This is the first part of a series articles regarding to the possible military actions aginst Iran, there are also air operations and special operations, if the response to this one is positive, I will post the other two soon.
Iran is a large country, long term occupation is not feasible, so the US would try to achieve at least one out of the three goals listed.
1. Destroy Iranian nuclear programme, eliminate Iran's ability to produce nuclear weapons and long range missiles. Prevent the Iranian military from threatening US proxy governments in Afghanistan and Iraq.
2. Use military action to force a regime change, military action, accompanying diplomatic, economic and covert means to install a government that is "friendlier" to the west.
3. Control Khuzestan, Khuzestan contains 90% if Iran's oil deposits, and the separatist movements in the region might be helpful.
The current US force, except ground forces available, is sufficient for a large scale military operation.
At the moment, Iraq is tying 3 to 4 US army and marine divisions and a few stryker national guard brigades, around 18 brigades in total, since there is no sign to suggest that the resistance movement in Iraq is dying out, it is unlike for the US to divert too many troops from Iraq.
However, if the US can lengthen the deployment period of troops in Iraq by 3 to 6 month, the US army and marine should be able to provide 4 to 5 divisions in an operation against Iran.
Possible routes and sizes of the attack
1. Khuzestan: Contains 90% of Iran's oil deposit, relatively flat terrain and good infrastructure favours mechanised warfare, though the Iranians will do all they can to defend the region, Khuzestan is cut off from the rest of Iran by the Zagros mountains, which makes supply and reinforcement harder for Iran. So only one mechanised infantry division plus supporting troops should be able to take Khuzestan.
2. Kurdistan-Tehran, Tehran is the political centre of Iran, taking Tehran will most likely to cause a regime change, if a pro-US government can be established in the separatist Kurdistan, the US will only have to drive for 400km to reach Tehran, but, rugged terrain prohibits mass mechanised forces, and Iranian resistance will be fierce, so the US will not take this route unless they are fully prepared, at least one heavy division will be required.
3. Hormuz coasts, coast along Hormuz is relatively flat, favours amphibious operation, coastal regions also contain large amount of Iranian naval and airbase and large cities, and taking the Hormuz coasts will eliminate th threat of Iranian anti-ship missiles to tankers traveling in Hormuz straight. One marine division with attached special operations force will be required.
4. Mashed, third largest city in Iran, only 150 kms from Afghani border, relatively flat, has reasonable roads and infrastructure. One light infantry division will be sufficient, heavy equipments can be allocated depending on the air lift capacity and preparation time.
Last edited by James Kennedy
on 19 Jul 2008, 05:12, edited 3 times in total.