The Next War | Harper's Magazine

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The Next War

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Dr. Dan Plesch and Martin Butcher of the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies look at the signs for an American aerial war on Iran and say the pieces are in place for this to happen imminently. It now only awaits Bush’s command:

The US has made military preparations to destroy Iran’s WMD, nuclear energy, regime, armed forces, state apparatus and economic infrastructure within days if not hours of President George W. Bush giving the order. The US is not publicising the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely. The US retains the option of avoiding war, but using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping Iran’s actions.

  • Any attack is likely to be on a massive multi-front scale but avoiding a ground invasion. Attacks focused on WMD facilities would leave Iran too many retaliatory options, leave President Bush open to the charge of using too little force and leave the regime intact.

  • US bombers and long-range missiles are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours.

  • US ground, air and marine forces already in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan can devastate Iranian forces, the regime and the state at short notice.

Read the entire SOAS study here. (PDF)

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