U.S. Reportedly Considering “Surgical Strikes” on Iran

Rixon Stewart – Oct 10, 2012

An article published in Foreign Policy Magazine Tuesday claims that the U.S. is seriously considering launching “surgical strikes” on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
According to the article’s writer, David Rothkopf, the operation would involve ‘joint U.S.-Israeli strikes targeting Iranian enrichment facilities”. Lasting no more than “a day or two” it would primarily involve bombers with drone support.
The report is lent some credence by the fact that Rothkopf, a former Clinton Administration official, is thought to be close to high-ranking members of the Obama Administration and privy to high-level discussions on Iran. Leaving some observers to speculate that the disclosures are to gauge the response to the prospect of limited strikes on Iran.
Advocates of such “surgical strikes” believe the benefits would be two-fold.
First, if successful they could set back Iran’s nuclear program significantly.
Secondly, they would send a clear message to Russia and China and reassert “American ascendancy in the region for a decade to come”.
In addition such an operation would be more politically acceptable at home and may even enhance Obama’s prospects for re-election.
A recent International Monetary Fund report has given added impetus to those advocating such a course of action.
Recent unrest linked to the decline of the Iranian currency had buoyed those calling for sanctions and economic restraints as a means to resolve the dispute. However a new IMF report has undermined their arguments, as it predicts that despite sanctions Iran will curb inflation and return to growth next year.
Meaning that economic pressure alone may not be enough to bring Iran into line.
As the U.S. weighs up the prospect of launching such strikes, the chances of Israel successfully launching its own unilateral air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities are rapidly diminishing.
With Iran introducing its own new air defence systems and steadily upgrading its existing arsenal of Russian air defence weapons, the Islamic Republic could even repel an Israeli air campaign and inflict considerable damage on Israeli air power and prestige in the process.
Moreover, only the heaviest bunker-busting munitions would be able to penetrate Iran’s hardened underground nuclear facilities and right now only the U.S. has that sort of ordinance and the means to deliver it.
Currently, Israel doesn’t have any planes capable of carrying such munitions.
Meaning that U.S. participation would be a prerequisite for success of any operation to destroy, or at least delay Iran’s nuclear program.
Furthermore with U.S. elections looming, these disclosers may well serve a secondary purpose.
Even if the U.S. air strikes never materialise, news that “limited action” against Iran’s nuclear facilities is being seriously considered helps counter Mitt Romney’s campaign accusation that the Obama Administration has been weak on the issue.
Nonetheless, it’s important to emphasise that the U.S. faces a daunting prospect if indeed there is substance to these disclosures.
If only because we sense that the U.S. may seriously underestimate Iran’s ability to defend itself. Iran is not Iraq and the Islamic Republic has had more than twenty years since the end of the first Gulf War to digest the implications of Iraq’s defeat in that conflict.
As a result Iran has spent the decades since developing and upgrading its military technology, to the point where it is now a self-sufficient military power in its own right.
Military action lasting no more than a ‘day or two’ would certainly lessen the possibility of Russian or Chinese intervention, which is why the option is being looked at. However, even a ‘limited’ U.S. military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be fraught with unknown dangers.
The seizure of the control of the RQ-170 from its American controllers last year underlines how seriously the U.S. underestimates Iran’s technological ability.
Since then Iran has unveiled new air defence systems, upgraded its existing Russian made air defence systems and introduced its own longer-range radar systems. This in itself should make the U.S. pause but we believe that Iran has more up its sleeve. Much more.
If the U.S. decides to go ahead with these “surgical strikes” we believe it could be in for some very nasty surprises. What starts out as a “limited operation” could meet unexpected resistance and rapidly spiral into a regional conflict, which would then open the way for Russian and Chinese intervention.
As short-lived as it was, the American Empire may be in its final days. Decadent and preoccupied with domestic political power struggles, like all great empires it tends to underestimate the threat posed by opponents while overestimating its own strengths. 
So what begins as a ‘limited operation’ against Iran’s nuclear facilities could lead to a rude awakening and initiate the beginning of the end of America’s global military pre-eminence. 

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.