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Old 03-25-2008   #1
Granite_State
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Default Bill Lind's Nightmare Scenario

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The purpose of this column is not to warn of an imminent assault on Iran, though personally I think it is coming, and soon. Rather, it is to warn of a possible consequence of such an attack. Let me state it here, again, as plainly as I can: an American attack on Iran could cost us the whole army we now have in Iraq.
....
Here’s roughly how it might play out. In response to American air and missile strikes on military targets inside Iran, Iran moves to cut the supply lines coming up from the south through the Persian Gulf (can anyone in the Pentagon guess why it’s called that?) and Kuwait on which most U.S. Army units in Iraq depend (the Marines get most of their stuff through Jordan). It does so by hitting shipping in the Gulf, mining key choke points, and destroying the port facilities we depend on, mostly through sabotage. It also hits oil production and export facilities in the Gulf region, as a decoy: we focus most of our response on protecting the oil, not guarding our army’s supply lines.

Simultaneously, Iran activates the Shiite militias to cut the roads that lead from Kuwait to Baghdad. Both the Mahdi Army and the Badr Brigades — the latter now supposedly our allies — enter the war against us with their full strength. Ayatollah Sistani, an Iranian, calls on all Iraqi Shiites to fight the Americans wherever they find them. Instead of fighting the 20% of Iraqis population that is Sunni, we find ourselves battling the 60% that is Shiite. Worse, the Shiites logistics lie directly across those logistics lines coming up from Kuwait.

U.S. Army forces in Iraq begin to run out of supplies, especially POL [petroleum, oil, and lubricants], of which they consume a vast amount. Once they are largely immobilized by lack of fuel, and the region gets some bad weather that keeps our aircraft grounded or at least blind, Iran sends two to four regular army armor and mech divisions across the border. Their objective is to pocket American forces in and around Baghdad.

The U.S. military in Iraq is all spread out in penny packets fighting insurgents. We have no field army there anymore. We cannot reconcentrate because we’re out of gas and Shiite guerrillas control the roads. What units don’t get overrun by Iranian armor or Shiite militia end up in the Baghdad Kessel. General Petraeus calls President Bush and repeats the famous words of Marshal MacMahon at Sedan: “Nous sorrune dans une pot de chambre, and nous y serron emerdee.” Bush thinks he’s overheard Petraeus ordering dinner — as, for Bush, he has.

U.S. Marines in Iraq, who are mostly in Anbar province, are the only force we have left. Their lines of supply and retreat through Jordan are intact. The local Sunnis want to join them in fighting the hated Persians. What do they do at that point? Good question.
....
As I have warned before, every American ground unit in Iraq needs its own plan to get itself out of the country using only its own resources and whatever it can scrounge locally. Retreat to the north, through Kurdistan into Turkey, will be the only alternative open to most U.S. Army units, other than ending up in an Iranian POW camp.

Even if the probability of the above scenario is low, we still need to take it with the utmost seriousness because the consequences would be so vast. If the United States lost the army it has in Iraq, we would never recover from the defeat. It would be another Adrianople, another Manzikert, another Rocroi. Given the many other ways we now resemble Imperial Spain, the last analogy may be the most telling.
http://www.d-n-i.net/dni/2008/03/25/...ndra/#more-152

I find this pretty implausible, and I know a lot of folks on here are not Lind fans, but does anyone think this could actually happen?
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Old 03-25-2008   #2
Steve Blair
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I think he's been playing "Twilight 2000" a few too many times....

Seriously, he's become too entranced with the sound of his own voice and gloom and doom thunderings. Are there some plausible aspects of this? Sure. Does that mean it will happen? Not really.
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Old 03-25-2008   #3
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Originally Posted by Granite_State View Post
http://www.d-n-i.net/dni/2008/03/25/...ndra/#more-152

I find this pretty implausible, and I know a lot of folks on here are not Lind fans, but does anyone think this could actually happen?
And despite it's presentation the reason it wouldn't happen that way is exactly due to those considerations (and others).

Doesn't mean change ain't a comin but maybe just not in the ways people like to argue about
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Old 03-25-2008   #4
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....As I have warned before, every American ground unit in Iraq needs its own plan to get itself out of the country using only its own resources and whatever it can scrounge locally. Retreat to the north, through Kurdistan into Turkey, will be the only alternative open to most U.S. Army units, other than ending up in an Iranian POW camp.....


He needs to put away the crack pipe and get himself into rehab.

So, not that I was a fan of their stuff before, but is this an indicator that DNI is now dropping to the credibility level of WND and NEIN?
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Old 03-25-2008   #5
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Default Amended Scenario

I wish I had time to rewrite Lind's whole scenario, but this will do:

"Iran sends two to four mech divisions across the border, and to their surprise are awaited by so many U.S. aircraft monitoring, bombing and firing cannon at their slow, lumbering vehicles that the roads become another "highway of death," with Iranian dead and vehicles littering roads for miles, great columns of smoke filling the skies, Iranian students protesting in the capital city, and the government in virtual collapse ..."
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Old 03-25-2008   #6
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Originally Posted by Granite_State View Post
[url]

I find this pretty implausible, and I know a lot of folks on here are not Lind fans, but does anyone think this could actually happen?
No.

It's packed with erroneous assumptions treated as fact. Even if by some miracle the Iranians massed an assault into south Iraq, Jordan would likely open its roads to supply our forces as a bulwark against Iran, and probably Turkey would as well, at least if they want their foreign aid. None of those countries want an Iranian dominated ME. The Saudis wouldn't sit idly by as well.

That, and the idea that the Army is somehow utterly incapable of getting together to provide a good fight. And what Hersh says above about a USAF/USN/USMC Air "highway of death". Oh yeah, that Iranian Air force will fight us to a standstill. Where does he get that an army that couldn't overcome Iraq in 8 years (and we all saw how tough THAT army was against the USA) would be able to operationally outmaneuver and oufight our force, even with it having become more "COIN" centric. The Iranians are not the German General Staff by any stretch.

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What units don’t get overrun by Iranian armor or Shiite militia end up in the Baghdad Kessel.
I've been assaulted by thousands of Shiite militia. It didn't work out well for them. They haven't been able to overrun anybody, or even inflict serious casualties. Our PUC for the Sadr Rebellion credits my unit with over 1500 militiamen killed. We lost seven soldiers. They didn't even knock out one of our M1's. And don't get me started on "Iranian Armor" overruning us.
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Last edited by Cavguy; 03-25-2008 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 03-25-2008   #7
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Unless someone here has beaten me to the punch, I'm calling my publisher right away to get the rights to this great fictional story.

Besides what others have said, does Lind really think we'd sit idly by while Iran preps and masses divisions at the border? Aparrently we are incapable of doing all the things to Iran that Lind believes Iran is capable of doing to us.
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Old 03-25-2008   #8
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Arrow The funniest thing about this whole deal

that in reality they would probably have their hands more than full trying to deal with an constantly beefed up IA, IP who would probably much prefer larger conflict to the COIN ops their currently having to perform. And thats assuming some of the militia wouldn't join in AGAINST IRAN. There are so many ways this could go so much differently than what he states I'm not really sure why he bothered.
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Old 03-26-2008   #9
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If anything was going to happen Iran would infiltrate KBR and electrocute our soldiers while they were showering or poison their drinking water. Nyah. Never happen though that were be more likened to something like fourth generation warfare.
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Old 03-26-2008   #10
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If anything was going to happen Iran would infiltrate KBR and electrocute our soldiers while they were showering or poison their drinking water. Nyah. Never happen though that were be more likened to something like fourth generation warfare.
But they'd still git beat
End of story
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Old 03-26-2008   #11
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Iran sends two to four regular army armor and mech divisions across the border. Their objective is to pocket American forces in and around Baghdad

How? This just ignores all of the teaching of any school of operational analysis I am aware of.

I submit, as the Manoeuvre Warfare Handbook and 4GW concept were all based on poor history, this is hypothesis is based on a poor understanding of modern operations.

However, never underestimate the propensity for so-called "military theorists" to keep pressing the alarm bell in order to stay in view.
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Old 03-26-2008   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
Iran sends two to four regular army armor and mech divisions across the border. Their objective is to pocket American forces in and around Baghdad

How? This just ignores all of the teaching of any school of operational analysis I am aware of.

I submit, as the Manoeuvre Warfare Handbook and 4GW concept were all based on poor history, this is hypothesis is based on a poor understanding of modern operations.

However, never underestimate the propensity for so-called "military theorists" to keep pressing the alarm bell in order to stay in view.
Thank you for pulling back the curtain to reveal that the wizard is just some clumsy, pitifull guy .
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Old 03-26-2008   #13
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I still think that, in the early days, Lind was a necessary component who shook some things up. I'm also not as inclined as some to discard maneuver warfare theories out of hand. They have their place, but like most ideas they were carried into areas that they were not suite for, and Lind bears some responsibility for that. He's clearly outlived his usefulness.

All Lind is doing is rehashing the Stalingrad scenario. Period.
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Old 03-26-2008   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
I still think that, in the early days, Lind was a necessary component who shook some things up. I'm also not as inclined as some to discard maneuver warfare theories out of hand. They have their place, but like most ideas they were carried into areas that they were not suite for, and Lind bears some responsibility for that. He's clearly outlived his usefulness.
I don't discard MW. I just think that what it claimed to be and how it was suppose to be achieved, was based on a collection of ill thought out ideas, that were not challenged or identified as such because people did not read the source material, and if they did, failed to grasp the essential subtleties contained there in.

I was an MW junky, groupie, promoter, and pretty annoying chap all round, until my faith in MW was shattered by studying EBO, and then re-reading Clausewitz and the R.L. Wing translation of "The Way of Strategy". The nail in the coffin was the infamous "Once and Future Army" article by R.N. Bryson, that caused me to read Foch.

If I taught "Military Thought," I would require all my students to have a thorough understanding of the MW concept, as it would provide the antithesis for everything else. - thus I submit that this is it's true utility.
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Old 03-26-2008   #15
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Originally Posted by Danny View Post
I wish I had time to rewrite Lind's whole scenario, but this will do:

"Iran sends two to four mech divisions across the border, and to their surprise are awaited by so many U.S. aircraft monitoring, bombing and firing cannon at their slow, lumbering vehicles that the roads become another "highway of death," with Iranian dead and vehicles littering roads for miles, great columns of smoke filling the skies, Iranian students protesting in the capital city, and the government in virtual collapse ..."
Given that US forces already struck targets in Iran, ISR assets would surely be monitoring Iranian mech units. They would be targeted by an appropriate weapons system immediately after massing for road movement. The Hog pilots will be fighting for a chance to strafe the few remaining hubcaps that roll to the Iraqi border.
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Old 03-26-2008   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germ View Post
....ISR assets would surely be monitoring Iranian mech units. They would be targeted by an appropriate weapons system immediately after massing for road movement. The Hog pilots will be fighting for a chance to strafe the few remaining hubcaps that roll to the Iraqi border.
I can't believe you guys are giving Lind's tripe the amount of consideration in rebuttal that's been posted here. Look at Khafji in the early phase of Desert Storm. Consider the significant improvements across the spectrum in our capabilities since then - then consider that current Iranian mech/armor capabilities are no better than the Iraqi army at that time. If that. Game over.

Certain figures in the Iranian govt may talk smack, but they will never confront us head-on. There are other options, if it comes down to brass tacks. To paraphrase Monty Python's Village Idiot, they may be idiots, but they're not fools.

Last edited by Jedburgh; 03-26-2008 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 03-27-2008   #17
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Default Who's Lind?

Just for the Record, I think he's a Ham. Boyd is Spinney in his grave...
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Old 03-31-2008   #18
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This is more likely of a scenario.
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