Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

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Written by Prof Michel Chossudovsky; Originally appeared at Global Research

The Trump administration is threatening Iran.

Under the Trump administration, a US Attack on Iran is currently contemplated with the support of Israel and Saudi Arabia. The US design is to incite its Middle East allies “to threaten Iran on behalf of Washington”.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani’s message to Donald Trump: 

“Mr. Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail, this would only lead to regret. America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

Visibly Trump misunderstood the concepts underlying Rouhani’s message. This is Trump’s response on his Tweeter account:

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

What is the historical background?

War with Iran has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than 20 years going back to the Clinton administration.

The article below published in 2010 focussed on the role of Israel in triggering war with Iran.

According to (former) NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, the Pentagon’s military road-map consisted of a sequence of countries: “[The] Five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.”

At the outset of Bush’s second term, (former) Vice President Dick Cheney hinted, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was “right at the top of the list” of the “rogue enemies” of America, and that Israel would, so to speak, “be doing the bombing for us”, without US military involvement and without us putting pressure on them “to do it” (See Michel Chossudovsky, Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran, Global Research, May 1, 2005).

According to Cheney:

“One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked… Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards,” (Dick Cheney, quoted from an MSNBC Interview, January 2005)

This article written in 2010 provides a historical overview as well as an analysis of the (tactical) nuclear weapons arsenal contemplated by the US.

Michel Chossudovsky, July 30, 2018

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For further details: see Michel Chossudovsky, Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War available in hardcover or pdf from Global Research.

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The stockpiling and deployment of advanced weapons systems directed against Iran started in the immediate wake of the 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq. From the outset, these war plans were led by the US, in liaison with NATO and Israel.

Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration identified Iran and Syria as the next stage of “the road map to war”. US military sources intimated that an aerial attack on Iran could involve a large scale deployment comparable to the US “shock and awe” bombing raids on Iraq in March 2003:

“American air strikes on Iran would vastly exceed the scope of the 1981 Israeli attack on the Osiraq nuclear center in Iraq, and would more resemble the opening days of the 2003 air campaign against Iraq.(See Globalsecurity)

“Theater Iran Near Term” (TIRANNT)

Code named by US military planners as TIRANNT, “Theater Iran Near Term”, simulations of an attack on Iran were initiated in May 2003 “when modelers and intelligence specialists pulled together the data needed for theater-level (meaning large-scale) scenario analysis for Iran.” ( (William Arkin, Washington Post, 16 April 2006).

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

The scenarios identified several thousand targets inside Iran as part of a “Shock and Awe” Blitzkrieg:

“The analysis, called TIRANNT, for “Theater Iran Near Term,” was coupled with a mock scenario for a Marine Corps invasion and a simulation of the Iranian missile force. U.S. and British planners conducted a Caspian Sea war game around the same time. And Bush directed the U.S. Strategic Command to draw up a global strike war plan for an attack against Iranian weapons of mass destruction. All of this will ultimately feed into a new war plan for “major combat operations” against Iran that military sources confirm now [April 2006] exists in draft form.

… Under TIRANNT, Army and U.S. Central Command planners have been examining both near-term and out-year scenarios for war with Iran, including all aspects of a major combat operation, from mobilization and deployment of forces through postwar stability operations after regime change.” (William Arkin, Washington Post, 16 April 2006)

Different “theater scenarios” for an all out attack on Iran had been contemplated:  “The US army, navy, air force and marines have all prepared battle plans and spent four years building bases and training for “Operation Iranian Freedom”. Admiral Fallon, the new head of US Central Command, has inherited computerized plans under the name TIRANNT (Theatre Iran Near Term).” (New Statesman, February 19, 2007)

In 2004, drawing upon the initial war scenarios under TIRANNT,  Vice President Dick Cheney instructed USSTRATCOM to draw up a “contingency plan” of a large scale military operation directed against Iran “to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States” on the presumption that the government in Tehran would be behind the terrorist plot. The plan included the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state:

“The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing—that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack—but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.” (Philip Giraldi, Deep Background,The American Conservative  August 2005)

The Military Road Map: “First Iraq, then Iran”

The decision to target Iran under TIRANNT was part of the broader process of military planning and sequencing of military operations. Already under the Clinton administration, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) had formulated  “in war theater plans” to invade first Iraq and then Iran. Access to Middle East oil was the stated strategic objective:

“The broad national security interests and objectives expressed in the President’s National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Chairman’s National Military Strategy (NMS) form the foundation of the United States Central Command’s theater strategy. The NSS directs implementation of a strategy of dual containment of the rogue states of Iraq and Iran as long as those states pose a threat to U.S. interests, to other states in the region, and to their own citizens. Dual containment is designed to maintain the balance of power in the region without depending on either Iraq or Iran. USCENTCOM’s theater strategy is interest-based and threat-focused. The purpose of U.S. engagement, as espoused in the NSS, is to protect the United States’ vital interest in the region – uninterrupted, secure U.S./Allied access to Gulf oil.”

(USCENTCOM, http://www.milnet.com/milnet/pentagon/centcom/chap1/stratgic.htm#USPolicy, link no longer active,

archived at http://tinyurl.com/37gafu9)

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

The war on Iran was viewed as part of a succession of military operations.  According to (former) NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, the Pentagon’s military road-map consisted of a sequence of countries: “[The] Five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.”  In “Winning Modern Wars” (page 130) General Clark states the following:

“As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan. (See Secret 2001 Pentagon Plan to Attack Lebanon, Global Research, July 23, 2006)

The Role of Israel

There has been much debate regarding the role of Israel in initiating an attack against Iran.

Israel is part of a military alliance. Tel Aviv is not a prime mover. It does not have a separate and distinct military agenda.

Israel is integrated into the “war plan for major combat operations” against Iran formulated in 2006 by US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). In the context of large scale military operations, an uncoordinated unilateral military action by one coalition partner, namely Israel, is from a military and strategic point almost an impossibility. Israel is a de facto member of NATO. Any action by Israel would require a “green light” from Washington.

An attack by Israel could, however, be used as “the trigger mechanism” which would unleash an all out war against Iran, as well retaliation by Iran directed against Israel.

In this regard, there are indications that Washington might envisage the option of an initial (US backed) attack by Israel  rather than an outright US-led military operation directed against Iran. The Israeli attack –although led in close liaison with the Pentagon and NATO– would be presented to public opinion as a unilateral decision by Tel Aviv. It would then be used by Washington to justify, in the eyes of World opinion, a military intervention of the US and NATO with a view to “defending Israel”, rather than attacking Iran. Under existing military cooperation agreements, both the US and NATO would be “obligated” to “defend Israel” against Iran and Syria.

It is worth noting, in this regard, that at the outset of Bush’s second term, (former) Vice President Dick Cheney hinted, in no uncertain terms, that Iran was “right at the top of the list” of the “rogue enemies” of America, and that Israel would, so to speak, “be doing the bombing for us”, without US military involvement and without us putting pressure on them “to do it” (See Michel Chossudovsky, Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran, Global Research, May 1, 2005): According to Cheney:

“One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked… Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards,” (Dick Cheney, quoted from an MSNBC Interview, January 2005)

Commenting the Vice President’s assertion, former National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in an interview on PBS, confirmed with some apprehension, yes: Cheney wants Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to act on America’s behalf and “do it” for us:

“Iran I think is more ambiguous. And there the issue is certainly not tyranny; it’s nuclear weapons. And the vice president today in a kind of a strange parallel statement to this declaration of freedom hinted that the Israelis may do it and in fact used language which sounds like a justification or even an encouragement for the Israelis to do it.”

What we are dealing with is a joint US-NATO-Israel  military operation to bomb Iran, which has been in the active planning stage since 2004. Officials in the Defense Department, under Bush and Obama, have been working assiduously with their Israeli military and intelligence counterparts, carefully identifying targets inside Iran. In practical military terms, any action by Israel would have to be planned and coordinated at the highest levels of the US led coalition.

An attack by Israel would also require coordinated US-NATO logistical support, particularly with regard to Israel’s air defense system, which since January 2009 is fully integrated into that of the US and NATO. (See Michel Chossudovsky,  Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?  Global Research, January 11,2009)

Israel’s X band radar system established in early 2009 with US technical support has “integrate[d] Israel’s missile defenses with the

U.S. global missile [Space-based] detection network, which includes satellites, Aegis ships on the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and land-based Patriot radars and interceptors.” (Defense Talk.com, January 6, 2009,)

What this means is that Washington ultimately calls the shots. The US rather than Israel controls the air defense system: ”’This is and will remain a U.S. radar system,’ Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. ‘So this is not something we are giving or selling to the Israelis and it is something that will likely require U.S. personnel on-site to operate.’” (Quoted in Israel National News, January 9, 2009).

The US military oversees Israel’s Air Defense system, which is integrated into the Pentagon’s

global system. In other words, Israel cannot launch a war against Iran without Washington’s consent. Hence the importance of the so-called “Green Light” legislation in the US Congress sponsored by the Republican party under House Resolution 1553, which explicitly supports an Israeli attakc on Iran:

“The measure, introduced by Texas Republican Louie Gohmert and 46 of his colleagues, endorses Israel’s use of “all means necessary” against Iran “including the use of military force.” … “We’ve got to get this done. We need to show our support for Israel. We need to quit playing games with this critical ally in such a difficult area.”’ (See Webster Tarpley, Fidel Castro Warns of Imminent Nuclear War; Admiral Mullen Threatens Iran; US-Israel Vs. Iran-Hezbollah Confrontation Builds On, Global Research, August 10, 2010)

In practice, the proposed legislation is a “Green Light” to the White House and the Pentagon rather than to Israel. It constitutes a rubber stamp to a US sponsored war on Iran which uses Israel as a convenient military launch pad. It also serves as a justification to wage war with a view to defending Israel.

In this context, Israel could indeed provide the pretext to wage war, in response to alleged Hamas or Hezbollah attacks and/or the triggering of hostilities on the border of Israel with Lebanon. What is crucial to understand is that a minor “incident” could be used as a pretext to spark off a major military operation against Iran.

Known to US military planners, Israel (rather than the USA) would be the first target of military retaliation by Iran. Broadly speaking, Israelis would be the victims of the machinations of both Washington and their own government. It is, in this regard, absolutely crucial that Israelis forcefully oppose any action by the Netanyahu government to attack Iran.

Global Warfare: The Role of US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM)

Global military operations are coordinated out of US Strategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM) at the Offutt Air Force base in Nebraska, in liaison with the regional commands of the unified combatant commands (e.g.. US Central Command  in Florida, which is responsible for the Middle East-Central Asian region, See map below)  as well as coalition command units in Israel, Turkey, the Persian Gulf and the Diego Garcia military base in the Indian Ocean.  Military planning and decision making at a country level by individual allies of US-NATO as well as “partner nations” is integrated into a global military design including the weaponization of space.

Under its new mandate, USSTRATCOM has a responsibility for “overseeing a global strike plan” consisting of both conventional and nuclear weapons. In military jargon, it is slated to play the role of “a global integrator charged with the missions of Space Operations; Information Operations; Integrated Missile Defense; Global Command & Control; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Global Strike; and Strategic Deterrence…. ”

USSTRATCOM’s responsibilities include: “leading, planning, & executing strategic deterrence operations” at a global level, “synchronizing global missile defense plans and operations”, “synchronizing regional combat plans”, etc. USSTRATCOM is the lead agency in the coordination of modern warfare.

In January 2005, at the outset of the military deployment and build-up directed against Iran, USSTRATCOM was identified as “the lead Combatant Command for integration and synchronization of DoD-wide efforts in combating weapons of mass destruction.” (Michel Chossudovsky, Nuclear War against Iran, Global Research, January 3, 2006).

What this means is that the coordination of a large scale attack on Iran, including the various scenarios of escalation in and beyond the broader Middle East Central Asian region would be coordinated by USSTRATCOM.

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

Map: US Central Command’s Area of Jurisdiction

Tactical Nuclear Weapons directed against Iran

Confirmed by military documents as well as official statements, both the US and Israel contemplate the use of nuclear weapons directed against Iran. In 2006, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) announced it had achieved an operational capability for rapidly striking targets around the globe using nuclear or conventional weapons. This announcement was made after the conduct of military simulations pertaining to a US led nuclear attack against a fictional country. (David Ruppe, Preemptive Nuclear War in a State of Readiness: U.S. Command Declares Global Strike Capability, Global Security Newswire, December 2, 2005)

Continuity in relation to the Bush-Cheney era:  President Obama has largely endorsed the doctrine of pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons formulated by the previous administration. Under the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the Obama administration confirmed  “that it is reserving the right to use nuclear weapons against Iran” for its non-compliance with US demands regarding its alleged (nonexistent) nuclear weapons program. (U.S. Nuclear Option on Iran Linked to Israeli Attack Threat – IPS ipsnews.net, April 23, 2010). The Obama administration has also intimated that it would use nukes in the case of an Iranian response to an Israeli attack on Iran. (Ibid). Israel  has also drawn up its own “secret plans” to bomb Iran with tactical nuclear weapons:

“Israeli military commanders believe conventional strikes may no longer be enough to annihilate increasingly well-defended enrichment facilities. Several have been built beneath at least 70ft of concrete and rock. However, the nuclear-tipped bunker-busters would be used only if a conventional attack was ruled out and if the United States declined to intervene, senior sources said.”(Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran – Times Online, January 7, 2007)

Obama’s statements on the use of nuclear weapons against Iran and North Korea are consistent with post 9/11 US nuclear weapons doctrine, which allows for the use of tactical nuclear weapons in the conventional war theater.

Through a propaganda campaign which has enlisted the support of “authoritative” nuclear scientists, mini-nukes are upheld as an instrument of peace, namely a means to combating “Islamic terrorism” and instating Western style “democracy” in Iran. The low-yield nukes have been cleared for “battlefield use”. They are slated to be used against Iran and Syria in the next stage of America’s “war on Terrorism” alongside conventional weapons.

“Administration officials argue that low-yield nuclear weapons are needed as a credible deterrent against rogue states. [Iran, Syria, North Korea] Their logic is that existing nuclear weapons are too destructive to be used except in a full-scale nuclear war. Potential enemies realize this, thus they do not consider the threat of nuclear retaliation to be credible. However, low-yield nuclear weapons are less destructive, thus might conceivably be used. That would make them more effective as a deterrent.” (Opponents Surprised By Elimination of Nuke Research Funds Defense News November 29, 2004)

The preferred nuclear weapon to be used against Iran are tactical nuclear weapons (Made in America), namely bunker buster bombs with nuclear warheads (e.g. B61.11), with an explosive capacity between one third to six times a Hiroshima bomb. The B61-11 is the “nuclear version” of the “conventional”  BLU 113. or Guided Bomb Unit GBU-28. It can be delivered in much same way as the conventional bunker buster bomb. (See Michel Chossudovsky, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO112C.html, see also http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=jf03norris) . While the US does not contemplate the use of strategic thermonuclear weapons against Iran, Israel’s nuclear arsenal is largely composed of thermonuclear bombs which are deployed and could be used in a war with Iran. Under Israel’s Jericho‐III missile system with a range between 4,800 km to 6,500 km, all Iran wsualties with a view to instilling fear and despair.ould be within reach.

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

Conventional bunker buster Guided Bomb Unit GBU-27

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

B61 bunker buster bomb

Radiactive Fallout

The issue of radioactive fallout and contamination, while casually dismissed  by US-NATO military analysts, would be devastating, potentially affecting a large area of  the broader Middle East (including Israel) and Central Asian region.

In an utterly twisted logic, nuclear weapons are presented as a means to building peace and preventing “collateral damage”.  Iran’s nonexistent nuclear weapons are a threat to global security, whereas those of the US  and Israel are instruments of peace” harmless to the surrounding civilian population“.

“The Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) Slated to be Used against Iran

Of military significance within the US conventional weapons arsenal is the 21,500-pound “monster weapon” nicknamed the “mother of all bombs” The GBU-43/B or Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) was categorized “as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed” with the the largest yield in the US conventional arsenal. The MOAB was tested in early March 2003 before being deployed to the Iraq war theater. According to US military sources, The Joint Chiefs of Staff  had advised the government of  Saddam Hussein prior to launching the 2003 that the “mother of all bombs” was to be used against Iraq. (There were unconfirmed reports that it had been used in Iraq).

The US Department of Defence has confirmed in October 2009 that it intends to use the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) against Iran. The MOAB is said to be  “ideally suited to hit deeply buried nuclear facilities such as Natanz or Qom in Iran” (Jonathan Karl, Is the U.S. Preparing to Bomb Iran? ABC News, October 9, 2009). The truth of the matter is that the MOAB, given its explosive capacity, would result in extremely large civilian casualties. It is a conventional “killing machine” with a nuclear type mushroom cloud.

The procurement of four MOABs was commissioned in October 2009 at the hefty cost of $58.4 million, ($14.6 million for each bomb). This amount  includes the costs of development and testing as well as integration of the MOAB bombs onto B-2 stealth bombers.(Ibid). This procurement is directly linked to war preparations in relation to Iran. The notification was contained in a 93-page “reprogramming memo” which included the following instructions:

“The Department has an Urgent Operational Need (UON) for the capability to strike hard and deeply buried targets in high threat environments. The MOP [Mother of All Bombs] is the weapon of choice to meet the requirements of the UON [Urgent Operational Need].” It further states that the request is endorsed by Pacific Command (which has responsibility over North Korea) and Central Command (which has responsibility over Iran).” (ABC News,  op cit, emphasis added). To consult the reprogramming request (pdf) click here

The Pentagon is planning on a process of extensive destruction of Iran’s infrastructure and mass civilian casualties through the combined use of tactical nukes and monster conventional mushroom cloud bombs, including the MOAB and the larger GBU-57A/B or Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), which surpasses the MOAB in terms of explosive capacity.

The MOP is described as “a powerful new bomb aimed squarely at the underground nuclear facilities of Iran and North Korea. The gargantuan bomb—longer than 11 persons standing shoulder-to-shoulder [see image below] or more than 20 feet base to nose” (See Edwin Black, “Super Bunker-Buster Bombs Fast-Tracked for Possible Use Against Iran and North Korea Nuclear Programs”, Cutting Edge, September 21 2009)

These are WMDs in the true sense of the word. The not so hidden objective of the MOAB and MOP, including the American nickname used to casually describe the MOAB (“mother of all bombs’), is “mass destruction” and mass civilian casualties with a view to instilling fear and despair.

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

“Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB)

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

GBU-57A/B Mass Ordnance Penetrator (MOP)

State of the Art Weaponry: “War Made Possible Through New Technologies”

The process of US military decision making in relation to Iran is supported by Star Wars, the militarization of outer space and the revolution in communications and information systems. Given the advances in military technology and the development of new weapons systems, an attack on Iran could be significantly different in terms of the mix of weapons systems, when compared to the March 2003 Blitzkrieg launched against Iraq. The Iran operation is slated to use the most advanced weapons systems in support of its aerial attacks. In all likelihood, new weapons systems will be tested.

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

MOAB: screen shots of test: explosion and mushroom cloud

The 2000 Project of the New American Century (PNAC) document entitledRebuilding American Defenses, outlined the mandate of the US military in terms of large scale theater wars, to be waged simultaneously in different regions of the World:

“Fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars”. 

This formulation is tantamount to a global war of conquest by a single imperial superpower. The PNAC document also called for the transformation of  U.S. forces to exploit the “revolution in military affairs”, namely the implementation of  “war made possible through new technologies”. (See Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding Americas Defenses  Washington DC, September 2000, pdf).  The latter consists in developing and perfecting a state of the art global killing machine based on an arsenal of sophisticated new weaponry, which would eventually replace the existing paradigms.

“Thus, it can be foreseen that the process of transformation will in fact be a two-stage process: first of transition, then of more thoroughgoing transformationThe breakpoint will come when a preponderance of new weapons systems begins to enter service, perhaps when, for example, unmanned aerial vehicles begin to be as numerous as manned aircraft. In this regard, the Pentagon should be very wary of making large investments in new programs – tanks, planes, aircraft carriers, for example – that would commit U.S. forces to current paradigms of warfare for many decades to come. (Ibid, emphasis added)

The war on Iran could indeed mark this crucial breakpoint, with new space-based weapons systems being applied with a view to disabling an enemy which has significant conventional military capabilities including more than half a million ground forces.

Electromagnetic Weapons

Electromagnetic weapons could be used to destabilize Iran’s communications systems, disable electric power generation, undermine and destabilize command and control, government infrastructure, transportation, energy, etc.  Within the same family of weapons, environmental modifications techniques (ENMOD) (weather warfare) developed under the HAARP programme could also be applied. (See Michel Chossudovsky, “Owning the Weather” for Military Use, Global Research, September 27, 2004). These weapons systems are fully operational. In this context, te US Air Force document AF 2025 explicitly acknowledgedthe military applications of weather modification technologies:

“Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog, and storms on earth or to modify space weather, improve communications through ionospheric modification (the use of ionospheric mirrors), and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of technologies which can provide substantial increase in US, or degraded capability in an adversary, to achieve global awareness, reach, and power.” (Air Force 2025 Final Report, See also US Air Force: Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025AF2025 v3c15-1 | Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning… | (Ch 1) at www.fas.org).

Electromagnetic radiation enabling “remote health impairment” might also be envisaged in the war theater. (See Mojmir Babacek, Electromagnetic and Informational Weapons:, Global Research, August 6, 2004). In turn, new uses of biological weapons by the US military might also be envisaged as suggested by the PNAC: “[A]dvanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.” (PNAC, op cit., p. 60).

Iran’s Military Capabilities: Medium and Long Range Missiles

Iran has advanced military capabilities, including medium and long range missiles capable of reaching targets in Israel and the Gulf States. Hence the emphasis by the US-NATO Israel alliance on the use of nuclear weapons, which are slated to be used either pr-emptively or in response to an Iranian retaliatory missile attack.

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

Range of Iran’s Shahab Missiles. Copyright Washington Post

In November 2006, Iran tests of surface missiles 2 were marked by precise planning in a carefully staged operation. According to a senior American missile expert (quoted by Debka),  “the Iranians demonstrated up-to-date missile-launching technology which the West had not known them to possess.” (See Michel Chossudovsky, Iran’s “Power of Deterrence”  Global Research, November 5, 2006) Israel acknowledged that “the Shehab-3, whose 2,000-km range brings Israel, the Middle East and Europe within reach” (Debka, November 5, 2006)

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran? Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

According to Uzi Rubin, former head of Israel’s anti-ballistic missile program, “the intensity of the military exercise was unprecedented… It was meant to make an impression — and it made an impression.” (www.cnsnews.com 3 November 2006)

The 2006 exercises, while  creating a political stir in the US and Israel, did not in any way modify US-NATO-Israeli resolve to wage on Iran.

Tehran has confirmed in several statements that it will respond if it is attacked. Israel would be the immediate object of Iranian missile attacks as confirmed by the Iranian government. The issue of Israel’s air defense system is therefore crucial. US and allied military facilities in the Gulf states, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iraq could also be targeted by Iran.

Iran’s Ground Forces

While Iran is encircled by US and allied military bases, the Islamic Republic has significant military capabilities. (See maps below) What is important to acknowledge is the sheer size of Iranian forces in terms of personnel (army, navy, air force) when compared to US and NATO forces serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Confronted with a well organized insurgency, coalition forces are already overstretched in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Would these forces be able to cope if Iranian ground forces were to enter the existing battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan? The potential of the Resistance movement to US and allied occupation would inevitably be affected.

Iranian ground forces are of the order of 700,000 of which 130,000 are professional soldiers, 220,000 are conscripts and 350,000 are reservists. (See  Islamic Republic of Iran Army – Wikipedia). There are 18,000 personnel in Iran’s Navy and 52,000 in the air force. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, “the Revolutionary Guards has an estimated 125,000 personnel in five branches: Its own Navy, Air Force, and Ground Forces; and the Quds Force (Special Forces).” According to the CISS, Iran’s Basij paramilitary volunteer force controlled by the Revolutionary Guards “has an estimated 90,000 active-duty full-time uniformed members, 300,000 reservists, and a total of 11 million men that can be mobilized if need be” (Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran – Wikipedia), In other words, Iran can mobilize up to half a million regular troops and several million militia. Its Quds special forces are already operating inside Iraq.

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

US Military and Allied Facilties Surrounding Iran

For several years now Iran has been conducting its own war drills and exercises. While its Air force has weaknesses, its intermediate and long-range missiles are fully operational. Iran’s military is in a state of readiness. Iranian troop concentrations are currently within a few kilometers of the Iraqi and Afghan borders, and within proximity of Kuwait. The Iranian Navy is deployed in the Persian Gulf within proximity of US and allied military facilities in the United Arab Emirates.

It is worth noting that in response to Iran’s military build-up, the US has been transferring large amounts of weapons to its non-NATO allies in the Persian Gulf including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

While Iran’s advanced weapons do not measure up to those of the US and NATO, Iranian forces would be in a position to inflict substantial losses to coalition forces in  a conventional war theater, on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan. Iranian ground troops and tanks in December 2009 crossed the border into Iraq without being confronted or challenged by allied forces and occupied a disputed territory in the East Maysan oil field.

Even in the event of an effective Blitzkrieg, which targets Iran’s military facilities, its communications systems, etc. through massive aerial bombing, using cruise missiles, conventional bunker buster bombs and tactical nuclear weapons, a war with Iran, once initiated, could eventually lead into a ground war. This is something which US military planners have no doubt contemplated in their simulated war scenarios.

An operation of this nature would result in significant military and civilian casualties, particularly if nuclear weapons are used.

The expanded budget for the war in Afghanistan currently debated in the US Congress is also intended to be used in the eventuality of an attack on Iran.

Within a scenario of escalation, Iranian troops could cross the border into Iraq and Afghanistan.

In turn, military escalation using nuclear weapons could lead us into a World War III scenario, extending beyond the Middle East Central Asian region.

In a very real sense, this military project, which has been on the Pentagon’s drawing board for more than five years, threatens the future of humanity.

Our focus in this essay has been on war preparations. The fact that war preparations are in an advanced state of readiness does not imply that these war plans will be carried out.

The US-NATO-Israel alliance realizes that the enemy has significant capabilities to respond and retaliate. This factor in itself has been crucial over the last five years in the decision by the US and its allies to postpone an attack on Iran.

Another crucial factor is the structure of military alliances. Whereas NATO has become a formidable force, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which constitutes an alliance between Russia and China and a number of former Soviet republics has been significantly weakened.

The ongoing US military threats directed  against China and Russia are intended to weaken the SCO and discourage any form of military action on the part of Iran’s allies in the case of a US NATO Israeli attack.

What are the countervailing forces which might prevent this war from occurring? There are numerous ongoing forces at work within the US State apparatus, the US Congress, the Pentagon and NATO.

The central force in preventing a war from occurring ultimately comes from the base of society, requiring forceful antiwar action by hundred of millions of people across the land, nationally and internationally.

People must mobilize not only against this diabolical military agenda, the authority of the State and its officials must be also be challenged.

This war can be prevented if people forcefully confront their governments, pressure their elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens as to the implications of a nuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces. 

The holding of mass demonstrations and antiwar protests is not enough. What is required is the development of a broad and well organized grassroots antiwar network which challenges the structures of power and authority. 

What is required is a mass movement of people which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of war, a global people’s movement which criminalizes war.

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005). He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. he can be reached at the globalresearch.ca website


Author’s note:
 Dear Global Research Readers, kindly forward this text far and wide to friends and family, on internet forums, within the workplace, in your neighborhood, nationally and internationally, with a view to reversing the tide of war.  Spread the Word!  

To consult Part I of this essay click below

Preparing for World War III, Targeting Iran
Part I: Global Warfare 

– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-08-01

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  • Rob

    US and Israel both are fake states and both have built on stollen lands. I don’t know who has given this power to US to sanction or invade any country.

    I think it gonna be better to give this power to Islamic State ISIS or to Israel. Both are very nice states.

    • Matt Lazarus

      Time for people of world to join together in boycott all US good and services–it can start with McDonald’s, Starbucks, Exxon, Chevron, Apple, Amazon, US banks and credit cards, Hollywood movies, US hotel chains, US fruits, vegetables and meats. Get off Facebook, get off Google (plenty of other search engines available). Don’t fly US airlines or airlines that fly US aircraft. Time to say goodbye USA.

      • Rob

        I don’t use Microsoft windows, ms office, I have stopped the use of US software ten years ago. I don’t use any thing of US even I generate my own electricity from solar panels.

      • Concrete Mike

        Already started man…i also make a point to not use lafarge as a supplier on my projects.

  • Rob

    https://youtu.be/RrJ1wi8SJtA
    Russia and Iran are defeating US forces and their proxies Israel, ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria. Published on 12 Jul 2018

    Now Russia, Iran, China and Pakistan are united to stop them from further expansion.

    Any government that allied with US and UK mean that they directly support Israel, ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Hope these professional global killers will go down soon.

  • Rob

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5BZw3J1qRo
    Ahed Tamimi looks like a tiger.

    17 year old Ahed Tamimi and her mother released after 8 months from Israeli prison. The world condemns the harassing, kidnapping and butchering of children of Palestine. For delusion US and UK use religious words like Islamic state ISIS and Jewish state Israel. LOL

    Palestinians have not travelled thousands of miles and have taken the lands of US and UK. This is evil regimes of US and UK that have occupied the land of Palestine and brutally killing children there. God save every human from the condition of Palestinians. God eliminate all Israeli evils by his own power and protect Palestinians. Ameen

  • chris chuba

    Good God, and we are having a fit over Iran having medium range ballistic missiles.

    Iran would be insane to give up ballistic missiles under any circumstance. They are the only deterrence they have against this scenario from the pit of hell. I can’t believe someone had the gall to name this, “Operation Iranian Freedom”, it should have been called, “Operation Dantes Inferno”.

  • Matt Lazarus

    US was defeated in Afghanistan (US now trying to broker a truce/peace with Taliban), US was defeated in Iraq, it was defeated in Syria, it is being defeated in Yemen and Libya. American ground forces no longer have manpower or willpower for a land invasion of Iran, which would require, at very minimum, half million troops. Nor does Israel possess sufficient ground forces for a land invasion of Iran–and the logistics of getting Israeli troops anywhere near Iran would be a nightmare. Saudi military forces–mostly mercenaries with zero morale–are negligible and have proved incapable of winning war against much smaller, weaker country in Yemen. An air war on Iran would inflict severe damage, but would be essentially meaningless if there were no actual invasion and “occupation” to prevent Iran from further military operations. One would assume that Iran’s intermediate range ballistic missiles, now in silos or hardened bunkers, would be launched against major cities and bases in Israel, Saudi Arabia and against US bases in Bahrain, Qatar, Kabul, Djibouti, and Diego Garcia. One also assumes, Iran would close off Strait of Hormuz (thus, in all likelihood, triggering world-wide financial crisis). It is clear that an attack on Iran would result in another defeat for the US, as well as for its two allies in the Mideast, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

  • Lena Jones

    Erm, one glitch in this ‘grand’ plan of the US and israel’s: nuke Iran and israel disappears in a mere handful of days. Yeah the Axis of Evil is good on attack but pretty thin on defense of israel. The israelis can’t even manage an effective defense against Gaza’s ‘incendiary kites’ lol. If the WHOLE point is to “protect israel”, then nuking Iran would guarantee the opposite.

    Also, not mentioned in the article is China and Russia’s attachment to Iran on a geopolitical national security level for both these supersonic-arms-weilding nations. I believe Putin not long ago actually said that Russia’s new supersonic weapons will be used to protect both Russia and her allies. China and Russia both know that if the West/israel destroy Iran, then they’re next, therefore, they will never allow for this level of dangerous Western creep thru Iran. Full stop.

    And a WW3 that involves a nuclear USA, israel, China and Russia means that major US cities will be nuked too. The dollar also will be nuked. Simply: it’s just too fucking pricey to go to war for israel again, even if we wanted to.

    Sorry but the motherfucking israeli jews and all their goy-nasties in DC are unhinged with such a faulty, back-firing plan. And the only way to stop their evil and stupid design is to put together an international assassination team that would take out the diabolical PNAC leadership/membership one bey one in tel aviv and DC. Save humanity thus a whole lotta trouble.

    Else, Iran should just go ahead and make some fucking nukes already!

    Full-proof deterrence is the name of the game.

    • Joseph Scott

      Being prepared to sacrifice Israel has been part of the plan since before Israel existed. However, one of the main impediments to these kind of plans is that the actual military planners who would have to carry them out are extremely unenthusiastic to the point of hostility. Mattis, the current Secretary of Defence, flat out told them an attack on Iran was impossible when he ran Centcom.

      The military, having some understanding of relative fragility of modern forces in the context of both the power of modern weapon systems, and the tenuous logistics and production chains needed to keep them functioning, to say nothing of the reluctance of the public to accept the casualty lists a major war would produce, have a far more modest estimation of US military capabilities than the political dreamers who envision these schemes.

      You may recall that Rumsfeld was dismayed at the conservatism and lack of enthusiasm many senior commanders displayed over invading Iraq, and Iraq is a piece of cake compared to Iran.

      • Lena Jones

        Yeah they sure are diabolical ‘fantasists’. But I’m intrigued: what do you mean when you say: “Being prepared to sacrifice Israel has been part of the plan since before Israel existed”. Sacrificing israel? Would love to know more about this. Thanks.

        • Joseph Scott

          Freemason rivalries. Freemasons go back quite awhile in time. In fact, they believe they are the remnants of an ancient advanced civilisation, with a sacred mission to reunify the Earth and restore said civilisation (under their beneficent leadership, of course!). The Tower of Babel and it’s fall, Major Arcana XVI of the Tarot, is about the fall of said civilisation.

          A faction of such Masonic predecessors was ruling Pharonic Egypt, when another group, the predecessors of the Israelities, known as Hyksos, came ashore. They were integrated into the Egyptian civilisation, and a Hyksos became Prime Minister. That minister plotted a coup, killed the Pharaoh and tried to seize power, but was eventually defeated by that Pharaoh’s daughter and her loyalists. The story of that coup is what the Murder of Hiram Abif is about, which is used as the basis for Freemason initiation. This story is why the Israelites were enslaved in the time of Ramses II.

          Anyway, Freemasons have rules, and foremost amongst those is that they may not betray one another or kill one another, except a judicial killing authorised by a convened Masonic Court. (When a banker ‘commits suicide’ by ‘jumping’ from the 33rd story, they were executed by a Masonic Court. Note the reference to falling from The Tower). Killing higher level Masons (like the Pharaoh there) is a big sin. (Note also that you never get to ‘take’ the king in Chess). So, while officially, these various Masonic factions have kissed and made up, the ‘Jewish’ masons, (B’nai B’rith) have never really been forgiven. That is why Jews have all at once have had a hard time everywhere, and yet managed to get into the upper levels of everything. Their Masonic leaders are insiders in the system, but they still have the stigma of betrayal.

          The plan drawn up for world unification involves three world wars. They already had those plans laid out in 1870, if not earlier. A letter written by the Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of America, Albert Pike, to a Catholic Cardinal discussed this, including the basic layout of how the world wars would go. For example, it was always planned that Russia’s government would be overthrown and made Communist, and that Communism would be a major faction in the second war, etc. The third and final war of unification is to be a war between Islam and Judaism, which is to result in the destruction of both, paying the Jews back for their betrayal. That is the Global War on Terrorism; that is why the US manufactures Islamic terrorists. Islam is the assigned villain against which they intend to unify the world. Of course, B’nai B’rith aren’t stupid. They have an idea of what is up too. So everyone smiles and plays nice with daggers behind their backs.

          • Lena Jones

            How very interesting. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain what indeed is a very complex and ‘involved’ topic in such a comprehensive and succinct way. I really appreciate it – your time and insights and all. Thanks again, Joseph Scott.

  • You can call me Al

    Could someone explain this sentence please – “Whereas NATO has become a formidable force, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which constitutes an alliance between Russia and China and a number of former Soviet republics has been significantly weakened.”

    When exactly was the SCO weakened ?, as for the NATO comment, well that is almost laughable.

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    1º Jimmy Carter was overthrow after a failure operation in Iran….
    2º Israel launched a large airstrike vs Syria( 28 jets and 70 missile) and nothing happened…less damage than a ISIS offensive as a result of being repelled by air defense system…so Israel dont have capabilities to defeat Iran…
    3º Ormuz closed as consecuence of Hundred of antiship missile deployed, small attack boats difficult to destroy and long range artillery and rockets….in spite of US attacks!
    4º Iran air defense continue intercepting cruise missile in spite of 1500 cruise missile launched by USA..
    5º Gulf states airports, airbases and ports continue being hitting by Iran ballistic missile and long range cruise missiles similar copy of KH-55….
    6º Israel like in lebanon war 2006 continue being hitting with rockets and missile from Iran, lebanon, Gaza and Syria…
    7º End of the war!..US&Allies have not achieved their goals in the midst of a economic crisis and petrol barrel around 200 dollar per barril!

    • Sinbad2

      You don’t need missiles to close the Straits of Hormuz, Iranian artillery could target ships in the channel. In fact I think they already have them placed within the cliffs along the strait.
      Or even easier, just scuttle a dozen tankers in the strait, it would take years to remove them.

  • R PLobo

    The US and its zionist masters have been trying to undermine Iran since their whore the shah got the boot in 1979.
    Now in 2018 not only would the baby killers have to confront Iran but also a battle harden SAA and Hezbollah. The empire of chaos has now fallen on its own sword or mercs.
    The idea of using nukes is absurd – even directed at civilian centres it would be suicidal – considering that both US and the iof cowards would also be exposed to mass doses of radiation. The iof inbreds will never fight another infantry war after the rout of 2006. As for the US goyim it is questionable how many – especially within the officer ranks would be prepared to fight apocalyptic battles on behalf of the Las Vegas whoremasters?
    The US would be alone in this and all for the sake of zionist expansionist dreams – specifically the US zionist mobsters. In the very least the Russians and Chinese would provide intel to the Iranians outlining everything the hapless US whores are doing on behalf of the zionists. An invasion of Iran is not going to happen but you can bet on the liberation of Palestine sooner than later.

    • Joseph Scott

      You’ve clearly read a very propagandised account of the 2006 War. And yes, even RAND’s analysis, which you’d think would be favourable, was actually biased against the IDF. The IDF is still the most competent fighting force in the region, and is, in fact, significantly more capable than US forces. The 2006 War ended because the Israeli public didn’t think 122 Israeli dead was worth the objective, not because the IDF thought it couldn’t win.

      Now, that same reluctance of Israeli citizens to see large numbers of their family and friends killed applies equally to operations against Iran, and you are correct that the US officer corps is also extremely unenthusiastic about going after Iran. They’d probably need a new Secretary of Defense to reside over that mess too.

      • Lena Jones

        You’re very mistaken in your assessment of the idf/hezb/2006. It was not the increased casualties but the unexpected hard-core push-back by the hezb that brought the israelis to ‘cry uncle’ after 30 days of engagement. By their own admission, the israelis concluded that they didn’t perform well against the hezb in 2006, despite them having every military advantage on earth at their disposal. Winning wars isn’t all about big guns, it’s about strategy, preparedness, psychology and most important, it’s about intelligence gathering. Israel’s military: idf, israeli navy and airforce simply failed in all areas of warfare in 2006, especially intelligence gathering against the hezb. Indeed this was not the first time the israelis were sent home by the hezb with tail between legs (read the other monumental 2000 hezb victory). In 2006 and before the eyes of jew and goy alike, the myth of israeli’s military invisibility laid bare. You cannot spin this FACT. Israel lost: israel’s military itself admitted defeat. And has been behaving with utter caution towards Lebanon ever since.

        • Joseph Scott

          No, that’s the account the Atlantic Council, RAND and the Washington Post spun. Of course, for all intents and purposes those are all the same people. You will find, if you read them long enough, that they tend to be quite predictable in their opinions on any subject. One such predictable trait is that that they are insanely jealous of any military force that is better trained than the American one, especially if they have a reputation for being good (And especially that idiot Anthony Cordesman). Thus, you will find them consistently critical of the Israelis, Germans, British, Australians…simply look at Cordesman’s ill-informed diatribes about the Kunduz episode, or about the Bundeswher in Afghanistan in general. They’d pick at the Netherlanders more, but nobody knows the Netherlanders are excellent soldiers, so they don’t bother. Likewise, the Canadians are so modest that they can usually escape the carping of Atlantic Council syndicate. But not the acclaimed IDF. Alas, the gibbering of this group tend to dominate English-language analysis of the 2006 War.

          Now, the IDF was very sharply self-critical during and after that war, yes. They have been used to winning rather lopsidedly, and so, when they faced a challenge and things didn’t go smoothly, they looked at everything that went wrong with a very critical eye. That’s what professional armies do. And to Hezbollah’s credit, they did surprise them by being vastly better trained than the national armies of Syria, Egypt, Jordan or Iraq, or the Palestinian militia such as Hamas. Analysed in terms of per-person casualty exchange, Hezbollah is about 2x as good as Jordan, 2.5x as good as Egypt, 3x as good as Syria, 6x as good as Iraq, and 10x as good as the Palestinians. However, the IDF did not by any means fail in all areas of warfare.

          For a start, Hezbollah suffered twice the casualties as the IDF, despite having the advantage of defending an extensively camouflaged and prepared position. And that is using Hezbollah’s own account of their losses. Despite all the talk of huge Israeli AFV losses, they actually only had 22 Merkavas that suffered penetrating hits. Of those, 5 were destroyed, and 7 more too heavily damaged to take any further part in the campaign. Of those 7, 5 were eventuality returned to service. That’s 7 tanks lost altogether.

          The IAF achieved an astounding 97% accuracy rate targetting Hezbollah. The problem is, Hezbollah built their positions so well that many could withstand the heaviest ordnance the IAF used, and many others were decoy positions. But to the IAF was doing everything it was supposed to do.

          For
          most of the 2006 war, the Israelis had about 10,000 troops engaged,
          against some 20,000 Hezbollah personnel. Very late in the war, another
          20,000 IDF troops were brought in, but the majority of fighting was done
          by that initial division of 10,000. The Israelis had around 200 tanks, and 70
          aircraft in support. Using T. Dupuy’s numbers from Numbers, Predictions and War,
          that translates to the Israelis have the equivalent of 44,000 troops.
          The defender tends to have a roughly two-fold advantage over the
          attacker, depending on terrain and extent of preparation. That is where
          the aphorism comes from about attackers needing a 3 to 1 advantage to
          prevail. They must have more combat power than the defender,
          whose strength is doubled. In this case, Hezbollah had extensively and
          skilfully fortified the area, with hidden bunkers that could frequently
          withstand the IAF’s heaviest ordnance, and numerous decoy positions that
          the IAF wasted attacks on. The positions had been years in the making.
          Overall, their defensive position was probably worth a factor of roughly
          2.3 (fortified position = 1.6 x 1.45 for the mixed, hilly terrain along the contested area; see T. N. Dupuy, Numbers, Predictions and War, and also Attrition), so Hezbollah probably had the equivalent to about 46,000 troops, a bit more than IDF strength counting air and armour.

          This near parity of strength is why the IDF weren’t moving forward You must have more combat power than the defender to advance, and until they brought in the rest of the corps at the very end, the Israelis didn’t have that. That parity of strength also implies that with Hezbollah losing twice as many personnel, the Israelis were about twice as effective as they were. It actually ends up being a little bit more, because troops in a heavily fortified position will tend to suffer casualties at only about 80% of the rate of attacking troops, over and above the effect of the position on combat power.It comes out favouring the Israelis by a factor of 2.6. Had they been of equal ability, the Israelis should have been losing more troops than Hezbollah while attacking such a heavily fortified position, not less.

          Yes, it is about psychology and preparation That is why the Israelis do well. The IDF was built as a clone of the Wehrmacht. They follow the same policies regarding the selection of leaders and specialists, (officer candidates have to start at the bottom with everyone else, regardless of some meaningless academic credentials, then prove their way up one level at a time), expect officers to lead from the front rather than sit in a headquarters to the rear, and follow a decentralised, Auftragstaktik fighting doctrine. That is why they vastly outperform the US when they wargame together.

          The decision to end the war was taken by PM Olmert, not by the IDF Chief of Staff. The IDF were ready to continue, and were confident that they now possessed the strength and knowledge to break through Hezbollah’s position’s. Olmert feared a loss of support in the Knesset, as there were already large public demonstrations because of Israelis losses. He was engaged in political damage control, which proved futile, as he lost his job anyway. That was a political, not a military decision. Even the terrible RAND paper admits that.

          The result of the war was that Hezbollah pulled back behind the Litani River, Lebanon suffered a serious loss of economic growth, and Israel got the quietist border it has had with Lebanon since the 1960s.

          Consider what Hassan Nasrallah had to say about it: “We did not think, even one percent, that the capture would lead to a
          war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I
          had known on July 11 … that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not.”

          • Lena Jones

            Thanks for your detailed response. But again, I beg to differ. it’s THE WHOLE (relevant) WORLD who ALL concluded that israel lost the war, not just Rand etc, – lost due mainly to faulty intelligence that the hezb so smartly fed the israelis, plus other wily asymmetrical war strategies that the hezb employed. Your version is what a segment of the likudists cling to, in order to keep up the facade of israel’s invincibility.

            I highly recommend reading the following article (in 3 parts/3 links) on the israel-hezb 2006 war. It has become THE DEFINING ARTICLE on this war, due to its tight research and insider information. The article does not have an agenda, as you will soon discover – it is neutral and simply assembles the facts of the 2006 war in a chronological order:

            http://www.conflictsforum.org/2006/how-hezbollah-defeated-israel/

            http://www.conflictsforum.org/2006/how-hezbollah-defeated-israel-2/

            http://www.conflictsforum.org/2006/how-hezbollah-defeated-israel-3/

          • Joseph Scott

            Not so objective. I’ve read it before. First, section 3 is written by Anthony Cordesman, the man I specifically highlighted as the most biased of the Atlanticist commentators. And you basically underscored what I mean. They’ve convinced everyone that their narrative is the’definitive one.’ You basically sought out the people I consider least credible as your example article. Their opinions also just don’t match the numbers or facts on the ground.

            The article can’t even get the losses right. It claims they were ‘about even.’ But again, actual Israeli military records indicate 121 dead, and Hezbollah admits to 250 dead, which is not ‘about even’ at all. It’s a 2.06 advantage to Israel, magnified all the more because Israel had to attack, which incurs losses at a higher rate than the defender, especially in such a well-prepared position. Also, Hezbollah withdrew. If they won, why did they do this? Why fall back behind the Litani?

            Also, not ‘everyone’ agrees at all. For example, famous NYT journalist Thomas Friedman called the war a “huge strategic loss for Hezbollah.”|

            British military historian John Keegan stated that the outcome of the war was “misreported as an Israeli defeat.”

            Journalist Charles Krauthammer wrote, “Nasrallah’s admission, vastly underplayed in the West, makes
            clear what Lebanese already knew. Hezbollah may have won the propaganda
            war, but on the ground it lost. Badly.” He noted that Hezbollah’s
            entrenched infrastructure along Israel’s border was shattered and would
            not be easily rebuilt due to the presence of the Lebanese Army and a
            robust UNIFIL force, hundreds of Hezbollah’s best fighters were killed
            in the war, and that many Lebanese were angry with Hezbollah for
            provoking a war which largely devastated the country.

            American military strategist and historian Edward Luttwak
            drew comparisons with the 1973 Yom Kippur War, where what initially
            looked like an Israeli setback later turned out to be an IDF victory and
            an Arab defeat.

            Cambridge Professor of International Relations Brendan Simms said, “Hezbollah have suffered a setback (but are too clever to admit it) and
            the Israelis have scored a long-term success (but are too narrow-minded
            to realize it).”

            Journalist Michael Totten wrote “Hezbollah lost and Hezbollah knows it.”

            In fact, quite a few people dispute your assessment. But most of all, the math disputes your assessment. Israel lost less people, and accomplished more of it’s objectives.

          • Lena Jones

            You’re quoting hard-core zionist propagandists/agents like Charlies Krauthammer and Thomas Friedman to back up your angle LOL! Sorry, but non of your sources are true: they simply do not match the consensus reality.

            To establish facts in an ocean of contradictory information, what you need to look at is the list of consequences of the 2006 war, the most important one of them being: israel dares NOT touch Lebanon the way it used to. A balance of power, or as I like to call it: a balance of terror was established between little-nobody Hezb/Lebanon and ‘mighty’ israel. The hezb’s surprise victory established the end of the days where israel’s airforce would fly over Lebanon UNCHALLENGED, drop bombs over civilian targets etc and the israeli pilot would then just go home to tel aviv and take a shower. If the Hezb had NOT won this 2006 war, israeli would have bombed hezb targets in south Leb plenty of times in the past 12 years. But it has done no such thing. As it actually happened: israel has NOT touched Lebanon since its humiliating loss to Hezb in 2006.

            The above is the FACT ON THE GROUND consequence of the 2006 war which clearly finds the hezb the victor. There is no argument against this conclusion. There is only spin and denial – perhaps even a futile attempt to re-write a recent history.

          • Joseph Scott

            I quoted several people, and yes, indeed, a couple of them are hardcore Zionists. However, I don’t consider them to be any more biased than someone as consistently unreliable as Anthony Cordesman, biased though they are. Meanwhile, John Keegan isn’t. He is one of the most famous military historians in the English language world.

            Your argument ignores two things: one, the border has been quieter since 2006 than it was for nearly 40 years previous, reducing the perceived need for airstrikes, and two, they have conducted them when they wished too: August 2010, February 2014, June 2015, May 2016, and March 2018.

            Also, I did not argue that Israel achieved a decisive victory. It was limited at best. Hezbollah did quite well. What I argued was that the IDF were not utterly defeated as you claimed, and that in fact, the numbers, which are beyond dispute, argue that the IDF performed better in the actual fighting, by a factor of better than 2 to 1..

          • Lena Jones

            Israel achieved NON of it’s declared war objectives in 2006 – thus another reason its efforts are considered a failure. Also, at the end of engagement, the hezb demanded release of a long list of Lebanese prisoners inside of israel and israel handed them over WITHOUT pre conditions – including the controversial prisoner/figure of Kuntar. LOL! Very un-israeli thing to do – release a man. Also, you are mistaken: the borders between israel and the south Lebanon were NOWHERE near quiet for “forty years” as you claim – did you forget the israeli invasion of Leb by israel in 1982? In ended with an exhausted israel unilateral withdrawal in 2000. The israelis could no longer handle the incessant attacks by the hezb at the border and in the general south/Leb.

            It’s really just about common sense at this point, Joseph. And you cannot get more gritty realism than ‘facts on the ground’ and again: the facts on the ground clearly indicate that israel had to make massive ‘behavior adjustments’, something it would never had before done and was forced to due to its defeat to the hezb in both 2000 AND 2006.

            Twice, the hezb has defeated israel on the battlefield. TWICE, Joseph, not just once.

            Here, I thank you for referring me to Anthony Cordesman, whose analysis you seem to take for gospel. Even a brief research of him immediately rendered his executive ziocon connections/badges-of-honor/credentials. He’s worked closely with many ziocons, their ‘committees’ and their think tanks; including working for israel’s number one fan/agent in congress: John McCain, the Senate Armed Services Committee (all ziocons), as well as employment at NATO as a director of international staff (Wiki). No doubt, Cordesman is a stellar and most impressive academic achiever, but I’m afraid he is NOWHERE near as investigative/objective on the issue of israel as the writers of my linked article: the consistently credible Mark Perry & Alastair Crooke.

          • Joseph Scott

            Eh? Lena, you need to read what I wrote a little more carefully, because you are reading my words as the exact opposite of what I actually wrote. I wrote that the border has been more peaceful SINCE 2006 than it has in the preceding 40, while you claim I am saying it was peaceful DURING the preceding 40. Those are total opposites, you see?

            Likewise, I am saying, and have been saying since the beginning that Anthony Cordesman is totally UNrelaiable. The man is an absolute liar who has practically never said anything credible. How is it you are claiming I take him for gospel?! Part of my dismissal of your linked article is that HE WROTE the third part. Not to mention that they get the numbers wrong, as already stated. Yes, I know he isn’t objective. I was telling you that, remember? And Mark Perry and Alastair Crooke are his friends and colleagues…hence, also unreliabale Freemason mouthpieces. Again, you are claiming I am saying the absolute opposite of what I have been saying the entire time.

          • Lena Jones

            Apologies – mea culpa (short on time/rush-writing!).

            ‘John Keegan’ is your guy and not Cordesman. I will have to research his work on the 2006 war to give feedback on him – I don’t have time to do it right now, but i did have time to read a short article by Keegan from 2006 about the 2006 war and my fleeting impression is that he spent most of the article talking about WW1, even though the topic at hand was the isrl/hezb war. He was showing off his big history muscles, in other words :-)

            But I’ll reserve judgement on Keegan till after I’ve read up more of his work on our pertinent topic.

            Mark Perry and Alastair Crooke might know Cordesman – everybody knows or knows of everybody on that level of political culture, but I seriously doubt they’re friends, as you claim. Crooke and Perry vs Cordesman are like chalk vs cheese. I certainly don’t see them comfortable with each other’s views on the middle east: Cordesman is a highly-paid ziocon propagandist and Perry/Crooke are independent/investigative journalists with insider connections.

            I did misunderstand a couple of your side points, Joseph, but i still maintain the accuracy of my conclusion, and the global consensus on the 2006 war here agrees with me, that israel lost the 2006 to Hezbollah.

            Joseph, one does not judge a war’s victory by how many people were killed by one side, but by whether ‘declared goals’ stated BEFORE combat commencement were achieved or not. Israel achieved none of its declared objectives and gained nothing at the end of combat – in fact, it lost its ‘deterrence’ capabilities/superiority on the Lebanese border. Whereas, the hezb achieved ALL its declared objectives by the end of the war: they successfully defended the Lebanese border against another israeli invasion, AND, they created a brand new and stunning deterrence against another future israeli attack: they surprisingly created a balance of terror with their better-armed foe. And THIS is why its been ‘quiet’ on the borders since 2006: israel dares not touch Lebanon ‘like that’ for the heavy price the hezb will inflict on israel proper. Israeli lost its ability to attack Lebanon willy-nilly and the hezb gained a massive deterrence against a violent giant.

            Notable also how israel has actually attacked the hezb since 2006, but in Syria and not in Lebanon. It dared NOT strike at the hezb in Lebanon during the whole long 7 year Syria war when ‘supposedly’ the Hezb was ‘distracted’ and weak on the Leb border. Knowing israeli behaviorism, do you not think that israel would have taken numerous opportunities to strike at the hezb in Lebanon during the period of the Syria war? Oh believe me israel wanted to strike at the hezb in Lebanon so badly but it couldn’t because the price for attacking the Lebanon became prohibitive to them back in 2006.

            p.s. I will read more Keegan soon as time permits. Thank you.

          • Joseph Scott

            My observation on Keegan is that he isn’t political. He is more of an old school historian. Some of his stuff is brilliant, some dry and off-key, but he doesn’t seem to be selling anything in either case. But yes, do your own reading. I can’t recommend that enough. Believe me, I’m actually happy that you don’t want to just take my word for it. Be sceptical of everyone.

            Mark Perry is actually a RAND guy. https://www.rand.org/pubs/authors/p/perry_mark.html He is in that whole Atlantic Council/RAND/WaPo club. Crooke is more independent. But then, he was actually MI6, not just a talking head like the other two. Still…

            Well, I think in the end we are arguing two different things. You are focusing on the overall outcome of the war in terms of who was able to benefit from it, to make it a victory, and I am talking more about the fighting ability of the IDF. Hezbollah certainly exploited the event far more skilfully, and used it to raise their own status, raise the morale of the Arab world viz. Israel, and diminish the IDF’s reputation, that is all true enough. Likewise, from a strategic and political-informational perspective, Israel totally failed. They shouldn’t have deployed over the border at all unless they were willing to stay in long enough to cause significant damage. That they stopped obviously made it look like a loss to you and lots of other people, and that has hurt their credibility and relative intimidation factor even in Israel.

            My point is simply that, at the tactical level, the IDF still maintained it’s superiority on a per-person level, which is what the casualty-exchange rate proves, and they are still far and away the best fighting force in the region. The fact that their inept political leadership squandered their effort doesn’t diminish that. They are still scary, and well beyond the ability of any neighbouring force to take on. Nasrallah’s comment makes it clear that Hezbollah take the IDF very seriously, unlike many people on here who casually talk of the SAA and/or Hezbollah just strolling into the Golan Heights. Hezbollah may be willing to stand and fight in Lebanon, in positions they have prepared for years, but no one there is ready to meet the IDF in less favourable conditions than that.

            Regarding Israeli unwillingness to enter Lebanon: you are overstating your case. I gave you a list of incursions. 290 aerial and 52 ground incursions in 4 months of 2007 alone. They have launched at least 5 airstrikes into Lebanon and conducted several commando raids since 2006.

            Now, is Israel far more cautious now than back in 1982, because Hezbollah proved to fight far, far better in 2006 than either the Syrian Army or any Lebanese force could back in 1982? Absolutely. They have to be. The Israeli public is extremely casualty sensitive, to a much higher degree than Americans are, and to a much higher degree than Israelis used to be, so the Israeli government/IDF aren’t about to go waltzing into any serious fights without a really overarching reason and a lot of justifying to the public. But that was the really significant thing that came out of the war. Think about this: the Israelis lost more people in 3 days in the 1982 invasion, from 8-11 June 1982 in the Bekua Valley, than they did in the entire 2006 War of 34 days. They suffered 195 killed in the Bekua Valley in 1982, and while the Israeli public wasn’t thrilled, they could deal with it. But 121 dead in 2006 was too much. So, yes, their offensive capability is much reduced, but more because of the public than because of Hezbollah.

            However, in a defensive situation, where the public has no reservations about losses because they are defending Israel (which even defending the Golan would seem to most Israelis, regardless of what anyone else thinks), the IDF is untouchable. There is no coalition of forces in the ME you could assemble that is going to win that fight. And that was the thrust of my argument.

          • Lena Jones

            Hi I wrote you a reply that for some weird reason was detected as “spam” post publishing. Perhaps it will clear again in a bit.

          • Lena Jones

            (Re-posting this comment after mods assumed it’s ‘spam’ and blocked it).

            Joseph,

            Mea Culpa. ‘John Keegan’ is your guy and not Cordesman. I will have to research
            his work on the 2006 war to give feedback on him – I don’t have time to
            do it right now, but i did have time to read a short article by Keegan
            from 2006 about the 2006 war and my fleeting impression is that he spent
            most of the article talking about WW1, even though the topic at hand
            was the isrl/hezb war. He was showing off his big history muscles, in
            other words :-)

            But I’ll reserve judgement on Keegan till after I’ve read up more of his work on our pertinent topic.

            Mark Perry and Alastair Crooke might know Cordesman – everybody knows or
            knows of everybody on that level of political culture, but I seriously
            doubt they’re friends, as you claim. Crooke and Perry vs Cordesman are like chalk vs cheese. I certainly don’t see them comfortable with each other’s views on the middle east: Cordesman is a highly-paid ziocon propagandist and Perry/Crooke are independent/investigative journalists with insider connections.

            I did misunderstand a couple of your side points, Joseph, but i still maintain the accuracy of my conclusion, and the global consensus on the 2006 war here agrees with me, that israel lost the 2006 to Hezbollah.

            Joseph, one does not judge a war’s victory by how many people were killed by one side, but by whether ‘declared goals’ stated BEFORE combat commencement were achieved or not. Israel achieved none of its declared objectives and gained nothing at the end of combat – in fact, it lost its ‘deterrence’ capabilities/superiority on the Lebanese border. Whereas, the hezb
            achieved ALL its declared objectives by the end of the war: they successfully defended the Lebanese border against another israeli invasion, AND, they created a brand new and stunning deterrence against another future israeli attack: they surprisingly created a balance of terror with their better-armed foe. And THIS is why its been ‘quiet’ on the borders since 2006: israel dares not touch Lebanon ‘like that’ for the heavy price the hezb will inflict on israel proper. Israeli lost
            its ability to attack Lebanon willy-nilly and the hezb gained a massive
            deterrence against a violent giant.

            Notable also how israel has actually attacked the hezb since 2006, but in Syria and not in Lebanon. It dared NOT strike at the hezb in Lebanon during the whole long 7 year Syria war when ‘supposedly’ the Hezb was ‘distracted’ and weak on
            the Leb border. Knowing israeli behaviorism, do you not think that israel would have taken numerous opportunities to strike at the hezb in Lebanon during the period of the Syria war? Oh believe me israel wanted to strike at the hezb in Lebanon so badly but it couldn’t because the price for attacking the Lebanon became prohibitive to them back in 2006.

            p.s. I will read more Keegan soon as time permits. Thank you.

      • Matt Lazarus

        Yes, this is a big obstacle to Israel launching any “real war” against Iran or Hesbollah. Netanyahu and Israeli government can speak in a loud voice, but he carries a very small stick. Israeli people will not tolerate casualties. Israeli military can conduct all sorts of “operations,” send planes in to bomb some safe targets in Syria or Lebanon, but Israel will never send its troops into Lebanon or any other country in Middle East again.

  • Sinbad2

    Trump will bomb Iran in the lead up to the 2020 presidential elections, to ensure a second term.
    If I was Iran, I would be watching American troop deployments in Afghanistan, as they would be extremely vulnerable to Iranian forces. Of course the US could just sacrifice their troops in Afghanistan, but American POW’s strapped to the front of Iranian tanks would destroy the electoral advantage of war.