Blog powered by Typepad

« Dear Mr. Berezovsky/Abramovich (delete as necessary) | Main | America enters the Last Chance Saloon! »

Friday, 31 August 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

My own guess is that if the opinion polls suggest that O might lose his election then he might launch an Iranattack. I'd like to think that that twerp Cameron might keep us out of it, but that's not the way to bet.

Don't know you're aware of it David - but there've been murmurings about. Now this particular link doesn't exactly explain why this particular ship movement is so very unusual (and I shant be explaining).

But I would say, an Admiral onboard a US Carrier enjoys an unusual degree of autonomy of action. And no one would sit back and "enjoy the view" whilst missiles whiz past overhead. (If one had the means to hand.)

This from a couple weeks ago David. I'm comfortable with most of the analysis:

"The Israeli Crisis is republished with permission of Stratfor."

If Israel attack Iran then the USA will have backed it although they condemn it publicly. It is called pragmatism, playing to all the galleries. US surveillance and intelligence will advise Israel on the targets.


It's good the carrier Captains are making the effort to be war ready at all tiems, but:

Like man, where are the carriers?

CVN 65 in 5th fleet about to leave
CVN 69 5th Fleet
CVN 74 enroute to relieve CVN 65

CVN 73 West Pacific
CVN 69 Pearl Harbor?
CVN 75 Norfolk

3 in maintenance
2 in long term overhaul.

Seems like a normal deployment schedule to me.
But then I was soldier, so what do I know.

(N.B. The 5th Fleet is the US Navy in the Indian Ocean mostly near the Middle East)
Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings


I think the bigger problem is that if it looks like Obama is going to lose or after Nov 6th and he loses, is that some one will take advantage of the indecisive leadership in Washington to try some sort of grab and run. maybe Iran, maybe someone else.

I think Israel will only make preemptive attack on their own if he wins.

I'll not be quibbling with you Hank over much stuff, least of all on D&N. And as I (sort of) "highlighted" in the first link above, Stennis departed from Bremerton WA and the crew was called on an alert status to man, er, 'personnel' the ship something like the Yorktown in another century.

Only times I personally was ever "alert statused" was just after the Iran Embassy takeover and South Korea's President Park's assassination.

But neither of the carriers I got 'trapped' to, deployed from Bremerton, Washington.

Just sayin'.

You being (formerly I continue to hope) in the second-hand car trade David - should you convince the good fellows in your MoD you'd be better employed than merely carrying pens - here's where to start rebuilding a fleet:

'Course you'll need your Admirals to be familiar with more than changing a fuse or two under the bonnet, or sponsering rowing teams on whatever the hell river your recent "Olympic Longboating Rowers" team lost to during the Great Gold Medal ShakeOut when your British Team took on that Gobi Desert Team.

I guess I'd misinterpreted what my American education taught as unerringly true - the Brits couldn't be challenged when "paddling sand" was the sign of a sure winner.


Perusing your link I see at least three (including additionally Stennis) could be at 'ready stations' pretty quick.

That'd put - in the extreme - 5 CTFs in the near AOR, though likely 1 near Suez, 1 in the Med, 1 probably in the Malucca Straits. Just guessing mind, but if that force projection is close, I'd go so far as to guess there'd be at minimum, 20 or so of a mix of SSNs & SSBMs.

I'm figuring likely near 60 TLAMs (Sub-launched, Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles) if my "guessing" is near close. Again guessing - there should be roundabout 10 to 20 Aegis BMD equipped and ready DDGs near Qatar [5th Fleet] with some number of auxiliaries. I've heard, but cannot know, there're minesweepers in proximity. (Personally I doubt the last, if only 'cause of what I'm given to understand on the state-of-art Iranian mines, these ships would almost necessarily have to be CG wooden-hulled.)

However, listening to what's available to me on the Marine-bands, it sounds like there's a heckuva lot of spoofing going on. Could well be my local weather but some of the stuff reminds me of what I'd expect if there were EA-6B Prowlers aloft.


I have often wondered whether the Syrian conflict is a proxy to keep Israel boxed up option-wise vis a vis a pre-emptive strike on Iran. It would kind of suit the Russians and maybe the Chinese to limit the options of US presidents and to keep those Israelis in check. Would you start a fight across the street when your neigbours have turned violent and are 'related' to those across the street? - 'my enemy's enemy is my friend'. Are the Americans up for another failure - I doubt it, not even Romney.

I reckon Islam has no need to nuke Israel, I believe Israel's economy will wither away, the young innovators will move away and the place left to the religious enthusiasts. This is the real reason for sabre rattling - to hold off the inevitable.

Thank you all for your contributions to this conversation, alas, I can't reply in detail to each and every one. In general, I don't think there is any possibility of us being involved not least because we haven't the means to do so - or the money - and never mind the inclination!

The death and destruction that will smash into Israel if they attack does not bear thinking about but I simply cannot believe that an Israeli government would allow Iran to become operational with nuclear weapons. If any of you were Israeli, would you? In more or less the same way that Hitler bullied and cozened the democracies in the 1930s whilst always pushing for more and more, so the Iranians have lied and lied again in pursuit of their nuclear aims.

It seems to me that the Israelis have a ticklish problem. Will they get *more* American support now from a president who is facing a strong election challenge and will need to demonstrate his 'toughness', or from a newcomer still unsteady in foreign affairs. For sure, if Obama wins they will receive minimal support.

If I were the Israelis I wouldn't expose myself to the risk of a defeated President O for a few months from November on. (I think O will win, but it's far from certain.)

But then if I were the Israelis I wouldn't be an Israeli because I think Zionism was/is daft. Fancy punting your future on trying to better the success of the Crusader states in the Levant. Madness.

I'm with you on Zionism, DM, a daft idea but, as we know all too well in the 'United States of Europe', God preserve us from mad politicians with dreams!

The Iranians (if they had one), wouldn't nuke Israel. They'll use in on some small Arab Sunni state that doesn't have nukes. There are, as far as I know, no recorded cases of exploding Muslim priests.

"Envelope" brings to mind a possibility worthy of ruminating on.

Israel, as you David have said, "is a sliver of a target" and I'd add, the US (and that means O had to personally sign off on the transfer) has given them what is known colloquially as, "The Iron Dome."

I'd expect the Iranians, if they do have nuke[s] they very likely don't have the (estimated) 300 or so the Israelis almost certainly do.The Saudis seem if anything, more terrified at the Iranian prospect than do their neighbor to the West.

I'd be too (were I having lunch in Riyadh) and suddenly Israel's missile defenses opened up cause if they do manage to bring a rocket down, it'll be "falling short" as they say.

So - rather than attack a known-to-be well defended target (one which will surely retaliate) - attack something smaller. And poorer.

Yemen maybe? Sanaa dissolving in a fireball might even get the Saudis enthusiastic attention.

Rogerh? Your comment triggered the recollection of something I'd read but it took me some time to recall just where I'd seen it. In Arkansas my condition is known as CRS. Anyways:

"Putin's Visit and Israeli-Russian Relations is republished with permission of Stratfor."

David I pass the 'Islamic' Pakistan Consulate in Glasgow most days when travelling into Glesga centre. No one is ever outside protesting. Not a socialist organisation to be seen.

Thanks JK, I just bookmarked Stratfor - looks halfway intelligent.

Welcome. Thing about depending solely on guys like Cordesman (or the Kraut for that matter) is to keep in mind to which audiences the "bread 'n butter" are dependent on.

STRATFOR seems not to care - they piss everybody off.


Sorry to be a little slow.

The site I linked has shown the same pattern for years. Two thirds of the carriers at some level of readiness, 2 in in the Gulf region (with an occasional 3 as one rotates out) and three or four 1 to 3 weeks sailing time form the Gulf. In March 2003 there were six in the Gulf.

Is sending the Stannis early a hedge against events or does DOD want to decommission Enterprise early? Either way it does not seem the US planning a offensive action in the near future.

You have a point, sort of like when or battalion commander said "we are not on alert" between every sentence as he gave the order for our contribution to a task force forming on the runway at Ramstien Airbase. Forces can move quickly when necessary, often without drawing the attention of clueless press.


You are right about Cordesman and the Krout. Both have done good work, both have been inane, and both sometimes pander to their audiences. One should not rely on a single source, use several sources then look at a map and do the math. STRATFOR is usually a very good source.

IF Iran was to to nuke Israel I doubt they have the control to be sure it is an airburst. If it is a surface burst there will be much fallout and the prevailing winds are west to east (towards Iran). Of course that will solve the West Bank and many other problems with the Chernobyl solution.

The thing about the Syrian civil war is the Syrian Army will be years away from launching a serious attack on Israel. Which I think simplifies Israel's problems if a Iran does not launch missiles, and gives Israel a little room to launch a preemptive attack
Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

Just personally Hank, I'd almost bet (if I can bet David's money I'd be more willing) Enterprise is to be retired early. Actually, Enterprise should've been retired about the same time CV-63 was.

Naval exercises have been scheduled in the Gulf for sometime, and I would think it's never a good idea to telegraph offensive intent regardless of an attack's recipient. Our (US) recently noted record-breaking arms sales and transfers should be plain enough without having to send additional carriers.


If, as has been (more or less public - whether many in the "public" know what is being referenced) reported, the Iranians seem to have had serious problems with properly sequencing the "ring initiator" necessary to achieve reliable positioning [air or ground] for the detonation of a "proper" nuke. The Iranians might have more success using a cannon initiator but then I'd be (if I was Persian) concerned the high G-Force launch atop a missile might result, as it were, in a "premature ejaculation." (Maybe better to send a sub on a kamikazi mission.)

It's not the Syrian Army per se the Israelis are concerned with on the northern frontier - rather what would very likely be the result of a complete Syrian regime going kaplooie with the very likely scenario of an enhanced Hezbollah no longer under the figurative thumb of Alawite pressure.

NightWatch you might recall, has reported captured "Syrian rebels" gave accounts to their captors they thought they were already fighting the Israelis. That they were captured near Aleppo apparently wasn't an adequate clue the "Syrian rebels" had yet to reach the Golan Heights. Much less crossed into Lebanon.


There are two military problems on Israel's northern area.

The more probable is Hezbollah which can launch missile and terrorist attacks which will take some effort to deal with, cause embarrassment for the Israeli government but not actually threaten Israeli control of Galilee. If the Syrians and Iranians or some else are not able to replace Hezbollah's losses and ammunition this would be one shot threat.

The less probable but far more dangerous is the Syrian Army (with outside support?) putting together a conventional attack which could advance to the Carmel ridge (which includes the Heights above Megiddo i.e. Armageddon) and take Galilee. A much lower probability at best but the civil war has taken it out play for several years. Prior to the civil war starting the Syrian Army was allegedly getting better. I've seen a couple things suggesting that Israel is quietly supporting aid to the rebels but never enough to win.
Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

Just one question Hank. Maybe two.

If you've seen suggestions the Israelis are supporting a faction in Syria - don't you imagine others closer to the action have seen the same suggestions?

Now. If what/whomever is composing that faction are found out (suspected) to be accepting Israeli support - how do you suppose they will fare?

Not in Israel mind - rather in their own native, Arab country?


I read what amount to insuations not hard data. (It wouold be to their advantage so they must be doing it.) If it is true I would think it is limited to (false flag?)lobbying NGO's and such, nothing with their fingerprints on, as you note that would back fire something awful.

Yes Hank. I can see where some false-flagging might be useful in the toolkit. NGOs're handy sometimes.

The comments to this entry are closed.