Should the U.S. actually take Benjamin Netanyahu’s advice and attack Iran, don’t expect a few sorties flown by a couple of fighter jocks. Setting back Iran’s nuclear efforts will need to be an all-out effort, with squadrons of bombers and fighter jets, teams of commandos, rings of interceptor missiles and whole Navy carrier strike groups — plus enough drones, surveillance gear, tanker aircraft and logistical support to make such a massive mission go. And all of it, at best, would buy the U.S. and Israel another decade of a nuke-free Iran.

There’s been a lot of loose talk and leaked tales about what an attack on Iran might ultimately entail. Anthony Cordesman, one of Washington’s best-connected defense analysts, has put together a remarkably detailed inventory of what it would take to strike Iran (.pdf), cataloging everything from the number of bombers required to the types of bombs they ought to carry. He analyzes both Israeli and American strikes, both nuclear and not. He examines possible Iranian counterattacks, and ways to neutralize them. It leads Cordesman to a two-fold conclusion:

  1. mharry860 says:

    So no boots on the ground right? So it’s just money borrowed from China? Ah, who cares we’re the richest country in the world, the taxpayers aren’t on the hook for quite enough yet.

    • lars@mars says:

      Quote mharry860:
      “Ah, who cares we’re the richest country in the world”

      wow, you really believe that right? the propaganda machine seems to be working alright then

      • Bodymassagemachine says:

        Go back and reread the comment. But assume that your interpretation is the wrong one.

  2. JohnK says:

    Do it and … Get ready for the real depression, starting with $20.00 per gallon gas.

  3. NewformatSux says:

    This analysis is all wrong. The guy should have read this blog and realized that Pres Bush started a war with Iran many years ago.

    • deowll says:

      Iran has been at war with the west since Carter was President or don’t you remember them taking over our embassy?

  4. Nagaraj Hubli says:

    Looks to me like the script is getting ready for the next war

  5. bobbo, one true Liberal recognizing Obama is too far Right says:

    I did only skim, and I missed the two fold conclusion. Any help?

    Can’t we ever be a bit “clever?” You know, like do something other than fight a WW2 type war? What would happen if we gave all their donkeys syphilis for instance?

    With repugnant regimes, I have always counseled in and out decapitation strikes. Would this work with a country as big as Iran? Probably not, but something other than heavy handed convential war should be thoroughly examined. Why not use the top 3 ideas all together?

    1. Donkey Syphilis
    2. American Movies
    3. Blow up the sewage plants.

    What would happen with something less than war that made Iran react that caused Iran to crumble in a few months? You know—something inbetween?

    Gaming is all about that. With the best military in the world (not the same thing as a staggering boondoggle waste of money type military) we should have lots of alternatives?

    I don’t buy the crap if we hit them heavy, hard, and thereafter repeatedly that they could rebuild their nuke program==or even their pistachio farms.

    War is hell. Who are we kidding?

    • think tank says:

      Let’s see:

      1. Donkey Syphilis – no, the democrats won’t go for it.

      2. Blow up the sewage plants. – no, not even blind clerics would detect the difference.

      3. American Movies – YES, drop off a million copies of Yentl starring Barbra Streisand.

      • NobodySpecial says:

        Subsidize HFCS so all their adults are too fat to fight and their children are all diabetic.

        Encourage religious fanatics into power so that anyone using “science” is removed from their job and the next generation of potential nuclear physicists are busy learning proper Aristotelean science

        Ensure lots of internal divisions so the brown arabs are busy killing slightly less brown non-arabs.

        It takes a couple of generations – but you can reduce a world superpower to a slightly belligerent joke.

      • So what says:

        “American Movies – YES, drop off a million copies of Yentl starring Barbra Streisand.”

        And you call them terrorists!

  6. Scott M. says:

    The first few typos give me pause – makes me think this is just a hoax that has not yet been revealed.

    • Torsten Hallman says:

      My thoughts exactly. So much spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

    • kerpow says:

      Same here.

    • bobbo, one true Liberal recognizing Obama is too far Right says:

      For those of us low on the literacy scale, could you point these out?

      I didn’t see any spelling errors and no grammar errors but rather only one “style” issue.

      I’m sure you are right, but I’ve skimmed it twice and not seen them. Sure they aren’t all style????

      My style spot: “He analyzes both Israeli and American strikes, both nuclear and not.” /// which would end better with ” and not nuclear” and more standardly as ” and conventional.” Insignificant to the meaning/information provided.

      Sure you three aren’t dillweeds?

  7. ECA says:

    for anyone that does not KNOW..
    Look up the last 30-40 years in iran..AND WHO WE INSTALLED, and WHO TOOK their place after internal fighting..

    we will only create another HOLE..
    And another reason for other countries to HATE THE USA..

  8. Don’t count out out imperial president King Obama to call in a war to make Americans rally around him before this coming winter
    It all self centered behaviour to put it mildly
    I need a vacation
    Stop the world I want to get off

  9. Dallas says:

    An excited Cheney just had a bowel movement.

  10. AdmFubar says:

    oh we are going to iran…look all the oil is there… american companies want to move their manufacturing there … cheap labor, cheap oil…. shipping costs are next to nothing, this is all part of the plan… american jobs being exported at teh cost of american lives..

    • George says:

      How is this the case? Wasn’t this the same argument about what would happen in Iraq? That didn’t come to be.

      We went to Iraq. Did we get cheap oil? No. Did we get to install American bases to promote American hegemony in the region? No.

      The fact is that US foreign policy is just as f-cked up as it seems. I wish we did have plans to trade oil for blood. I wish we would set up puppet states to enrich US corporations and cheapen the cost of energy. At least that would be a real plan.

      As it is, we are on some feckless jaunt of deposing “dangerous” governments, at the cost of billions of dollars and thousands of lives, and then trusting the very same people who allowed these governments to rise, to establish a new government “de novo” that is aligned with our own ideas and principles.

      Our government actually believes its own shit about people yearning to be free from despots and religious extremists. History tells us that, all things being equal, authoritarian forms of government are preferred over democratic ones.

      Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan…all failures of US foreign policy. When will they learn the lesson?

      • NewformatSux says:

        No blood for oil makes for a nice slogan, so that’s what liberals started to believe. After the war, some liberals got confused, and the best they could come up with was that the greedy oil companies wanted to keep the Iraqi oil in the ground to drive up oil prices.

        Indeed, if cheap oil were the goal, you should surrender to the oil barons and let them nuke Israel.

  11. dusanmal says:

    “Anthony Cordesman, one of Washington’s best-connected defense analysts”… who has ideological pre-conceptions he pushes with his “analysis”.
    Fundamental wrong #1: “with squadrons of bombers and fighter jets, teams of commandos, rings of interceptor missiles and whole Navy carrier strike groups — plus enough drones, surveillance gear, tanker aircraft and logistical support to make such a massive mission go” – BS. A dozen of conventional aircraft strikes, safer and more precise if done by advanced US airforce but completely within Israeli airforce abilities plus two nukes (one conventional to neutralize the only well buried-in site and one EMP to neutralize most of the Iran) is neither complex nor costly but way sufficient.
    Fundamental wrong #2: “And all of it, at best, would buy the U.S. and Israel another decade of a nuke-free Iran.” – any decisive strike, even less violent than I mentioned would result in permanently nuke-free Iran. (And likely sped up process of de-mullification). Make strike nuclear and you’d have immediate government and country disintegration, within 24 hrs you’d have separate, organized and functional Kurdistan carved out and raging internal civil war with benefits for the rest of the World. That is where important “allies” needed for a proper strike drag their feet: Turkey, who knows it would be in for a long fight with Kurdish people if Iran is fundamentally weakened.

    • bobbo, one true Liberal recognizing Obama is too far Right says:

      I’m not expert, have no real basis for my opinion, and believe that war is inherently chaotic……

      but I agree with your analysis over the expert provided.

      Civilization is too thin to sustain violent tears. Much less a few nukes.

      In all cases, I think the strike should start with decapitating the religious and civil leaders of the country. Wait for some holiday that brings them all together and take out the whole town.

      It sucks, but that is what the decision of war means.

      Kiddies: do we allow a Nuclear Iran or not?

  12. Harry says:

    Where are all the tea party people, we can’t afford another war period the end.

  13. deowll says:

    As long as the Mullahs run Iran and we haven’t converted to Islam the war that started when the Ayatollahs took power during the Carter admin. will continue. It may be hot or it may be cold but the war will continue because they aren’t going to make peace.

    We have nothing to gain by putting boots on the ground so taking our facilities with cruse missiles and flattening their military computes if that is what it takes to limit the problem to manageable proportions.

    By the way the press was as happy about this “democratic revolution” at the time as it was when the Muslim Brotherhood took power which suggests that the press and I suppose the public doesn’t learn from past mistakes.

  14. MartinJJ says:

    Let’s boycot Israel instead. That will probably save the USA and the rest of the world a lot of misery.

    Oh, oops. Now I am a terrorist.

    • ± says:

      I’m with you, Israel (and the rest of the world) should never receive another dime from the USA. Food is OK for giving, if given to the proper leader to disperse.

  15. orchidcup says:

    The only way we can prevent another country from making nukes is to nuke them.

    It is the only permanent solution.

    There are already enough allies and enemies that have nukes.

    One more country making nukes is intolerable

    Nuke them and take their oil after the planet cools down a bit.

  16. Uncle Patso says:

    In all the history of human diplomacy, I don’t believe the proper amount of attention has been paid to just buying the other guys off. For example, if we gave every person in Iran one million Iranian Rials, that would only cost about $6.2 Billion — way, way cheaper than the plan outlined above. We could even offer to do this once a year for three to five years and it would still be cheaper.

    Never underestimate the power of money.

    • orchidcup says:

      We do this for Israel, why not Iran? Good thinking.

    • MartinJJ says:

      The real solution is much simpler and a lot cheaper. Just stop paying Israel and all these problems will disappear spontaniously.

  17. kerpow says:

    I’m 30 pages in and already shaking my head in disgust over the amount of time, energy, and resources we’ve wasted as a species thinking up increasingly clever ways to kill each other. Yes, I know, we’ve always done this throughout history but isn’t it time to evolve our thinking?

    • orchidcup says:

      Evolution? Are you insane? Human beings do not evolve!

      We are stuck in the same rut of thinking that predated our medieval period of history.

      If we make any progress in our thinking we will be called Progressives. We can’t have that.

  18. kerpow says:

    I’m sure we’ll be greeted as liberators. Thats how it works, right?

    • orchidcup says:

      We will liberate them from their oil and provide them with a Constitution that is not even similar to ours.

      That is how it works.

    • Dallas says:

      Willard will tell the American sheeple that the towel heads have the oil that God gave us.

    • MartinJJ says:

      Yeah. They all yell ‘yankee, go home!’ in gratitude. Burning the american flag in the streets. For decades already. The Empire building really works great, doesn’t it?

  19. msbpodcast says:

    Here’s another <a href=""outside the box solution, courtesy of me.

    Build large towers in each capital city, encase them in concrete and put nuclear bombs atop each of them, but give the encrypted radio triggers to the devices to the neighbors.

    The triggers are time delayed so that the neighbors have half an hour to trigger their own bombs on their attacker(s) or arrive at an acceptable solution.

    Implement MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) without requiring mobility*.

    There is no point in building up an army or an air force if the weapons will never be used.

    *) I’m sure that few of us on this side of the planet or to the north in Europe or in the far east would care if the middle east was reduced to a bunch of smoking craters as long as it didn’t affect us. ou wanna fight that badly, here, knock yourselves out.

  20. This is really a no-brainer. Let the Israelis handle it entirely on their own. If it’s God’s will, his chosen people will succeed spectacularly and probably with no loss of life whatsoever. If it’s not God’s will, they will fail, and any nations that support them will also fail. In Bible stories, winning against overwhelming odds was the evidence that showed they had God on their side. Why would it be any different today?

    Modern military analysis too often ignores this critical X-factor.

    • orchidcup says:

      Good thinking.

      Let God take care of his own people.

      After all, He is omniscient and all-powerful.

      How can Israel fail, with God on their side?

      • Exactly orchidcup, and I’m also thinking that if we step into this battle, it just muddles the situation. What if God is on Israel’s side, but he is angry at Obama and he wants to punish America for electing such a liberal/Muslim/communist/terrorist (choose your own epithet)? What happens then? Do we win because we’re fighting Israel’s battle, or lose because we forgot to pray before casting our ballots in the last election? One thing is certain, though — if Israel acts alone, the whole situation is clearer and the outcome will be much more decisive.

        • orchidcup says:

          Unless Israel was lying about being God’s Chosen People in their Holy Scriptures.

          God protected Israel when they fled from the rule of the Egyptians. He parted the Red Sea for them.

          The nation of Israel needs to have faith in their God. Then God will have the opportunity to demonstrate His love for them.

          Otherwise, we are interfering in a relationship that goes back many years.

  21. Kent says:

    The west must act against a country that possesses nuclear weapons, ignores the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, international law, continually threatens its neighbours, and abuses its minorities.

    So, when do we invade Israel? Or should we start with the US since they’re actively engaged in attacking countries that haven’t attacked them and is even more guilty of the above?

    • MartinJJ says:

      Exactly! Start with prosecuting all the war criminals in the government at home. Also stop paying taxes to sponsor all their wargames. That will make the whole world a lot saver right away.

    • orchidcup says:

      Preemptive war is the new doctrine. We must attack them before they even think about attacking us.

      Hitler used that strategy very effectively in WWII.

      But then Hitler was a paranoid dictator and a megalomaniac personality.

  22. bobbo, one true Liberal recognizing Obama is too far Right says:

    “Modern military analysis too often ignores this critical X-factor.” //// Whats the html code for that fish symbol?

    • bobbo, one true Liberal recognizing Obama is too far Right says:

      • orchidcup says:

        Bobbo is speechless. I am amazed.

        A true miracle.

        This must be witnessed by a Catholic and forwarded to the Pope.

        Bobbo has been struck dumb by the hand of Jesus.

        • bobbo, one true Liberal recognizing Obama is too far Right says:

          Oh Orchi–no, I copy and pasted some code that was supposed to be the Christian Fish, but it didn’t swim.

          I hate it when my faith is rewarded like that.

          • I tried to pull a rabbit out of my hat, but all I got was this smelly fish… <><

            bobbo, the magic doesn’t work for a blatant BLASPHEMER like you, and the Lord still hasn’t caught on to my ironic tone 😉

          • bobbo, one true Liberal recognizing Obama is too far Right says:

            Thats pretty good…. but…. “I believe” the web provides all things if one’s search engine is fully embraced.

            Surely the fish is out there?

            ……. or perhaps there are two separate magisteriums?

          • orchidcup says:

            Your sins are forgiven, my unconditional love has restored your speech, Bobbo


            Your Heavenly Father

          • orchidcup says:

            My fish didn’t work either.

            It is a conspiracy.


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