|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 They couldn't be withdrawn from training because a) 1 Arab paid for 3 of us.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"
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.