The Questioning – Last Regular Edition

Originally posted by Idiosynchronic on 09/22/06

This will be the last daily Questioning – next week the Questioning will go to a weekly format.  I’ll still be jabbering daily though.

What’s a Redline Event and Will It Be Justification?

I think it goes without saying that the consensus opinion is that an attack on Iran will take place in the next 7 weeks.  Military analysts in the private sector have pointed to a shift of forces in the Gulf.  Reporters have noted orders sending additional Navy assets to the region.  Talk from the White House isn’t backing off, but on a slow ratcheting spiral upwards toward confrontation.


Photo from from Peter at MonsoonPoint,
and used under the CreativeCommons license.
 

We know what the public justification for an attack on Iran is – Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.  There are also a number of private justifications that have been speculated about, like the oil Bourse, affecting turnout and mood in the U.S. election, American hegemony, etc.  We could debate this part until the camels come home but we won’t have access to all the records until even Jenna is dust – or maybe never considering how much the Administration keeps its secrets.  Historians after us will have to delve those depths.

A comment at the Orange from BlueWolverine made me jump though:

. . all the military analysis I’ve read indicates that Iran has a fair number of cruise missiles salted away in a fairly wide-ranging tunnel/cave system along their coast.

These papers also imply that Iran’s stock of missiles is fairly effective vs. current defensive systems. It seems like they could release a sufficient quantity of munitions to damage, possibly even sink a carrier.

My recollection is fuzzy, but isn’t sinking a carrier one of our redlines for nuclear release?

We know this administration has a public hard-on (sorry about the image, but their enthusiasm for it lacks a better descriptor) for dropping a nuclear weapon or several.  Much of the Iranian nuclear program has been hidden away in deep underground bunkers – and that’s been confirmed by Iranians who are understandably paranoid about U.S. or Israeli bombing.  It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.  And this Administration has been pushing micro-sized nuclear weapons, sometimes referred to as tactical nukes, since it came into office.  The ‘nuclear bunker-buster’ is the most publicized project, but other tactical nukes are assuredly in development.

Is the attack provocative as well preemptory towards Iran’s nuclear program?  Will the attack be a joint air bombing campaign and port blockade in the Persian Gulf?  Is it likely that political planners within the White House are gambling that nuclear weapons could be justified if the Iranians use their arsenal of land-to-sea missles and destroy one or several Navy ships resulting in thousands of dead sailors?  Does the U.S. have a defined set of Redline events for which nuclear weapons are suggested as retaliatory measure?

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