The Iranian bluff
Alex Fishman
Published: 23.10.12, 00:32
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28 Talkbacks for this article
1. Many BAD assumptions
spyguy ,   seattle usa   (10.23.12)
The military censor will not let me publish numbers, but the assumptions about Iron dome and Arrow effectiveness are very wrong, as is the assumption about missile accuracy. Lets just say that Israel will suffer much worse devastation than it expects when it attacks Iran. As to Iran preparing for war, I suspect that have come to the conclusion there is no one in the US that they can ever have a real negotiation with, so they will be attacked. This is a reasonable assumption by the Iranians because everything they have proposed has been summarily rejected by the US. So yes there will be war and Israel and the US will lose it because Israel and the US are being arrogant and completely unreasonable.
2. flawed assumptions
tom ,   toronto, canada   (10.23.12)
the basic assumption, that the iranian regime is acting rationally has yet to be proven. in fact, indications are that the exact opposite is true - otherwise, why would they be picking a fight with the two nuclear-armed adversaries most likely to blow them all the way to their "reward" in the afterlife? to expect the iranian military to win a confrontation with the american, or israeli, army, is an extreme exercise in faith. their air force is ancient and poorly maintained, their rockets have a low probability of firing (without the aid of photoshop), and little or no accuracy (at maximum range). and their soldiers seem to excel mostly at "martyrdom operations" (i.e. suicide). but the most obvious conclusion is that they do not intend to win. the basic premise of mahdaviat is that they will lose, die, and be resurrected. they believe they are on a mission from god, and so any concessions they may offer the infidels, will be either false or only temporary.
3. Simple math
math nerd ,   Montreal   (10.23.12)
At a success rate of 80% you will actuall need 125 (100/0.8) arrow missiles to shoot down 100 Iranian missiles. you are assuming that the last 4 Iranian missiles all get hit (80% of 4 = 3.2) when only 3 are likely to get hit which will require 1 extra missile.
4. Iran
Brian ,   USA   (10.23.12)
More have blindsided when they underestimate their opponent. It is not what they would do but what they could do that matters.
5. Spyguy
Jacob Zoffe ,   תל אביב   (10.23.12)
Iran and Iraq fought an eight year war with no clear winner, The US invaded Iraq and reached Baghdad within hours with no considerable difficulty. Assuming that the Iranian military has been substantially upgraded since the eighties - I don't see Iran coming out on top in the event of a war. The real challenge will be containing Hezbollah and Hamas on the North and South borders.
6. So what is the conclusion?
israel israeli ,   tel aviv   (10.23.12)
Iran knows that they are incapable of damaging Israel, a country that does not threaten them and which attacking will give Iran no strategic advantage. Maybe we should think rationally what this means? Iran's archenemies are Saudi Arabia and the US for ideological reasons and for economic reasons. Since Iran is far weaker than the US and Saudi Arabia, the only weapons they have are low-intensity warfare and "people power" to destroy American assets, like happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Egypt, Sinai and will happen soon in Jordan and Pakistan. The problem is that the Saudi/American managed to stop "people power" in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and could always make a Libyan-style attack on Iran. So all the Iranians really need is an insurance policy to prevent an American attack when they destabilize Saudi Arabia. The best insurance policy is a nuclear weapon. Obama, a heartfelt thank you from Ahmadinejad for these past four years.
7. Good Article !.
Arn. ,   Sweden.   (10.23.12)
Yes it is has now become an Iranian Bluff, because Iran does not dare to attack Israel, even though the Iranian Regime is Suicidal, it is not Stupid. The Iranian Regime would gladly sacrifice the whole of Iran, if that would achieve their Religious Goal, but sacrifice Iran without achieving nothing, the Regime will not. Therefore, Iran will never strike back at Israel, even if and after Israel did or had attacked its Nuclear facilities. Arn.Sweden.
8. A verdict based upon sour emotionalism, #1
Cameron ,   USA   (10.23.12)
Military resources & ability say otherwise, son. They've centered their foreign policy for 30 years around avoiding a direct match-up with the US, yet they must eventually break this prime tenet for the nuclear goal. The Persian bluffing and games have worn themselves out. Their only real strengths, the luxury of time and the basic US unwillingness to intervene further in the ME, slips away by the week. Their fanatacism & desire for nuclear weapon power will finally undermine them. Our hand will unavoidably be forced, and the question is of what degree of destruction to inflict, and for how long. Their response while under attack will determine whether we just cripple the regime, or must truly topple it over.
9. #5 - complete misunderstanding of both wars.
spyguy ,   seattle usa   (10.23.12)
During the Saddam war on Iran, Saddam had the entire resources of the US behind him and Iran had zero resources, yet Saddam could not win. Since then Iran has built up a huge weapons industry and developed massive numbers of deadly weapons. The US military is well aware of how badly they will be mauled if they attack, which is why no one in the US military is willing to attack Iran. As for the US attack on Iraq, you sadly mistake one battle for "victory." The reality is the US left Iraq after a humiliating defeat. Not only that but the US defeat in Iraq was a great training ground for Iran, so there will be no repeat. You vastly underestimate Iran's substantial strengths and vastly overestimate US strengths. US military leaders are much more pessimistic than you are because they know a whole lot more.
10. #7 - Iran does not have to attack Israel to "win."
spyguy ,   seattle usa   (10.23.12)
If Israel attacks Iran, Iran does not have to retaliate physically to destroy Israel because the rest of the world will do that for them. After the massive loss of lives in Iran after an attack, the entire world will view Israel as a belligerent evil that has to be squashed and there will be nothing the US can do to protect Israel without suffering major damage. Iran will be able to manipulate the oil markets to drive the US into bankruptcy. Once the US is mired in a deep depression, Israel will be a sitting duck.
11. Irans real skill and power is bluffing the world only!
EU   (10.23.12)
In fact this country is a military lame duck !
12. Bluff Lies Treachery...
Tim ,   Brighton   (10.23.12)
THATs the currency of this Mad Mullah Regime Bluff Counter Bluff Counter Counter Bluff Bluff of a Bluff of a Bluff All so that they can preserve and protect Ahmadinejads famous (or infamous) ROD...His Nuclear Rod their stanglehold over the people of Iran
13. Iron Dome intercept rate is 100%
Miron ,   USA   (10.23.12)
Trophy intercept rate is 100% These are not trivial breakthrough achievements.
14. #10 I'm with you
israel israeli ,   tel aviv   (10.23.12)
You are right that there are enough people stupid enough to kill the Jew for defending himself. That is why I do not think Israel should attack Iran. Bottom line, Obama ignored Israel's warning and gave Iran nukes. Now forget Israel: once Iran has nukes, what do you think will happen to the US?
15. Fishman says Iranian missiles are "inacurate". I wonder...
Persian CAT   (10.23.12)
if he bets his house on it!
16. #14 - NOT a "Jewish" problem , BUT
spyguy ,   seattle usa   (10.23.12)
an Israeli problem. A majority of the Jews on earth will do just as well as the rest of the populations where they live. Equating Jews with Israel is a big mistake. Obama has NOT given anyone any nukes. In fact Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and their civilian power program is completely monitored by the IAEA. As for what happens to the US if Iran ever actually gets nukes ... NOTHING, just like nothing has happened to the US when the USSR, China, Israel , Pakistan, the UK, France, India and NK got nukes. Nukes are ONLY good for two things (1) preventing attacks and (2) committing suicide.
17. #13 - If you read non-Israeli press ...
spyguy ,   seattle usa   (10.23.12)
You will discover that Iron Dome is nowhere as effective as you think. I can't give you actual numbers (i know them) because the military censor will delete my post. In fact it is 100% technically impossible to build a cost effective anti-missile system.
18. #9 Pretty ignorant for a "spyguy".
Jake   (10.23.12)
During the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq did not have "the entire resources of the US behind him". That's absolute bull. In fact, the US, which did not want Iran to lose territory to Iraq, ended up covertly supporting both sides. How? Israel was continuing to supply the Iranian military with equipment and spare parts, even after the fall of the Shah in 1979, in keeping with Israel's "periphery strategy". Part of that supply was US armament, with tacit US backing. A well known case in point was the Iran-Contra Affair.
19. #10 You can relax
Jake   (10.23.12)
Mr. Netanyahu has a steady hand, and has not launched a single war during either terms as Prime Minister. On the other hand, your buddies in the Iranian regime won't be able to relax ever again. Iran's economy is being crushed in the Iron Maiden with sanctions, and popular anger is being vented increasingly at the regime.
20. #16 On the contary, it will be an American problem
Jake   (10.23.12)
You forgot "Option C" for nuclear weapons: nuclear blackmail. And with America's influence and power in the world declining under an Obama administration, America will be that much more susceptible to Iranian nuclear blackmail, which is likely plenty more pernicious than any stunt pulled by North Korea.
21. #17 Don't make me laugh
Jake   (10.23.12)
"I can't give you actual numbers (I know them)". I hate to quote Obama here, but if you're keeping it a secret from us, I have to wonder if what you know is "too good" to provide any details.
22. Nr 10. You Err !.
Arn. ,   Sweden.   (10.23.12)
If you dont believe me, do you believe God ? In the Bible you can se the contradiction to your opinion. Zecharia 14. 14 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished. And half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. Thr result you can behold in the Book of Ezekiel chapter 38-39. There is no political Force in the World that can defeat Israel in War. Israel Forever and Ever !. Arn.Sweden.
23. One more thing, "spyguy", #16
Jake   (10.23.12)
Israel is the Jewish State, and the home of almost half the Jews in the world. And what #14 is saying about the world having a problem with the Jew defending himself is also eloquently stated in Bob Dylan's song "Neighborhood Bully".
24. Nr 14.I think You Err.
Arn. ,   Sweden.   (10.24.12)
Iran will never have the Nuces !. I think that is wery obvious regarding the word of HASHEM in Ezekiel Chapter 38-39. Iran would never submit to any political power in the World, if She had the Nuces. In short. Arn.Sweden.
25. Instead of sanctions there should be a full blockade
Francisco Scaramanga   (10.24.12)
on trade with Iran enforced by the US fleet in the Persian gulf. That move will choke the Iranian economy to death gfiving to the Tehran regime two choice: either capitulate to teh west and abandon their criminal nuclear program who costed them already billions of $, or try to launch a attack agaionst the uS force s in the region or Israel with some missiles or suicide terorists. Either way such a move will provoke a massive bombing of all Iran military facilities and perhaps also oil infrastrcture, bringing down that hatefull regime. A win win strategy. One should not be wary of their peddlar mentality. The more the shias are barking, the mor ethey are frigthned
26. to 15
Francisco Scaramanga   (10.24.12)
The kind of North Korean missile s your country is currently producing is not accurate. That's a fact. Another is that Israel can easily put your oilfields in flame, or bust some of your dam with one or two direct hits from its Jericho II or III missiles. Would you bet on that one dear ?
27. #16-you are mentally challedged !!!!
Don Rosenberg ,   Palatine USA   (10.24.12)
As an American Jew I support Israel 100% against racist muslim countries like iran. If you think iran would not use nukes or versions of, you are stupid. iran threatens Israel everyday to appeal to millions of racist, ignorant muslims. iran needs to have is program destroyed and countries who act the same way should meet the same fate. Evil needs to be confronted and annihilated ,like you.
28. Your math is flawed
Mladen Andrijasevic ,   Beer Sheva, Israel   (10.28.12)
Your math wrong. The probabilities are not additive. Let's make it simple. Let's assume that there is only 1 Iranian rocket. And you have 2 arrow rockets intercepting it . What is the probability that the Iranian rocket gets hit? Well , the probability that both arrows miss the target is the probability that the first arrow misses the target which is 0.2 TIMES the probability that the second arrow missed the target which is also 0.2 so we get 0.2 X 0.2 = 0.04 or 4 percent . So with two Arrows targeting one Iranian rocket we have the probability of 96 percent probability of targeting success. Since each rocket is targeted separately by two arrows and these are independent events you would need 200 arrows to get a 96 percent success rate or that 96 arrows get intercepted. If you had three arrows targeting one then the probability of all three missing would be 0.2 X 0.2 X 0.2 = 0.008 or 0.8 percent or there would still be a real chance that 1 missile would get through
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