World War - III?
"If there's an attack on Iran by Israel and the US, there's no way to prevent it from becoming a nuclear war…''
-Fidel Castro; 13th July, 2010.
''United States and Israel had decided to attack at least two countries in the region in the next three months…"
-Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; 26th July, 2010.
Few days later of Fidel's predictive warning, Ahmadinejad's speech came out as a realization of a nightmare from which the whole community was reeling for years; since WWII. The fear of Nuclear War or WWIII! The Cuban Revolution leader's address to the Cuban parliament summoned for an extraordinary session in Havana, due to the urgency of mobilizing the world, faced with the danger of a nuclear war that would be triggered by a US-Israeli led aggression on Iran. The great revolutionary claimed "Simultaneously, the war would break out in the Near and Far East and across Eurasia," said Fidel. "Otherwise, if the war breaks out, the current social order will abruptly vanish and the price will be much higher," he warned. Just few days later Ahmadinejad came out with another polemic statement regarding US invasion in two states within next three months. Was there any link between these two statements? Experts on diplomacy can give a prudent answer to this question. I want to share that Hugo Chavez may have played a crucial role by provoking Fidel, a veteran leader who have won the hearts of millions in all over the world, to give such an speech which may help to build a global opinion in support of stopping US-Israel aggression on Iran. On the other hand, Ahmadinejad's prediction on war within three months in fact makes the war at least three months late if it ever happens in future at all! But still there are lot of realities behind all these iteration and reiterations. The fear of nuclear war can't be undermined with these arguments and counter arguments.
A thought-provoking article by Michel Chossudovsky, a Canadian emeritus professor of economics at the University of Ottawa, was published on 13th August 2010. Chossudovsky claims that attack on Iran is not a particular decision from the US relating it with question of Israeli existence rather it is their plan since 2003 to take Iran just after Iraq. He says that the stockpiling and deployment of advanced weapons systems directed against Iran started in the immediate wake of the 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq. From the outset, these war plans were led by the US, in liaison with NATO and Israel. The US planners named the plan with a code- TIRANNT, 'Theatre Iran Near Term' and it was initiated in May, 2003. According to some rare information revealed by some ex-security and military personnel it is clear that the US viewed Iran as a part of succession of military operations. Former NATO commander General Wesley Clark (1997-2000) said the Pentagon's military road-map consisted of a sequence of countries: beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan- a five year plan.
The whole strategy is directed and controlled by the United Strategy Commend (USSTRATCOM), which is again under the US Department of Defense (DoD). USSTRATCOM is one of 10 U.S. unified commands under the DoD. The missions of USSTRATCOM are to deter attacks on U.S. vital interests; to ensure U.S. freedom of action in space and cyberspace in support of U.S. Joint Force Commander Operations; to synchronize global missile defense plans and to synchronize regional combating of weapons of mass destruction plans. Under its new mandate, USSTRATCOM has a responsibility for overseeing a global strike plan consisting of both conventional and nuclear weapons. The decision to target Iran under TIRANNT is a part of the broader processes of USSTRATCOM.
Why nuclear is option?
Confirmed by military documents as well as official statements, both the US and Israel contemplate the use of nuclear weapons directed against Iran. In 2006, USSTRATCOM announced that it had achieved an operational capability for rapidly striking targets around the globe using nuclear or conventional weapons. Continuity in relation to the Bush-Cheney era: Obama-Biden era has largely endorsed the doctrine of pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons. Under the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the Obama administration confirmed "that it is reserving the right to use nuclear weapons against Iran" for its non-compliance with US demands regarding its alleged nuclear weapons program. Nuclear option is compulsory for Iran because of its location of nuclear sites. "Israeli military commanders believe conventional strikes may no longer be enough to annihilate increasingly well-defended enrichment facilities. Several sites have been built beneath at least 70ft of concrete and rock. However, the nuclear-tipped bunker-busters would be used only if a conventional attack was ruled out..."(Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran - Times Online, January 7, 2007). The preferred nuclear weapon to be used against Iran are tactical nuclear weapons (made in America), namely bunker buster bombs with nuclear warheads (e.g. B61.11), with an explosive capacity between one third to six times a Hiroshima bomb.
But still the US may choose not go for nuclear weapons because it has nuclear typed conventional weapons like MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb) or Mother of All Bomb applicable in conventional war. It is suspected that in early March 2003, MOAB was used or deployed in Iraq war theater. The US DoD has confirmed in October 2009 that it intends to use the MOAB against Iran. The MOAB is said to be "ideally suited to hit deeply buried nuclear facilities such as Natanz or Qom in Iran".
Will it turn into a World War?
From Castro to Michel Chossudovsky all expressed their apprehension that Iran invasion by US-Israel-NATO may turn into another world war. First fear factor is Iran's location and then its credible military capabilities. It is located in Middle East and near of Central Asia and East Europe is not far away. Afghanistan and Iraq are Iran's neighbors; at the same time these are two loosely occupied countries of the US. So it's easily understandable that how strategically lucrative is Iran's location. Further turmoil in this region will shatter the power and credibility of the US in this region. The war, if it ever takes place, is feared to be spread all over the Middle East. While Iran is encircled by US and allied military bases, the Islamic Republic has significant military capabilities. Israel itself acknowledged that "the Shehab-3, whose 2,000-km range brings Israel, the Middle East and Europe within reach" (Debka, November 5, 2006). Iranian ground forces are of the order of 700,000 of which 130,000 are professional soldiers, 220,000 are conscripts and 350,000 are reservists. (See: Islamic Republic of Iran Army - Wikipedia). Within a scenario of escalation, Iranian troops could cross the border into Iraq and Afghanistan. In turn, military escalation using nuclear weapons could lead us into a World War III scenario, extending beyond the Middle East, Central Asian region.