Is The US Preparing To Invade Iran?
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
For the past few days I have noticed a distinct uptick in the amount of military helicopter traffic over my neck of the swamp. I have mentioned it to friends and we have wondered aloud about its meaning. Now, I think we may have the answer.
According to Debkafile “Operation Bold Alligator” may be what I am observing from my dry perch in the swamps of North Carolina.
In an article titled: “Operation Bold Alligator: 20,000 Troops Preparing On US East Coast For Persian Gulf Action” Debkafile says the following: “Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill.” (SOURCE)
We folks here in North Carolina are not unaccustomed to finding ourselves in the middle of military training exercises. US Special Forces train here. We are surrounded by military installations. Just east of me is the Marine Corp Air Station at Cherry Point, NC. Northeast is Camp Lejeune, also a Marine Corp Training facility. North is Fort Bragg and Pope Army Airfield, and a tad farther north is Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base near Goldsboro, NC. So, you know that for military activity to draw our attention, it has to be big and unusual. Bold Alligator is both.
It is sort of interesting, too, that this exercise is taking place at the same time as the Iranian’s large naval exercise off the southern coast of Iran.
Debkafile goes on to say: “The exercise is scheduled to end on February 14, a week before the winding up of the Iranian drill, after which the participants are to be shipped out to Persian Gulf positions opposite Iran. Altogether three American aircraft carrier strike groups, the French Charles de Gaulle carrier and four or five US Marines amphibian vessels will be posted there.” (SOURCE)
We have mentioned in previous comments that for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities to be more than a delaying tactic, it will require boots on the ground, to one extent or the other. Air strikes alone will not destroy the Iranian nuke facilities. Air strikes can slow their program down but not end it.
Iran’s coastal gun and missile batteries must be taken out along with their radar emplacements and there will need to be attacks on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards barracks, bases, and training areas. Iran’s air force, though tiny and not much of a threat, must be wiped out. Iran’s naval facilities and their attack boats and blue water navy will be badly mauled, if not destroyed, and that includes their small fleet of submarines.
The attack, when it comes, will be swift and terrible – and it will continue for a while -- until the job is done.
Even if Iran manages to close the Straits of Hormuz, it will be a temporary closing. If Iran decides to invade one of its neighboring Arab states, oh, say Saudi Arabia, well, that’s what the Bold Alligator exercise is about.
This attack, which may be only weeks away, has been coming for years. For my generation of Americans it will, to some extent, be pay back for Iran’s seizing of the US Embassy in Teheran during the Carter Administration. No, we have not forgotten.
For many months the US has been moving and stockpiling military supplies and materiel on a couple of Islands well within range of the Straits of Hormuz. This will not be a knee-jerk operation.
The Germans introduce “lightening War,” Blitzkrieg, in the 1930’s. America learned from it and have since become masters at the execution of overwhelming force applied at numerous locations simultaneously. It is devastating.
There is little doubt that a face-to-face showdown between the US and Iran is coming. The unprecedented forward deployment of men, munitions, and materiel -- plus the practicing and training for such an event speaks to the willingness of the US to bring the hammer down should it become necessary.
Oh – asking Israel to sit this one out, as we did in the war with Iraq, would be an insult.
J. D. Longstreet