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 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:
"Theater Iran Near Term"
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).
The scenarios identified several thousand targets inside Iran as part of a "Shock and Awe" Blitzkrieg:
Different "theater scenarios" for an all out attack on Iran had been contemplated:
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 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 government [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 war on Iran was viewed as part of a succession of military operations. 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."
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. Any action by Israel would require a "green light" from Washington. [Please see Galal Nassar's article, "Israel's US Missile Shield;" for a wider perspective on US military might, please see Rick Rozoff's article, "US Consolidates Global Military Network."]
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 -- 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 with a view to "defending Israel", rather than attacking Iran. Under existing military cooperation agreements, the US 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":
Commenting on 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:
What we are dealing with is a joint US-Israel military operation to bomb Iran, which has been in the active planning stage since 2004. Officials in the Defense Department 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.
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 attack on Iran:
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.
Global Warfare: The Role of US
Global military operations are coordinated out of US Strategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM) at the Offutt Air Force base in Nebraska. [Interestingly, this is the same base we referenced in our article on the SUPERNATURAL, "As in the Days of Noah."]
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."
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.
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)
Under the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the Pentagon 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 Pentagon 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)
US nuclear might cannot be challenged in today's world
The Pentagon'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.
"Pentagon 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. 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 would be within reach.
The issue of radioactive fallout and contamination, while casually dismissed by US military analysts, would be devastating, potentially affecting a large area of the broader Middle East and the 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".
Detonation of a MOAB bomb in the Nevada desert: looks like a nuclear blast.
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 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 at 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).
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.
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.
The 2000 Project of the New American Century (PNAC) document entitled Rebuilding 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). 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 transformation. The 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.
"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."
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).
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 Encyclopedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.
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