By Brigadier Nadir Mir
The Geopolitics of the times may indicate that the next war is Iran. Although Pakistan being an established nuclear power would logically be higher on the scales of denuking agenda for so called globalists. Still Geopolitical logic dictates otherwise.
In Iran’s case, the American agenda is to prevent it from going nuclear. (Something which Pakistan achieved over quarter of a century ago – Enriched Uranium) The recent IAEA accusative report, Israel’s brinkmanship (you do it or we do it), American election fervour (attacking Iran is an election issue for 2012, at least for Mitt Romney Republican Presidential candidate), conservative Arab animosity for Revolutionary Iran (in future nuclear armed), Iran’s energy linkage to Russia – China, Iran’s defiance of USA plus western world, and finally the fear or perception of Tehran crossing the nuclear Rubicon combine for ‘Strike on Iran’.
The most likely version is an air and missile strikes or campaign (depending how the war progresses). Still a limited invasion cannot be ruled out (US has freed most of its forces from Iraq for the purpose).
PM Benjamin Netanyahu, National security advisor Uzi Arad and Defence Minister Ehud Barak plus numerous Israeli leaders of late are cajoling for a strike on Iran. American friends have joined the Iran demonization campaign. For nearly a decade, this crying wolf – Iran going nuclear – or need to strike has been going on. This time it looks for real. The problem is both Israel and Iran are supremely confident and itching to fight.
In one scenario, Israeli air force (100 F15E, F16IS, F16cs), plus land based missiles (jhericos) and two Dolphin submarines (firing cruise missiles) off Iran’s coast initiate the first blow. This may be a one – two blow i.e., missile strikes preceding or following the air strikes. Destroying as much as possible of Iranian nuclear projects (Natanz, Esfahan, Busher etc) with bombs and missiles. Tehran’s retaliation with missiles plus Hezbollah, Hamas rockets are absorbed by Israel.
Threatening to up the ante (Nuke Iran) Tel Aviv (evoking paranoia of a Second Holocaust) drags USA into the war, to use its larger military muscle. The Iranians fight back (Iran will respond with full force has already been said by Ayatollah Ali Khameni). Though the high intensity war may fizzle out in weeks or months, a low intensity war may continue for years. The Arab – Islamic world would be inflamed, the western world divided. War drags on – at least the asymmetrical part is protracted.
‘The Point of No Return’ an article by the Atlantic makes clear the high probability of war with Iran. The Israelis are evasive on even if they would inform Washington about such a strike. An Israeli strike appears imminent now or in spring 2012 (winter is not considered ideal for such operations).
In fact the initial strategic moves have been initiated on the Middle East Geopolitical Chessboard. NATO is planning to intervene to achieve regime change in Syria. This is aimed at depriving Iran of its chief ally Syria and somewhat suffocating the Geopolitical space available to Hezbollah and Hamas. After Syria and Iran’s (claimed by US / NATO) isolation, the stage will be set for war on Iran initiated by Israel, US or jointly. Tehran’s revolutionary fervour which engulfed the British Embassy and reports of Libyan (NATO trained) fighters being shipped to fight against the Damascus Regime and a lot more are indicators of the gathering Great Storm.
Despite an election year if USA strikes Iran, it would obviously be a heavier punch than Israel. More so, it may not be limited to Iran’s nuclear establishment, but also aim at the Revolutionary Guards, military industrial – economic complex, ports, and communication infrastructure. In essence ‘Cave Age or Scorched Earth’. According to David Rothkopf (author of Super Class), it would be folly to assume President Obama cannot strike Iran due to an election year. By the same token, many Americans and Europeans are against an attack on Iran.
The British are unsure, the French hesitant, Germans Anti aggression, the Russians (Putin led) against an attack, the Chinese peace loving, even India and Pakistan may have similar views – (no attack on Iran). The world yearns for peace, but the Israeli leaders are preparing (even if the Israeli nation is divided on the issue). Good Americans want jobs at home not conflict abroad – but the war lobby wants war.
Attack on Iran plans have been on hold since President Bush era. Now in 2012, US Presidential campaign ‘most Republican Candidates’ except Ron Paul are for ‘bombing Iran’.
Interestingly America’s ex defenders Mr. Robert Gates, Admiral Mike Mullen, General Zinni etc have serious reservations on the ‘Persian Misadventure’. Even the present Defence Secretary Panetta (despite europhia of Bin Laden killing)’warned of unintended consequences!
Even more ironically the Israeli nation is divided by half on the subject. (After all the expected Iranian riposte of missiles, rockets and asymmetrical attacks is going to first of all target Israel). As a smart Israeli went to the extent of saying that if America was so worried about a ‘Second Holocaust’ it might fight Iran itself (without Israeli involvement). The Israeli Defence Forces even while confident are apprehensive and rightly so!
Still wise people in Europe, America and elsewhere are asking pertinent questions. A single Israeli Air strike will not be sufficient to totally destroy the Iranian nuclear projects, (delay it by 2 to 3 years), what next? If the US does not bomb Iran, what is the war termination strategy? Will it become a regional war by design or default? Will it escalate to nuclear realm?
What will be the impact on the Arab spring and Middle East? (Probably go hyper Anti Israel – Anti American!)
The reality is, there are no good answers. What if radioactivity due to Israel – US bombing reaches Nuclear Armed Pakistan and India? (Of course the Pakistani elite have no time for such issues. They are uninitiated into Pakistani Geopolitical issues, what to ponder about Iran?)
Unfortunately the fact is that an attack on Iran will adversely affect Pakistan in many ways. Pakistan will be surrounded by hostile India, unstable Afghanistan and warring Iran. Radioactivity leaks due to bombing may reach Pakistan! (Even handling Dengue Mosquitoes has been an uphill task). Inflame Shias, bring Iranian refugees, disrupt gas, oil import and bring Pakistan closer to the denuking agenda!
Reportedly the Russian PM Putin when recently briefed on emerging Geopolitics and probability of war told his generals, ‘Prepare for Armageddon’!
Putin – a great visionary leader is absolutely right. US – NATO attack on Iran would unleash ‘the hounds of hell’ not only for the victim state but the region around, the world at large and the attackers themselves!
The only viable solution in Global interest is ‘Geopolitics of Peace’. A comprehensive peace settlement from Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf to include Israel – Palestine, Israel – Iran issues. Plus pull out of all foreign troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. The need for denuking wars would stand obviated. The specter of hell on earth (for everybody) exorcised!
Author of the book “Gwadar on the Global Chessboard”
Blog: Pakistan and Geopolitics wwwpakistangeopolitics.blogspot.com/
The author is a retired Brigadier of the Pakistan Army.