I’ll admit, for a few minutes yesterday, I was getting very worried about whether or not we were about to go conquer Iran.
Bear in mind, if we ever do go in, it’ll probably be a Friday afternoon here. That way the story will dominate the news cycle all weekend, and this administration knows the value of dominating the news cycle. (Let’s hope they also learn the value of surprise in military operations and don’t do this. But I digress; back to the invasion.)
[By the way: This is less snarky than my usual Spider-marked posts. Sorry about that. It’s because I describe some of my research process, and snark comes afterward, during editing. I’ll make up for it next time; I promise.]
It’s funny how these things get noticed. As it happened, I was doing my regular scan through the official White House briefing material when I came across an announcement, that FEMA funds were going to be made available to help people in North Dakota who suffered during the Christmas storm last year. And I thought, Well, that’s odd. Not because FEMA was helping someone with storm damage, but because now is a really strange time to authorize it: more than a month later. But then I saw there were other disaster relief announcements and was about to move on, when I noticed.
Specifically mentioned in here, sandwiched among the list of the counties damaged, were the Oglala Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes. Remember the protests against Keystone and DAPL? Led by the local Sioux tribes, particularly the Oglala Sioux. Remember the recent executive actions about the pipelines? Sounds like a bit of quid pro quo happening here.
But so what? Is this news? I mean, yeah, it’s manipulation using money as a blunt instrument. Crude, effective, and very characteristic of Donald Trump in his business life — but also appropriate for President Trump to do, or even President Obama, come to think on it. So the president did something Presidential (if not admirable) for once; he’s a natural deal-maker; that’s not surprising.
So I moved on, skipping over our expected statement of outrage over the Iran missile test (pro forma) and on to the Australian refugee thing. There, I reached the conclusion (as you may recall) that he was blustering so very much because he was going to honor the deal, and he wanted someone to blame. And maybe he was angling for some special concession from Australia, so he made the P.M. sweat for a couple of days. Makes sense; business as usual. Hmm. I wonder what he could have wanted?
And then it hit me: Iran.
Sudden thought: Wasn’t there something about our aircraft carriers? Can’t invade without massive carrier support, preferably two, especially given the tensions with China. Where was that link… Oh yes; here it is. Alt press; New Years. Interesting. Well, let’s see where they are now. The Navy obligingly keeps us informed… Hmmm. And how long does it take to sail to the Middle East? Oh, they could just shift one from the Med and send one from here to replace that, so… a couple of days?
[Explanation in case you’re wondering why carriers are important: It’s not the planes, not so much. It’s what comes along with a carrier that’s the big thing. Yes, the big boys project a lot of power, and they carry along a huge command-and-control center that actually can plan and run an entire invasion, but the bit to notice is that they also carry along a couple of Marine Expeditionary Units as a matter of course. Want to invade somewhere scary? Send the Marines.]
Hunh. Our carrier supply is pretty tight. It looks like the Ford is a long way from launch. It was in the news last year; big problems. Odd that there’s nothing recent, but — nah. Six months at least. And the Big E has been stood down; let’s check on that — no; insides ripped out and the reactor drained. She’s not sailing again; too bad. What about the Lincoln? Ah: News — They just installed the last major bits that make her a fighting ship. Just a short time until the squadrons come back. Checking my sources… [No, these ones I don’t link to; Iran may be reading. Stranger things have happened.] Hm. About three weeks, minimum. Well, where’s the support fleet? Assembling… assembling… on an exercise… wait a minute. Exercise?
[At this point my blood ran cold.]
Unified Trident Exercise Wraps Up with Successful Integration of International Forces
“ARABIAN GULF (NNS) — The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard along with the Royal navy, Royal Australian navy and French Marine Nationale successfully concluded exercise Unified Trident, Feb. 2…”
There’s the equivalent of two and a half allied carrier groups sitting just outside the Persian Gulf right now. There’s a big Spec Ops Command unit, either two or three MEUs, Australian troops, anti-missile ships, support craft out the wazoo — and they’re all at absolute peak performance because they just completed a huge training exercise. Oh shit we’re going to war.
[Note: I have nothing against war. No; I tell a lie; I have the normal objections: they’re bloody expensive; lots of people die; nothing ever seems to change in the world as a result of having them. So war sucks and should be avoided — but somehow, that never seems to happen. Wars are going to be fought regardless of my preference, I guess is what I’m saying, so I’ll stick to writing about policy and politics.]
So I checked my sources, and I sweated, and I checked some more, and gradually I started to calm down. Yes, we could fight a war with Iran right now if we wanted to, but it would be bloody inconvenient. For one thing, China is raising a ruckus in the South China Sea (or we are, depending on where you stand) and we really need to be ready to act, just in case. For another, we still don’t have a cabinet, and a lot of the agencies (like State and the CIA) are operating without leadership. Right now, the U.N. kinda hates us, even Israel. Out of the eleven carrier fleets we should have, two are on overhaul, one is undergoing testing, one is missing its fighter wing while the reactor’s being refueled, and one hasn’t been built yet. Soonest we could have our normal complement ready for sea is about three weeks from now. Hm. Odd that so many ships will be coming off maintenance at about the same time…
Back to that alt-news story. Maybe, despite the tinfoil-hat nature of the writer, they were on to something but didn’t know it. Looks as though this was planned to permit our under-strength navy to be at wartime readiness by early to mid-March.
And that brings us up to now.
I’ve been going over what I know and can access, and this is consistent: We will be militarily prepared (though not eager) by mid-March to do the following:
- Hold the line in Korea. That’s important since they might act in tandem with China.
- Place two carrier groups in the Pacific, one between China and Taiwan if need be.
- Place two carrier groups in or near the Persian Gulf, one for action and the other for support.
- Maintain an active presence in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria (if need be).
- Threaten Mexico with invasion if they don’t end the Drug War (the one that we’re responsible for, but that’s another article).
And we can keep that up for six months or longer, especially if we can guarantee our national oil supply. (Tanks and planes use lots of fuel.)
One of President Trump’s first acts in office was to order a review of our military preparedness, due to be completed on the 27th of February. He sealed our borders in certain areas known to be affiliated (or infested) with Daesh and Al Qaeda. He’s ordered a plan to be prepared to defeat the so-called Islamic State. He’s taken action to secure the oil supply of the United States, particularly in the area of the national reserve complex in Montana.
Right now, there’s outcry against us in the United Nations, and there are anti-Trump protests around the globe. Supporting American action today would be political suicide for most world leaders — though not in Australia, not any more. Russia is coming around; we’ve just had cordial meetings with heads of state from the United Kingdom, Germany, Jordan — and secure calls with many many more.
And, incidentally, foreign funds and organization, some from China and some from the Middle East, are assisting some of the fringe violent protest groups in this country — some of the students wearing masks. The timing may be coincidental, of course, and due to the nature of the groups I can’t prove it — nor would if I could. It’s not my job to build a federal espionage, sabotage, or treason case, especially not against well-meaning but mis-led and misguided students, the causes of many of whom I sympathize with quite strongly. It is, however, my job to inform these students that they just might want to worry about someone else doing this research and building such a case. Someone will.
Because I predict that, in a month to six weeks, the United States of America is quite likely going to war. Targets include: ISIL, Yemen, and northern Mexico.
[NOTE: I’m a firm believer in supporting my country in time of war. Sometimes that support should be shown in anti-war protests; as of this moment, I’m undecided. Regardless, there are those who would censure the publication of a document which lays out a prediction of the military strategy of my own country. To this I would respond: There is nothing in here that is not easily accessed from public information sources. There’s nothing original here except a bit of speculation, and surely any foreign power I mentioned here is capable of doing that without my help. The American people, however, are at present disorganized and distracted, and I very much doubt if many are doing anything other than concentrating on the chaos of day-to-day events.]
My prediction could easily be incorrect. Even if I’ve accurately described the intention of this administration, it is entirely possible that world events will move faster than we can, or that things will develop independently — or diplomatically — which prevent it. Then too, I could easily be mistaken; after all, the people who made the preparations to which I refer were anticipating rather a different occupant of the Oval Office at this moment. Only time will tell.
And, during that time, I’m going to worry, fret, and work on my ulcers.