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Subject: Ranking of Hardest nations to invade in Middle East
Angry    8/11/2009 7:51:56 AM
I've been reading the "Ranking of the Strongest Militaries in the ME thread" and its clear that many people know a great deal about the various ORBATS of nations and how they can use them. It got me thinking though that Iran might be under rated purely because of its size and numbers. In the Napoleonic Wars and WW2 the inferior (at first) Russian / Soviet army retreated far enough and let the weather and the land do the fighting. A nation like Israel does not have that luxury. A second point is the fanaticism of the Soviet ideology that would lose 50 million people and keep on fighting. Iraq fell to the US led alliances in both early 90's and a few years back in 2 highly successful military actions which would have been a great deal harder if the army and the population both believed they were in the right. Hezbollah might not have won the battles with the Israeli Army. It could be argued that they won the war though. This would be because the population and the fighters all believed in their cause. I have a couple of questions based on this. 1. Top ten ranking of ME nations in terms of "fight" in their country. This "fight" could be religious fanaticism, patriotism, loyalty to their leader or just plain stubborn pig headedness. the list might go: 1. Israel (based on fear that everyone else wants to destroy them). 2. Turkey (based on national pride and NATO training and confidence) 3. Iran (based on religious fanaticism) 4. - 9 Iraq, Saudi, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Syria+ all others except Qatar (based on not knowing enough to distinguish anything between them. 10. Qatar (based on my experience with Qatari officer cadets at Dartmouth). Virtually all Arab cadets were (as has been said by FS) utterly un motivated, unfit and lazy. It was almost enough to turn me into a bigot ;-) but I've grown up to understand that it was only because they didn't want to be there and their British trainers had no powers of discipline over them. They couldn't be withdrawn from training because a) 1 Arab paid for 3 of us. and b) their embassies wouldn't allow it. All Arabs were useless but the Qatari's were unreal. My next question would be. 2. Top Ten ranking ME nations in order of difficulty for a US led group of nations to carry out military regime change. 1. Turkey (based on training, equipment, population, geographic factors and national "fight" 2. Iran, 3. Syria, 4. Egypt 5. Iraq 6. Israel 7. Saudi 8. All others except Qatar 10. Qatar (that year with the Qatari really stuck in my mind didn't it :-) ) Israel is quite low down. They have a fine military, but based on Iraq and Afghanistan, the open warfare is the easy bit. I'd be interested to know what people think. AJ
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french stratege       8/11/2009 8:27:17 AM
Only Israel, Iran and Turkey have a potent military.
Syrian have some commitment and skills but prehistoric equipment.
Rest is a total joke especially Saudis even worse than Quataris (LOL).
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Angry       8/11/2009 8:32:56 AM
But what about everything else FS?  The geography, the population, the resisitance to Regime Change?  I personally think Iran would be far harder than Iraq and we've been Iraq for years already.  The War would be the easy bit, no arguements there.  But what about winning the peace?
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xylene       8/11/2009 2:22:28 PM
Iran would be difficult due to varied terrain i.e. mountain ranges, desert, plains. It's cities and population are also much larger than Iraq. Also winning the peace would be hard due to size of occupation force needed. Another thing to consider about Iran are all the fanatics that would pour in from Pakistan. There would also be tremoundous international pressure for a quick operation as it would affect world oil supply and imperil seaborne traffic in the Persian Gulf.
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Shirrush    Invading Israel: geography   8/11/2009 4:32:57 PM
I wonder why nobody mentioned Jordan. From the West, it looks fairly forbidding, an uninterrupted chain of cliffs and tall desert mountains running alongside the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea and the Arava Depression. A few good men with anti-tank weapons and mortars would wreak havoc on an armored invasion force of any size and description, regardless of its air cover, and this is exactly what the Arab Legion has been training and equipping for forever.
Israel was already invaded once, in 1948, and on the very day it declared its independence. The most important fact to remember was Israel's inability to undo the Jordanian and Iraqi hold on the Judean and Samarian hilly heartland until the June 1967 "miracle". Prior to 1991, the IDF was arrayed in depth in this area, in order to face the Eastern front onslaught towards Jerusalem which was repeatedly promised by Saddam, who had the means and the ambition to do just that. Instead, he went into Quwait, and the rest is (recent) history.
The Israeli Eastern boundary, while less mountainous than the Jordanian Gil'ad-Bashan bastions facing it, is also fairly mountainous, with many nooks and crannies allowing light, mobile units to stall and attrit an invading force until larger units are mobilised to destroy it and then go on westwards to carry the fight into enemy territory.
A notable exeption to this is the Northern Beyt Shean- Yizre'el valley continuum, which is fairly flat tank country: an invasion coming from the direction of the Syrian-Jordanian Western boundary would have to be stopped, uh, at Megiddo, which the Christians call Armageddon, for it not to reach the port city of Haifa and from there, the coastal plain, where most of the Israeli population resides.
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Angry       8/12/2009 5:47:50 AM
Despite Israels military power, I believe the US would have an easier time going in, winning a fight and staying for the next 5 years than many of the Arab / Persian powers in the area.  Jordan possibly being one of them.  Does anyone know about their military capability compared to say, Syria and Egypt?
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Herald12345    Israelis are Spartans   8/12/2009 6:50:00 AM

Despite Israels military power, I believe the US would have an easier time going in, winning a fight and staying for the next 5 years than many of the Arab / Persian powers in the area.  Jordan possibly being one of them.  Does anyone know about their military capability compared to say, Syria and Egypt?
1. Israel=best soldiers and tech
2. Turkey=very good soldiers and tech.
3. Iran=The professional military was very good. The Revolutionary Guards are dedicated. They actually were the ones who were effective in Lebanon. The Hezbollah could not follow orders or take Persian direction so they, Hezbollah  more or less were racked and ruined in their ill timed and poorly executed guerrilla war.
4. Egypt=despite moslem Brothberhood fascism and a governement thatf makes a Marx Brothers comedy or the IS bureaucratic state look effiicient, the Egyptian Army can at least claim that it was effective. Egypt is alos a huge country hard to govern or sustain yourself in once you leave the Delta and the coast. Note carefully how the Israelis planned their operations when they trounced Egypt? Geography is a killer tpo an invader, whether west or east axis.. 
5. Jordan=As Shirrush said a well trained military who know how to use their terrain.
The rest of them are targets.

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FJV    Saudi Arabia   8/12/2009 2:49:42 PM
If a non-Islamic nation takes Mecca and Medina it will have to deal with some very serious Islamic hysteria.
If an Islamic nation manages to take Mecca and Medinathey will have a nice cash cow.
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ambush       8/17/2009 9:43:38 PM
I think geogrpahic location, population groupings, likely chance of itnernal uprisings and topography also have to be considered; not just military power.
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Angry       8/18/2009 6:55:54 AM
I agree Ambush.  Thats why I put Israel further down the list than Herald does despite their military supremacy.
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ambush       8/18/2009 7:54:17 PM
Israel lacks strategic depth. They have little space that they can trade for time, the inverse of this woudl be Russia which has plenty of space it can trade for time.  For this reason you can understand Israel's reluctance to give up any land for an unreliable peace deal.
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