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Subject: The Real numbers in Iran
GOP    4/12/2006 10:59:39 PM
>>April 12, 2006: On paper, Iran has some 100,000 or so troops rated as "special operations forces," including elements of the regular armed forces and the Revolutionary Guard Corps. But apparently only the 5,500 strong all-volunteer 23rd Special Forces Division is actually capable of commando-style operations. Most of the rest of the formations designated as "special forces" – including army, navy, and Revolutionary Guard – are actually only well trained light infantry. These are somewhat comparable to American Rangers.<< I have a question regarding this. Is says that Iran has 100,000 "Special Forces" units that are somewhat comparable to US Army Rangers...WHAT?!?!? How is this possible...I mean, US Army Rangers are truly bad-a**. Isn't it a stretch to even compare the Iranian "Special Forces" (not the 23rd Special Forces, but the other guys) to US Army Light Infantry? I mean, the Iranian defense budget is relatively small, and it costs a whole heck of alot of cash to train 100,000 soldiers to a level comparable US Army Light Infantry...much else the Rangers (I doubt that the Iranians have the quality soldiers to produce a regiment like the Rangers, much less have 4-6 divisions worth of them). The fact is that the Middle Eastern culture kind of looks down on hard work/work ethic, and this seriously hinders their military forces (if you want an example, look at the Saudi Arabian military...especially in the Gulf War).
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Yimmy    RE:The Real numbers in Iran   4/12/2006 11:02:34 PM
GOP, on the one hand what you say is true, but on the other hand these are people who have grown up in a harder culture than what you or I were raised in, and have gained themselves positions in the "elite" section of their military. At the end of the day we are all human, and if we do invade they are the cream of the crop, and will be fighting on home ground.
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shek    RE:The Real numbers in Iran   4/12/2006 11:04:30 PM
GOP, From the looks of it, my guess is the article appeared in the news section? If so, as with most articles, take them with a grain of salt. They are usually interesting reads, but are often either recycled news or just plain wrong. The best thing that the Iranians have going for them would probably be esprit de corps in their "elite" units. Motivation does count for a lot when it is combined with some semblance of competence.
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GOP    RE:The Real numbers in Iran   4/13/2006 12:12:45 AM
>>Yimmy, >>GOP, on the one hand what you say is true, but on the other hand these are people who have grown up in a harder culture than what you or I were raised in, and have gained themselves positions in the "elite" section of their military<< I agree that they grew up in a harder culture than us, but the US and British militaries are a very hard culture themselves. As fas as gaining themselves in the elite section of their military, that may be true...but I doubt that gaining entrance elite section of their is anywhere near as tough as gaining access to the elite part of a Western military. Comparing a 100,000 elite Iranians to 3,000 US Army Rangers is extremely laughable. The truth is that these guys would probably get it handed to them by Coalition forces just like the Republican Gaurd did in Iraq. >>At the end of the day we are all human, and if we do invade they are the cream of the crop, and will be fighting on home ground.<< Yes, but human life is very fragile, especially when exposed to massive amounts of JDAM's, Armor, and to the best trained infantry/SOF in the world. Shek, Yes, it came out of the SP news section. As far as Esprit de corps, I think they are more on the religious fanatisicm side of things and less on the 'Band of Brothers' side of things when it comes to unit cohesion. I would much rather have Competence than fanatisicm. How elite do you think these guys really are...who would you compare them to?
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shek    RE:The Real numbers in Iran - GOP   4/13/2006 12:27:13 AM
No idea on how to compare them. Never seen them in action nor heard of how they have fared in actual battle. However, do not underestimate the power of fanaticism. Look at the horrendous casualties that we suffered during the island hopping campaign in the Pacific because of the need to kill the Japanese to the last soldier. There is a level of competence that is required to make fanaticism potent, which is why many of the insurgents in Iraq fare so poorly - fanaticsm can take you only so far . . . However, my guess is that the soldiers that is referring to does have some level of competency, at least certainly beyond the levels of the Iraqi Republican Guard, who rarely trained because Saddam was too fearful of revolt.
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GOP    RE:The Real numbers in Iran - GOP   4/13/2006 1:13:24 AM
Are these soldiers better than our light infantry in your opinion? I just don't see these guys faring well against our infantry one on one...the Marines/US Army light infantry are extremely good and professional. I just don't want our guys to lose, especially since I might be involved in this one, depending on the timing of a potential military campaign against Iran.
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mough    RE:The Real numbers in Iran - GOP   4/13/2006 3:45:48 AM
the Iranian's use to attack Iraqi tank's on the back of toyota hilux truck's, you underestimate them at your cost, I wouldn't call what they did fanaticism, they thought if they died in God's service, they'd go to heaven, it also does not make them stupid, or ignorant, as strane as that may sound to a Westerner's like us, they fought a war for 8 bloody, and I mean WW1 bloody years, this in the 1980s!, battlions would volunteer to cross mine fields to clear them for the other unit's, and don't mind the stories that they were forced,from what I've read, and learned, volunteer's were asked for, before the battle for Shaa'een unit's, martyrs, and they would do suicide mission's, as good as the USMC is they might meet a match in these guy's if it comes down to it
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mough    RE:The Real numbers in Iran - GOP   4/13/2006 3:55:32 AM
well GOP you know people say the USMC is an "elite" force of 100,000+, now all respect to the corp, there are some hardass guy's(and gals ;)) in it, but there are also a lot of bricker's, I've met Marines who frankly wouldn't pass an IQ test in our military, and who's to say how good these Iranian sof's are, just because they don't have $3000 worth of a rifle and scopes, or the latest cool ninja vest from Eagle industries, doesn't mean they don't know what they are doing, or how to do it. pride goeth before a fall, remember it, and you'll be a better soldier for it
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Horsesoldier    RE:The Real numbers in Iran   4/13/2006 11:10:47 AM
I think the sense of the original article was not that the Iranian special operations guys are a one for one match for US Rangers (or comparable units in other developed countries), but rather that they were "special" in the same sense as the 75th, as compared to "special" in the sense of US Special Forces or SEALs or UK/Aus/NZ SAS, etc. As for their actual quality level, it is generally regarded as poor by the standards of the US, UK, and other major western militaries, but they've also demonstrated a higher level of competence then the Iraqis during the Iran-Iraq War in terms of things like light infantry tactics. If most of your military, and your opponent, can't really get the hang of basic rifle marksmanship or squad-level fire and manuever, then having a company or battalion that comprehends and uses basic light infantry tactics pretty much makes them "special." The topic is covered in some detail in Ken Pollack's _Arabs at War_ in the portion of the book examining the Iraqi military, though, as the title suggests, the Iranians are not the main focus of the book (still a good read for anyone interested in the military ins and outs of the Middle East in any case).
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GOP    RE:The Real numbers in Iran -HS   4/13/2006 10:44:05 PM
Do you think that our forces would meet their match against these guys as Mough said?
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mough    RE:gop   4/14/2006 2:28:44 AM
I meant in a generalised way, remember these guy's did carry out some fairly complex action's during the I-Ir war, they have also recently been recieving alot of training from the PLA's SOF's, and NK sof's, and the Russian's, they have also recieved an amount of new kit from Russian, SPU's, NVGs ect, , sniper rifles from Austria, they build midget and mini sub's them selves, those could be usful in the strait's of hormuz,as over used as this phrase is, aysemetric warfare, is not unknown to them, especially all the idea's the Chinese are teaching them in. anyone who think's that the US will just bomb them, and then everything will be ok, is a fool, the Iranian's will fight back, conventionally, and unconventionally, I think the latter will be the more dangerous and destructve....
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