Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 38

Thread: Iranís Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Iranís Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

    15 February LA Times - Iran's Elite and Mysterious Fighters by Borzou Daragahi and Peter Spiegel.

    Among the myriad military and intelligence agencies that make up Iran's security forces, none has the skill and reach of the Quds Force, an elite unit nominally within the command structure of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

    Like the Revolutionary Guard, the Quds Force and its predecessors were among the semiofficial militias, charities and centers of clerical power born of the paranoia and zeal of the tumultuous years after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, which brought Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to power...

    The Revolutionary Guard was entrusted to protect Khomeini's theocracy. But the revolutionaries also were inspired to spread their vision abroad.

    The Quds Force and its predecessors consisted of the Guard's most skilled warriors. Experts said they were highly secretive commando units sent abroad to help Shiites usurp monarchies in the Persian Gulf, gun down enemies and battle Israeli forces in southern Lebanon. They also reportedly have run operations in Sudan, South Asia and Western Europe...

    The Quds Force also has been involved in Iraq. It assisted Kurdish rebels fighting Saddam Hussein in the 1980s and Shiites battling his regime in the 1990s. Even Ahmad Chalabi's expatriate Iraqi National Congress had Quds Force help, experts say.

    At most, the force numbers 2,000, said Mahan Abedin, director of research at the Center for the Study of Terrorism, a London think tank...

    The extent to which the Quds Force is controlled by the government has been hotly debated in U.S. foreign policy circles...

  2. #2
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Elite Iranian Corps Enmeshed in Iraq

    15 February AP - Elite Iranian Corps Enmeshed in Iraq by Lee Keath.

    Iran's secretive Quds Force, accused by the United States of arming Iraqi militants with deadly bomb-making material, has built up an extensive network in the war-torn country, recruiting Iraqis and supporting not only Shiite militias but also Shiites allied with Washington.

    Still unclear, however, is how closely Iran's top leadership is directing the Quds Force's operations -- and whether Iran has intended for its help to Shiite militias to be turned against U.S. forces.

    Iran likely does not want a direct confrontation with American troops in Iraq but is backing militiamen to ensure Shiites win any future civil war with Iraqi Sunnis after the Americans leave, several experts said Thursday.

    The Quds Force's role underlines how deeply enmeshed Iran is in its neighbor -- and how the U.S. could face resistance even from its allies in Iraq if it tries to uproot Iran's influence in the country.

    The Quds (pronounced "KOHds") Force -- the name means "Jerusalem" in Farsi and Arabic -- is the most elite and covert of Iran's military branches. Over the past two decades, the corps is believed to have helped arm and train the Hezbollah guerrilla group in Lebanon, Islamic fighters in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and even Sudanese troops fighting in south Sudan...

  3. #3
    Council Member jonSlack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    156

    Default

    Is there any material on whether or not the IRGC is working with the Shia in Afghanistan, like the Shia elements of the Hazaras, or any of the other groups in Afghanistan?

  4. #4
    Council Member Van's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Posts
    414

    Default

    Given the Iranian habits/cultural inclinations to what we narrow and linear Westerns would call outrageous exaggeration, has anyone suggested that these "elite" elements may be something like the "unstoppable" and "Iranian" designed underwater rocket (the aging Russian-made Shkval torpedo)? Could this be another media generated tempest in a teacup?

  5. #5
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default Sub-State Actors

    So far we generally have two categories of actors that we frequently refer to when discussing conflicts, which are State Actors and Non-State actors. I am beginning to wonder if it is appropriate to designate a third category called sub-state actors. These are organizations that are allegedly belong to the state, yet also conduct independent operations outside the realm of state control. I'm not they exist, but I think the ISI of Pakistan and the Quds of Iran could be two examples. If true this creates some interesting dilemnas.

    As anyone wrote on this subject previously?

    Bill

  6. #6
    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    262

    Default

    "Is there any material on whether or not the IRGC is working with the Shia in Afghanistan, like the Shia elements of the Hazaras, or any of the other groups in Afghanistan?"
    That's an excellent question. The Hazara are Mongol-descended Sevener Shia who would be "hereteical" in the eyes of more stringent Iranian Twelver Shia. OTOH, the ruling clique in Syria are Alawites, an even more distant and weird offshoot, yet are nominally considered Shia by Iranian authorities.

    I suppose if the Iranians can work with Hekmatyar....

  7. #7
    Council Member Van's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Posts
    414

    Default

    Bill, the middle ground between "State" and "Non-State" is "State-Sponsored". This description fits Quds to a tee. The problem is that even state-sponsored has a very wide range, from rogue elements of the state's apparatus to elements that would be considered non-state except that they are wholly funded by one state. Of course, the state involved usually sees an interest in covering the money trail carefully IOT create plausible deniability, and there is always a question of how 'rogue' are those rogue elements (again with the plausible deniability).

  8. #8
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SOCAL
    Posts
    2,152

    Default

    These are organizations that are allegedly belong to the state, yet also conduct independent operations outside the realm of state control. I'm not they exist, but I think the ISI of Pakistan and the Quds of Iran could be two examples. If true this creates some interesting dilemnas.

    As anyone wrote on this subject previously?
    I've read considerable commentary regarding the ISI and meddling in India, and know there is a book out there that I browsed once. I'll try to hit the Research Center this weekend and dig it up.

  9. #9
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,665

    Default

    Most Hazaras are Twelvers. There is a small Hazara population in Iran as well.

  10. #10
    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    262

    Default

    "Most Hazaras are Twelvers. "
    Actually, Tequilla is correct, I was thinking in terms of the Qayani Hazara and in retrospect I'm pretty sure that there are some non-Hazara Seveners in Afghanistan as well.

  11. #11
    Council Member Stratiotes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Richmond, Missouri
    Posts
    94

    Default

    I always find these "shocking revelation" stories a little odd. There have been many stories of American "elite" soldiers infiltrating and stirring rebellion in countries too. It hardly seems "shocking" that Iran would do the same thing our country would do to further its interests in an area. And it is not shocking that they would deny it just as we often do. It would, for instance, not shock me in the least if we hear reports that Green Berets or Navy SEALS are in Iran now. Maybe they're not, but it would not be a shock or surprise if we found out they were.

    From a purely objective military sense, would it not be in Iran's best interest to do all they could to make it more difficult for the US to turn their attention elsewhere? In that sense, perhaps Iran would be stupid *not* to attempt to assist the resistance in Iraq. From a purely military point of view, it is in Iran's best interest to hinder our efforts in Iraq. The busier we are there, the less likely we would have the resources to take on another front.

    It is not shocking, it would seem common sense. Of course, it might be that Iran really isn't involved but acting shocked that they would be is about as naive as we could be and seems to be indicative of not knowing/understanding our enemy as we should. Not shame on them - shame on us for being surprised.
    Mark
    Discuss at: The Irregulars Visit at: UW Review
    "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G. K. Chesterton

  12. #12
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,188

    Default Numbers?

    I wonder what the estimate of their number is? I remember when the Soviet Spetsnaz were hyped and hyped some more but you don't hear much about them anymore. I heard they got sand kicked in their face in Afghanistan.

  13. #13
    Council Member Stratiotes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Richmond, Missouri
    Posts
    94

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    I wonder what the estimate of their number is? I remember when the Soviet Spetsnaz were hyped and hyped some more but you don't hear much about them anymore.
    Well, except for the ones who are making a living in other ways now:
    http://www.russianmartialart.com/
    Mark
    Discuss at: The Irregulars Visit at: UW Review
    "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G. K. Chesterton

  14. #14
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    681

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Bill, the middle ground between "State" and "Non-State" is "State-Sponsored". This description fits Quds to a tee.
    I have to disagree with you on this. I suspect that the Quds force falls firmly into the "State" category. Now it may be debatable whether their orders are coming from the religious apparatus or the government but in Iran that is an entirely moot point.

    SFC W

  15. #15
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    RFE/RL, 16 Feb 07: Iran: Expert Discusses Iran's Quds Force And U.S. Charges Concerning Iraq
    ...RFE/RL: Is it possible that the Quds Force is involved directly in attacks against U.S. forces and coalition troops?

    Abedin: Not at all, because that's not Iranian policy. The contention which the Americans have made -- now they've backtracked from it -- is rather quite silly, because now what they are saying is that maybe the Quds Force is doing it without the official sanction of the Iranian government. The Quds Force, although it's a highly specialized department, it is subject to strict, iron-clad military discipline. It's completely controlled by the military hierarchy of the IRGC, and the IRGC is very tightly controlled by the highest levels of the administration in Iran. If the Quds Force was going around blowing up American soldiers, then that would be definitely sanctioned by the highest levels of the Iranian government. But my point is that they're not doing that, because Iranian policy in Iraq is not about that. Iranian policy in Iraq is to give proper training and support to Iran's natural allies in Iraq in order to influence their political positioning in post-occupation Iraq. The Iranians are far too smart, in my view, to challenge American power in Iraq directly....

  16. #16
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Secretive Force Pivotal in Iraq

    19 February Washington Times - Secretive Force Pivotal in Iraq by David Sands.

    A shadowy Iranian paramilitary unit smaller than some U.S. Army battalions is at the center of a standoff between Washington and Tehran over the war in Iraq.

    President Bush voiced growing concern about the secretive Quds Force at a press conference Wednesday. The capture of a senior Quds operative during a raid last month in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil underscores the U.S. charge that Iranian leaders are funding and arming Iraqi Shi'ite militias that kill American troops.

    "Let me put it this way: There's not a whole lot of freelancing in the Iranian government, especially when it comes to something like that," White House spokesman Tony Snow said last week.

    But Iranian scholars and military specialists say the case in not so clear-cut. The Islamic Republic of Iran, they say, was designed to create multiple, often competing power centers, with blurry, shifting lines of authority reaching eventually to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei...

  17. #17
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default Article side stepped the charge

    SWJED and Jed, thanks for the articles, it shows how little the open source community knows about this issue, and we're starting to see the counter spin from Iran in the article Jed posted (perhaps). Jed, unless I missed it, the article you posted side stepped the main issue, which is we're claiming (we know) that someone from Iran is providing material support in the form of weapons (EFPs to start with) to various actors in Iraq. The article stated the Quds were not attacking Americans. That is two separate issues. I didn't see one question about the Quds providing material support? It almost appears to be a deliberate side step, what's your take?

    This is one area where we're going to have to trust the intelligence community. Regardless of whether or not the arms is coming from lower level mugs conducting illicit arms smuggling (in this case it appears doubtful) or from the government, someone on the Iranian side of the border should be losing sleep tonight for what we may do to them tomorrow.

  18. #18
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore
    ...unless I missed it, the article you posted side stepped the main issue, which is we're claiming (we know) that someone from Iran is providing material support in the form of weapons (EFPs to start with) to various actors in Iraq. The article stated the Quds were not attacking Americans. That is two separate issues. I didn't see one question about the Quds providing material support? It almost appears to be a deliberate side step, what's your take?
    I agree with you; the interview deliberately avoided the question of material support, and just focused on deconstructing the accusations of direct targeting by the Iranians. The statement "Iranian policy in Iraq is to give proper training and support to Iran's natural allies in Iraq" is loaded with underlying meaning - the implication is that such material support is involved. I personally believe that is the case - no, the Iranians aren't directly engaging US or Coalition forces, but they are providing training and a unknown degree of material support to militia elements that do target US and Coalition forces. However, OSINT-wise, there are a huge number of constradictions and information gaps and any "conclusion" reached through such sources is questionable.

  19. #19
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default I agree...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    ... Regardless of whether or not the arms are coming from lower level mugs conducting illicit arms smuggling (in this case it appears doubtful) or from the government, someone on the Iranian side of the border should be losing sleep tonight for what we may do to them tomorrow.
    ... completely. Should the former be true (rouge elements of the Iranian military aparatus), it is time the Iranian government step up - take responsibility and action to curb the Quds' actions. Should the later be true (government sanction of Iraq operations) then we have a serious problem that cannot be ignored or 'wished away'.

    I am having a very difficult time understanding the 'official stances' of many of the governments of Islamic countries. It seems to me that they proclaim a stance and go about their merry way supporting the very elements that for the most part undermine their 'for public consumption' press releases.

  20. #20
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    CSIS, 16 Aug 07: Iranís Revolutionary Guards, the Al Quds Force, and Other Intelligence and Paramilitary Forces

    This paper is a "Rough Working Draft" that has no intro, summary or conclusion - it simply lays out what CSIS has put together through open sources. It is an interesting document in that it puts a lot of disparate pieces together, but there are no major surprises and plenty of information gaps. Unusually for CSIS (in my opinion of their past product) it possesses a surplus of conjecture. Perhaps unavoidable given the the nature of much of the open source material available on the subject.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-04-2017, 12:09 PM
  2. Marine Corps Vision and Strategy 2025
    By SWJED in forum Futurists & Theorists
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-01-2008, 05:12 PM
  3. Conway Becomes Marine Corps Commandant
    By SWJED in forum The Whole News
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-08-2006, 02:35 AM
  4. Recognizing and Understanding Revolutionary Change in Warfare
    By SWJED in forum Futurists & Theorists
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-01-2006, 09:59 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •