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Iran, it's enough to ruin your decade
January 27, 2012 - Stephen Browne
My father, Captain U.S. Navy (retired) just sent me a program for a seminar held on January 12 with retired four-star general Barry McCaffrey for NBC executives and producers entitled, "Iran, Nukes, and Oil: The Gulf Confrontation." McCaffrey now has his own consulting firm and I gather these broadcast executives wanted to consult with him about The Next Big Story in the Middle East, which it doesn't take a crystal ball to see is probably Iran. Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow place in the Persian Gulf. The strait is 20 miles wide, but because the Gulf is pretty shallow, it has two usable sea lanes for deep water vessels, each a mile wide. A huge amount of Europe, Japan, and China's oil goes through there. McCaffrey provides a lot of figures about Iranian, Israeli, and U.S. military capabilities which I won't bore you with. Bottom line: Iran can close the strait. But the U.S. can destroy Iran's military capability and nuclear facilities with a six-month campaign. BUT the Iranians will most likely have nukes within 36 months. Add to this, the Iranian leadership is just crazy enough to close the strait and use the nukes when they get them and nobody seems ready to stop them except Israel. Israel does not have the capability of destroying Iran's nuclear facilities - except with a pre-emptive nuclear strike. The U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier to the Gulf as a show of strength. In the narrow, shallow confines of the Gulf, the technical military term for the carrier's situation is "sitting duck." Iranian shore batteries, mines, air and naval forces can send it and 5,000 plus sailors to the bottom. Which while not very deep is still deep enough to cover the carrier. (By the way, anybody know what Navy people call carriers? "Bomb magnets.") McCaffrey's conclusion, "There is a significant chance of Iranian miscalculation resulting in major military confrontation in the Gulf within the next 12 months." It's enough to ruin your decade.
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