February 4, 2006

Today’s news that Iran has been reported to the UN security council by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Iran’s defiant response that they will halt unannounced visits by the agency to their nuclear facilities, only serves to deepen a crisis that show no sign of lessening anytime soon. Jim Geraghty (“TKS” of National Review Online) is currently based in Turkey and contemplates the worrisome preparations for armed conflict with neighboring Iran. Especially worrying is this quote:

So… suppose you overheard a conversation, in public, by an individual you had good reason to believe was a U.S. government official. Suppose that conversation centered around Iran. Suppose the gist of that conversation suggested that the U.S. was laying the groundwork for a bombing campaign against facilities in Iran involved with their nuclear weapons program, and that there was an expectation that this would be an intense two-month campaign.

All of this is a hypothetical. Of course.

Of course, the idea that American officials may be discussing military options is probably nothing new or shocking; the Iranians already know that America has been looking at military options for a while now. Still, probably the best way to wonder if something is up is to look at recent publicly-disclosed military movements.

We’ve seen this report that the U.S. was getting its ducks in a row, although some doubted this report’s accuracy. There was this report of the Fort Wayne-based 122nd Fighter Wing being deployed to “Southwest Asia”, although it appears they are now in Iraq on a standard rotation. Nearly half the Vermont Air National Guard – 400 personnel – is being deployed to Iraq, to fly F-16s. Nearly 500 personnel from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico are set to be deployed by the end of February, heading to “numerous locations from Kyrgizstan to Djibouti, and from Iraq, several locations in Iraq, to Pakistan.”

These are probably all standard troop movements, of course. But the fact is tht the U.S. is maintaining considerable air and sea assets in the region in a ring of air bases all around Iran.

If one were to scratch beneath the surface of the Israeli military establishment I’m sure the same rumors of preparation could be found taking place there. All this is a hypothetical. Of course.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 18:20 | Comments (0)
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