Debate and Discussion

Iran - Should we Invade?
CharleyHorse at 9:25AM, Dec. 9, 2007
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I absolutely agree with you in this TnTComic. We - meaning the rogue Bush regime - could ‘take’ Iran with relative ease if we were willing to do it via air power alone. We could easily reduce the nation of Iran to smoking rubble in a matter of days or - at most - a couple of months worth of saturation bombing.

We do not, however, have the requisite military personnel to hold what we can ‘take’ after the smoke clears. So, what would be the point aside from eliminating a vague threat and in giving Bush/Cheney's big business best buddies and secret business partners yet another artificial boost in the old financial pocket book. War IS good for business IF you are in the right sort of business, and Bush and Cheney and their buddies very difinely are in the right sort of businesses to reap huge profits from war; and that may just be the primary reason that Bush/Cheney conned the United States into going to war against Iraq in the first place. So if it's good enough in Bush/Cheney eyes for Iraq then it's good enough treatment for Iran, too, eh?

But, yeah, everyone who said that it would next to impossible to take Iran without resorting to nukes, just forgot the fact that we have an immense military air fleet and could carpet bomb the nation back to the stone age.

Should we do this? Of course not! Can we do this? You bet! Will we do this? That depends on Bush/Cheney and whether or not they honestly believe that they would be brought to book for starting yet another unnecessary war. Since they have so far not even received a slap on the wrist for the outright lies and deliberately twisting around of intelligence data that got us into the Iraq Venture, the chances are very good that they also believe that they can get away with just pre-emptively attacking Iran and bombing the nation into oblivion.

I mean NOBODY in the United States has demonstrated that they have the sort of guts necessary to impeach this president or even seriously investigate him and Cheney for their Iraq War venture antics. Therefore I figure that it's currently about a fifty-fifty chance that we will attack Iran before Bush and Cheney slink out of office with their ill-gotten-gains in hands.
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ozoneocean at 10:11AM, Dec. 9, 2007
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TnTComic
It wouldn't take a nuke, it wouldn't take genocide. We could take 'em out pretty damn easily. Tomahawks and stealth make this stuff pretty easy today.
Unfortunately, that's just propaganda… :(

Those systems are useful, but the effectiveness has been exaggerated massively. In real terms they're extremely expensive and only incremental improvements over older weapon systems. Overwhelming force is still much more effective than the mythology of the surgical strike.

The true value of things like “stealth” and Tomahawk missiles is that they reduce your losses- not in money terms, because they're much more expensive, but the lives of your human fighters.
 
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TnTComic at 10:38AM, Dec. 9, 2007
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ozoneocean
TnTComic
It wouldn't take a nuke, it wouldn't take genocide. We could take 'em out pretty damn easily. Tomahawks and stealth make this stuff pretty easy today.
Unfortunately, that's just propaganda… :(

Those systems are useful, but the effectiveness has been exaggerated massively. In real terms they're extremely expensive and only incremental improvements over older weapon systems. Overwhelming force is still much more effective than the mythology of the surgical strike.

The true value of things like “stealth” and Tomahawk missiles is that they reduce your losses- not in money terms, because they're much more expensive, but the lives of your human fighters.

Stealth is a weapon system with no counter. Tomahawk's are basically the same, due to size and speed.

Overwhelming force is necessary in ground war versus troops and vehicles. But against stationary targets, nothing trumps stealth. Take out radar sites, supply depots, communications, headquarters, bridges, et cetera.

As for your claim about their effectiveness, I'd think the past wars in Iraq should prove how effective they are.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
bobhhh at 10:51AM, Dec. 9, 2007
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TnTComic
It wouldn't take a nuke, it wouldn't take genocide. We could take 'em out pretty damn easily. Tomahawks and stealth make this stuff pretty easy today.

Ok enough semantics. Yes we could further strain our military and tank our economy by “taking” Iran, but why bother when we can't hold it. I was assuming we were talking about whether or not the strategy that made sense. I was assuming take meant hold because there really is no sane reason to take something you can't hold.

What does simply taking accomplish? Why not just line up several thousand soldiers and execute them and then cremate them with several hundred billion dollars and save us all the trouble?

“Should we invade Iran?” I say no because we can't prevail unilaterally in the long run, not to mention we have no business being there in the first place.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
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TnTComic at 10:53AM, Dec. 9, 2007
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I say no because they haven't done anything to us.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
bobhhh at 10:57AM, Dec. 9, 2007
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I say no because they haven't done anything to us.

I agree, in fact the we have been doing all of the doing to them.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
ozoneocean at 11:24AM, Dec. 9, 2007
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Sorry TNT, as I say, that's the propaganda talking there. Exactly that.

It's pretty simple… And I suppose those two things are the some few items that are cause for direct, real and measurable profit in the recent wars. The cost of replacement of the missiles is massive and the boon from selling the new “stealth” technologies has been extremely favourable. -That's a VERY popular selling point internationally right now and Boeing needs new orders on the new F-22s and especially the JSF!

As for measurable effectiveness, the reality is a little different: The missiles are often less accurate than the old directed fire from battleships, as well as more expensive and less effective. That is truly, truly so. But the potential is greater (if the accuracy ever does match up to claims and propaganda footage) and of course the range is a lot better, but the cost and production time means you haven't ever got enough to do much with.

Stealth in aircraft has been largely an irrelevance so far. Absolutely and totally. All we've proved is that it works, to an extent (and even then these kind of advantages are only temporary). The main purpose is air superiority, but when you've already achieved that through other means (neutralised the air forces and destroyed almost all radar instillations and anti aircraft emplacements), it has no real purpose, as has been the case in all wars its been used in so far :)
-and probably in future ones too.

Even in Serbia they hit just as many targets with non-stealth aircraft. Ha! They used the little F-117s in the first Gulf War but terribly ancient British bombers from the 1960's dropped way more bombs and did more damage.

You see, most of that tech is based on old thinking… it's made for going up against an equal power like the Soviet union. Cost would be no object in such a conflict so ANY weapons system you can think of is feasible, you'd be fighting for your existence.

But in an asymmetric fight, a fight for simple strategic control, cost does become an issue. You can't afford to waste all your latest tech on something that doesn't matter that much… This if why you never really get to test your stealth aeroplanes, you don't dare, instead you make it as easy for them as possible: kill off as much of the ground defence as you can and make sure their airforce can do nothing. You don't go all out with your missiles either because you simply can't afford to: use as many as you budget for and then wait until you can afford more- which means you have to be careful with what you have.

Believe me, war is one of the things I've studied into quite a lot over the years. Not fancy campaigns in WW2 either, but weapon technology in general- fashions in it and where it's headed, the purpose, progress and history of recent conflicts, the actual monetary costs involved.
 
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TnTComic at 11:30AM, Dec. 9, 2007
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We're never going to agree. That makes me sad.
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ozoneocean at 11:59AM, Dec. 9, 2007
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We do agree on some things, but when it comes to war…

I suppose this the root of it: Better weapons don't win wars.
It's how you use everything you have- man power, what you can afford, your supply lines, counter strategies, propaganda, spys, planed strikes, all the sorts of specialised weapons systems in all their specialised roles…

-Satellites are actually the greatest weapon that the US possesses, better than the most powerful nuclear ICBM, the largest aircraft carrier, the most undetectable bomber, the most agile attack helicopter. That network is gold. It's the biggest advantage over Iran, that's for sure. But even that has its limits.
 
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CharleyHorse at 1:05PM, Dec. 9, 2007
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bobhhh, the problem is that most everybody is essentially in agreement here. Even TnTComic and ozoneocean are in the general neighborhood of agreement in that they are merely arguing over viable methodologies.

Yes, it can be done. Yes, doing so would be utterly stupid for our nation, and thereafter the U.S. would inevitably reap the terrible consequences resulting in again engaging in an unnecessary war of aggression.

You'd think then that the final answer-set would be a slam dunk, that we could all relax in agreement that not even this cowboy-diplomacy-addicted administration would ever order such a strike by aircraft before the twins of evil and doom together leave office. But then we are dealing with Bush/Cheney here - and their still unknown inner circle of big business cronies - and so we cannot rely on common sense alone.

Yes, attacking Iran would create terrible repercussions for the United States, but since when has Bush/Cheney apparently given anything but lip service in concrete terms about the future welfare of our nation? On the contrary, it has in fact been clear to most people – outside the chronically gullible or the far rightists in the United States – that since Bush/Cheney DELIBERATELY botched the Iraq occupation phase, whatever Bush/Cheney believe in and care about, the future welfare of this nation IS NOT particularly high on their priority list, if on that list at all.

So we are reduced to waiting and watching and hoping for the best.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
bobhhh at 1:34PM, Dec. 9, 2007
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Please just call me Bob.

I see where you are coming from but arguing the methodology of something ill advised is a bit pointless to me.

Whether its boots or missiles, we don't belong there.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
CharleyHorse at 1:58PM, Dec. 9, 2007
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Sure Bob, but then when most people are in essential agreement regarding the basic question of Should we invade Iran then the thread is going to shut down after only a few replies unless people digress into arguing methodology regarding the ill-advised.

Frankly I am surprised that no one seemed inclined to argue that the United States should attack Iran. Well . . . perhaps someone did do so, and I just missed it. I'll go back and re-read the whole thread.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
TnTComic at 2:07PM, Dec. 9, 2007
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ozoneocean
We do agree on some things, but when it comes to war…

I suppose this the root of it: Better weapons don't win wars.

When you've got a bunch of old migs and soviet ground equipment against some Abrams and B-1's, you're not going to win.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
ozoneocean at 2:13PM, Dec. 9, 2007
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So why do they want to invade then?

Israel always pushes for it… For obvious reasons, and the pro Israel lobbyists in the US also push for it, some for idealogical religious ideas: Some Fundamentalists Christians have some strange beliefs. But that's only a background factor. Control of the massive energy resources is important to the advocates for invasion (NOT cheap oil: control of the resource). The other thing is simple political control, completing what they started in Iraq; control of Iraq and Iran means there'd be a huge block of influence in the middle east.

That means total regional strategic control if a very valuable corner of the world. Can you imagine the power that could be exercised through that kind of control? That wouldn't be by sufferance or some tenuous temporary arrangement either the way it is now. Taking Iran removes your only credible threat for thousands of kilometres, removes the need for supply lines, hands you dominance over the Middle East and Europe, and give you a huge leg up on the Russian Federation and China.

Really, Iran for the Rightwing pro-war strategists is a glittering prize… If the world was a game of chess, getting Iran would be like advancing a pawn to the other side of the board: you get another queen and multiply your power.
 
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TnTComic at 2:30PM, Dec. 9, 2007
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ozoneocean
The other thing is simple political control, completing what they started in Iraq; control of Iraq and Iran means there'd be a huge block of influence in the middle east.

Which is only important because there's oil there.

Honestly, I used to dismiss the claims that the war is all about oil… but think about it, why do we care about the middle east? Do we care about Africa?

If you don't believe it, just watch how much we care about them when we don't need their oil.
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ozoneocean at 3:12PM, Dec. 9, 2007
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Exactly.

What people don't tend to get though is what that actually means. They think:
Oil= for my car.
Or:
Oil= big profits for petroleum companies.

No, those are only a small part. The biggest part is control of a large portion of a valuable and finite resource, one of the most valuable resources there is; easily usable, readily available, safely exploitable energy.

Not only do you need that to power your country, everyone else also needs it to power theirs as well. If you control more of it, that increases your power over everyone else because you have privileged access. It also reduces the power of others who have been relying on you as a market for their energy: that'd be Saudi Arabia.

The complimentary factors are regional and geographic… There are very important trade routes into Europe-the Suez, the Med… with China now using Africa as its supply source for raw materials, it helps a lot to have a strong position in the north of the continent. But it's also another great counter to the Russian Federation; not only a strategic location for bases and supply, but a counter to their resurgence that's mainly powered by energy supply to Europe.
 
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TnTComic at 3:33PM, Dec. 9, 2007
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If there's only one mine on the map, the orcs and humans are gonna fight.
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ozoneocean at 4:34PM, Dec. 9, 2007
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lol! That is a F***ing brilliant analogy! :)
 
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TitanOne at 9:15PM, Dec. 9, 2007
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ozoneocean
I suppose this the root of it: Better weapons don't win wars.

Well said! Stone Age weapons still kill; computerized weapons can still fail.

Most importantly, consider this: blowing things up with conventional munitions does not control a country. Decimation is not conquest, and high-tech bombing is not a stand alone strategy. It has always been easier to destroy than to control. With terrorists, even a marginally effective strategy would require “people control”.

Of course I don't buy into the whole “military invasion to stop terror” theory anyway, but if you're going to embrace the idea, the starting point is military control of people on the ground. This is not a cakewalk, as Iraq has proven. (Not to mention Vietnam.)
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TnTComic at 5:33AM, Dec. 10, 2007
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TitanOne
ozoneocean
I suppose this the root of it: Better weapons don't win wars.

Well said! Stone Age weapons still kill; computerized weapons can still fail.

Right. I'll give you 10,000 soldiers armed with Stone Age weapons vs. 1 guy in an Apache, and we'll see how it goes.
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ozoneocean at 6:14AM, Dec. 10, 2007
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Actually, the stone axes could probably still win ;)

An Apache is a complex weapons system; it needs massive backup and servicing, it's amazingly expensive in ammunition, fuel, maintenance time, replacement parts, money generally, and man hours all round.

Without constant, extensive, expert backup you've got a lump and scrap. Not to mention the training time just for the pilot or the gunner alone.

But you can't really make direct comparisons like this. All joking aside, in war it's about know exactly how best to use what you have. Which is one of the reason the rebel forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechneya still do so well VS the best armed nations in the world: Simple home made bombs, basic RPGs, assault rifles and machine-guns against everything.
 
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TnTComic at 6:55AM, Dec. 10, 2007
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You try to win the argument by saying the apache doesn't even work? Man, that's not fair. You're it! No tag-backs!
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ozoneocean at 7:19AM, Dec. 10, 2007
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:)

Naw, it's just that despite appearances, it's not a one (or two) man weapon system.

Given the support infrastructure, it's a monster, but without that, it's a museum piece.

Ha, I remember there was this film… The Philadelphia experiment? Where this US aircraft carrier goes back in time to WW2. And the crew on it reckon they have enough firepower onboard and an advanced enough weapon system in the carrier itself to win the war in a day.

Well, an aircraft carrier is effective, it's a floating airbase! But without constant support and an extensive supply network it'd die very quickly. Transport it back in time and it just wouldn't last… But that's another silly example.

Hey, I know another one: People's idea that a terrorist group could get it's hands on a nuclear bomb and hold the world to ransom. They just did't understand the kind of thing that goes into the acquiring, or building, and delivery of such a device; It's so very easy to track that much nuclear material, because we know where all the amounts that you'd need for such a weapon are located, let alone the detectable radiation they give off if you managed to get some from an old missile in Kazakhstan and tried and transport it…. And production is so complicated and expensive that it's out of the question.

Oh man… this has just gotten way off track. :(

Anybody think that taking Iran would be a good idea for the US? Given the potential strategic advantages….? Especially weighed up against the likely diplomatic backlash, the cost in lives and US Tax dollars, the cost to the US economy and the inevitable resulting weakness of the US military due to the need for weapon replacement, purchace of new systems having to be put on hold again and the inevitable fall in recruitment and reinlistmet… Would that strategic advantage even be worth it?
 
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mapaghimagsik at 10:09AM, Dec. 10, 2007
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Two words for those that seem to think we can do it all with air power:

Shock and Awe.

That sure worked swell, didn't it?
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ozoneocean at 10:28AM, Dec. 10, 2007
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Any suggestions of further invasions are interesting when you consider the major operations still happening in Afghanistan even after all this time.

Reminds me so much of the trouble the Soviets had, looks like the US/British adventure has been almost identical, except despite all their resources they're actually doing worse than the Soviets; because unlike the Soviets, their foe isn't being helped every step of the way by another superpower.
 
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TnTComic at 10:58AM, Dec. 10, 2007
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mapaghimagsik
Two words for those that seem to think we can do it all with air power

Has anyone said that?
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horseboy at 11:13AM, Dec. 10, 2007
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Weird theory I just heard. Basically the report was hokum. Since everybody in the region knows it, it's America trying to put pressure on Saudi Arabia, Israel and much of the rest of the region to fall in line or they'll “let” Iran actually build a nuke. Not sure if I believe this one or not.
There is no such word as “alot”. “A lot” is two words.
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Never seek for happiness, it will merely allude the seeker. Never strive for knowledge, it is beyond man's scope. Never think, for in though lies all the ills of mankind. The wise man, like the rat, the crocodile, the fly, merely fulfills his natural function.
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mapaghimagsik at 11:15AM, Dec. 10, 2007
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TnTComic
mapaghimagsik
Two words for those that seem to think we can do it all with air power

Has anyone said that?

The esteemed and highly venerated CharleyHorse
I absolutely agree with you in this TnTComic. We - meaning the rogue Bush regime - could ‘take’ Iran with relative ease if we were willing to do it via air power alone. We could easily reduce the nation of Iran to smoking rubble in a matter of days or - at most - a couple of months worth of saturation bombing.

Gosh TnT, I guess not.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
mapaghimagsik at 11:18AM, Dec. 10, 2007
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ozoneocean
Any suggestions of further invasions are interesting when you consider the major operations still happening in Afghanistan even after all this time.

Reminds me so much of the trouble the Soviets had, looks like the US/British adventure has been almost identical, except despite all their resources they're actually doing worse than the Soviets; because unlike the Soviets, their foe isn't being helped every step of the way by another superpower.

No, the foe is being helped by the superpower engaging another foe at the same time. The US has never committed an adequate level of ground troops in Afghanistan.
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TnTComic at 11:29AM, Dec. 10, 2007
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mapaghimagsik
TnTComic
mapaghimagsik
Two words for those that seem to think we can do it all with air power

Has anyone said that?

Gosh TnT, I guess not.

No need to get snitty, I was just asking.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM

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