US to Strike Iran Soon, Apparently!
Trump involved in yet another international spat.
Relations between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran have not been smooth ever since the Iranian revolution of 1979. During the Iran - Iraq war the US offered aid and military assistance to Iraq and its Allies. The US and Iranian Navies clashed during this war. The Iranians have been enemies of the United States too because of its friendship with Israel.
During the Syrian crisis it seemed at one stage Iran and the US might actually be on the same side in the fight against Islamic State. However both Iran and the US have designs on the Middle East and this has ramped up tensions between the two nations. Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal which has sent remaining nations in the deal with Iran scurrying for ideas about what to do about this. Given Trump's close friendship with Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu this has only poured fuel on the fire in the bad relations between the US and Iran.
Relations between the US and Iran are getting dangerously close to a potential military clash. According to ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) the US is on the verge of a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Verbal threats via Twitter have been going back and forth between Trump and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. For example Trump warned the Iranian President on Twitter that Iran would face "consequences the likes of which few through out history have suffered". Rouhani has stated that any war between the US and his nation would be the "Mother of all wars".
The consequences of any strike on Iran would seem dangerous in the extreme. Iran has always threatened to hit back hard at US or Israeli interests should either nation attack Iran. The notion of a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities will be music to the ears of the Israelis. They themselves have touted the idea of such an act and as evidence of this the Israeli air force during the Iran - Iraq war knocked out an Iraqi nuclear facility in 1981.
Let us not forget though that relations between the Communist state of North Korea and the US had hit it seemed the buffers. Kim and Trump on Twitter (like Trump and Rouhani now) were always threatening each other on Twitter. It seemed war between these two belligerents was looming and then both leaders out of the blue met. Kim and Trump it seemed when they met in Singapore got on like the proverbial house on fire. Trump promised to stop US-South Korean military exercises in return for North Korea stopping its missile test firings and nuclear tests. So far so good this deal seems to be holding and let us hope it does.
Could Trump and Rouhani get together as Trump and Kim did to hammer out a deal? You'd think given the verbal diarrhea going back forth between the two administrations that wouldn't be possible. However, the same was said about Trump and Kim and look what happened.
Mean while, if such a strike does go ahead the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have all offered to help the US in some way or other. Going back to the consequences of any strike by the US on Iran what about Iran's Allies?
China has threatened in the past to come to the aid of Iran and what about Russia and North Korea? Certainly Israel would be struck by Iran's Allies Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran's long range missiles. Israel would hit back and then what? A conflagration that may spread from a regional conflict into a world conflict God forbid.
Iran and its military.
Commander of Iran's special forces the elite Quds brigades has verbally told Trump not to attack Iran or threaten the country and it's people any more. Iran's military has always been at a disadvantage from the beginning from the purges brought about by the Iranian revolution or in equipment. Iran has been under an arms embargo from the West for years now and so it has largely become self sufficient having a home grown arms industry. What Iran does not build itself it buys from nations that still trade with Iran like Russia, China and North Korea.
Iran is certainly a regional power in the Middle East with its fingers in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. In any military confrontation with a potential enemy like the United States, Israel or KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) proxies like Hezbollah will do its fighting for it. As Israel found out in the 2006 war with Hezbollah and the wars Israel has fought against Hamas in Gaza. That said Iran can call on the Basij where every citizen man or woman is ready and willing to take up arms for Iran.
Iran also has the 'Revolutionary Guard' who have their own navy, air force and army. Besides that there is the regular army, navy and air force which on paper at least are a formidable force. Iran also has a battery of long range missiles it could deploy at a moments notice to strike at the interests of its enemies in the Middle East.
The total spend that Iran spends on its military is $16 billion which is not as much as its enemies spend on theirs like the US, Israel or Saudi Arabia. Asymmetric warfare is the name of the game for Iran when facing enemies with better weapons and the budget to be able to afford them. This strategy is a bit like a smaller and quicker opponent overcoming a lumbering, bigger opponent and winning.
For example, Iran has invested in fast attack craft which could potentially surround a USA aircraft carrier and do it some formidable damage. Iran has maintained its fleet of F-14 Tomcat fighters (US supplied) despite not being able to get the parts on the open market at least. Old these planes maybe but with a modern upgrade and a determined pilot they could still do some damage.
Iran also is a large and mountainous country and its forces know their own backyard well. Any potential invasion of the country could get bogged down as the Iraqis got bogged down. The Iranians though lacking in many areas of their military have been shown to be ferocious, patriotic fighters which in some ways would compensate for this.