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How Iran Would Battle the U.S. In a War (It Would Be Bloody)

June 30, 2019 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

Kenneth Adelman, a former assistant to Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld and a prominent figure in the U.S. foreign policy
community, famously predicted in 2002 that a war to oust Iraqi
leader Saddam Hussein would be a “cakewalk.” President Donald Trump
apparently learned nothing from Adelman’s hubris and rosy
optimism. Although he aborted a planned airstrike on Iran at the
last minute, Trump later warned Iranian leaders that the military
option was still very much on the table. He added that if the
United States used force against Iran, Washington would not put
boots on the ground but would wage the conflict entirely with
America’s vast air and naval power. There was no doubt in his
mind about the outcome. He asserted that such a war “
wouldn’t last very long,” and that
it would mean the “obliteration” of Iran.

But history is littered with examples of wars that political
leaders and the general public erroneously believed would be quick
and easy. When Abraham Lincoln opted to confront the secession of
the Southern states with force, his initial troop request was
merely for 90-day enlistments. People in Washington, DC,
were so confident that the Union army would crush the upstart
rebels at the impending battle of Manassas that hundreds drove out
in carriages to view the likely battlefield. They treated it like a
spectator event, in some cases complete with picnic baskets.
Four years later, more than 500,000 American soldiers were
dead.

Leaders and populations in the major European capitals in 1914
exuded optimism that the new war would be over in a matter of months—with their side
winning a glorious victory, of course. Once again, the situation
did not turn out as planned. The projected quick and relatively
bloodless conflict became a prolonged, horrific slaughter consuming
millions of young lives, toppling established political systems in
Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia, and ushering in the plagues
of fascism and communism.

A common thread in the various blunders was the assumption that
the initial phase of a conflict would be utterly decisive. That was
Adelman’s error. Washington’s military encounter with
Saddam’s forces was fairly close to being a cakewalk. The
decrepit Iraqi army was no match for the U.S.-led invaders. When
Saddam fell from power, President George W. Bush flew to a U.S.
aircraft carrier that displayed a huge (later infamous)
“Mission Accomplished” banner.

However, the initial military victory proved to be just the
beginning of a giant headache for the United States. Within months,
an insurgency arose against the U.S. occupation force, and
political instability bordering on civil war plagued …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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