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What happens if the U.S. invades Iran in June and there is failure?
April 2, 2005 8:10 PM   Subscribe

Interview with Scott Ritter on Iran June Invasion What do you think the world's reaction will be if the U.S. invades Iran in June and fails, inciting an invasion of Iraq with well-equipped and trained Iranian troops and equipment, retaliation from Iran with missile attacks against the oil fields in the mid-east and Israel as well as southern Europe and Turkey. How will life in this country change?
posted by mk1gti (42 comments total)

 
The Aljazeera column by Ritter referred to at the start of the interview.
posted by gubo at 8:22 PM on April 2, 2005


[link to mp3]
posted by muckster at 8:25 PM on April 2, 2005


mk1gti posted "How will life in this country change?"

No more camera phones for soldiers!

More opportunity for Ay-rabs and Democrats to go camping!

Boy Scouts expand, rename themselves "DeLay Youth".

Reichstag Capitol is burnt by "Jewish Communists" "Muslim terrorists".
posted by orthogonality at 8:38 PM on April 2, 2005


Lovin' the feedback (^_^)
posted by mk1gti at 8:53 PM on April 2, 2005


What do you think the world's reaction will be if the U.S. invades Iran in June and fails ...

I know that these are not implausible events indivdually, but you're asking a very extended hypothetical that has predictions of very specific tertiary and quartenary effects. I'm not sure that it really has much value - I mean, what if they invade in July and the Iranian troops turn out to be poorly equipped and the missle attacks are against only Turkey? I could just as easily pose that hypothetical which might have very different results.

In other words, you seem to be begging the question. You want to prove that the US will invade, causing these effects, and you do so by asking what the effects will be.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 9:00 PM on April 2, 2005


Transcription?
posted by Eideteker at 9:01 PM on April 2, 2005


thedevildancedlightly
My response to you would be that you would need to analyze your data a little more closely.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4145036
posted by mk1gti at 9:12 PM on April 2, 2005


I have to agree with thedevildancedlightly. The evidence for the US invading in June is an article in Al-Jeezera about an unnamed source who spoke to Scott Ritter in November about an invasion. If an invasion were to happen, were to be repelled, was retalliated against, etc. things would be grim. But that seems like a lot of what-ifs to take into account, and there seems no reason to expect it to be likely.

Then again, I haven't listened to the MP3, just read the article. So, mk1gti, why is the MP3 significant, and what insight into this future does Ritter have that orthogonality's list does not?

ON PREVIEW: Huh? So there are limited options on Iran, and I would expect the military to examine them - that is their job. What evidence is there of an invasion? And what insight does Ritter have?
posted by blahblahblah at 9:16 PM on April 2, 2005


A bit more info here: http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/110904C.shtml

And here:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=the+atlantic+magazine+iran+war+games&btnG=Google+Search

As we all know, Iraq has been anything but a cakewalk, as this administration clearly said it would be. What happens if brair rabbit gets caught even more into the briar patch?
posted by mk1gti at 9:17 PM on April 2, 2005


blahblahblah
Listen to the mp3, read the article, do some research. Come to your own conclusions.
posted by mk1gti at 9:19 PM on April 2, 2005


I guess the point is that there is that we agree, an invasion of Iran would likely be a dangerous venture for the US, aside from potential policy and moral implications. So? Who, besides Scott Ritter and his anonymous source, thinks we are about to invade? Why wouldn't the other options listed in the article be tried first?

Keep in mind the advice from the Atlantic Monthly article you quote, which suggests that threats are needed, even if force is never to be used:
"A realistic awareness of these constraints will put the next President in an awkward position. In the end, according to our panelists, he should understand that he cannot prudently order an attack on Iran. But his chances of negotiating his way out of the situation will be greater if the Iranians don't know that. He will have to brandish the threat of a possible attack while offering the incentive of economic and diplomatic favors should Iran abandon its plans."

So how would you know the difference between threats of force and intention to use force at this stage? It still feels like begging the question
posted by blahblahblah at 9:26 PM on April 2, 2005


All I can say to that is: Was Ritter's assesment of this administrations invasion of Iraq 'begging the question'? Who has the better track record here?
posted by mk1gti at 9:29 PM on April 2, 2005


Well, Scott Ritter was chief weapon's inspector in Iraq until 1998. Originally, he called for tougher action against the country until he switched his positions in 2002 and warned that there were no WMDs. He was an expert on the subject, and he turned out to be right. But he is not an expert on US policy or military matters. He predicted that the US would never succeed in overcoming the defenses of Baghdad, for example.

So, what does he know about the Administration's plans in Iran? He never worked in Iran, has not had a role in the US government for 8 years, and the Al-Jeezera piece was an unverified editorial. His track record on predicting the future in areas in which he is not expert seems dubious, so what makes this significant?
posted by blahblahblah at 9:52 PM on April 2, 2005


Previous discussion.
posted by euphorb at 9:59 PM on April 2, 2005


google is our friend. Scott Ritter. past history in weapons inspections as an undercover plant courtesy of the U.S.M.C. follow the trail, nibble the crumbs. 'nuff said.
Scott Ritter is not somone known for predicting we'll find our answers in caves beneath the New Mexico desert populated by space aliens. . .
posted by mk1gti at 10:15 PM on April 2, 2005


As far as predicting that we would never overcome the defenses of Baghdad, why is it that the military needs to fly in all it's supplies to Bagdad aiport instead of just trucking them in from Kuwait or Jordan or Turkey? Hmmmm.....
posted by mk1gti at 10:20 PM on April 2, 2005


mk1gti,
You seem to put almost total faith in this guy. Do you accept even the possibility that he might be wrong on this one? That's all blahblahblah and others are saying. He may have got things right before, but there's still little reason to take his word as gospel truth on the matter, because things might not go the way he's saying.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:10 PM on April 2, 2005


We are not invading Iran in June. Not unless this administration is criminally stupid. First of all: Iran is 3 times the population and much bigger (with mountains) than Iran. We have not recently neutered their army, as we had with Iraq. There is almost no reason to assume that we could just march on in and expect anything resembling order to happen in the aftermath. We'd be very lucky to even topple the existing government quickly.

Further, to support any kind of ground invasion, we would need to either abandon Iraq or pull almost all of our troops from N. Korea and Europe.

We are having an uncertain go of it in Iraq, right now. Our army is being stretched by the existing war. We can't fight another one. At least, not without real pain (a draft, at least). And I have seen zero evidence that the current administration is willing to ask the American people to make any real sacrifices. Plus there is that little issue of having no reason to go to war...

Ritter is just wrong on this one (I don't think even Bush is that crazy. I wouldn't be at all surprised if what Ritter is picking up on is stupid brinksmanship by the Bush admin.: they want to scare the Iranians with a threat of a phantom invasion, in the hopes of bringing them to the table on nuke talks. I doubt it will work: the Iranians know we aren't going to invade.)

As for what would happen if we DID invade: too hypothetical. About the only thing that seems (somewhat) certain is the fact that we would not enjoy it.
posted by teece at 11:12 PM on April 2, 2005


Magic 8 Ball Says: Ask Again Later
posted by sophist at 11:53 PM on April 2, 2005


Minute 13 of the interview, he says that civil war will be the only way to forge a stable government in Iraq.
"I think we can see that these issues are not going to be resolved through the quote-unquote process of democracy, they are going to be resolved through the tragic means of people basically fighting and dying, and all we are doing right now by having American troops in Iraq is delaying that inevitable outcome."
Kind of a pessimist, this guy.
posted by airguitar at 12:03 AM on April 3, 2005


The fact that Ritter predicted we couldn't take Baghdad proves that he doesn't know much about military affairs. There is no military force in this world that can stand toe to toe with the U.S. military when its in full tilt boogie mood. Now, fighting the peace, as we're doing in Iraq, is something else.

A good reason that we aren't likely to attack Iran is because it would destroy the reform movement in that country. Also, Iran is a lot tougher nut to crack then Iraq was.

As far as the draft goes, Bush won't do it for one reason. If he did it would lead to a resurgence in the left in America overnight.
posted by berek at 12:20 AM on April 3, 2005


Stop self-moderating, learn how to hyperlink, and GYOBFW.
posted by trharlan at 12:43 AM on April 3, 2005


Wouldn't an invasion of Syria make more sense at this point? They're the outpost of tyranny du jour. I certainly think this scenario is possible, but that it occurs in this exact way is improbable.

And what trharlan said: self-moderating and defensiveness in your own post... not the best form.
posted by moonbird at 4:29 AM on April 3, 2005


Syria doesn't have a uranium enrichment program.
posted by caddis at 5:27 AM on April 3, 2005


> Magic 8 Ball Says: Ask Again Later

Too empirical. Ruins the fun of dreaming things up for George to do and then hating him for, as we imagine, intending to do them.


> As far as the draft goes, Bush won't do it for one reason. If he did it would
> lead to a resurgence in the left in America overnight.

Recalling the way the perfervidly antiwar American Left dwindled away to the merest ghost of itself in the first week after Nixon ended the last draft, I'm sure somebody now in the administration was around then and absorbed the lesson. People will start getting drafted if some maniac takes out Chicago with smallpox or a dirty nuke, not otherwise, for the reason you state. What we have now is a small, comfortable opposition. Comfortable oppositions don't do much opposing.
posted by jfuller at 6:22 AM on April 3, 2005


It would be somewhat ironic if the administration itself sees the futility of another invasion because of less than favourable but never admitted to results in Iraq while large parts of the citizenship fails to hold said administration accountable.
posted by juiceCake at 6:42 AM on April 3, 2005


Well, work blocks Mp3s, but attacking Iran could eliminate our naval powers mightily quick, should Iran decide to defend themselves...
posted by Busithoth at 6:47 AM on April 3, 2005


Not unless this administration is criminally stupid

Read the papers much?

There is no military force in this world that can stand toe to toe with the U.S. military when its in full tilt boogie mood

Iran is not Iraq.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 8:11 AM on April 3, 2005


Ritter is hardly the only informed person predicting an invasion of Iran. There have been numerous MeFi references to Seymour Hirsh's similar predictions. The "How can you trust just one guy?" comments are just, you know, dopey.
posted by digaman at 8:15 AM on April 3, 2005


There is no military force in this world that can stand toe to toe with the U.S. military when its in full tilt boogie mood

Oh yeah man. As it is, those guys are over there now chilling with The O.C., running ads on Hot or Not, and reading magazines. But if they ever got into that full-tilt boogie mood, watch out insurgents!

It's too bad we don't have a Secretary of Defense who's really aggressive. Then you'd see what we're really made of.
posted by digaman at 8:19 AM on April 3, 2005


Oh yeah man. As it is, those guys are over there now chilling with The O.C., running ads on Hot or Not, and reading magazines. But if they ever got into that full-tilt boogie mood, watch out insurgents!

I'm pretty sure Berek was referring to conventional warfare vs counter-insurgency, rendering your snark somewhat impotent.
posted by Cyrano at 8:56 AM on April 3, 2005


You know, I agree with the whole rationale that you need the threat of force to enter negotiations with a party that would rather keep to itself until it's ready to face you militarily.
It's a rather important factor, which, though nebulous at best, can provide tremendous results.

Personally, I believed Bush's stance with Iraq was a bluff in order to get the inspectors on the ground in Iraq (and their right to inspect EVERYWHERE, without impediments like Ritter faced). It was pretty obvious he was willing to carry through on it, so they should damn well capitulate.

When the inspectors reentered the country, I even gave him grudging credit. Then they couldn't find the weapons quickly enough, and, well, some of us know the rest...

And as for what the American militarily can lick in a fight:
This is a completely retarded and infantile stance.
We can obliterate anything we choose. We can even do it from remote distances and not lose a single US life. The question is, are we using our brains where we apply our strength?
posted by Busithoth at 9:17 AM on April 3, 2005


Although the US defense bureaucracy is doing its job by planning for and fully gaming out any theoretical warfighting situation, a preemptive strike as Bush Doctrine has a cost to lives, economic and political stability, etc., that DoD, State and intelligence spreadsheet jocks have already proven are beyond their imagining.

IMHO more progress would come from constructive engagement as Nixon pioneered with China in 1972 (hey - I hated Nixon but give him props).

For context, put yourself back on the sofa watching this two years and ~$200 billion ago.
posted by nj_subgenius at 11:23 AM on April 3, 2005


as for what the American militarily can lick in a fight
Yeah, seems to be really dealing a few poorly trained and equipped insurgents with small arms and RPG's a damn good wuppin . . .
Shame about all that 'collateral damage' though. I'm sure the P.R. department can sweep all that under the rug though. . . Stupid civilians, they shoudn't live in cities . . .
On a larger note, Iran is four times the area of Iraq, it's mostly mountainous, not open desert so it's poor tank country and really good one-on-one territory. Air strikes aren't going to do much good in such terrain either as shown in Operation Cobra or whatever-the-fark it was in Afghanistan-Bananastan.
As far as putting too much faith in one person, I'm only showing one of many stories that are out there these days about this possible scenario. Knowing how murderously incompetent this current bunch in the White House is, I wouldn't put it past them to attempt to rape my grandmother and blame it on the babysitter.
As far as Scott Ritter not having a 'military mind', the poster seems to forget that Ritter was a career Marine who retired as an officer and served in covert operations afterwards. Hardly an 'armchair general'.
posted by mk1gti at 11:25 AM on April 3, 2005


I'm pretty sure Berek was referring to conventional warfare vs counter-insurgency, rendering your snark somewhat impotent.


I'm afraid the changing nature of warfare has rendered this distinction -- particularly when it's clung to to defend the notion that we beat open a can of whup-ass anytime we choose -- even more impotent.

That solidified notion is proving very dangerous in the world as it is -- to our own troops, I mean.

Oh sure, we could throw a bunch of ICBMs across the ocean and atomize any country we choose, but that's hardly relevant to what's really happening on the ground in Iraq these days, and real war is what I'm talking about, not some pre-Vietnam fantasy beefed up with high-tech weaponry in which GI Joe in his robotank rolls over anything in his path. If you don't think our satellite-informed, 3D previsualized, UAV-enhanced, high-velocity-equipped, Interceptor-armored armed forces are in deep do-do, you haven't talked to anybody who's been there lately. I have.
posted by digaman at 11:42 AM on April 3, 2005


I think every poster would agree that invading Iran is a mistake, regardless of whether you think the military would win easily or not. It also seems to be an international (not just US) consensus that an Iran with nuclear weapons would be a bad thing. And, as the Atlantic monthly and Hersh pieces both argue, the credible threat of military action is a critical element in keeping negotiations with Iran, so we should expect saber-rattling.

So, again, what evidence does Scott Ritter have that we are going to invade? All of these negative effects seem to hang on the fact that we will, and his insight into US policy seems dubious. Besides, you could just as easily argue that the consequences of not taking action are also dire.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:41 PM on April 3, 2005


Attacking Iran does not necessarily mean invading Iran, and it certainly does not necessarily mean occupying it.
posted by kickingtheground at 1:20 PM on April 3, 2005


QuestionableSwami:

where on that global security site does it say that iran has the sunburn missle? it's not listed on the iran topic page. and AFAIK only russia and china have them...

On the other stuff
2 points:
1. never underestimate the ideological blinders that individuals in our government are capable of putting on
2. this administration does not do "brinksmanship" well.
posted by stratastar at 1:39 PM on April 3, 2005


where on that global security site does it say that iran has the sunburn missile?
It doesn't. The only legit-looking source I've seen that disagrees is this, but I'm inclined to say that it's probably wrong (I can't find the source they're citing, though). The Iranians do have some other missiles which look rather scary on paper, although there are indications that the indigenously designed ones are rather unreliable, and it's an open question whether Iran can deploy them competently. The track record of (even very good) Russian weaponry in the hands of middle-eastern armies is not good, and Iranian performance in their war against Iraq was not exactly fear-inspiring either. It is, of course, rather dangerous to bet on one's enemy being incompetent.
posted by kickingtheground at 2:48 PM on April 3, 2005


Stryker.
posted by bardic at 3:25 PM on April 3, 2005


I'm afraid the changing nature of warfare has rendered this distinction -- particularly when it's clung to to defend the notion that we beat open a can of whup-ass anytime we choose -- even more impotent.

All you have to do is contrast the two Iraq wars to see that the distiction is still valid. The first war: defeat the enemy (using much the same tactics that would have been used had the Soviets moved on Western Europe) then leave. The second war: defeat the enemy then stay, resulting in a Vietnam-sque insurgency and the need for different tactics. Nothing about the nature of warfare has changed, just the nature of the current conflict.

If you don't think our satellite-informed, 3D previsualized, UAV-enhanced, high-velocity-equipped, Interceptor-armored armed forces are in deep do-do, you haven't talked to anybody who's been there lately. I have.

I talk to someone over there a few times a week. You assume too much.
posted by Cyrano at 7:55 AM on April 4, 2005


If you don't think our satellite-informed, 3D previsualized, UAV-enhanced, high-velocity-equipped, Interceptor-armored armed forces are in deep do-do, you haven't talked to anybody who's been there lately. I have.

Bring 'em in here. I keep trying to get my brother to post but he just shrugs and laughs.

Sigh. Look you guys a couple of things. you need some perspective. Our guys are not in deep do do - not casualty wise. Not really. You have to look at casualty rates from other conflicts to really appreciate that. Why people keep saying that we are getting our "butts kicked" I don't know. It's absurd.

And I am not some jingoistic freak high on the kill. Because what is happening to our service people is NOT some kind of turkey shoot where they are these helpless victims getting slaughtered.

Our current casualty rates are irrelevant, or at BEST tangential, as to WHY our kids need to come home and why they should not be there in the first place. Get it?

All this bullshit just clouds the issues. It's facts you need to look at. We are currently at like a 25 to one kill ratio. Ok. That's one thing. As far as empires go we are doing it like nobodies business. We took over an entire country in less than a month with hardly any US casualties. This cannot be underscored. And it's not chest thumping. It's important. because everybody in world who can plan strategically saw this and learned one inescapable FACT that you guys can't seem to grasp. Open conventional military confrontation with the US is futile. So what is Country to do? Get fucking nukes and FAST or hide and recommit to your unconventional efforts - IE: Guerilla/terroristic support. Understand?

And second: As far as the NEO Cons are concerned almost ALL of their strategic objectives have been met. THAT is why Bush is still there. Yes, they fucked up planning for the aftermath and occupation. But that was all a side-show anyway. Now it's merely an expensive one.

Look. We got our bases in the north. We misdirected the from of the "War on Terror" (for now... it won't last). We took down somebody we "hated".

And MOST IMPORTANTLY we got THE geo-strategic sweet-spot of the century. We simply haven't got the oil out of the ground - yet. But once the inevitable civil war breaks out and all the sides are at eachothers throats... WE WILL.

Point on the SUNBURN or Moskit missile. The Iranians DO have them. Not many yet. But. They have a couple of deep deep flaws. They are radar guided. I don't think Iran has the Air launch variant. So that means ground based radar installations. Once those are gone the Iranians won't be able to fire shit. And our carriers task forces have some very sophisticated jamming gear and will bea able to see a hostile radar eons ahead of time. So they may get a few missiles off but the radar trucks will be decimated quickly.

And Ritter is full of shit if he say's we are invading Iran. We CAN'T invade Iran. We have nobody to invade WITH. We may launch an airstrike but the Iranians would be FOOLS to invade Iraq then. With our total air superiority we will wipe out any large scale invasion. And any missile attack on a carrier group will be met with massive counter air strikes and carpet bombing and they will be reduced to Iraq economic status quickly. Iran is too smart.

No. Instead they will triple their efforts to mount insurgent campaigns. And they will win that.
posted by tkchrist at 6:28 PM on April 4, 2005


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