The Unraveling Middle East, Part III

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The decision is thus taken to initiate hostilities in the Middle East. The flash point is Israel. The first day of war sees Iranian and Syrian ballistic missiles hit Israeli military targets (air and naval bases, missile sites, nuclear facilities), with others fired at cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa. This is followed up by Hezbollah forces, under cover of rocket bombardment, which invade Israel from Lebanon and, using surprise, capture large areas of Galilee. This throws Israeli forces onto the defensive and secures rear areas in Lebanon and Syria. From Gaza, Hamas and PIJ forces, also covered by a rocket barrage, launch attacks on Israeli border posts, while terrorist attacks are mounted from the West Bank and inside Israel through deep-cover cells. Attacks from Sinai further tie down Israeli forces, while a “Day of Rage” among Israeli Arabs causes additional disruption.

Syria provides air and artillery support for Hezbollah, then launches an assault on the Golan Heights, meaning Israel’s forces—exposed to the rear by Hezbollah—face an all-out conventional battle.

At this time, 2-3 days into the war, the main phase of Iran’s operation comes into effect.

Iranian forces make an air and amphibious assault on northwestern Oman, at the tip of the Strait of Hormuz. Using mines and fast attack craft supported by air units and missile batteries on islands just inside the Gulf, the Iranians effectively seal off this vital waterway. At the same time, Iranian midget subs and merchant ships mine the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb, off Yemen, and the Saudi ports on the Red Sea, closing this vital waterway. At the same time, IRGC forces launch deep-penetration raids into Afghanistan and Pakistan, coordinating with an Iranian-sponsored guerrilla and terror offensive. Finally, supported by radical Shia forces in Iraq, large Iranian forces invade the south of that country, seizing oilfields and cities like Basra. Similar Shia actions in Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia wreak havoc with oil production and ease the way for direct Iranian military action.

Outside the Middle East, war also erupts. After weeks of violent border clashes, North Korea invades the South, using ballistic missiles to strike Japan. Venezuela alerts its forces and, together with Bolivia, institutes an economic embargo on the U.S., sending oil, silver and tin prices skyrocketing. Islamist terrorists, who have attacked oil facilities in Mexico and Nigeria, now move to launch mass attacks in North America, Western Europe and Australasia.

Thus, within the space of a week, the U.S. and its allies face a nightmare scenario. Israel is fighting for its life, while Iran is effectively securing the Persian Gulf. A second Korean war has broken out, and Venezuela is now moving to threaten Colombia and the sea lanes through the Caribbean. The world economy is in turmoil. Oil is now over $220 a barrel, and all commodity prices have soared. The disruption of global maritime traffic leads to shortages of foodstuffs and raw materials, with particularly devastating effects in developing countries.

Militarily, the U.S. is faced with having to wage two full-scale regional wars while having to face the possibility of conflict in Latin America. If Iranian missiles are deployed in Venezuela, U.S. naval and air forces would have to be diverted to eliminate this threat. With the limited power projection capabilities of its allies, the U.S. would be hard-pressed to deal with other contingencies (Somali pirates, for example), as well as intensified existing conflicts (Afghanistan). At home, the threat of mass terror attacks would strain law enforcement, intelligence and military efforts. Mass casualties, panic and disorder would combine with economic upheaval to seriously disrupt the social fabric of Western nations. The outcome of such a conflict for the West could be very much in doubt.

David Walsh has a Ph.D from the London School of Economics and is the author of book, The Military Balance in the Cold War: US Perceptions and Policy, 1976-85.

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  • zain rizvi

    very hypothetical scenario but with some very interesting and probably upcoming future events.

  • zain

    Iran will never get involved in any direct conflict with Persian Gulf states unless it will effectively neutralize or destroy the western attack capabilities in the region. Till then Iran will support internal uprisings like now to further destabilize these unpopular regimes in neighboring countries.

    • DOV

      The terror Masters must be stopped. The US and Brits need to send 500 Tomahawks into this hellish regime and light up the city of QOM and eradicate these twisted devils.

  • geez

    However it plays out in the Middle East you can bet there will be two common uniting goals among the Arabs. The extermination of all Jews, and the destruction of the free world. Even with the help of China and Russia the Jewish Nation will stand. If we don't get on our knee's to God and vote the Muslim Brotherhood out of the White House, I'm not so sure about the West.

  • Jefferey

    So much fear mongering written in so few lines !!

  • Arius

    Fear mongering? Anyone, even an idiot should be able to see that multiple regional wars will erupt in the near future. It's easy to bury your head in the ground to avoid the unpleasant obvious trends.

  • Lightning Jack

    Israel is estimated to have over 230 tactical nuclear weapons, and if not careful, Iran just may find its nuclear ambitions fulfilled one day soon when the atmosphere over Tehran reaches 5,000 degrees centigrade.

    As for the "bad boy" camel jockeys of Hizbollah, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood riding tall in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, well…as Dirty Harry would say, "Do you feel lucky?"

    • jean

      do you mean you advise Israel to use nuclear weapons against Iran and the Arabs?do you think that if Israel is committing the greatest genocide in history, the world will stand idly by?

      • jean

        your post is scary, I understand why Iran is seeking nuclear capacity if we had a neighbor that nuclear threats as you, so I support iran

        • adam

          i would remind you that it is the Iranians and her allies that are seeking to wipe Israel off the Map. not the other way around. Israel recognizes Irans right to exist. Iran does not resiprocate. the arabs that seek the devastation of Israel unfortuneately have mistakenly forgotten one huge detail in their plans to destroy her! its not her missles. its her God! they better worry about! the God Of Israel never sleeps nor slumbers! I dont recomend that you make him angry! :)

        • MixMChess

          Israel has never tested, used or threatened the use of nuclear weapons. Israel has called for the creation of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East and has stated multiple times that it will never use a nuclear weapon first.

          Iran on the other hand, has waged war and made territorial claims to its neighbors including Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Iran has boasted that it will exterminate the state of Israel.