of the drone and then had second thoughts. Many will hope that it is these second thoughts that prevail in the president's mind over the coming days.

A war with Iran would indeed be costly and unpredictable. It would neither resolve the problem of Iran's nuclear programme nor of Iran's growing prominence in the region. That was the indirect outcome of Washington's last major war in the Middle East - the destruction of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Conflicts, it should be remembered, have unintended consequences.


Source : BBC News
Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by sapientia(m): 5:31pm On Jun 21, 2019
There are countries who can hurt America in a full scale war.

Iran is not one of them.

5 Likes

Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by Ernerstdavid55(m): 5:32pm On Jun 21, 2019
grin
Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by nepapole(m): 5:42pm On Jun 21, 2019
grin
Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by Ftheophilous(m): 5:49pm On Jun 21, 2019
Iran is a growing threat to the US's power in terms of military capabilities. Donald Trump knows this and is finding means possible to put a halt to it.

1 Like

Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by panafrican(m): 9:40pm On Jun 21, 2019
Remember the Japs were the first to attack the US during WW2.
They thought their victory in Manchuria, Chnia
made them invincible. We all know how it all ended.

3 Likes

Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by compton11: 9:46pm On Jun 21, 2019
panafrican:
Remember the Japs were the first to attack the US during WW2.
They thought their victory in Manchuria, Chnia
make them invincible. We all know how it all ended.
but Japan of old is not Japan now.
Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by panafrican(m): 9:54pm On Jun 21, 2019
compton11:
but Japan of old is not Japan now.
Today The US is in Okinawa and the Japanese Emperor does not have the powers Hiro Hito had before the negotiations with general McArthur.
Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by mysticwarrior(m): 9:30am On Jun 22, 2019
panafrican:
Remember the Japs were the first to attack the US during WW2.
They thought their victory in Manchuria, Chnia
made them invincible. We all know how it all ended.
yes I don come again, Flying a drone across Iranian airspace without authorization is a violation of sovereignty, external Aggression and a threat to Iranian national security, the Iranian security forces did a very good Job by bringing the American drone down, their action was highly commendable as they show no respect and sign of weakness to the Americans. I was expecting Washington DC to respond swiftly in less than 48 hours, but up till now the Americans are still not bold enough to respond to a slap of such magnitude, what a shame.

1 Like

Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by Ftheophilous(m): 11:26am On Jun 23, 2019
mysticwarrior:
yes I don come again, Flying a drone across Iranian airspace without authorization is a violation of sovereignty, external Aggression and a threat to Iranian national security, the Iranian security forces did a very good Job by bringing the American drone down, their action was highly commendable as they show no respect and sign of weakness to the Americans. I was expecting Washington DC to respond swiftly in less than 48 hours, but up till now the Americans are still not bold enough to respond to a slap of such magnitude, what a shame.
It's not that they really could not respond. The US's response could have claimed 150 civilian lives.
Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by BabaOwen(m): 8:41am On Jun 24, 2019
sapientia:
There are countries who can hurt America in a full scale war.

Iran is not one of them.

I think I have seen this type of your comment on Quora
Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by mysticwarrior(m): 10:55am On Jun 24, 2019
Ftheophilous:

It's not that they really could not respond. The US's response could have claimed 150 civilian lives.
they don't have any justifiable reason to attack a nation protecting its people from threats, they could have as well target a landed and empty Iranian drone and blow it up if they were not wrong.

1 Like

Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by Ftheophilous(m): 11:08am On Jun 24, 2019
Note that The US claimed to be on international airspace, so their proposed attack would be justifiable.
Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by mysticwarrior(m): 6:49pm On Jun 24, 2019
Ftheophilous:
Note that The US claimed to be on international airspace, so their proposed attack would be justifiable.
my brother their claim is a bold face lie, that drone was shot down inside Iranian territory, do u really expect the US to claimed that they were wrong? America is a proud nation and they won't lower their heads in shame by claiming wrong.
Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by panafrican(m): 7:23pm On Jun 24, 2019
mysticwarrior:
my brother their claim is a bold face lie, that drone was shot down inside Iranian territory, do u really expect the US to claimed that they were wrong? America is a proud nation and they won't lower their heads in shame by claiming wrong.
Any nation would have denied the claim that their drone was in someone's sovereign space.
It is just how the game goes. wink
Re: What Would A Us-iran Conflict Look Like by Ftheophilous(m): 9:49pm On Jun 24, 2019
mysticwarrior:
my brother their claim is a bold face lie, that drone was shot down inside Iranian territory, do u really expect the US to claimed that they were wrong? America is a proud nation and they won't lower their heads in shame by claiming wrong.

I suspected something of this nature, that was why I wasn't assertive in my first insinuation because I believe the US 'claimed'. They might actually not have been telling the truth.

(1) (Reply)

What Macron, France President Agreed With Iraq On Saturday / Donald Trump Develops Fever, Transferred To Military Hospital / Suicide Attack Kills 48 At Pakistani Mosque

(Go Up)

Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket

Links: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10)

Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2021 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 95
Disclaimer: Every Nairaland member is solely responsible for anything that he/she posts or uploads on Nairaland.