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FB Ali • 3 months ago

This is a brilliant post! Hits the bulls-eye on all the points covered.

Strawman • 3 months ago

My thoughts exactly. I don't always agree with the Colonel, but by my lights this time he hit it out of the park in each and every paragraph.

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

You don't agree with me? How could that be? Pls tell me how I can improve.

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

Thanks. https://southfront.org/syri... The Russians are still bringing more kit into the country. IMO the method will be Fight Fight! Talk! Talk! As someone said on MY FB page "Achtung panzer!"

blue peacock • 3 months ago

neocon Max Boot debating Steve Cohen on Anderson Cooper's show.

https://youtu.be/Xb4ryRqJPe8

It seems that the President is working his own deals and may be far more successful than Mikey and Johnnie.

FB • 3 months ago

Haw...thanks for that...Prof Cohen beating Max Boot like a rented mule...

unmitigatedaudacity • 3 months ago

Satan has deluxe accommodations all set up and waiting for ya, Maxie.

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

I was on a panel with Boot at NYU once. His fear was palpable. Cohen on the other hand may well be America's greatest Russian scholar ever. pl

smoothieX12 . • 3 months ago

Cohen on the other hand may well be America's greatest Russian scholar ever.

Currently, for sure is the greatest. I would, certainly, add Esteemed Ambassador Jack Matlock to this short list.

chris chuba • 3 months ago

Wow, Steve Cohen appears on a TV show other than Tucker Carlson, amazing, I thought he was banned.

The first time I saw Steve Cohen was on the Fareed Zakaria show about 3yrs ago and I never saw him again despite the fact that Fareed has had dozens of shows about the great Satan Vladimir Putin. Fareed will normally try to have a somewhat balanced panel but on Russia, he will only have Neocons and ultra-Neocons. On FOX their Russia expert is Daniel Hoffman a CIA guy, guess what he thinks, on CNN it's James Clapper and the like.

smoothieX12 . • 3 months ago

Fareed will normally try to have a somewhat balanced panel but on Russia, he will only have Neocons and ultra-Neocons

Zakaria is a joke as geopolitical "scholar" as, in general, most of US civilian "academe" on this issue and, especially so on anything related to Russia.

richardstevenhack • 3 months ago

Cohen used to appear almost weekly on Tuesdays on the John Batchelor radio program on Westwood One. I don't think that's continuing based on what I saw on the site today. His last appearance was on July 18th:

http://podbay.fm/show/58986...

and one on July 11th:

http://podbay.fm/show/58986...

Some of the previous interviews are around on the Net and well worth listening to.

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

I was on the JB show quite a lot until he got the memo.

FB • 3 months ago

Wow...a tremendous dose of reality here...the Colonel has got his batting shoes on today...

Here's my two cents...Trump meets with a man clearly of a similar world view in new Italian Premier and certified Euroskeptic Conte...and makes a hugely diplomatic overture to Iran...shades of his meeting with Putin...in both cases it was the Real Donald Trump talking...

Sure there's going to be what 'appears' to be walking back...just like after the Putin meeting...with Trump's laughable 'word correction' that was almost as funny as LBJ taking a leak on his secret service guy's leg...'It's okay son, it's my prerogative' LBJ assured the wetted down man...and Trump has likewise learned to turn the BS hose on and off at will for the crazies at home...it's his prerogative to invent words if he says so...

I'm beginning to think that the 'imminent' Iran 'war' is just so much kabuki theater...with everything already on its way to being quietly ironed out...

Trump knows the people don't give a rat's kazoo about Russia 'meddling' or Iran or just about anything other than IMMIGRATION...Tucker Carlson just had the poll numbers a couple of days ago [Russia is number 27 on the list, with less than 1 percent of Americans saying they care]...

So it's clear to everyone except the crazies which way the world is turning...Trump knows this and he knows what he needs to do, which is the ideas he had all along...and now that events are proving him right, his belief in the wisdom of his own ways is going to be harder and harder to influence...

I think we have a president who is uniquely unwilling and perhaps unable to get his mind changed, or probably even listen to anything he thinks doesn't make sense...and he has now learned that he only needs to speak out of both sides of his mouth as needed to confuse everyone and give the impression that he is listening to anyone...

As for Pompeo and Bolton...I think they are extremely grateful to be where they are and really aren't interested in digging in their heels with a guy as trigger happy as Trump...they also are definitely NOT the type to resign on 'principle' [they have none]...this character trait is in fact the reason Trump hired them to begin with...LOL

smoothieX12 . • 3 months ago

He
believes that we could fight a maritime campaign in the Gulf with next
to no losses and that if necessary we can bomb the Iranian people into
unleashing their economic deprivation wrath against the mullahs.

Theoretically it is possible to do the Air-Sea Battle (or whatever hurling Tomahawks and other stand-off munitions is called nowadays) against Iran. Bomb it and declare the victory. I am not sure that Iranian Navy has any real means to do much, nor do I believe in the Iran's ability to meaningfully close the Strait of Hormuz. But, whatever one says about Iranian Air Defense, one cannot discount a massive number of domestically built Iranian systems, knock-offs of Russian Buks, plus some number of actual Russian AD systems from Pantsir to S-300PMU2. That may represent a real danger to any aircraft, especially if Russians managed to integrate all those systems. The glory of April 13 Syria's AD performance, which now has become the stuff of legends, is a good motivator for Iranians. Well that, plus Russia's global ISR capability which will be utilized for Iran's benefit the moment any pre-deployment of forces starts. Per Iranian EW capability--who knows...

richardstevenhack • 3 months ago

Tes, they can make the Straits - and indeed the entire Persian Gulf - a very dangerous place for ships. They have tons of small boats armed with missiles and guns, and they can also fire antiship missiles from their coast which is very long. The Gulf is very narrow, especially in the Straits.

The last time the US Navy ran a war game, they lost 16 ships almost immediately and had to stop the game and refloat the ships to continue. Of course, that was 15 years ago and the Navy has improved its small-boat defenses considerably since then. But the Iranians have also improved their small boats.

Iran can dump floating mines from practically every little depression in their long shoreline. The last time the US Navy conducted a mine clearing exercise in the Gulf, they only found half the dummy mines that were released.

The only way for the US to prevent extreme danger to shipping in the Gulf is to put thousands of Marines and Army right on Iran's coastal shores - where they will be subject to constant guerrilla attack by both Iranian regulars, IRGC, and the Basij militia (which, depending on whose count you rely on, numbers from one million on up to ten million - and every one of them can carry on AK - and will happily do so.)

The US can conduct a nice, expensive air campaign that will cost hundreds of billions and bomb Iran's infrastructure into the Stone Age, and do this for the next decade, but Iran will never surrender. Eventually the US will have to give up and go home, with nothing changed except a lot of corporations got richer.

That is, assuming the economy doesn't tank because we're no longer getting the eight million barrels of oil we usually get per day because the price has gone up to 250 dollars a barrel. Partly because the Straits are dangerous and partly because Iran will expend several hundred of their IRBMs blowing up Saudi oil wells and the Saudi floating oil platforms the tankers dock at.

A war with Iran will be four times bigger and four times more expensive than Iraq and Afghanistan combined. And the losses will be at least four times bigger.

smoothieX12 . • 3 months ago

Tes, they can make the Straits - and indeed the entire Persian Gulf - a
very dangerous place for ships. They have tons of small boats armed with
missiles and guns, and they can also fire antiship missiles from their
coast which is very long. The Gulf is very narrow, especially in the
Straits.

In real war with at least couple US Navy's CBGs and other assets involved there it will not be easy at all to fire ASMs. I don't know if Iran has Russian P-800 Onyx ASMs--those are a very real danger--but getting targeting will not be easy for Iran. I can foresee some sporadic salvos but to have a saturation strikes on Iranian side--I don't think so. Small boats is a separate issue under the condition of them not being able to get to main US Navy assets. Guns? Is it a joke?

Iran can dump floating mines from practically every little depression in their long shoreline. The last time the US Navy conducted a mine
clearing exercise in the Gulf, they only found half the dummy mines that were released.

This is, certainly, the case and this will be done.

The US can conduct a nice, expensive air campaign that will cost
hundreds of billions and bomb Iran's infrastructure into the Stone Age,
and do this for the next decade, but Iran will never surrender.
Eventually the US will have to give up and go home, with nothing changed except a lot of corporations got richer.

Isn't it what I wrote initially? Moreover, as I said earlier (see my original post)--I am not particularly positive that Iran will be "bombed into the stone age" precisely for the reasons of her having a respectable AD and, inevitably, having a benefit of Russian Early Warning and tracking capabilities which will be made available as necessary. No, Iran will not surrender and that wasn't the point under consideration to start with.

A war with Iran will be four times bigger and four times more expensive than Iraq and Afghanistan combined. And the losses will be at least four times bigger.

I don't know where the number four came from but I think we must talk about order of magnitude in case of (suicidal) decision on ground campaign in Iran. Take a look, as an example, at the highway #71 (among others) between Bander Abbas and Tehran, see the terrain and while at it--count how many tunnels are there. Unlike Iraq, Iran also has a whole Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan in her rear for a safe delivery of supplies.

N.M> Salamon • 3 months ago

With great respect to your naval and general military reality, it only takes one missile, or mine or whatever else in the 3 mile wide tanker traffic section of the gulf neck between Omar and Iran [being only deep section for tankers] for all insurance being cancelled for all rankers - no more tanker traffic.

smoothieX12 . • 3 months ago

Omar and Iran [being only deep section for tankers] for all insurance being cancelled for all rankers - no more tanker traffic.

There are massive geopolitical consequences for Iran in that, since this will bring other parties into the game and Iran doesn't want this. For all their rhetoric--they are practical people and do not want to bring this whole thing to the brink of big guys getting into the fray with each-other. In this case Iran gets it one way or another. Russia is working currently on avoiding this. As I said, there is a price to pay for Iran in all that and it is only natural for such kind of arrangement. In the end, Russia supported Iran's forces in Syria against Israel's demand for a complete withdrawal. Iran's security currently rests not on it's ability to shut down the Strait, however debatable this real ability is. It is with Russia's whole game in the ME.

richardstevenhack • 3 months ago

First of all, their small boats - some of them, at least - can launch antiship missiles of the Zafar, Nasr, Noor and Qader class. "These are radar guided anti-ship cruise missiles capable of destroying 1,500-tonne targets and damaging even larger ones," according to to one report I've read.

Secondly, ten years ago, Iran had at least 300 IRBMs, plus hundreds if not thousands of shorter-range missiles. Assuming they've built 50 or so a year, they probably have well over at thousand now. Supposedly even the advanced Shahab-3 is being built at a rate of 90 a year for the last several years.

Most of them are transporter mobile, although some may be in defensive desert silos. They don't have that many launchers, but as Iraq and other conflicts have shown, it's not easy to find them all. Presumably Iran has been smart enough to build more than the "20" most estimates give them.

In the last few years, they have developed cruise missiles, almost exclusively oriented towards antiship roles. Ranges vary from 3km to 200km. They are deployed on the coast and on their ships of all sizes and can carry warheads of up to 500kg.

And, yes, guns can be effective against unarmed tankers. No one wants to get shot at and not every commercial vessel can be escorted by a US destroyer.

As for Iranian AD, I expect that to be taken out as usual by mass US cruise missile attacks, and what exists of the Iranian Air Force to be shot down pretty quickly. Thus the US should have air superiority as is usually the case with Third World countries. This might change if Iran buys enough S-300's from Russia.

I remain convinced that the only way the US can halt Iran's impact on Gulf oil shipments - either via the Straits or missile bombardment of Saudi Arabia - is to do a ground invasion. The US may not do this immediately but eventually the US will either have to "fish or cut bait" - and then the real fighting will start.

smoothieX12 . • 3 months ago

First of all, their small boats - some of them, at least - can launch antiship missiles of the Zafar, Nasr, Noor and Qader class. "These are radar guided anti-ship cruise missiles

If those missiles are "beam riders" and have no good active head and good ability to overcome jamming--I wouldn't put too much stock in them. The communications, including radio-commands will be jammed for them over water. US Navy will have no problem obtaining targeting (if push comes to shove) data and will have no problems in dealing with those boats be that by means of good ol' Harpoons (be them from ships or F-18s) or whatever will be in the air around the Gulf at this moment carrying JDAMs, JASSMs or JSOWs for those boats.

or missile bombardment of Saudi Arabia

Yeah, this is where it all becomes really interesting. Per Iranian AD--you are underestimating it. Call it a hunch on my part. This is not to mention the fact that we can only speculate on what Shoigu discussed (not for once) in Tehran. Russia has Iran's back but there is also a price to it for Iran, as it is supposed to be. I only hope that all these scenarios will remain a figment of our imagination.

richardstevenhack • 3 months ago

My guess is the Navy's capability to deal with those boats depends on how many of them are attacking at a given time.

Jamming the missiles might be very feasible - unless Russia (or China, who has made some of the missiles Iran has copied) has told Iran or Iran has figured out how to combat that. I doubt anyone knows Iran's electronic warfare capabilities.

And again, they don't have to hit Navy ships - just Saudi oil tankers.

smoothieX12 . • 3 months ago

I doubt anyone knows Iran's electronic warfare capabilities.

Russia does, she supplies Iran with some of those.

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

And then there are Hizbullah's missile and rocket forces.

Larry Kart • 3 months ago

if Trump is such a reality-based hustler who knows how to deal with supercilious p--cks" like Pompeo and Bolton, why the heck does he keep bringing those p--cks on board and then waste so much time and energy on dealing with them? Are there no prospective officials around who are not of that stripe? Or is it that Trump is unable to detect them and/or unwilling for some reason to bring them in and put them to work?

I'm reminded of a point made throughout Vol. 1 of Michael Broers' brilliant new biography of Napoleon -- that Napoleon, who despised the talk-talk-talk of parliaments and liked best to work with and through committees, had a near-infallible gift for detecting the best and the brightest, whether or not they had impressive credentials or even if they had opposed or still opposed some of his policies. In these committees, which dealt with both political and military matters, all were expected to speak freely, while Napoleon listened like a hawk. For him the key test, aside from the committee members' intelligence and energy, was whether they were men of honor -- by which he meant that when agreements had been reached after all had had their fair say and Napoleon had put his stamp on them, they would abide by what had been thoroughly vetted and agreed to. An autocrat, for sure, and yet...

Demeter • 3 months ago

Trump's keeping his enemies closer.

Mark Logan • 3 months ago

Larry Kart,

I think Dylan's Joker (Jester?) and The Thief might be closer to the situation of Trump than Nappy, referring that odd line in his Watchtower song.

The profession of truly self-interested husksters renders such largely immune to the smelly little orthodoxies which compete for the souls of the courtiers.

Eugene Owens • 3 months ago

LK - But then all or most of his 26 Marshals turned against him. Who besides Marshal Ney was faithful to the end?

And although many of them were the best and brightest, they generally only did well in battle if operating either independently or directly under Napoleon. If they had to cooperate closely with each other or work together their egos were their worst enemies.

Larry Kart • 3 months ago

Under Napoleon was part of my point -- that he weighed their ideas, which again they were typically free to offer to a great degree, and that while it was his judgment (or if you prefer, his ego) that finally prevailed, his judgment was often vitally informed by their contributions. This pattern was even more the case in civil/poltical affairs.

As for the eventual abandonment of N. by most of his Marshals, all I can say is 1814; there are limits. Also, given the history of France since the Revolution, a history of upheaval that was fresh in the minds of most of these men, the question of who and what would follow the heir-less N. in any case, even if he had been able to prevail militarily at that point, had to be something that many Marshals under N., as well as most Frenchmen of all stripes, had to be considering. Disloyalty on their part? A mere attempt by them to save their own skins? Perhaps. But consider how loyal they had been, and under what conditions and for how long.

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

Hey! The Swords Around the Throne" knew when it was over. As for Ney, he first betrayed Napoleon and then the restored Bourbon king. He deserved to be shot.

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

"He never really loved the emperor." Quote from?

Eugene Owens • 3 months ago

Conrad. But IMO he should have stuck to tales of the sea.

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

It was a wonderful movie.

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

He hired people recommended to him by their cronies like Rosenstein, Wray, Pruitt, Coates. There have been many mistakes.like that. He could not appoint the kind of people he had eaten well-done steaks with in NY while hustling them in a deal. He also relies too much on his gut reaction to people he meets.

Larry Kart • 3 months ago

Yes but, if he is that susceptible to dubious advice, isn't that something of a flashing-red-light character flaw -- just as Napoleon deserves blame for taking the advice of the treacherous Josephine on several disastrous occasions (i.e. the decision to invade Haiti)?

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

"You see," as Auda Abu Tayi said of Lawrence in the movie, "He is not perfect."

unmitigatedaudacity • 3 months ago

No, he is not. We all lament The Boltens and Pompeos. However, where is he to find "good people"? The American political class is reflectively myopic and partisan. Find some more Jon Huntsman types (where? IDK) who can serve American interests without all the Sturm und Drang of today's hyperbolic, puerile political warfare.

Haralambos • 3 months ago

This is off-topic by a bit but of possible interest to those here:

https://tinyurl.com/ycy8rx8r

The quick take-away: "Israeli forces have violently boarded a ship, being followed by
Consortium News, that was headed to Gaza bringing humanitarian aid. A
survivor of the USS Liberty is now in Israeli custody."

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

Liberty survivor? Ah, one of those troublemakers who slander Israel? we gave them up long, long ago.

EEngineer • 3 months ago

I would wager that Trump sees both of them as dangerous but useful idiots that willingly play their role in his "good-cop, bad cop" negotiating tactics. They will be gone with the next tacking.

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

Yup. Ready about! Ah, they went over the side.

EEngineer • 3 months ago

I envisioned something closer to being forced to walk the plank.

Demeter • 3 months ago

Excellent discussion--esp. about the military and their relationship with Trump, especially how it will be changing as Trump drains the Congressional part of the Swamp and then turns his attention to the MIC.

This whole government/nation is riddled with Smart Guy Syndrome. We need fewer self-appointed experts and more public servants.

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

Don't use the acronym MIC again. The rest of it I agree with.

Charles Pettibone • 3 months ago

I was pleasantly surprised at Bolton's behavior in Russia and in his comment that getting rid of Assad was no longer the goal of the US. To be sure, time will tell, but it's clear that at this point Trump is driving foreign policy and is far more self-confident than he was in 2017.

Whatever Pompeo says doesn't matter- if he tries to throw up walls to a summit, Trump will tell him to go to hell. It's a core principle of Trump's that meeting is not a "concession." He knows that "legitimacy" is an utterly meaningless concept, not something that can be granted or withdrawn by the US president. If Iran offers Trump a meeting, he'll meet. No questions asked.

chris chuba • 3 months ago
"Well, folks, Trump is a master of the art of BS detection. Those who try to fool him are taking a great risk."


I completely agree with you Col. I hear people call Trump a moron or a genius, I think that what makes him so vexing is that he is both at the same time. He is probably very good at making certain nobody gets the better of him, especially his subordinates.

John McGrath • 3 months ago

Perhaps he's what the Germans refer to as a Fachidiot - a genius in his field who's a complete fool in most everything else...

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

What field is that beside impersonating a garden dwarf?

John McGrath • 3 months ago

Spot on as always, Pat. His 'field' might be best described as "whatever benefits Donald Trump". The author of "The Art of the Deal", Tony Schwartz, said it should have been titled "The Art of the Psychopath"

Pat Lang • 3 months ago

I was referring to Pompeo.