Global Research editor’s note
This Sunday Times article, while mildly apologetic of the Bush Adminstration’s war plans, nonetheless, confirms and acknowledges the farreaching nature of the bombings, which are now contemplated by the Pentagon.
It should be noted that the proposed Blitz Krieg on Iran (documented in several earlier Global Research articles), has been in the planning stage for at least three years, if not more.
In early 2006, Global Research reported that:
“The launching of an outright war using nuclear warheads against Iran is now in the final planning stages.
Coalition partners, which include the US, Israel and Turkey are in “an advanced stage of readiness”.
Various military exercises have been conducted, starting in early 2005. In turn, the Iranian Armed Forces have also conducted large scale military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf in December in anticipation of a US sponsored attack.
Since early 2005, there has been intense shuttle diplomacy between Washington, Tel Aviv, Ankara and NATO headquarters in Brussels.
The US sponsored military plan has been endorsed by NATO, although it is unclear, at this stage [early 2006], as to the nature of NATO’s involvement in the planned aerial attacks.
“Shock and Awe”
The various components of the military operation are firmly under US Command, coordinated by the Pentagon and US Strategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM) at the Offutt Air Force base in Nebraska.
The actions announced by Israel would be carried out in close coordination with the Pentagon. The command structure of the operation is centralized and ultimately Washington will decide when to launch the military operation.
US military sources have confirmed that an aerial attack on Iran would 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. Using the full force of operational B-2 stealth bombers, staging from Diego Garcia or flying direct from the United States, possibly supplemented by F-117 stealth fighters staging from al Udeid in Qatar or some other location in theater, the two-dozen suspect nuclear sites would be targeted.
Military planners could tailor their target list to reflect the preferences of the Administration by having limited air strikes that would target only the most crucial facilities … or the United States could opt for a far more comprehensive set of strikes against a comprehensive range of WMD related targets, as well as conventional and unconventional forces that might be used to counterattack against US forces in Iraq
(See Globalsecurity.org at http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iran-strikes.htm
In November , US Strategic Command conducted a major exercise of a “global strike plan” entitled “Global Lightening”. The latter involved a simulated attack using both conventional and nuclear weapons against a “fictitious enemy“.
quoted from Michel Chossudovsky, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=1714
Virtually ignored by the mainstream media, Global Research has also analysed and reviewed the conduct of war games by the US, NATO and Iran. Extensive war games were also held last year by China and Russia and several member states of the SCO and CSTO.
For a review of the US sponsored military agenda, see our Iran dossier at:
Michel Chossudovsky, 2 September 2007
THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.
Global Research has also revieweed Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.
Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: “Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same.” It was, he added, a “very legitimate strategic calculus”.
President George Bush intensified the rhetoric against Iran last week, accusing Tehran of putting the Middle East “under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust”. He warned that the US and its allies would confront Iran “before it is too late”.
One Washington source said the “temperature was rising” inside the administration. Bush was “sending a message to a number of audiences”, he said to the Iranians and to members of the United Nations security council who are trying to weaken a tough third resolution on sanctions against Iran for flouting a UN ban on uranium enrichment.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last week reported “significant” cooperation with Iran over its nuclear programme and said that uranium enrichment had slowed. Tehran has promised to answer most questions from the agency by November, but Washington fears it is stalling to prevent further sanctions. Iran continues to maintain it is merely developing civilian nuclear power.
Bush is committed for now to the diplomatic route but thinks Iran is moving towards acquiring a nuclear weapon. According to one well placed source, Washington believes it would be prudent to use rapid, overwhelming force, should military action become necessary.
Israel, which has warned it will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, has made its own preparations for airstrikes and is said to be ready to attack if the Americans back down.
Alireza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which uncovered the existence of Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, said the IAEA was being strung along. “A number of nuclear sites have not even been visited by the IAEA,” he said. “They’re giving a clean bill of health to a regime that is known to have practised deception.”
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, irritated the Bush administration last week by vowing to fill a “power vacuum” in Iraq. But Washington believes Iran is already fighting a proxy war with the Americans in Iraq.
The Institute for the Study of War last week released a report by Kimberly Kagan that explicitly uses the term “proxy war” and claims that with the Sunni insurgency and Al-Qaeda in Iraq “increasingly under control”, Iranian intervention is the “next major problem the coalition must tackle”.
Bush noted that the number of attacks on US bases and troops by Iranian-supplied munitions had increased in recent months “despite pledges by Iran to help stabilise the security situation in Iraq”.
It explains, in part, his lack of faith in diplomacy with the Iranians. But Debat believes the Pentagon’s plans for military action involve the use of so much force that they are unlikely to be used and would seriously stretch resources in Afghanistan and Iraq.