Thursday, September 7, 2006

U.S. forces in Iraq number 145,000


"WASHINGTON - The number of U.S. troops in Iraq rose to 145,000 this week, the highest since December and 15,000 more than a month ago."


It is highly unlikely that the aim of a US ground invasion of Iran is to capture the entire country, in a manner similar to the invasion of Iraq. Iran is much larger, with three times the population of Iraq and the US doesn't have enough troops on the ground. However, it is highly likely that the US (with British help) will aim to capture Khuzestan, right across the border from Iraq. That is where Iranian oil in concentrated. The aim would be for a quick operation to capture the oil installations and refineries in as intact condition as possible. This is probably doable. With the loss of the oil revenue, and with air strikes, it would be a matter of time before the Iranian government falls. That is the theory, anyway.

This also explains the closing down of the British military base recently and the relocation of British soldiers to the Iranian border. It is to be noted that British forces in Iraq are also being increased.

If we were to take Blair seriously, that he would leave office in a year, then the invasion of Iran will take place within this window.


It is true that in the short term, a foreign attack on Iran would unify the country. We can look at Lebanon as an example. However, that unity begins to collapse, as time goes on and an economic siege is imposed. We have three examples: Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. In the early stages of each attack, each presented a united front. But look at Iraq now; it is being fragmented along sectarian and ethnic lines. The same could easily happen in Lebanon; the bickering and narrow self-interest are in full view already. Look at the Palestinians, while Israel is still bombing and killing on a daily basis, Fatah is implementing Usraeli plans to topple the government by all means possible, including strikes, armed confrontations, etc.

If we extrapolate to Iran, the same can easily develop there; Iran is just as vulnerable to ethnic and sectarian divisions. I am not saying that the US will succeed, but experience shows that the neocons do not learn from their failures, or if they learn they learn the wrong lesson, which is to apply even more force in the next adventure (mini nukes?).

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