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Old 12-31-2010   #21
Entropy
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Adam,

That article was interesting and more than a bit hyperbolic.

I look up the reference to testing on the Caspian Sea and it's basis is one Washington Times article written in 1999. The relevant passage is this:

Quote:
Iran has test fired a sea-launched ballistic missile, according to classified U.S. intelligence reports, which could be used in a devastating stealth attack against the United States or Israel for which the United States has no known or planned defense.

The reports, which are well-known to the White House but have not been disseminated to the appropriate congressional committees, detailed the test-firing by Iran of a short-range surface-to-surface missile last spring from a barge in the Caspian Sea.

Members of the congressionally mandated Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, chaired by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, were briefed on the Iranian test as they were writing their final report last June, but have been prevented from mentioning it in public because the information remains classified. In the report's Executive Summary, released on July 15, 1998, the commission warned of "alternative ballistic missile launch modes" such as sea launch, but did not mention Iran by name.
The commission mentioned is the Rumsfeld Commission I mentioned earlier. All of it's predictions were wildly wrong.

Let's assume for a minute this article correctly described the intelligence report and further assume the intelligence report was accurate. Where does that put us? One possible test 12 years ago. That doesn't sound like much of a development program to me.

I could go through the whole article point-by-point, but do not have the time nor the desire. You might consider motivations here as a lot of the players mentioned were heavily involved in the Rumsfeld Commission.

Speaking only for myself, this is a group of people who share a common goal in the promotion of ballistic missile defenses. In the 1990's they used the Rumsfeld Commission to bolster political support for that goal. More recently, they rediscovered EMP and come up with implausible and self-serving scenarios that were created to "prove" that missile defense is the only way to stop the "threat." Any criticism of the threat has an "answer" so that the conclusion is always the same. From the article (emphasis added):

Quote:
The only possible deterrent against Iran is the prospect of failure, Dr. Graham and other experts agreed. And the only way the United States could credibly threaten an Iranian missile strike would be to deploy effective national missile defenses.

“It’s well known that people don’t go on a diet until they’ve had a heart attack,” said Claremont Institute president Brian T. Kennedy. “And we as a nation are having a heart attack” when it comes to the threat of an EMP attack from Iran.

“As of today, we have no defense against such an attack. We need space-based missile defenses to protect against an EMP attack,” he told Newsmax.
This is, in short, a very nice piece of propaganda designed to promote a specific policy objective. It's rife with internal contradictions and exaggerations. I would suggest that you treat the claims in this article with a high degree of skepticism.
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Old 12-31-2010   #22
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Iran+Venezuela. The new missile gap avatar. That was Saddam for a brief moment. "He will get these weapons he doesn't have yet, then he will give them to somebody or other, and they will find a way to use them against us. We have to spend billions in response before this happens!"

Eisenhower's military-industrial complex warning continues to have infinite half-life. This Hugo Chavez guy is the best possible candidate to make Reagan's star wars dream look like a bake sale.
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Old 01-02-2011   #23
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Quote:
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - The United States and Venezuela are starting the year without ambassadors in Caracas and Washington due to an intensifying diplomatic dispute that is likely to persist and boost President Hugo Chavez's long-standing antagonism.

Both sides have shown firmly entrenched stances and no willingness to compromise in the past week as the U.S. government revoked the Venezuelan ambassador's visa in response to Chavez's refusal to accept the chosen U.S. envoy.
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20110101/D9KFO2BG0.html
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Old 01-02-2011   #24
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For the U.S., such alliances are a variation of the "Pottery Barn Rule" of "You break it, you buy it."

In this case it is more one of "You excluded these guys from full participation in the world, you labeled them as "evil", and now they are not so surprisingly working together and don't like you very much." A "you built it, you deal with it." situation.

We love enemies though, as that is what makes containment work. If we can't get anyone to be our enemy, we have no one to contain, and then what?? Come up with a new strategy?? AQ and all these guys put together hardly make a pimple on the Soviets butt though. Oh, for the good old days...

(Seriously, we could disempower this little coalition with some easy changes of policy, and it is high time for a new guiding strategy for the nation anyway.)
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Old 01-30-2011   #25
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As with many of these types of issues, one must look deeply into Venezuelan domestic politics and its 'idiosyncrasies' before worrying about anything regional or global.

HG is extremely paranoid and is building a regime to protect him and his disciples, nothing more. The regime is so corrupt and incompetent they cannot manage the economy and are slowly but surely strangling themselves and turning the clock back so that Vz can resemble the USSR and poverty-stricken Cuba.

Remember also, Cuba is the strategic model here; Chavez does not want educated classes in 'his' Vz and only wants a subserviant, ignorant population that has, and is, bought off with state subsidies and other welfare-esque bribes.

The real threat here is to Colombia. HG supports the FARC and the chances of his govt. selling sophisticated weaponry to these terrorists poses a threat to the Colombian state. This is more critcial now that Santos is in charge and the Colombians are clearly winning the war.

Soviet and Iranian weaponry will just rust on Venezuelan tarmacs, but small arms and assorted infantry type weapons can be used far more effectively and immediately.

Chavez is a coward; this has been proven in his previous coup in 2002 when he refused to fight it out with the Vz armed foces; he always backs down from fights that he starts; he does not have the stomach for war, only the ego.
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Old 03-10-2011   #26
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Quote:
North Korea appears to be protesting the joint U.S. and South Korean military maneuvers by jamming Global Positioning Devices in the south, which is a nuisance for cell phone and computers users -- but is a hint of the looming menace for the military.

*
The North is believed to be nearing completion of an electromagnetic pulse bomb that, if exploded 25 miles above ground would cause irreversible damage to electrical and electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, radio and radar, experts say.

"We assume they are at a considerably substantial level of development," Park Chang-kyu of the Agency for Defense Development said at a briefing to the parliament Monday.
http://abcnews.go.com/International/...ry?id=13081667
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Old 05-17-2011   #27
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Update

Quote:
The Iranian military involvement in the project extends to bunker, barracks and watch tower construction. Twenty-meter deep rocket silos are planned. The cost of the Venezuelan military project is being paid for with Iranian oil revenue. The Iranians paid in cash for the preliminary phase of the project and, the total cost is expected to amount to “dozens of millions” of dollars, Die Welt wrote.
http://www.jpost.com/International/A...aspx?id=220879
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Old 09-28-2011   #28
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Quote:
(Reuters) - Iran raised the prospect on Tuesday of sending military ships close to the United States' Atlantic coast, in what would be a major escalation of tensions between the long-standing adversaries.
*

Quote:
The declaration comes just weeks after Turkey said it would host a NATO early warning radar system which will help spot missile threats from outside Europe, including potentially from Iran. The decision has angered Tehran which had enjoyed close relations with Ankara.

Link to rest of tale
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Old 09-28-2011   #29
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Default Well, that'll certainly raise tensions...

AdamG;126118
Quote:
(Reuters) - Iran raised the prospect on Tuesday of sending military ships close to the United States' Atlantic coast, in what would be a major escalation of tensions between the long-standing adversaries.
The USN will laugh themselves into a state of discombobulation ...
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Old 09-29-2011   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
AdamG;126118The USN will laugh themselves into a state of discombobulation ...
On the surface, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari's trash-talk reads like an ONION article. I'm not familiar enough with the man to know if he's an addled old man prone to running his mouth, but what if this was more along the lines of a slip of the tongue?

This board being all about the Asymmetrical Threats and whatnot, here's something to chew on from five years ago...

Quote:
A Pentagon assessment of the U.S. capability to defend the homeland against incoming enemy cruise missiles has found what it calls “capability gaps” that may not be solved until 2015.
As a result, the Air Force's directorate of operational capability requirements is leading a Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System study “to determine the best approaches for mitigating high-risk joint gaps in the [Homeland Air and Cruise Missile Defense of North America] mission area,” according to an Aug. 9 request for information posted on Federal Business Opportunities.
Quote:
Pentagon and Missile Defense Agency officials increasingly are concerned with the threat of terrorists using a cargo ship to fire cruise and ballistic missiles just off U.S. shores but outside its territorial waters.
http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,110199,00.html
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Old 09-29-2011   #31
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Default Credibility of the Admiral isn't an issue.

Nor is the potential for their actually being able to mount such a deployments with their half dozen submarines or an equal number of DD/FF types and one tanker. They do have some cargo vessels that could make the trip unrefueled but those aren't "military ships"...

Even though we keep an eye on their ships and aircraft out in the world, they could do what you imply: "Pentagon and Missile Defense Agency officials increasingly are concerned with the threat of terrorists using a cargo ship to fire cruise and ballistic missiles just off U.S. shores but outside its territorial waters. ".

That raises four questions, two before the act -- in spite of our surveillance could they actually get here and launch such an attack? Why would they do that? Those two not withstanding, should they actually launch such an attack, while there would probably be symbolic damage should that occur, there are two questions thus raised; how much damage did they really cause to the rather large US land mass and and concomitantly large population? What would happen to the 'fleet' of the Iraniha and to Iran if they did?

While the cred of the Admiral isn't really material, it is worth noting that the Iranian hierarchy does tend to bluster and portend things they really have no intention of doing. The Mullahs are dotty but they aren't stupid. Some time spent in Iran gave me a firm belief that they bluster and bluff a great deal -- haggling is a national sport, after all -- but are really pretty shrewd when it comes to what they actually do.

Some seem to have or look for plenty to worry about. That's fine but I'll put this one in 'highly unlikely' category with respect to occurrence and possible damage even if it did -- and go back to dozing...

Last edited by Ken White; 09-29-2011 at 07:17 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 09-29-2011   #32
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Isn't it obvious to invite the ship to a friendly visit to a harbour such a NY when it's already so close after such a long journey?

It's a win/win, no matter declined or not.
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Old 09-29-2011   #33
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Wink Relieve tensions...

Maybe the leadership of Iran looks out over the Gulf, and thinks "Wow. Look at all those American ships. That must be ALL of them. They have left their coasts undefended."

I don't know what the Iranian Navy consists of. I do know what the seventh fleet consisted of in 1992 to 96.

I don't often get to use the word gobsmacked. But if Iran was so foolhardy and inept as to park a threat off the east coast...

Comedic relief. "Sir, visual contact to starboard. It's the Iranian Navy. Shall I scramble the alert 5?"

"Nah."
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Old 01-08-2012   #34
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Quote:
(Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dismissed a U.S. warning to avoid close ties with Iran on Sunday, denouncing what he said was Washington's attempt to dominate the world as he prepared to welcome the Iranian president to the Latin American nation.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8070Q120120108
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Old 01-10-2012   #35
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Quote:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez lavished praise on each other on Monday, mocked U.S. disapproval and joked about having an atomic bomb at their disposal. * As he often does, the theatrical and provocative Chavez stuck his finger right into the global political sore spot, joking that a bomb was ready under a grassy knoll in front of his Miraflores palace steps. "That hill will open up and a big atomic bomb will come out," he said, the two men laughing together.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45938366.../#.TwxadW9rNNU
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Old 01-10-2012   #36
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Default Historical aspect?

AdamG,

Doesn't the meeting of the two presidents remind you of the rather strange relationship between Hitler and Mussolini?

I wonder if history will repeat itself. Notably one nation being found to be a "paper tiger" that needs propping up in war.
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Old 01-10-2012   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
AdamG,

Doesn't the meeting of the two presidents remind you of the rather strange relationship between Hitler and Mussolini?

I wonder if history will repeat itself. Notably one nation being found to be a "paper tiger" that needs propping up in war.
plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose Yeah, I know : Daily Mail. Still.


Oh yeah, you might want to read this thread
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Last edited by AdamG; 01-10-2012 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 01-19-2012   #38
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Quote:
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a meeting with former Cuban President Fidel Castro stressed the common positions of Tehran and Havana on different international issues, and called for the further reinvigoration of ties between the two countries.
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9010170873

& for those who don't want to hit FARS
http://www.timesunion.com/news/artic...ro-2501059.php
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Old 02-01-2012   #39
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Quote:
(CBS News) Top United States intelligence officials had a dire warning for Congress on Tuesday; that Iran would likely launch terrorist attacks on U.S. soil as pressure mounts against the regime in Tehran. The alarming assessment is making a tense situation even more serious.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_1...strike-in-u.s/
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Old 02-01-2012   #40
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Default reality check

Regardless of the bellicose rhetoric, oil imports from Venezuela remain VITAL to the US economy (i think they remain in the top 5 providers to the US). If Chavez truly wished to harm the US, and commit national or at least regime suicide, he could attempt to prevent oil from flowing to the US and/or disrupt oil exports from Mexico. Either of these moves would hurt far worse than the Straits of Hormuz being closed.
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