Several years have passed and numerous strategists have concluded that America’s next war would likely be against Iran. Very few have paid any attention to such analysis until recently. Just this week however, even main stream media found a way to begin covering the Iranian dilemma. If war against Iran were to unfold, the outcome would likely be catastrophic.
The initial execution of U.S. led military operations in Afghanistan was brilliant. Our fighting machine destroyed critical targets with extreme precision. Our ground troops entered enemy domains taking out the adversary with extreme prejudice. Tactically, our force was unmatched especially when political shackles set them free to do what they knew how to do best.
Within days, weeks, and at most, months, we annihilated Iraq and Afghanistan only later to be sucked into a politically induced fiasco. America’s modern day war fighting endeavors have been tactical successes but ultimate strategic failures. Sun Tzu would be proud of our adversary considering they fulfilled numerous elements founded in his Art of War doctrine such as deplete the economy, destroy the enemy’s morale, and keep the enemy under a strain and wear him down. Look at America today, we have a broken economy, are politically divided, and to say it politely, our troops and their families are exhausted.
Very few are willing to discuss the stark realities of Afghanistan or even Iraq. Those that attempt to disclose the true horrors of today’s wars are often ridiculed or simply overlooked. In fact, many media outlets refuse to cover any worthy factual reporting from Afghanistan today in an attempt to protect the current administration. Unfortunately, this administration, like the majority before them, has misinformed the populace making everything abroad seem hunky dory.
Fortunately, some astute military leaders such as LT. COL Daniel L. Davis are coming forward reporting ground truth assessments. His recent article, Truth, Lies, and Afghanistan, surely upset the Pentagon. His recent internet sensation filled the blog sphere supporting a similar report Washington Examiner’s Diana West had previously written just two weeks ago. With this, in June, Homeland Security Today picked up an article I had written explaining why U.S. strategy in Afghanistan had gone backwards. Obviously, many persons knew for a long time how bad things have gotten in Afghanistan.
This all comes during a time when SECDEF Panetta and even President Obama expressed concerns towards Iran. These concerns have included comments such as “no option is off the table.” Hopefully, the Obama administration realizes that our military has taken too many bloody noses in the past couple of years and a military option against Iran would likely come in the form of ultimate disaster.
Iran is the eighteenth largest country in the world. It is easy to fit all of Iraq’s and Afghanistan’s land mass inside Iran. With a population of approximately 74 million, Iran doubles that of Iraq and Afghanistan–combined. This means, the United States would need virtually double the troops in Iran than used in Iraq and Afghanistan. How is that possible when the defense of the United States will soon be dramatically reduced in size?
Let’s assume that war with Iran does break out and America puts a hold on defense reductions. Still, America, based on previous accounts, will have an incredibly difficult time dealing with Iran. Our rules of engagements placed on the troops have become so politicized that they have safeguarded the insurgents while simultaneously harming our best and brightest. Iran had ten years of observing the U.S. military in action and they know exactly how to defeat us. These political shackles must be unlocked prior to any U.S. engagements against Iran.
With this said, there is a way to defeat Iran without any mass conventional military might. Covert operations have worked in our past. They were arguably the key tactic used to defeat the Russians during the Cold War. Iran has many pro-democracy movements founded deep inside the nation. These groups have nothing to do with the Sunni dominate Muslim Brotherhood, they are pro-western, and should be supported by the United States.
Come March, Iran will uphold parliamentary elections. Opposition to Ahmadinejad has already formed. Many have been placed under house arrest by the Iranian regime but still a few continue to push forward with aspirations to defeat the current regime. An opportunity was lost in the 2009 Iranian elections for the United States yet a new opportunity has evolved. We can evade war against Iran however; we must capitalize on today’s opportunities. If we fail, war will become inevitable. It’s time to beef up covert operations supporting Ahmadinejad’s opponents.
Kerry Patton, a combat service disabled veteran, is a senior analyst for WIKISTRAT and owner of IranWarMonitor.com. He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security and interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban. He is the author of Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies and the children’s book American Patriotism. You can follow him on Facebook.