Slcpilot
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How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:02 am

It seems that many people have resigned themselves to the likelyhood that Israel will attack Iran to cripple their nuclear interests. How might an attack take place, and what might the consequences or the results be? To keep the discussion within the guidlines of this forum, let us primarily consider the aviation aspects of such a conflict.

Given that the distance well exceeds the Israeli strike on Osirak in 1981, a simple out and back mission likely won't do the job. Here is one person's ignorant idea of how an attack might work.

An initial strike force could precisely bomb an airfield like Omidiyah Air Base, separating the hangars from the runways. Another set of bombs could also isolate the airfield from any incoming traffic and shock the barracks to where the personel stationed there would be ineffective. This could be benificial in two ways. One, the airfield is no longer an assett to Iran, and two, it could become a base for Israel to land C-130's to refuel and re-arm F-15s and F-16s for two days or so. Repeated bombings of targets within Iran could take place.

This assume to some extent that air supuriority could be attained, which is something that has happened repeatedly in the past.

The next step of the war would be much more variable. Iran would undoubtedly strike anywhere and everywhere. If they did manage any meaningful attack on Israel, i wouldn't put it past Israel to use a tactical nuclear weapon as an EMP attack against Tehran. Similiarly, if Iran managed any sort of success with a massive suicide(?) strike against a US carrier, the US would undoubtedly become an active particpant as well.

A war of this scale could EASILY double fuel prices and reset global civilian aviation worldwide imho.

This all sounds like a Tom Clancy novel, but I believe it isn't a stretch at all, and we are very close to a significant war.

SLCPilot
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seachaz
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:11 am

Interesting idea but I think the only way you'll see a direct assault from Israel like that is if they were attacked in which case US assets (carriers) would likely be involved anyways.

Otherwise any sort of preemptive operation would likely be done covertly and likely with UAVs and special ops. Though this probably wouldn't destroy the facilities outright (as I doubt UAVs could carry let alone maintain stealth with a bunker buster) they would likely severely hamper the usefulness of the facilities and kill key people at the same time.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:25 am

Would Israel really want to run the risk of a pre-emptive strike against Iran, I think if they do that they wioll loose what little sympathy and support they currently have.
 
connies4ever
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:53 am

Quoting SLCPilot (Thread starter):
An initial strike force could precisely bomb an airfield like Omidiyah Air Base, separating the hangars from the runways. Another set of bombs could also isolate the airfield from any incoming traffic and shock the barracks to where the personel stationed there would be ineffective. This could be benificial in two ways. One, the airfield is no longer an assett to Iran, and two, it could become a base for Israel to land C-130's to refuel and re-arm F-15s and F-16s for two days or so. Repeated bombings of targets within Iran could take place.

Notwithstanding the fact that Israel is taking delivery (or has finished taking delivery) of bunker-buster bombs from the US, I think any attack would, at least initially, be done with cruise missiles launched from submarines. Israel has 5 currently with another to come.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 2):
Would Israel really want to run the risk of a pre-emptive strike against Iran, I think if they do that they wioll loose what little sympathy and support they currently have.

   Absolutely. Almost a pariah state already.
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fsnuffer
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:02 pm

The way I see it, the Israelis will not be able destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities without tacit support from an Arab nation. I don’t think Iraq, with it’s ties to Iran, would support anything but I could see the Saudi Arabia turning a blind eye, letting Israel transit it’s airspace, then staging a fake protest for deniability. Saudi Arabia is just as anxious not to see Iran get the bomb as the Israelis. Throw in some tanker support from the US and it is doable.
 
connies4ever
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:08 pm

Quoting fsnuffer (Reply 4):
Throw in some tanker support from the US and it is doable.

SA turning a blind eye is possible. I believe SA already have tanker capacity, as do the Israelis.
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spudh
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:33 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 3):
Notwithstanding the fact that Israel is taking delivery (or has finished taking delivery) of bunker-buster bombs from the US, I think any attack would, at least initially, be done with cruise missiles launched from submarines. Israel has 5 currently with another to come

Any form of air attack that requires outside support is a non-runner. If it failed the supporter would immediately become a target. No democracy within range of Iran is going to pop its head that far above the parapet and having watched first hand the effects of the Iran-Iraq war develop, none of the gulf states are going to help either. I think Connies suggestion is the only viable attack strategy for the Israelis. I don't know anything about Israeli sub capability but if they have 4 cruise missile capable subs and if the reactor is within range of those subs that's how the attack will take place. The only reason you would risk an air attack would be to deliver a killer precision blow but thats a high risk option against a military well versed in aerial warfare.

You don't need to take down the reactor to set them back significantly. The Iranians will have designed the facility to protect it against that type of attack anyway. The ancillary electrical systems and cooling capability would be the prime targets. Large transformers, high tension wires and pumping systems are long lead items and softer targets. If you could get the transformers at the facility and hit every single high tension line coming into the place it would cripple their cooling capacity, forcing a shut down like in Japan after the tsunami.

If Iran has strategised properly they will have spares, back ups etc. The real killer blow would then come with a repeat cruise missile attack several months later during repair works when the spare parts are due to be commisioned. You've now taken out their spares too and there are only a limited number of manufacturers worlwide for the long lead items which I'm sure mosad would be keeping an eye on.

That'd be my plan anyway, not as exciting as a dambusters raid but has every chance of meeting the same goal within zero direct risk. It would also take a while to figure out if it was a US or Israeli attack although I'm sure Iran would not be overly concerned with a reprisal against each just to make sure.
 
connies4ever
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:46 pm

Spudh ... seems like you've thought about this a lot. I tend to agree with your line of thinking.   
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Faro
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:45 am

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 3):
Notwithstanding the fact that Israel is taking delivery (or has finished taking delivery) of bunker-buster bombs from the US

I think the issue is how effective these strikes may be. From what I recall, critical/sensitive enrichment operations/apparatus have been relocated to underground sites buried beneath mountainous areas. Does the US have 'mountain buster' bombs besides the atomic variety?

Faro
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connies4ever
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:23 pm

Quoting faro (Reply 8):
I think the issue is how effective these strikes may be. From what I recall, critical/sensitive enrichment operations/apparatus have been relocated to underground sites buried beneath mountainous areas. Does the US have 'mountain buster' bombs besides the atomic variety?

Well, exactly.

An Israeli attack would at best delay the Iranian weapons program by only a few years, not end it. Unless Israeli itself used nuclear weapons, and even the Israelis know that that would be crossing a significant threshold.

I think in the end Israel will have to learn to live with a nuclear Iran. But will a nuclear Iran spark a nuclear race in the region ? Egypt, SA, Turkey...


Once again, this revolves to some degree around the issue of the Palestinians. The sooner this is resolved, the sooner regional tensions are lessened. It also is around the Iranians desire to be numero uno in the region - and the fact that they are largely Shia in a Sunni ocean. That part won't go away.

And, the Iranian nuclear program and the controversy it engenders provides Mr A with a convenient scapegoat in the public's eye to divert their attention from the crumbling state of the economy.
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fsnuffer
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:36 pm

Quoting faro (Reply 8):
Does the US have 'mountain buster' bombs besides the atomic variety?

You don't need to take out the entire mountain; you just need to take out the entrance. With today’s weapons being able to come in almost horizontal, there is a lot of creative things you can do with overpressure from a blast once you get a little ways down the tunnel. While this may not destroy the facility, it would disable it for a period of time. I also don't know if I would want all that radioactive debris spewed into the atmosphere. Much prefer to have it sealed in a mountain.
 
silentbob
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:36 pm

They've been doing a very effective job with their campaign against the scientists running the program. If anything, I see them expanding that program. It's likely much easier to kill the people with knowledge than to destroy the facility.
 
cmb56
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:16 pm

Your crazy neighbor may be building something in his backyard he plans to use on his "enemy" 2 miles away. You being next door are probably in more danger that the "enemy" 2 miles away.
Seems to me the Saudis have more at stake here than anyone but sit on their hands. What are all those F-15Es for, airshows? The can certainly carry bunker busters and the trip across the gulf is pretty short.
It''s their neck too how about they do some of the heavy lifting for a change.
 
SP90
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:35 pm

Quoting silentbob (Reply 11):

They've been doing a very effective job with their campaign against the scientists running the program. If anything, I see them expanding that program. It's likely much easier to kill the people with knowledge than to destroy the facility.

This. Israel is already attacking Iran by knocking off the scientists behind the nuclear program. Iran could attempt to find replacements and Israel can keep picking them off. After a while the message will hit home, hopefully sooner rather than later.
 
canoecarrier
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:45 pm

Quoting faro (Reply 8):
Does the US have 'mountain buster' bombs besides the atomic variety?

Yes, the Air Force just took delivery of some 30,000 lb bombs.

Usaf Gets New 30,000lbs Bunker Busting Bomb (by LAXintl Nov 16 2011 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

Personally, I don't see Israel making any attack on Iran's program in a conventional, aircraft based strike. They've likely already been the ones behind the assassination of key members of Iran's nuclear/scientific community. If anyone is going to drop a bomb on an Iranian nuclear facility it would be the US. But, even then I don't think it's very likely.
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Powerslide
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:50 pm

Quoting cmb56 (Reply 12):
What are all those F-15Es for, airshows?

Pretty much goes for all of the Oil rich Arab nations with high-tech air forces. They are more than capable, equipment wise, to handle Iran on their own.
 
connies4ever
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:26 pm

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 15):
Pretty much goes for all of the Oil rich Arab nations with high-tech air forces. They are more than capable, equipment wise, to handle Iran on their own.

But, collectively, have never shown much appetite for the fight. Perhaps Libya marks some sort of change of heart. Even though it really wasn't a fight, it was aerial policing.
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ytz
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:33 pm

I studied this issue as part of a project in the past.

I do believe the Israelis could conduct an air strike on multiple targets with multiple packages at the same time. Whether such a strike would be successful is an altogether different matter.

With tanker support, it might be possible to actually bypass Saudi and do the long leg (Red Sea - Indian Ocean - Gulf) in one direction at least. With tacit Saudi approval (let's say they pick a few days where their Air Defence radars are being "upgraded"), it's a lot easier. With Syria a mess, there's another possible ingress route.

All that said, I don't know how much could be accomplished. First of there is the dispersion of Iranian nuclear facilities. So many places to hit. Then. There is the level of precision demanded would require the Israelis to drop bombs on top of the craters of previous bombs, to penetrate. Or alternatively to at least place massive AMFO bombs at the entrances to such facilities to hopefully destroy the enrichment stacks through the blast (the cascades are very sensitive to vibration so it's not that difficult to damage them with a pressure wave). But none of this guarantees that you hit every facility. Or do enough damage that they can't recover within months.

All that means is that there's no way to pull this off with just a hit on the nuclear facilties. Israel would have to target their oil facilities as well to ensure sufficient economic penalties that Iran will have a tough time recovering. They would have to also launch a significant amount of covert attacks in conjuction with or immediately before or after, on key members of Iran's scientific and military establishment (the few they've killed so far wouldn't be enough). That would have to be combined with significant amount of cyber attacks as well. That's a lot to do in the span of a few hours or days. They'd have to do all this while facing the world's wrath for their attack (bound to be instantaneous, especially from a world dealing with a struggling global economy that does not need skyrocketing oil prices) and probably instant retaliation by Hezbollah and Hamas at home, combined with ballistic missile and cyber attacks by Iran. There's also the risk of radiation fallout. And what if any of that makes its way to the Gulf.

Is it worthwhile? Hard to say. We don't know how the Israelis are perceiving the intelligence. Are they confident on having nailed down all the locations of the Iranian nuclear program? Are they confident that they have a game plan which won't just kill the nuclear program but also inflict enough damage that Iran won't be able to retaliate immediately? Are they certain that there is significant strategic gain from killing the Iranian nuclear program or is it just bluster on their part to try and get the international community to pressure Iran into giving up nukes?

This is not Osirak. That's for sure. Osirak and the attack in Syria were tremendous opportunities for Israel. Single attacks that if successful would also kill those countries' respective nuclear ambitions. Iran is a significantly tougher challenge.

If anybody is interested in just the weaponeering, there's a good paper by some MIT doctoral candidates:

http://web.mit.edu/ssp/publications/working_papers/wp_06-1.pdf
 
bennett123
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:25 pm

http://uk.ask.com/wiki/History_of_th...#Islamic_Republic_.28since_1979.29

IMO, these people would be in considerable danger from official or unofficial retaliation if there was a major Israeli strike.
 
mandala499
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:39 pm

It's a stretch!
To neutralize an Iranian airfield for 2 days of use or so, would attract a LOT of attention by the Iranian military.

If they are going to use an airfield for refuelling, seriously, why use it for 2 days? "Repeated Bombings"? You want Israel to strike their nuclear facility, or actually have a full war with Iran?

By the time the region knows Israel wants to "borrow" an Iranian airbase for more than a few hours, they'd just block the path for the Israeli aircraft...

It would be suicide for those who are there to occupy the airbase.

It is more effective to "borrow" the airfield for an hour or two.
Send the primary strike force to the nuclear facility, and not long after, send one to the airfield.
If by the time the primary strike force hits the target and the airfield hasn't been occupied, just go to the Gulf, and jump eject, and wait for a pre-arranged boat to pick them up. If by the airfield has been secured, go to the airfield, refuel, and immediately bug everything Israeli out of there ! Anything more than that, and it's suicide!

Anything less than that would mean going there and back, which is also very challenging. They can't go through Jordanian Airspace pretending to be lost Saudi planes on patrol, and go through Saudi Airspace pretending to be Jordanian planes lost on patrol... they did that at the Osirak raid. With billions spent on the Saudi Air Force since 1981, I don't think they can "pretend" to not be able to intercept the Israeli aircraft... their capabilities are much more than 1981... so it's going to be difficult even if Saudi Arabia wants to assist by "pretending not to know" or "turning a blind eye".

"Next step of the war..."??? I think you want a full war between Israel and Iran instead of just "neutralizing Iran's nuclear capability".

It's going to be much easier to send UAVs, strike the damn place, and dump (ie: crash) it on site or send it to the gulf or the black sea.

Missile strike from a submarine, is a heck of a lot easier than sending a manned airstrike.

Spudh's and Connies4ever's sub attack idea may be boring, but it can work, and that's still very Tom Clancy like at the same time!   

And the assasinations is probably the "most effective lowest risk" option...

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 9):
Once again, this revolves to some degree around the issue of the Palestinians. The sooner this is resolved, the sooner regional tensions are lessened. It also is around the Iranians desire to be numero uno in the region - and the fact that they are largely Shia in a Sunni ocean. That part won't go away.

Well, even if the Palestinian issue is resolved, the Iranian desire to be numero uno & be known as crazy at the same time, means the problem may remain, and probably they start to pick rhetoric fight with the Saudis.

Quoting fsnuffer (Reply 10):
you just need to take out the entrance. With today’s weapons being able to come in almost horizontal, there is a lot of creative things you can do with overpressure from a blast once you get a little ways down the tunnel.

Blast vents anyone?   
Just look at NORAD...
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canoecarrier
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:17 am

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 19):
Spudh's and Connies4ever's sub attack idea may be boring, but it can work, and that's still very Tom Clancy like at the same time!

What are you doing over here in Mil-Av Mandala! Did you get lost   I think the attack scenarios are all to ineffective other than a US led attack with bunker busting bombs, which I think is highly unlikely given the current administration. We procured those weapons more as a deterent to show that no matter how deep they put that facility..we could strike there with a B-2 or B-52. They have their facilities housed deep in a mountain.

You're also right about why they wouldn't take over an airfield for any extended length of time. This isn't a raid on Iraq. They have to fly a very long way to make this strike over other sovereign nations.

Which is why I think the Israeli strategy of:

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 19):
And the assasinations is probably the "most effective lowest risk" option..

  
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mandala499
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:47 am

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 20):
What are you doing over here in Mil-Av Mandala! Did you get lost

Just doing my spying rounds on friendlies!   

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 20):
I think the attack scenarios are all to ineffective other than a US led attack with bunker busting bombs

Even that has its limitations.

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 20):
You're also right about why they wouldn't take over an airfield for any extended length of time. This isn't a raid on Iraq. They have to fly a very long way to make this strike over other sovereign nations.

Submarines can play hide and seek even in shallow water... that's why this is the 2nd most likely option after assasinations... but damage effectivity is going to be mainly superficial.... and that's not counting the risk of "collateral damage" (such as GPS going haywire at a very low probability, and hitting say, a hospital).

Mandala499
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MadameConcorde
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:57 pm

Quoting SP90 (Reply 13):
Israel is already attacking Iran by knocking off the scientists behind the nuclear program.

This is ugly. Let the UN/IAEA inspectors decide what is wrong or right and tell the world about it. Others (be it Israel or the US or anybody else) don't have a word to say as it's all speculation aside from the UN inspectors comments and recommendations on what they have witnessed in situ during inspections and talks with the appropriate Iranian authorities.

I hope whoever attacks first will get fierce retalliation in response to their attack.

Israel/Mossad could very well use a false flag "a la U.S. Liberty" and attack one of the U.S. aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf as a Iranian attack make-believe .

I can expect anything to happen at this point as it seems that "some" are really willing to kick out a gigantic mess in the whole region. It could all go haywire to insane proportions but maybe that's what "they" want or they would not be schmoozing around the Strait of Hormuz with a whole armada.

 Wow!

[Edited 2012-02-10 06:03:25]
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
fsnuffer
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:05 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 22):
This is ugly. Let the UN/IAEA inspectors decide what is wrong or right and tell the world about it. Others (be it Israel or the US or anybody else) don't have a word to say as it's all speculation aside from the UN inspectors comments and recommendations on what they have witnessed in situ during inspections and talks with the appropriate Iranian authorities.
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Spacepope
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:42 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 22):
This is ugly. Let the UN/IAEA inspectors decide what is wrong or right and tell the world about it. Others (be it Israel or the US or anybody else) don't have a word to say as it's all speculation aside from the UN inspectors comments and recommendations on what they have witnessed in situ during inspections and talks with the appropriate Iranian authorities.

I hope whoever attacks first will get fierce retalliation in response to their attack.

IAEA report on Iran comes out next month. The inspectors have already been refused entry to suspected nuclear sites this past month. http://defense.aol.com/2012/02/02/ir...ying-to-visit-suspected-weapons-s/ Could be interesting.
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Powerslide
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:20 am

I believe any country has the right to defend themselves by any means necessary. When you have neighbours who wish your death, there is little you can do diplomatically. Israel has every right to do whatever they can to remove Iran's nuclear capability. If Iran had a modern military and intellectual might, they would have tried to invade Israel a long time ago. Thankfully, it is the good guys with all the weaponry.
 
magyar
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:06 am

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 24):
IAEA report on Iran comes out next month. The inspectors have already been refused entry to suspected nuclear sites this past month. http://defense.aol.com/2012/02/02/ir...ying-to-visit-suspected-weapons-s/ Could be interesting.

I do not think it is important whether Iran actually wants to build an A-bomb or not. The problem for Israel and the US is that it has the knowledge (or will have soon) to build one if it chooses so AND has a government that is hostile to Israel/US. This is an unacceptable combination for the latest two, regardless what those "inspections" actually find. In fact the US would never accept an IAEA report that clears Iran, just as it never accepted one for Saddam's Iraq (anybody still remembers that the WMDs were the main reasons for Iraq War II?)
 
chimborazo
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:45 am

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 19):
Blast vents anyone?
Just look at NORAD...

Shhhhhh! Only last night Amhadinejad was banging on again about the West having all the high end technology and them not! There are bound to be Iranian agents reading this thread. Loose lips sink ships...  
Quoting Powerslide (Reply 25):
If Iran had a modern military and intellectual might

With the right military maybe they would maybe have invaded, if they had intellectual might they certainly wouldn't. Doesn't matter how advanced a tank or plane is it can't pick up a nuke and throw it back like a fizzing grenade.
 
757gb
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:03 am

Quoting magyar (Reply 26):
The problem for Israel and the US is that it has the knowledge (or will have soon) to build one if it chooses so AND has a government that is hostile to Israel/US.

  

I'm compelled to agree with that. Somehow this reminds me of when the British let the word out that a nuclear submarine was going to be near the Falklands in 1982. You can't tell if it's there or not (could have been patrolling the northern sea for all they knew) but you can't afford to ignore it.
God is The Alpha and The Omega. We come from God. We go towards God. What an Amazing Journey...
 
cmb56
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:19 pm

Back in the day there was the informal policy of MAD, mutually assured destruction, between the US and Soviet Union. Pretty much everyone else was just along for the ride whether they liked it or not. In the current case of Israel and Iran the situation is simply one of assured destruction. If Israel were to be attacked with some small number of atomic weapons they have both the capability to stop at least some of them and to retaliate in such a manner that Iran would cease to be a functioning country for several generations. It will be a very long time before Iran could be in a position to "destroy" Israel. Do damage and kill many people yes but not destroy the nation. Israel on the other hand probably could destroy Iran. What would be the collateral damage to other states in the Persian Gulf if such an "exchange" took place. I personally think a nuclear Iran is a much a threat to Saudi Arabia as it is to Israel. Why would the Saudis tolerate the nuclear knife at their throat? Would then not also develop the bomb as a shield for themselves and allies and do it much faster? What sanctions could be applied to the Saudis to discourage such action if it is in response to a proven nuclear Iran? Does the rest of the world want to see the MAD policy applied to the Persian Gulf?
 
connies4ever
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:51 pm

Quoting cmb56 (Reply 29):
Israel on the other hand probably could destroy Iran.

Israel is usually thought to have around 200 nuclear weapons, which would but them in roughly the same league as Britain and France. However, there is the spectre of nuclear winter, even with a regional conflict. Article on this in Scientific American a few years ago.

http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/sagan_nuclear_winter.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_winter
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Powerslide
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:05 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 30):
Israel is usually thought to have around 200 nuclear weapons,

Israel doesn't need to use nuclear weapons to destroy Iran militarily.
 
connies4ever
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:03 am

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 31):
Israel doesn't need to use nuclear weapons to destroy Iran militarily.

If they want to take out the underground infrastructure, probably they would. Just a little one, like 50-75kt or so.
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XT6Wagon
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:15 am

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 32):
If they want to take out the underground infrastructure, probably they would. Just a little one, like 50-75kt or so.

I doubt that. I'm sure they have invested plenty of money in conventional weapons for use against these targets. If nothing else a little cash spent at the right places and word put in the right ears and the plans for the various US designed bunkerbusters could mistakenly get put on someone's thumb drive. Then said thumbdrive of "vacation photos" ends up in Israel's hands. Biggest issue is delivery systems, but I'm sure they can make it work.
 
connies4ever
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:50 am

Well, I don't see an attack any time soon. But I do see a number of scientists and engineers getting retired.

You know, India and Pakistan have learned to live with each others' nuclear arsenal, and there's no shortage of enmity there. I actually don't see why Israel and Iran can't either. Ahmedinajad won't be there forever. In fact he might not make the end of the year. Khamenei wants him out big time.
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MadameConcorde
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:14 pm

I ran into these two articles explaining why Iran is unlikely to attack.
It seems that some of the players are in no hurry to go to war.


Iran unlikely to start conflict - Director of US Defense Intelligence Agency

WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence agencies predict that Iran will respond if attacked but is unlikely to start a conflict, and they believe that Israel has not taken a decision to strike Iranian nuclear sites, a top U.S. intelligence official said on Thursday.

http://www.canada.com/news/Iran+unli...nflict+official/6164047/story.html


Iran Unlikely to Strike First, U.S. Intelligence Official Says

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The Iranian military is unlikely to intentionally provoke a conflict with the West, the top U.S. military intelligence official said today.
Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said Iran probably has the ability to “temporarily close the Strait of Hormuz with its naval forces,” as some Iranian officials have threatened to do if attacked or in response to sanctions on its oil exports by the U.S. and European Union.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...-s-intelligence-official-says.html


While Israel...

Public U.S. objections to military attack serve Iran's interests

Israel has protested to the United States over recent comments by senior American officials critical of any Israeli attack on Iran, saying this criticism "served Iran's interests."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and other senior officials made their displeasure known to Tom Donilon, U.S. national security adviser who has been in Israel this week.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition...erests-1.413845#.T0MOFxWMs3w.gmail


October (2006) in a speech at the University of Alabama Gen. Wesley Clark again recounted his conversation with a general at the Pentagon in November 2001.

DOD: 'We're Taking Down Seven Countries in Five Years'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-oUsYlIoDA&feature=related

 Wow!
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JoeCanuck
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:40 pm

Anyone who believes Iran is militarily powerless is hopelessly naive. Iran has been planning for this very type of attack for30 years. They have geared all their defenses, which are significant, towards this goal and have very sophisticated retaliatory weapons.

They have state of the art SAM batteries, supersonic anti ship missiles, supercavitating torpedoes, (both of which can be launched from a number of vehicles and neither of which can be close to 100% defended against). They have hundreds of missiles capable of reaching any target in the middle east from Iran and tens of thousands of missiles in Lebanon and Syria...which would eventually overwhelm the Iron dome and other missile defenses.

Iran has taken a stand much like the US did during the missile crisis; any attack launched by Israel on Iran will be seen as an attack by the USA on Iran. As such, any US asset will be seen as a legitimate retaliatory target.

A good lesson on this kind of an attack is the aftermath of the Millenium Challenge 2002 war games, the most expensive and extensive war games ever. Day one of the attack, (set in the Persian Gulf), had 16 US ships sunk in the first day, by small boats, prop planes and exocet missiles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middl...a-s-superior-military/%28page%29/2

http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/millennium-challenge/

The Gulf is a big lake...no room to manouver...and not nearly enough reaction time to defend all military ships, much less civilian ones, from attack. They would only have to hit one tanker to shut down traffic...insurance would be instantly pulled, for one thing.

As soon as the first bomb dropped, Iran would retaliate. They don't need runways...their airforce isn't the front lines for defense or retaliation. They would target Israel, including their nuke stations, US warships, Saudi oil installations and maybe even US bases throughout the region.

The bottom line, no attack on Iran will be easy, quick, simple...and most importantly, bloodless for either side. Iraq and Afghanistan were nearly defenseless when they were invaded and after 10 years, all the dead and wounded as well as the trillions spent were completely wasted. Iraqi leaders are being arrested for setting up death squads and the US is in official peace talks with the Taliban...the group they were trying to overthrow with their invasion.

And fools think Iran, which is orders of magnitude better defended, will just lie back and take it.

Just looking at nothing but the current track record in the middle east, any sane person will see through the illusions of those calling for war.

Israel cannot hope to accomplish their goals alone...unless they use nukes...and even they might not do it. Some Iranian facilities are 300 feet below ground. Nothing short of a nuke can hope to touch them. Israel is counting on the US either doing the first strike or attacking with Israel.

Ironically, the only ones calling for war on Iran are those who will be safe at home when the shooting starts. The US intelligence services and the military are not calling for war.

Remember 'Mission accomplished"? That didn't work out so well. An attack on Iran would not be even that successful.

[Edited 2012-02-24 12:58:27]
What the...?
 
magyar
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:39 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 36):
either side. Iraq and Afghanistan were nearly defenseless when they were invaded and after 10 years, all the dead and wounded as well as the trillions spent were completely wasted. Iraqi leaders

it depends on how you define "wasted". If you think in the framework of "destroying WMD-s", "fighting terrorism", and "building democracy in the ME" then yes it was, but that was obvious from the start IMHO. However, if you think about it as supporting the US defense industry then it was a "success". Where do you think those trillions went? Feeding iraqis? C'mon, the majority of that sum ended up in the pocket of people in the US. In essence, it was a "well-fare" program for an industry that lost its "reason to exist" after the cold war was over.
 
india1
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:07 am

 
CHRISBA777ER
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:10 pm

I fully expect a joint-Arab and US pre-emptive surgical strike on Isfanhan, Busheyr, Natanz and Arak, along with any other tertiary sites dotted around. It is a massive operation. You need several aircraft on each strike package plus the same number of fighters plus tanker and AWAC support. To carry out one massive strike hitting everything you’d need 100+ planes, and the US Navy is the only force in the region capable of pulling this off on its own. The Israelis don’t have enough tankers, the Saudis and Qataris don’t have the really big deep-penetrator guided bombs needed, so it has to be a joint effort. The sites are well-defended and casualties might well be considerable. As soon as the Americans can put together a force of Arab states willing to participate, they’ll green light the strike. I doubt very much we’ll have to wait much longer – maybe as soon as the Summer. The strike will have to be overwhelming and even with that much firepower, it will not stop Iran’s nuclear programme, just knock it back a few years, a decade at most.

Strike profile is an interesting topic. Would assume Kuwait won’t want to get involved. Likewise Iraq, even if it could. Wonder if India would want to get involved as well? Would the Royal Air Force get involved? This is exactly the sort of high speed, high precision, low level strike missions we’re very good at, even with older Tonka equipment. Can our Typhoons carry GBU-28s?

Strikes are likely to be Saudi and USAF Strike Eagles and Qatari/Emirati Ridgeback F16s slinging 5,000lb deep penetrator GBU-28s, Saudi Typhoons and Emirati/Qatari F16s doing the escorting. USN bugs doing CAPs across the Gulf and covering the tankering zones and jamming aircraft tracks. Growlers up with Hawkeyes monitoring SAM radars over the coast and popping them if they engage the fighter screen etc. I think they’d end up building a “basket” to stage the strike packages out, timed well so that the packages go in together or with a minimum delay, tankering under the cover of heavy AWAC, fighter and jamming cover, staying out of range of long-distance SAMs, or taking them out before the mission proper.

Saudi Tonkas, USAF F16s and maybe USN Growlers going in with the strike, doing the defence suppression and jamming, mixture of Saudi and USAF tanker support, Saudi and USAF AWACs.

Strike packages need to tanker over the Gulf and enter Iranian airspace fast and hard as they can with such big ordnance under the wings – there are enough advanced SAM radars and missile sites around to mean it would likely have to be done at low-level. Triple A likely to be the main worry. Surprise hard to obtain but they’ll have to try – so assume it would happen at night.

I guess the issue keeping war planners up at night is whether the much-vaunted deep penetrator GBUs can penetrate far enough into the rock in the shielded targets, and if so, will they do enough damage? We may well find out soon enough.

Regardless of what ends up coming off the wings, accuracy will be vital. I wonder whether there might be special forces assets in theatre to light up the correct targets to improve accuracy, and possibly give an accurate sitrep re SAMs and AAA around each site. One wonders whether C&C and comms assets elsewhere might be targeted by cruise missiles as well to reduce enemy cohesion and increase response time.

What role might drones play? Could we see a stealthy drone deployed over each target and loitering, waiting to react with a snap Hellfire salvo from very close by as soon as the SAM radars or AAA sites/vehicles come online, a sort of Wild Weasel drone mission? Or stealth drones fitted with jamming pods perhaps, only turning them on right at the last minute to maximize shock surprise and confusion. Certainly there would be recce drones over every target to ascertain damage and strike effectiveness.

I think the worry is that a quick, surgical strike starts to take on the feeling and unwieldiness of a sledgehammer because of the amount of hardware and facets to the mission profile. But anyone who thinks the Israeli lightning attack on the Iraqi reactors in the early 80s is a blueprint for this one is mistaken because this is far larger and a lot more ordnance needs to be expended to have the desired result. Damaging the programme won’t be enough – they have to destroy it utterly and in such a fashion that it will take decades to get back to where they were.

Another question is, will the strikes lead to all-out war? Are the regime likely to respond?

I don’t mean by sending up fighters etc, as these are effectively suicide missions as they will get swept aside very easily from long-range, but more like retaliatory strikes against US and Arab League states using long-range missiles and air strikes, and also at sea using gunboats and anti-shipping missiles, mines etc? I don’t see them not-responding.

A war with Iran would, IF US military planners are correct, be over very quickly. Air dominance obtained in the first six hours, then unrelenting cruise missile and air strikes until the command and control and communication function does not work. The naval task groups will be the ones in peril – do they stay forward and protect the minesweeper assets clearing a path for the merchant ships, and cut reaction time drastically thus making them very vulnerable to shore-based supersonic ASM attacks, or do they stand off, allow the straits to be mined, stay out of range of all but the longest ranged ASMs, and go after the launchers and bases? If the latter, how long will this take? How long can world trade be crippled like this? What is clear is that Iran would gladly trade five frigates for one American warship, twenty planes for one American plane and all of its submarines for one of the American boats. The regime knows it cannot maintain such attrition rates for long but then it does not have to. US public opinion and the media spotlight means the sinking of an American destroyer – or God forbid a carrier – would be a devastating blow and potential game changer in terms of the US stomach for the fight. Sniping at the US/allied fleet from long range with state-of-the-art supersonic ASMs and the latest Anti-shipping torpedoes suits the regime just fine and it is well-equipped for this mission. The US/allied fleet is well equipped but can it handle these much feared saturation attacks? Or can those “carrier killer” supersonic cruise missiles really do what the Russians say they can? It promises to be a grisly and nervewracking stand-off.

Drones will play a vital role – blanket surveillance around the clock will be key, and if a land-based launcher, speedboat, skiff or air asset unmasks from camouflage, either the drone engages it with Hellfire or a GBU, or an airstrike is called in – quickly.

Might we see useage of the rumoured orbital satellite weapons that have been surmised to be at the disposal of the Americans? Even if there was, would we know?

Once the allies have control of the air, and the bombardment starts to have an effect, things will get easier. Cohesion fades and if open ground operations are conducted then they will be done quickly and decisively. The Iranians will then head into the cities and organize mujahideen militia and carry out low-intensity warfare, IEDs, carbombs, snipers etc as the Taliban do in Afghanistan.

Does the US/allied forces have the manpower and appetite to go FIBUA like they did in Baghdad and Mosul, Falujah etc, but on a much greater scale?

My feeling is the regime know the US wont and cant. Or can they?
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india1
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:30 am

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 39):
Wonder if India would want to get involved as well?

Answer: No they wont. This govt will not, whatever be the personal opinions of Indian members on this forum.
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:29 pm

How is Iran a direct threat to the U.S.?

Do they have ICBMs that can reach Chicago, L.A., Boston or Dallas?

When was the last time Iran attacked a foreign nation - not talking about province but nation.

If Israel feels threatened, shouldn't they be the ones to take care of the problem without having to ask any other countries to carry attacks on their behalf?

Who will pay for a new war started by the U.S. in the name of Israel to the risk of having the whole Middle-East on fire?

Do you really think Russia will say to anyone who attacks Iran "I hear you, go ahead and bomb them, feel free to do as you please"?

How can non-existing Iranian nuclear weapons be a threat to any nation near or far?
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fsnuffer
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:14 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 41):
How is Iran a direct threat to the U.S.?

Via Hamas and terrorist acts. Hamas has been active in Mexico and Iran attempted to bomb the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 41):
Do they have ICBMs that can reach Chicago, L.A., Boston or Dallas?

Not directly but once the ones they do have set the Saudi oil fields on fire the impact will most definitely be felt in Chicago, L.A., Boston or Dallas

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 41):
When was the last time Iran attacked a foreign nation - not talking about province but nation.

Iran prefers to fight wars via proxy forces such as Hamas. The war between Hamas in Lebanon and Israel was the last proxy war Iran was involved in



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 41):
Who will pay for a new war started by the U.S. in the name of Israel to the risk of having the whole Middle-East on fire?

The same group that would pay when Iran follows through on the threat it made to "Remove Israel from the map" - the entire would will pay.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 41):
Do you really think Russia will say to anyone who attacks Iran "I hear you, go ahead and bomb them, feel free to do as you please"?

There is a difference between what Russia says publicly and behind closed doors.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 41):
How can non-existing Iranian nuclear weapons be a threat to any nation near or far?

A non-existing Iranian nuclear weapon by definition is not a threat but when it becomes an existing Iranian nuclear weapon it is too late.
 
777STL
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:15 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 41):
How is Iran a direct threat to the U.S.?

Iran is a known state supporter of terrorism against the United States and other countries. At this point, the danger isn't from Iran's military itself, more so the proliferation of the nuclear weapons they could potentially produce. There are numerous ways to deliver a nuclear weapon, many of them not via normal military means. For example, they could ship it up through Mexico and detonate it in a major US city, they could put it in a shipping container onboard a ship bound for a major American city and detonate it off the coast, etc.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 41):
Do they have ICBMs that can reach Chicago, L.A., Boston or Dallas?

No, but the point is to not wait until they do. The majority of those ICBMs could reach Israel and other US allies in the Middle East.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 41):
When was the last time Iran attacked a foreign nation - not talking about province but nation.

Again, they're a state sponsor of terrorism. You know those IEDs that killed countless coalition soldiers in Iraq? Yeah, the parts for a lot of those weapons were sourced directly from Iran. They've been fighting a proxy war against the US and Israel for years.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 41):
If Israel feels threatened, shouldn't they be the ones to take care of the problem without having to ask any other countries to carry attacks on their behalf?

Meanwhile, Iran has also been threatening the US Navy in the Arabian Sea. Iran is a threat to much of the western world, not just Israel.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 41):
Do you really think Russia will say to anyone who attacks Iran "I hear you, go ahead and bomb them, feel free to do as you please"?

Russia isn't going to stop anyone on Iran's behalf let alone undertake a military action for such an effort.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 41):
How can non-existing Iranian nuclear weapons be a threat to any nation near or far?

Again, the point is to not wait until they do have the weapons to do something about it. Should we just go ahead and wait until Iran kills a few million people in Tel Aviv with a nuclear weapon before we do something about it? Yeah, sure, that makes perfect sense. That's the same laissez-faire logic that let Hitler commit the Holocaust back in the early 40s.

Stick to bragging about flying airplanes for the first time, you're a bit out of your league in the realm for foreign policy.
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ytz
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:51 pm

Let's dial it back a little. Ahmadinejad's rambling aside, I highly doubt the Iranians would actually use a nuke against Israel or anybody else. That would be the end of Iran if they ever did. Even the mullahs aren't that suicidal.

But, what a nuke gives Iran is protection. The US will never actually attack a country with nukes. That's the lesson of the Iraq war. Next lesson? Nukes buy you immunity for all your nefarious activities. Iran is a global headache, second only to Pakistan. And look at what that country has done with nuclear weapons. They have used it to render the Indians limp-wristed while they launch attack after attack in India. Anybody who thinks Iran won't do the same is dreaming. A few dead soliders in Iraq with IEDs? Forget that. Iran will actively start bolstering every insurgent group in the Middle East. It will support any friendly regime that crushes a democratic movement. It will become even more active in the Americas. And it will seek to destroy Israel...not with nukes, but with their proxies.

I agree with JoeCanuck. It would be a messy war. This is why I said earlier. There is no way to do this without aiming at an economically crippling strike at Iran too. The war wouldn't just be bad for Iran. The spike in oil prices, particularly if an Gulf oil installations got hit or if a tanker was sunk, would probably spark another global recession. Other than Israel, how many countries want to risk that? Would Obama want to risk another US recession, along with the highest gas prices in history (albeit for a few weeks or months only), as he heads into the election?

Where I disagree with Joe is on Iran's military strength. Iran may have some good systems. And they can undoubtedly inflict damage on any attacker. But I think you give them too much credit. I doubt their early warning systems (based on intelligence usually) is that good to alert the facilities defences well enough in advance. I dobut they have an fully integrated nationwide air defence system, that's redundant against Wild Weasel attacks. And for all their show about targetting US vessels and close the strait, we should keep in mind that USN and other area navies have been preparing for just such an incident for years. And actually following through might cost them their last few friends (like India).

It's a very high stakes game. This is a part of the reason why Israel has not struck. If they could have done it without US support, they would have by now. If they could have done it without becoming a global pariah beyond what they already are (a certain outcome if their strike proves crippling to the global economy), they probably would have done it. Instead we've seen a few assassinations and a computer virus/worm attack.
 
connies4ever
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:39 pm

Quoting YTZ (Reply 44):
. The US will never actually attack a country with nukes.

Tell that to the Japanese...
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rtfm
Posts: 421
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:28 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 45):
Tell that to the Japanese...

He meant that the US would never attack a county that HAD nukes....  
 
zanl188
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:36 pm

Quoting RTFM (Reply 46):
He meant that the US would never attack a county that HAD nukes....

Pakistan would disagree....
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fsnuffer
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:10 pm

To bring things back to the original post, with the nuke facilities being so well defended what does the forum think about the posibility that Isreal would try to decapitate the Iranian regime by attacking their leadership? Are there any time they are all together like the US State of the Union address?
 
zanl188
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RE: How Might Israel Attack Iran?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:20 pm

Quoting fsnuffer (Reply 48):
the posibility that Isreal would try to decapitate the Iranian regime by attacking their leadership?

What would be the point? Successors would certainly be even more hostile towards Israel as a result...
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