Global Economic Security

Battlefield - Persian Gulf

The Trump administration’s aggressive rhetoric and actions have alarmed the world. The protests in response to his visa ban that have targeted mostly Muslims from seven nations the United States has targeted in its wars of aggression. War with Iran has long been a possibility for the US, but only as a last resort.  

Previous administrations have recognized that this is not a war the USA or Israel can not win, but will Trump do the same? Is the fear of the threat greater than the threat itself?

The moment of hesitation among Americans and non-Americans who believed that we would be living in a more peaceful world because “Trump would not start a nuclear war with Russia.” The sad and stark reality is that U.S. foreign policy is continuous. An important part of this continuity is a war that has been waged against Iran for the past 40 years.

The character of this war has changed over time. From the failed Nojeh Coup, which attempted to destroy the Islamic Republic in its early days, to aiding Saddam Hussein with intelligence and weapons of mass destruction to kill Iranians during the eight-year Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, to helping and promoting the MEK terrorist group, to training and recruiting the Jundallah terrorist group to launch attacks in Iran, to putting special forces on the ground in Iran, to imposing sanctioned terrorism, to perpetrating the Stuxnet cyberattack — the list goes on and on, as does the continuity of these policies.

In this photo provided by the semi-official Fars News Agency, people gather around a car as it is removed by a mobile crane in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012. Two assailants on a motorcycle attached magnetic bombs to the car of an Iranian university professor working at a key nuclear facility, killing him and wounding two people on Wednesday, a semiofficial news agency reported. (AP Photo/Fars News Agency, Meghdad Madadi)

People gather around a car as it is removed by a mobile crane in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012. Two assailants on a motorcycle attached magnetic bombs to the car of an Iranian university professor working at a key nuclear facility, killing him and wounding two others. (AP/Fars News Agency, Meghdad Madadi).

During the 2002 Millennium Challenge, exercises which simulated war, demonstrated America’s inability to win a war with Iran. It is not just Iran‘s formidable defense forces that have to be reckoned with, but the fact that one of Iran’s strengths and deterrents has been its ability to retaliate to any attack by closing down the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow passageway off the coast of Iran.

Given that 17 million barrels of oil a day, or 35 percent of the world’s seaborne oil exports, go through the Strait of Hormuz, incidents in the Strait would be fatal for the world economy.

In the early 2000s, the renowned British think tank Chatham House issued one of the first publications that determined African oil would be a viable alternative to Persian Gulf oil in the event of a disruption in Persian oil transportation and distribution.

In 2002, the Israeli-based think tank Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies suggested America push toward African oil. That same year, the African Oil Policy Initiative Group formed for a symposium and subsequent white paper which made the rounds in Washington.

In an interesting coincidence, 2002 was the same year in which the Nigerian terror group Boko Haram was “founded.”, the reason why Nigeria and Yemen took on new importance.

Obama set the stage to undermine Iran, not create peace

Wearing protective clothes, an Iranian security person walks at a part of the Uranium Conversion Facility, prior to the arrival of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, just outside the city of Isfahan, 410 kilometers, south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, March 30, 2005. The conversion facility in Isfahan reprocesses uranium ore concentrate, known as yellowcake, into uranium hexaflouride gas. The gas is then taken to Natanz and fed into the centrifuges for enrichment. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

An Iranian security person walks at a part of the Uranium Conversion Facility, outside the city of Isfahan, 410 kilometers, south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, March 30, 2005. (AP/Vahid Salemi).

In April of 2015, as the signing of the JCPOA was drawing near, then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work delivered a speech at the Army War College Strategy Conference and elaborated on how the Pentagon plans to counter the three types of wars purportedly being waged by Iran, Russia, and China.

President Donald Trump followed suit. He ran on a campaign of “draining the swamp” in Washington with his speeches full of contempt for Obama. Ironically, like Obama, candidate Trump continued the tactic of disarming many by calling himself a deal maker and a businessman who would create jobs, and spouting rhetoric of non-interference.

The head of the National Security Council believes that Obama helped ISIS rise, and the head of the Pentagon believes that ISIS helps Iran continue its “mischief.” Is it any wonder that Trump is both confused and confusing?

And is it any wonder that on Jan. 28, when Trump signed an executive order calling for a plan to defeat ISIS in 30 days, the USA, France, UK and Australia ran war games drill in the Persian Gulf that simulated a confrontation with Iran — the country that has, itself, been fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq?

In fact, Erik Prince, the infamous founder of the notorious private military company Blackwater, is said to be advising Trump “from the shadows.” Prince also received a $120 million contract from the Obama administration, and for the past several years has been working with Arab countries, the UAE in particular, in the “security” and “training” of militias in the Gulf of Aden, Yemen.

Private military contractors have been an integral part of Saudi Arabia's strategy to win it's ground war in Yemen, something the inexperienced Saudi military has been unable to accomplish. (Khalid Mohammed/AP)

Private military contractors have been an integral part of Saudi Arabia’s strategy to win it’s ground war in Yemen, something the inexperienced Saudi military has been unable to accomplish on it’s own.
(Khalid Mohammed/AP).

So, is military confrontation with Iran on the horizon? Not if sanity prevails. And with Trump and his generals, that is a big if. While for many years the foundation has been laid and preparations made for a potential military confrontation with Iran, it has always been a last resort. It wasn’t a last resort because the American political elite did not want war, but because they cannot win this war.

A Ghader test missile is launched from the area near the Iranian port of Jask port on the shore of the Oman Sea during an Iranian navy drill, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP/Jamejam Online, Azin Haghighi)

A Ghader test missile is launched from the area near the Iranian port of Jask port on the shore of the Oman Sea during an Iranian navy drill, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP/Jamejam Online, Azin Haghighi.

map of daily oil transit volumes through world maritime chokepoints, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration analysis based on Lloyd’s List Intelligence, Panama Canal Authority.

Various American administrations have come to the realization that while it may take a village to fight Iran, attacking Iran would destroy the global village. Apart from the tactical part, the Iranian mountain ranges are the strategic hazard.

Mint-Press.com / AA-Magnum Analyst Blog News 2017.

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