Sunday, September 02, 2007
Yet again, we encounter the hubris of empire. The Pentagon, like the Wehrmacht when it prepared plans for Barbarossa, like the Red Army, when it entered Afghanistan, believes that, as the aggressor, it will dictate the beginning and end of any conflict, as well as the nature of combat.
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.
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”.
Too bad that for the US military that Saddam is dead. If he were still alive, he might warn about the arrogance of assuming that the Iranians can be easily defeated. After invading Iran in 1980, with US and Saudi support, he was forced to rely upon the use of poison gas to avoid defeat (again, with US and Saudi acquiescence) during the course of a brutal war that lasted eight years. Of course, no one would listen.
(Hat tip to Tim.)