Attacking Iran

ATTACKING IRAN….William Arkin describes the Pentagon’s contingency plans for Iran and then suggests we’re being too cagey about publicizing them:

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) has been conducting theater campaign analysis for a full scale war with Iran since at least May 2003, responding to Pentagon directions to prepare for potential operations in the “near term.”

The campaign analysis, called TIRANNT, for “theater Iran near term,” posits an Iraq-like maneuver war between U.S. and Iranian ground forces and incorporates lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In addition to the TIRANNT effort and the Marine Corps Karona invasion scenario I discussed yesterday, the military has also completed an analysis of Iran’s missile force (the “BMD-I” study), the Defense Intelligence Agency has updated “threat data” for Iranian forces, and Air Force planners have modeled attacks against “real world” Iranian air defenses and targets to establish new metrics. What is more, the United States and Britain have been conducting war games and contingency planning under a Caspian Sea scenario that could also pave the way for northern operations against Iran.

….The President of the United States insists that all options are on the table while the Secretary of Defense insists it “isn’t useful” to discuss American options.

….I think this sends the wrong message to Tehran….The United States military is really, really getting ready, building war plans and options, studying maps, shifting its thinking. It is not in our interests to have Tehran not understand this.

As I’ve said before, I don’t think that amping up the saber rattling is a wise idea, but this is a reasonable, if fairly conventional, counterargument. And either way, it’s always nice to know the facts. Now you do.