'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Sunday, September 23, 2007

An Aerial Barbarossa? 

From the Sunday Times:

THE United States Air Force has set up a highly confidential strategic planning group tasked with “fighting the next war” as tensions rise with Iran.

Project Checkmate, a successor to the group that planned the 1991 Gulf War’s air campaign, was quietly reestablished at the Pentagon in June.

It reports directly to General Michael Moseley, the US Air Force chief, and consists of 20-30 top air force officers and defence and cyberspace experts with ready access to the White House, the CIA and other intelligence agencies.Detailed contingency planning for a possible attack on Iran has been carried out for more than two years by Centcom (US central command), according to defence sources.

Checkmate’s job is to add a dash of brilliance to Air Force thinking by countering the military’s tendency to “fight the last war” and by providing innovative strategies for warfighting and assessing future needs for air, space and cyberwarfare.

It is led by Brigadier-General Lawrence “Stutz” Stutzriem, who is considered one of the brightest air force generals. He is assisted by Dr Lani Kass, a former Israeli military officer and expert on cyberwarfare.

The enterprise is so brazen, and yet much of the world remains silent. One society already destroyed, the prospect of another such catastrophe looming over the horizon. Are millions and millions of Iranians to be consigned to the same fate as the people of Iraq, indiscriminate sectarian violence, in many instances, assisted by the Americans, deaths in the hundreds of thousands, an infrastructure in ruins, a child mortality rate among the worst in the world?

Once commenced, war planning develops an inevitability that can't be stopped. Here at home, the mainstream media is performing an essential role in the demonization of Ahmanijedad during his UN visit, working with their allies in the administration to create the psychological conditions for public acceptance of the coming conflict. Meanwhile, the Iranians have made clear how they will respond; they will launch missile strikes against any country or any facility that facilitates the attack. Their future, and the future of many others around the world, depends upon the extent to which they will be able to do so successfully.

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