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US vs Iran

Hybrid War

a hybrid strategy; that is to say, to prepare itself for both conventional and asymmetric warfare. From 1980 onward Iran had a large irregular army beside its conventional army. In the mid 1990s, it seems, Iran began to think of creating a very powerful, modern and mobile Guerrilla force armed with the most advance weapon systems that such a force could have. In parallel Iran began manufacturing (under license or developed locally) all the required weapons as well. This would give them a credible deterrent force. Iranians had carefully studied everything from Hannibal to Boer War to the Vietnam war.

In addition, for many years they had watched the war in Afghanistan and had noted what type of training, tactics and weaponry was best suited for fighting a modern and powerful army in mountainous terrain. Later they noted the American style and methods of fighting in flat and open spaces, in both Iraq wars. All these lessons apparently have been dully noted and studied.

Iran’s recent military manoeuvres have shown that the country, if attacked, intends to unleash one of the largest irregular armies ever seen. They are constantly training and improving their tactics. The conventional Iranian army, air force and navy are also being updated, upgraded and better equipped. But the conventional army is being prepped for the future. If there is going to be any fighting now, it is the IRGC that is going to be at the front in Afghanistan and Iraqi cities and towns. The conventional army will be used in defensive position to protect the mainland.

From what we have seen, in case of an air attack, Iran will respond with sending IRGC into both Iraq and Afghanistan. The terrain and conditions in both countries act as force-multiplier. In addition Iran will try to close the Strait of Hormuz. United States will of course try to keep the strait open. But it will be very difficult and time consuming. The only option open for US then is to try to invade Iran. But by then its 190000 troops will be busy fighting an asymmetric war with the Iranian IRGC (+ Basij) forces and their allies in Iraq and Afghanistan. To overcome this problem, US has to bring in a much larger force than it currently possesses. US has to re-instate the draft in US. Assembling, training and shipping 250000 men will take time; the time that the world economy doesn’t have. Another option is for US to use nuclear weapons. Iran already possesses Chemical and Biological weapons and may retaliate with those weapons. But using nuclear weapon on a country that doesn’t have any similar weapon will put an end to NPT (such as it is), and will push many countries to rush to develop their own deterrent nuclear force.

Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar

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