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Tensions Over Hormuz Raise Ugly Possibilities For War

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the good-time-to-be-ex-navy dept.

The Military 969

Hugh Pickens writes "The high stakes standoff between Iran and the U.S. over the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for one-fifth of the world's oil, escalated this week as Iran's navy claimed to have recorded video of a U.S. aircraft carrier entering the Port of Oman and the deputy chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Hossein Salami rejected U.S. claims that it could prevent Iran from closing the strait. To drive the point home, Iran has started a 10-day naval exercise in the Persian Gulf to show off how it could use small speedboats and a barrage of missiles to combat America's naval armada while in a report for the Naval War College, U.S. Navy Commander Daniel Dolan wrote that Iran has acquired 'thousands of sea mines, wake homing torpedoes, hundreds of advanced cruise missiles (PDF) and possibly more than one thousand small Fast Attack Craft and Fast Inshore Attack Craft.'" (Read more, below.)Hugh Pickens continues: "The heart of the Iran's arsenal is its 200 small potential-suicide boats — fiberglass motorboats with a heavy machine gun, a multiple rocket-launcher, or a mine — and may also carry heavy explosives, rigged to ram and blow a hole in the hull of a larger ship. These boats will likely employ a strategy of 'swarming' — coming out of nowhere to ambush merchant convoys and American warships in narrow shipping lanes. But the U.S. Navy is not defenseless against kamikaze warfare. The U.S. has put more machine guns and 25-millimeter gyro-stabilized guns on the decks of warships, modified the 5-inch gun to make it more capable of dealing with high-speed boats, and improved the sensor suite of the Aegis computer-integrated combat system aboard destroyers and cruisers. 'We have been preparing for it for a number of years with changes in training and equipment,' says Vice Admiral (ret.) Kevin Cosgriff, former commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command."

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Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (0, Flamebait)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547352)

If you just would leave rest of the alone and not steal resources belonging to other countries then maybe, MAYBE everyone wouldn't hate U.S. so much?

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (5, Insightful)

idji (984038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547362)

The US should have spent the 500 Billion or so it wasted on lies about Iraq on researching renewable energy, and the Middle East would have returned to its peaceful irrelevance as oil would no longer have been strategically so important.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (4, Insightful)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547374)

Even if the US whould have invested 500Billion in a meaninful way in the Region, the world would be better off.....

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (5, Informative)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547584)

"Tensions Over Hormuz Raise Ugly Possibilities For War"

It's no wonder the Iranians are deeply upset by the sanctions. Surely some people do realise that economic sanctions will likely kill an awful lot of the poorest people in Iran and the sanctions are in themselves, a declaration of war. Theses sanctions worked so very well in Iraq with estimations of up to 1.7 million civilian deaths as a direct result of these sanctions by 1995. http://www.mediamonitors.net/mosaddeq17.html [mediamonitors.net] .
Like with Iraq, there is no direct evidence of a reason for war and we have already seen the political posturing and powers that be, who already have Iraqi blood on their hands are still lying to us with articles such as this http://www.adl.org/main_International_Affairs/ahmadinejad_words.htm [adl.org] .

For people who don't see how sanctions can kill so many people (taken from UNICEF report 1995 (sorry original link to the report is no longer working ) “Sanctions are inhibiting the importation of spare parts, chemicals, reagents, and the means of transportation required to provide water and sanitation services to the civilian population of Iraq... What has become increasingly clear is that no significant movement towards food security can be achieved so long as the embargo remains in place. All vital contributors to food availability - agricultural production, importation of foodstuffs, economic stability and income generation, are dependent on Iraq’s ability to purchase and import those items vital to the survival of the civilian population.”

Gee, Maybe You Should Listen to the Citizens There (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547636)

Even if the US whould have invested 500Billion in a meaninful way in the Region, the world would be better off.....

The "in a meaningful way" part is a bit tricky, wouldn't you agree?

Let me ask you something. Why do you think that Pakistanis blame Americans for the deaths of their civilians by Al-Queda suicide bombers? TTP screws up any attempts to help Pakistanis [bbc.co.uk] and they have increased their suicide bombings from one to hundreds of attacks inside Pakistan's borders since Pakistan began accepting USAID. And the Pakistanis blame us for these suicide bombings.

How exactly do you propose "$500 billion in a meaningful way" when that shit happens and the United States takes the blame for it?

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (-1, Offtopic)

JPLR (1404551) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547378)

I am really sorry to not have any mode points, I would have give you "insightful"

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547404)

For 500 Billion they could have bought the Strait of Hormuz of built a pipeline.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (4, Insightful)

lucidlyTwisted (2371896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547486)

I agree, although the USA is not alone in misguided attempts at nation building (USA's biggest failures: Supporting Saddam, training Osama, supporting the Taliban etc). Britain (to pick one) has a fairly glorious history of screw-up in this department, who do you think carved up the Middle East to cause many of the preblem we now face? Basically when any nation for a very different culture tries to "help" (for relatives values of "Doing whatever Big Money wants") it seems to blow-up in their face about 15 years down the line.
Maybe there's a lesson here?

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (3, Insightful)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547640)

That war was neither good nor evil even if the reasons stated were dishonest and later recanted.
What made it irrelevant was the stupid, demented and criminally negligent notion that earts and minds would be instantly won. That was beyond moronic. If you want to change how people think and feel then you need to invest a whole generation into that. Europe after WW2 was a full success financially and culturally due to how freaking long US troops were stationed there(amongst other things like the US are a culturally descendant of Europe).
Imagine two persons. Their ultimate aspiration is to live a happy life but how they plan on doing that is different. Owning land and breathing free air for one, convenience for the other. Now imagine a whole room full of people. For each and every one of them their plan for their puruit of happyness is different. Now imagine a town square of peole. The mind starts to boggle. Now imagine millions and millions of them. Each from a cultural background so diverse it would take a lifetime to understand it all. Each has a different plan for life. Ranging from owning enough goats to feed the family to designing the ultimate iDevice. Each and every one of them is entitled to pursue their goals if it is not to the detriment of others.
If you elect people who claim to have easy answers and paint the world in black and white, this is what you don't get.
Those 500 billion could have been well spent for exactly the goal stated. Ineptitude did away with that.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (1)

Zamphatta (1760346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547758)

Unfortunately the U.S. politicians see money from oil industry as more important than renewable energy. It's a totally different "economy" in Washington -- pay for the campaign funds received from companies, with human lives. It's supply and demand. It's quite cheap for congress to get money that way really, since they're spending other people's lives and not their own. I often wonder just how patriotic congressmen & senators would be, if they had to be on the front line when they declare wars. Of course, that'll never be a law, 'cause they'd have to pass it.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547412)

I tend to hear this accusation a lot but still have no idea what exactly where it comes from. Could someone please tell me whose oil the US has stolen?

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547450)

For a start, read about how our CIA led a coup to overthrow an elected leader who wanted more profits from the oil companies to go to the people. It was called Operation Ajax. We have a history of meddling in nations when leaders nationalize resources we want (Vietnam and Nicaragua, too). In Saudi Arabia we support an oppressive *monarchy* (i.e., NOT a democracy), apparently because we like their oil. Our presence there was a stated motive of Al Qaeda. So it's not so much stealing the oil as it is trying to control the government which gives us a good deal on the oil.

Flogging a dead horse much? (0, Troll)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547718)

Puhleeeze, let go of that fucking Mossadegh!

It was the Cold War, both the US and the USSR conducted thousands of secret operations all over the world. The simple fact that operation Ajax was a viable proposition means Iran wasn't a stable democracy.

Countries like those of Eastern Europe got fucked much harder than Iran, they were invaded militarily and kept in submission for fifty years, yet they are recovering. Why cannot Iran forget Mossadegh? Or, rather, why cannot the childish American leftists forget him?

Deal?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547750)

In Saudi Arabia we support an oppressive *monarchy* (i.e., NOT a democracy), apparently because we like their oil. Our presence there was a stated motive of Al Qaeda. So it's not so much stealing the oil as it is trying to control the government which gives us a good deal on the oil.

If we're supporting the Saudi's for a "good deal on oil", we are being horribly screwed.

The Saudis base their production on maximizing their revenue - NOT making sure the US is getting a "good deal". Oil too low - they don't make enough. Too high - economies go into the shitter and they don't make enough. Yachts, Jets, Harems, and gold toilets are expensive you know!.

We were there to make sure no other country could control the region and screw us out of our supply of cheap oil - a result of the Cold War and trying to keep another country from doing what we did to the Japanese before WWII which resulted in their Pearl Harbor attack (WWII was about oil, after all). Now, I'm not sure why we're there. What other super power would want to control the area? China? I don't see it - they need a strong World economy to keep their mercantile economy going so that their people keep working and not overthrowing the leadership.

Russia? Pfft. They're doing quite fine with their situation.

My only guess is that the Saudis have accumulated enough political clout of the years that we the US will be their servants for many more years. And add in their "friendliness" towards Israel and Israel's lobbying power, I'm afraid we the people of the US will be drained of money and resources for many more decades for that region.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (4, Interesting)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547456)

Gee, I dunno, maybe because there are dozens of dictators, generally dangerous countries and places that really needed some help getting their revolution groove on...

But the US only seem to find a reason to get into armed conflict when there is oil involved. They don't literally steal, they just help you "conquer" your country back and then "request" "payment".

I know I'm going to get the flamebait mod, but this is actually the general opinion of the rest of the world about most of US wars.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (0, Flamebait)

sita (71217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547558)

Yep, the American hegemony in the latter half of the last century really needed all that German oil.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (5, Funny)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547602)

You really can't be that stupid can you?
Did you ever here of the North African Campaign.
Why did you think the Germans were in Africa? Looking for the Lost Ark?

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547562)

Even if the scenereo you describe is true. The leap from that to 'steal' is utter nonsense.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547654)

Support of those dictators were in the context of the Cold War in jockeying for influence versus the Soviet Union. And, rather than "request payment" in oil as the accusation commonly goes, the US has bought oil from those nations at market price, even thought with its military presence in the region it could have just taken it without paying. The US could have easily gone to war in the Middle East during the 70's embargo to force the flow of oil, yet it did not. With its military presence, the US could also have demanded free oil from the weak interim Iraqi government as recompense, yet it chose again to buy that oil at market price, even relinquishing opportunities when outbid by China.

The evidence that the US uses its military to "steal" oil is not there, however the evidence the US uses its military to expand geopolitical influence and opportunity for American business is, but that's an entirely different set of arguments. We should all welcome legitimate debate on that front, but saying "the US steals oil" is a claim with no support.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (5, Insightful)

arkenian (1560563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547656)

They don't literally steal, they just help you "conquer" your country back and then "request" "payment".

But we don't. If only we did, to some extent -- the treasury could use the funds. I might go so far as to grant that we've helped some nasty people stay in power for various reasons over the years, but we still, always, pay MARKET PRICE for oil. About the only thing we insist on is that people sell it to SOMEONE (which admittedly, does help keep market prices down SOMEWHAT, but its still ridiculously high compared to the cost in most of the countries in the middle east)

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (1)

Corbets (169101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547722)

They don't literally steal, they just help you "conquer" your country back and then "request" "payment".

But we don't. If only we did, to some extent -- the treasury could use the funds. I might go so far as to grant that we've helped some nasty people stay in power for various reasons over the years, but we still, always, pay MARKET PRICE for oil. About the only thing we insist on is that people sell it to SOMEONE (which admittedly, does help keep market prices down SOMEWHAT, but its still ridiculously high compared to the cost in most of the countries in the middle east)

This, thank you. So many people like to talk about the US stealing oil, but no one can point me to a single incident of such. I'd almost support it if they did - at least the war would be paid for then!

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (2)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547766)

The many people don't talk about the US stealing oil, they talk about Americans stealing it. Oil from middle-eastern countries doesn't magically end up as a government property, it's always in the hands of private corporations.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547520)

Why did US enter into conflict in Libya but not Syria?

How telling.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547568)

Telling someone to stop protesting Yemenis getting sniped (96 IN ONE DAY!) might be like telling someone how the USS Cole was a clipper round the ears for the US occupation of foreign seas.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547646)

There's a growing sense isolationist in my country at the moment, on in both parties. Obama got skewered here at home for entering Libya. There were comparisons to GW (some valid, some not) and while it became a political headache for a little while until it turned out alright in the tend. With elections in 2012, entering another conflict is political...well not suicide, but not healthy either.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547670)

We entered Europe's Oil War in Libya because the Europeans were losing. Such a loss would have destabilized the Eurotrash PIIGS economies to the point of collapse.

Quite frankly we honored treaty obligations (which Europe routinely ignores) in this case because the subsequent European collapse would destabilize our economy.

We haven't bombed Syria because the PIIGS aren't (yet) in need of rescue there.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547756)

You mean why did France and the UK. You also mean, why does one country hesitate in attacking a country that is a military corridor to Iran, at the same time negatively impact its tenuous relations with Turkey by halting its maritime economy with the proximity of war, and foment hostility in Lebanon with no guarantee of safety for neighboring allies from reprisals by Hezbollah. Perhaps had you thought about the nuances of geopolitics and war, you'd find that the US is more cautious than you assume.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547658)

Unfortunately you have to learn history for anything to make sense. I'll get you started.

Remember the British Empire? It was kind of like the US Empire today they had lots of troops and puppet leaders all over the world. Especially in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Their oil company had lots of wells and equipment in Iran. Well the Iranians felt they should get more money from the oil so they elected a guy that nationalized the industry. Kind of like Chavez in Venezuela or Qaddafi in Libya. The British weren't happy about it so with the CIA's help they overthrew this guy (1953) and installed our own brutal dictator to keep the oil flowing and the oil dollars flowing.

So he was pretty brutal and eventually the people got pissed and overthrew him in 1979 and took some Americans hostage for a year. So they took their oil back. So sometimes when another country overthrows your government and installs their own that gives them great deals on your countries natural resources you tend to get pissed off.

Re:Gee, maybe U.S. shouldn't try to steal oil (5, Interesting)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547794)

"Stolen" is a confrontational term, but put it this way: if China backed an armed revolution inside the US which successfully overthrew the government and installed a military dictatorship, and then contracts were signed that gave Chinese corporations access and control over the natural resources of the US, would you consider this to be okay? Or would you consider that, somehow, the natural resources were being "stolen"?

There are many references claiming that this has happened, see war is a racket [wikipedia.org] , the war on democracy [google.com] etc. There was even an honest politician from one country who was vilified because he stated straight up that they were part of the Iraq coalition in exchange for corporate access to oil.

Owwww (0, Flamebait)

rotorbudd (1242864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547384)

Yea, a 5 inch with flechette rounds.
Wonder how that fiberglass speedboat will hold up?

Re:Owwww (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547616)

I think the point is that it doesn't have to. It just needs to survive long enough to launch a missile.

Also, I guess if fifty of these things are attacking a ship, only a few of them have to launch their missiles or come up alongside and detonate their explosives for the tactic to be effective.

Gee, all I am doing is kicking this honets nest (0)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547390)

Why does my face keep hurting?

Typical reaction from Eurotrash. (-1, Flamebait)

singingjim1 (1070652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547398)

Wow. I've never seen two more clueless posts on slash...oh wait, It's slashdot. I forgot where I was for a second. Nice to see having a non-white president has closed that rift between us and the rest of the world. Not that I thought it would. The rest of the world are cowardly douchebags relying on the US to deal with every problem they can't and then stab us in the back while we do their dirty work for them. Typical. But that's okay. We the People don't mind. We have a clue about what is necessary even if it isn't popular. So you just keep hurling insults from your ivory towers while we keep the world safe and clean up your messes.

Re:Typical reaction from Eurotrash. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547426)

LOOOOOL

Re:Typical reaction from Eurotrash. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547582)

u so mad

Re:Typical reaction from Eurotrash. (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547626)

You should have been getting out more... from your meth lab. The fumes are toxic and now the damage is done.

Where have I heard this before? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547432)

"[enter middle-eastern country name here] has weapons that we don't culturally approve of (trust us!), and they are threatening to do things with them that could be avoided by us... just _walking the f*&k away_.

INVADE!

Re:Where have I heard this before? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547744)

Probably from the Yahoo news you rely on.

Sorry, but I'd rather invade a potential enemy than foolishly allow them to stew over what they hate about their friendly counterpart whereby one day they grow a pair big enough to throw one of their bombs my way, whether in the form of a rocket, suitcase, or airplane.

Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (4, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547440)

Their primary naval weapon is a missile that can get into ballistic mode before a ship's countermeasure can intercept it. From what I read, the strategy behing "suicide boats" is not the kamikaze strategy of crashing a boat inside an aircraft carrier but rather to be used as the launchpoint of a single anti-ship missile. The launching boat will be easy to sink, but very cheap to replace. If two or three of these boats can sink one large US ship, that is a net win for Iran.

You can't escape a missile with a ship, and no 100% efficient counter-measure exist yet. If Iran strikes first, no big US ship should expect to survive the first wave.

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547476)

You underestimate the survivability of US naval ships. They may incur losses but I guarantee you every ship in the Iranian navy bigger than a speedboat is going to be sunk too. And remember we have subs in the region as well.

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547500)

You assume this is symmetric. It isn't. To win, Iran doesn't need to destroy the entire US navy, or even it's ability to fight. They just need to make the war sufficiently expensive either financially or politically to continue.

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547580)

By closing off the strait that is the route to their biggest oil customer. (China) When pretty much their only income is oil exports. It appears the US could win is THEY closed the strait.

But you're right it isn't symmetric. The US can challenge the Iranians in the strait with smaller ships while the carrier battle groups stand off and put hundreds of strike aircraft into the air to take out the fast speedboats.

You forget how large the US navy is. Its currently building 2 brand new aircraft carriers at somewhere around $9 billion a piece. So I doubt they could rack up enough financial damage to win.

Politically maybe, but with Kim Jong Il's passing Iran has taken the top slot on the list of countries with crazy leaders so it would be real doubtful.

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (5, Insightful)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547674)

If they did as much a firing at a US warship, the next day they'd be visited by their friends, the B2s, followed by carrier aircraft, maybe F-22s for air superiority (if not, then F-15s), which all pave the way for B-52s. In short, their armed forces would be gone in a few days.

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547608)

Wait, so, you mean it's not like Battleship?

We're going to have to re-write some of our training manuals...

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547708)

That's funny. After demonstrating that we have no qualms about paying for 10+ years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, regardless of cost, you think Iran is going to win on a financial attrition basis.

How will Iran feel after a few months of ruinous bombardment?

You're right it isn't symmetrical. The U.S. will -- regardless of U.N. convention -- use overwhelming and disproportionate force. Iran will be lucky to have anything bigger than a reed fishing raft capable of floating if they try that.

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (2)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547668)

There are no warships that can survive a missile striking the hull. Also, your argument does not refute the parent argument. To summarise your post: "they can fire missiles from speedboats" "But if they do that, the US would sink every ship bigger than a speedboat". Yes... Also, subs are not that useful against hundreds of speedboats. Regular ships have enough trouble with them as it is (eg Somali pirates, drug dealers etc.) Speed boats are fast and can be used to cover a large area, the Somalis have extended the normal operating range to thousands of kilometers by converting some into what are effectively mobile fuel dumps.

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (3, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547570)

Their primary naval weapon is . . .

Iran: "Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Ayatollah .... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise...."

Actually, if Iran has an unlimited supply of boats and suicide-minded crews, the only way to stop them will be to bomb their bases of operation. In other words, carpet bombing Iran's coast: naval bases, fishing villages, women and children . . .

This was not an option on the table, when dealing with the Somali pirates.

This would be ugly, but war is an ugly business . . . and oil is thicker than blood.

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (3, Insightful)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547692)

Carpets bombs are old-fashioned. They'd keep predators over the area, waiting for any speedboats to leave shore. Then, it's a matter of launching ordnance.

What happens if..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547576)

The US runs convoys throught the Straits under "no retaliation" rules of engagement* and one (or more) US warships get blown out of the water?

Given that any tanker losses would just be collateral casualties, I can see the US using this as a "causus belli" because of a serious (many US citizens and those of other nations on the tankers dead) provocative attack. I don't think there would be an appeal to the UN, there'd be a cruise missile attack on command and control sites then a couple of carrier fleets would pop up over the horizon and plaster some important Iranian Navy facilities.

Things will go downhill from then on in. Whats the betting on border incursions with Iraq and Kuwait?

And what if Israel decides to make a strike on Iranian "nuclear" facilities.

The interesting question apart from the above is "Whats going on in Iran that requires the manufacturing of a foreign war to distract the masses?".

* Yeah, ok, as if the US Navy wouldn't have a pop back.

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (5, Interesting)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547588)

The worst thing that could happen to Iran is that they could sink a few US ships.

The US would lose face internationally then and would be required to grind Iran into the dust.

What is so frustrating about the Iranians is how bad they are at dealing with ANYONE else. They're the worst diplomats. No one likes them.

If they go toe to toe with the US over the straight they'll have no backers. The chinese need that straight open. They have a strong interest in free trade. Europeans are finally on board. The Russians are not going to be the outsider if the US, China, and EU are largely in agreement. And there's the Arabs that are also scared that Iran is going to start threatening them with nukes.

So... no friends.

The US almost WANTS iran to attack it just for the justification. But the absolute worst thing Iran could do is sink some US ships. Because they're only going to be able to do that ONCE. The US would never get close enough to let that happen again. And because the US is going to keep going through that straight it would mean Iran either demilitarizes the straight or the US demilitarizes it for them at range.

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (0)

darjen (879890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547724)

The US doesn't need Iran to attack it. The US can make something up and claim it was an attacked, which has happened many times before. Like in Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, etc.

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547598)

Defense is the phalanx gun and small rockets launched to intercept incoming missiles. However if they launch enough of these, or from a close proximity, it could defeat ship's systems, and then if it hits navigation and/or radar, the ship could even become defensless for further attacks.

However this kind of conflict is probably not going to happen unless USA or Israel plan to strike first on nuclear facilities. Iran just wants to show what they could do in retaliation if they are attacked and the threat is certainly genuine even for mighty US warships in area that small - however I believe that US would just fly/bomb around and keep their ships at distance, but it could take weeks or months untils the passage is safe for either oil and military passage.

For Iran, however, it would be very stupid to attack first, while US, Israel are probably preying for that to happen so they could bomb what they want in Iran.

Re:Suicide boats is not Iran's primary weapon (2)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547770)

The Phalanx doesn't agree with your statement - that thing can take out incoming mortar fire - yes, swarming it from close range would be probably be a problem, but I seriously doubt the Iranians would be capable of doing that.

Worse comes to worst (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547444)

I'll join the Iranian army if this shit goes down. Nobody likes Americans anymore.

Re:Worse comes to worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547622)

By all means, enlist immediately. :)

Re:Worse comes to worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547774)

Ok, please send me pictures when they kick your butt. I don't like the U.S., but in this case I support them

America is the Axis Of Evil (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547446)

Rothschild's vs the White Dragon Society.

There is even a war happening amongst the elites.

Basically you have 2 choices when they want you to do something, do it, or die.

Most chose to do it, and some try to release info.

Sad world we live in. Damn reptilians and blood lines. Face it. you are "DIRTY BLOOD" and they want rid of you.

Re:America is the Axis Of Evil (2)

spamdog (646409) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547590)

You must be part of the Axis of Retarded.

Re:America is the Axis Of Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547734)

In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

It's probably the best time to rattle sabers... (3, Insightful)

GrpA (691294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547448)

Given the US withdrawal in Iraq, engaging in a war with Iran won't be easy or popular. Lately they've managed to capture drones and threatening the shipping will let them achieve their own goals with the least risk of provoking a US response.

I guess the real question is, what will the US do if it is attacked? In all likelyhood, they will be buzzed by Iranian boats without actually being attacked. But how close will they let such boats approach?

GrpA

Re:It's probably the best time to rattle sabers... (3, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547528)

I imagine that is the plan. Iran couldn't win an actual war, and their leadership are smart enough to know that. But they also know that the US doesn't *want* a war right now. The public are already sick war. So they have a good chance at intimidating the US into backing down to avoid a politically-embarassing conflict.

Re:It's probably the best time to rattle sabers... (0)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547660)

But they also know that the US doesn't *want* a war right now. The public are already sick war

But do they know that no one in the US government gives a shit what the public thinks?

Re:It's probably the best time to rattle sabers... (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547726)

If the US backs down, which is extremely unlikely, someone else would take matters into their own hands. Besides, it wouldn't be politically embarassing if they're attacked while escorting a tanker. It'd be an act of war from Iran.

Re:It's probably the best time to rattle sabers... (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547790)

And then what? This isn't WW2 any more. If country A attacks country B, B can't respond by carpet-bombing A's cities back into the stone age. Killing civilians is no longer an option, even if they happen to be citizens of A. The US really has only two options: Back down (After a show of partiotic force of some type, perhaps by bombing a few military targets) or invade Iran... and after discovering in first Afganistan and then Iraq how difficult it can be to maintain the peace in an occupied country, that isn't going to happen.

One way to look at it (5, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547468)

Iran unlikely to block oil shipments through Strait of Hormuz, analysts say. [washingtonpost.com]
 
From the linked article: And Iran — which has enjoyed record oil profits over the past five years but is faced with a dwindling number of oil customers — relies on the Hormuz Strait as the departure gate for its biggest client: China.

“We would be committing economical suicide by closing off the Hormuz Strait,” said an Iranian Oil Ministry official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. “Oil money is our only income, so we would be spectacularly shooting ourselves in the foot by doing that.”

Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani, a political scientist running for parliament from the camp of hard-line clerics and commanders opposing Ahmadinejad, said it is “good politics” for Iran to respond to U.S. threats with threats of its own.

“But our threat will not be realized,” Ardestani said. “We are just responding to the U.S., nothing more.”

Re:One way to look at it (0)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547652)

I think you're giving Iran too much credit for being rational. The fact that their religious leaders are so crazy is the very reason Iran is so mistrusted. It's also dismaying to see how many people on SD who're rooting for them (Not you, Stoolpigeon). Okay you folks, very well. When the Strait of Hormuz gets closed and fuel prices quadruple, will you then be marching in the streets for Western governments to "do something"? Will you also oppose a Chinese military action?

Re:One way to look at it (4, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547754)

I don't think all the Iranian leaders are as crazy as they make out. I think they portray that face to ensure they maintain their power and affluence. I could be wrong.

That said, if they are really well and truly nuts, I'm still not worried about a fleet of speed boats- it's the nukes that will be a problem.

As for the pro-Iran sentiment on the board - I'd rack 90% of that up to trolls and another 10% to anti-US sentiment that is rather in vogue in quite a number of circles. I'm rather cynical when it comes to international politics and I don't really see the US government as any worse or any better than another. So I don't hate them and want to see them go down but I'm not blindly supporting whatever they do either.

I was in the US Navy though - and the people who think that this would be a huge problem for them are very ill informed and/or naive.

Already done, and the US lost (5, Interesting)

adamchou (993073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547472)

Malcolm Gladwell touches about a similar situation in his book Blink. He talks about the largest ever war exercise called the Millennium Challenge [wikipedia.org] . In short, the US hired a badass ex-Marine named Paul Van Riper [wikipedia.org] to command the OPFOR. This guy wrecked havoc on the US Navy by using speed boats and cruise missiles. It was so bad, the US had to stop the exercise, refloat their boats, changed the rules of engagement, then did the exercise ever again. Of course, the blue force won the second time and they claimed a huge success.

wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547478)

The sequence mentioned in the opening summary is wrong.

Iran announced their intention to block the strait if attacked. Then they announced a 10 day wargame in the straight. Then the US warship moved closer to the vicinity.

Who wants to go to war with Iran? (2)

Walter White (1573805) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547492)

Do the Iranians realize that there are those in the US who think a war with Iran would be a good thing? Is it wise for the Iranians to give them an excuse to proceed?

Only one of the candidates hoping to run against Obama is happy that we're pulling out of Iraq. (And considering the size if the Iraqi embassy and the size of the staff there, "pulling out" is really a euphemism for withdrawing to the embassy.)

no win war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547526)

you don't get that this war unlike iraq will cost a lot , A LOT MORE lives in American losses as well as its allies in region and it just gives them an excuse to do that regardless of THERE losses....

and great chance it becomes a nuclear war....

Re:no win war (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547574)

The day America goes Nuclear, is the day EVERY AMERICAN on the PLANET will be attacked. ON SIGHT.

I for one would welcome that and participate in that myself.

Re:no win war (0)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547678)

You're very brave, posting as AC. You have me so scared.

Re:no win war (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547762)

Bring it

Re:no win war (1)

CapOblivious2010 (1731402) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547792)

The day America goes Nuclear, is the day EVERY AMERICAN on the PLANET will be attacked. ON SIGHT.

I for one would welcome that and participate in that myself.

Really? You would attack me for something my government (who I didn't even vote for) did?

That's a very sophisticated attitude you've got there.... if only more people were like you (instead of being like us xenophobic war-mongering Americans), the world would be a better place...

Re:no win war (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547578)

I doubt it. US would not use ground troops, simply knock Iran's military back to 1700 from the air.

Re:no win war (1, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547644)

And you don't get that Americans are fucking crazy retards who include war costs as a plus in their measure of economic prosperity and the economy is doing poorly right now and it's an election year so *welp*

Re:no win war (0, Troll)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547672)

regardless of THERE losses

For fuck's sake. LEARN THE FUCKING PRONOUNS!

Re:Who wants to go to war with Iran? (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547556)

Well it's the same as we pulled out of Germany (and left behind 40,000 troops), and Japan (Left behind 30,000 troops), and Korea (Left behind 30,000 troops). That's how we withdraw baby.

In other news (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547504)

USA bad.
$my_country good.

Iran Encounter Grimly Echoes ’02 War Game (5, Informative)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547508)

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/12/washington/12navy.html [nytimes.com]

In the days since the encounter with five Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz, American officers have acknowledged that they have been studying anew the lessons from a startling simulation conducted in August 2002. In that war game, the Blue Team navy, representing the United States, lost 16 major warships — an aircraft carrier, cruisers and amphibious vessels — when they were sunk to the bottom of the Persian Gulf in an attack that included swarming tactics by enemy speedboats.

“The sheer numbers involved overloaded their ability, both mentally and electronically, to handle the attack,” said Lt. Gen. Paul K. Van Riper, a retired Marine Corps officer who served in the war game as commander of a Red Team force representing an unnamed Persian Gulf military. “The whole thing was over in 5, maybe 10 minutes.”

Re:Iran Encounter Grimly Echoes ’02 War Game (4, Informative)

BrynM (217883) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547746)

Unfortunately, the US Military didn't listen to him. The first round was over quick, but instead of trying to defeat the scenario, the Millennium Challenge (as the wargame was known) was reset and a predetermined plan of attack was ordered. Gen. Van Riper resigned in disgust.

After the reset, both sides were ordered to follow predetermined plans of action, leading to allegations that the exercise was scripted and "$250 million was wasted".[3] Due to his concerns about the scripted nature of the new exercise, Van Riper resigned his position in the midst of the war game. Van Riper later expressed concern that the wargame's purpose had shifted to reinforce existing doctrine and notions of infallibility within the U.S. military rather than serve as a learning experience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002 [wikipedia.org]

I'm going to roll my eyes at this (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547524)

I mean when Bush was president didn't we hear the scare story from Seymour Hersh for like 4 years how we're going to war with Iran and we never actually did.(I mean hell, even Jon Stewart mentioned that to his face.) So now when anybody claims we're going to war with them I just roll my eyes.(Since I've heard that one before and it didn't happen.)

Re:I'm going to roll my eyes at this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547730)

Well then you're an uninformed buffoon. Probably the only reason we didn't go to war with Iran back then was that Iraq was suck a clusterfuck and the military chiefs basically mutinied when asked. Bush was a fucking idiot and would have done it if he had the means.

another scare story (1, Troll)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547732)

"Bush is taking us to war with Iraq". those libs and protestors were always going on and on about this.

Well, we never did. We had a short, brief kinetic contingency operation.

Cheney said we would be greeted as liberators - we were.

Rumsfeld said it wouldn't be a big deal - it wasn't.

John McCain said it wouldn't take very long or cost very much - it didn't.

Pay UAE or Omar to build a sea level canal. (3, Interesting)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547544)

Take a look at a map. The UAE or Omar could build a sea level canal right through the peninsula . Heck the UAE is pretty good at earth moving. They could use the extra dirt to build even more islands.

Re:Pay UAE or Omar to build a sea level canal. (1)

plutoXL (1314421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547684)

Perhaps you should take a closer look at the map. That area is not flat terrain, it is full of huge mountain ranges.
Digging a canal through that terrain would be almost impossible, and for sure prohibitively expensive.

And BTW, it's Oman, not Omar.

correction. (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547714)

forced labor from Indian immigrants are good at earth moving.

the only thing the Emiraties are good at is whoring out eastern european prostitutes to hedge fund managers in exchange for massive bribes.

The USN would just stand off... (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547564)

...and destroy every scrap of military infrastructure in Iran from 1000 miles out. USAF strikes from Diego Garcia.

Then clean the straits of mines.

This would take two weeks maximum.

Let us all hope this doesn't happen.

Is this war really going to happen? (1)

spamdog (646409) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547566)

Is there really going to be a war between the USA and Iran?

I know there's a lot of saber rattling, but both sides seem to be smart enough to have avoided any conflict so far.

What's going to happen in the future? If a big terrorist attack should occur in the USA, will the government try to implicate Iran?

Re:Is this war really going to happen? (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547698)

"I know there's a lot of saber rattling, but both sides seem to be smart enough to have avoided any conflict so far."

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Re:Is this war really going to happen? (1)

mkro (644055) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547748)

You tell me.
December 8: Iran responsible for 1998 U.S. embassy bombings [washingtonpost.com]
December 22: Judge: Iran, Taliban, al Qaeda liable for 9/11 [cbsnews.com]

I can't tell if they have decided yet, but I wouldn't rule out that this is the preparation of a narrative.

US / Iran and the rest of blowback. (4, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547614)

Re: blowback (1)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547784)

I really liked that video until I got to the end and realized it was an ad for Insane Clown Posse's developmentally-challenged racist cousin.

Yes, if the US were occupied by a foreign army, you better believe I'd be fighting them in any way possible. Roadside bombs are highly effective, as are boobie-trapped home entrances.

I just hope I don't have to use whatever skills the Army gave me against American troops, even though Capos are just as bad—if not worse—than the "blackshirts" they take their orders from.

Interesting stuff... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547638)

I read articles like this and often wonder how those who respond with factual claims justify their own authority. I've also grown bored of the constant "I hate the United States" reaction constantly seen on things like this. I'm sorry, but with everything being the way it is, I find it next to impossible to assume that the world would be any better (especially in the Middle East) had the United States stayed out of it. In fact, I think it would be just as bad if not worse.

It would be nice to see the Middle East countries have 1 single day devoid of bombings or human rights atrocities, but unfortunately, this has yet to happen nor do we ever see this kind of mess not spill over into other countries somehow, hence why the United States has intervened so frequently (nobody wants another 911, for example).

I wouldn't be honest with myself if I avoided admitting that the U.S. probably takes advantage of whatever opportunities it gets along the way (i.e. - oil incentives, foreign interests, diplomatic quid pro quos, etc.) but any country in the United States' position during these situations would do the same thing whether they admit it or not. And for whatever it's worth, if this whole big campaign in the Middle East was for nothing but oil, well, I have yet to see any fruit of that labor. Gas prices are still just as high as they ever have been...

All things being equal, that sandy area over there is nothing but a religious cluster fuck full of closed-minded buffoons that do nothing but constantly dig their damn holes deeper and deeper... You can't pin that on the cowboys.

Hast du etwas Zeit für mich (-1, Offtopic)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547682)

Hast du etwas Zeit für mich
  Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich
  Von 99 Luftballons
  Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
  Denkst du vielleicht g'rad an mich
  Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich
  Von 99 Luftballons
  Und dass so was von so was kommt

  99 Luftballons
  Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
  Hielt man für Ufos aus dem All
  Darum schickte ein General
  'ne Fliegerstaffel hinterher
  Alarm zu geben, wenn es so wär
  Dabei war'n da am Horizont
  Nur 99 Luftballons

  99 Düsenjäger
  Jeder war ein großer Krieger
  Hielten sich für Captain Kirk
  Das gab ein großes Feuerwerk
  Die Nachbarn haben nichts gerafft
  Und fühlten sich gleich angemacht
  Dabei schoss man am Horizont
  Auf 99 Luftballons

  99 Kriegsminister -
  Streichholz und Benzinkanister -
  Hielten sich für schlaue Leute
  Witterten schon fette Beute
  Riefen Krieg und wollten Macht
  Mann, wer hätte das gedacht
  Dass es einmal soweit kommt
  Wegen 99 Luftballons

  99 Jahre Krieg
  Ließen keinen Platz für Sieger
  Kriegsminister gibt's nicht mehr
  Und auch keine Düsenflieger
  Heute zieh' ich meine Runden
  Seh' die Welt in Trümmern liegen
  Hab' 'nen Luftballon gefunden
  Denk' an dich und lass' ihn fliegen

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547686)

...USA cannot afford another war. Really.

Just get out of the fucking region and fix this country, already.

...and so it begins...? (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38547760)

You just never know how these things will unfold. Lots of posturing and a bit of "chicken." Iran, I believe, has more of a Navy than the article is letting on. But as a former US sailor myself, I can say it would not take much doing to coordinate some drones and install some extra CIWZ mounted around their ships and you will have a pretty fair defense against suicide speed boats. They wouldn't be able to get within 1000 yards... (2000 yard range)

I worked in OPS in a carrier group. We had the radar and sonar systems linked as a net to create a very large picture of everything in the area above, below and at sea level with every form of projectile defense capable of using that data to hit any target at any speed with pants-pissing accuracy.

"What about the Cole?" you ask? Well, at the time, people were worried about whether or not it was another green peace boat trying to spray paint on the hull again and they likely had a fire hose ready to spray them off at the time not expecting what really happened. You can bet that mistake will not happen again. The world has been warned that the US will not allow unknown, unannounced small craft anywhere near a US navy military vessel.

What's more, with today's level of target tracking, incidents like the Stark are unimaginable. That's not to say that some US targets won't take damage... they might... mines are still a threat... a minor threat really. The US ships don't have to be close to be deadly and putting mines into international waters? I don't think so. And we don't need to send landing craft in to invade.

Iran would be foolish to play too much chicken with the trigger-happy US military... a fight with the US would just "create more jobs" in the US bringing support for a war pretty quickly.

Obama is making a mistake (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38547776)

He should not be uttering a single threat. Just move 1 or 2 new aircraft carriers and Ticonderoga's over there. Likewise, we should be building a set of pipelines through UAE. Finally, we should invest faster into electric and natural gas cars in the west.
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