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Subject: At what point do we fuel up the planes and order a strike
ProDemocracy    3/30/2007 10:08:16 AM
Ok so this is not for posters who are sitting at their computers playing war games - this is more for discussion about what the Iranians would have to do - or not do, to precipitate a military response. Or even an ultimatum which threatens military action. What would the ultimatum look like? What sort of action would be taken? This would be from the UK with (presumably) US help. I want to state for the record while I would have preferred stronger language coming out of 10 Downing Street, I completely disagree with Hypocenter as I do not think Blair is weak or has acted weak. I simply want to get an idea from the posters (particularly the Brits) at what point would the British public be clamoring for blood. I'll state my opinion as a reply. I suppose in some sense, this is a thread for those to want to predict what may happen in the next 10-14 days.
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ProDemocracy    After 10 days in captivity, an ultimatum   3/30/2007 10:12:08 AM
I must admit I got this from another poster on another board, but I think after 10 days of captivity, if the Iranians are still holding the hostages, parading them on TV, etc, an ultimatum needs to be sent: 24 hours to release the hostages or the navy will be destroyed....then, another 24 hours or the oil refineries will be next...and so on until the hostages are released.
The longer this goes on, the more Britain (like America back in 1979) is humbled before a weaker power.  Until now, I think the situation has been handled fairly well although stronger language out of 10 Downing Street from the beginning may have rattled the Iranians more.  At this point, it's time to talk tougher. 
And at the risk of stating the obvious, whatever happens, my thoughts and prayers are with the hostages and their families.
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perfectgeneral    This means revenge?   3/30/2007 10:31:05 AM
I think that economic sanctions and at most a military blockade of trade are the most likely  means to ramp up pressure on the Iranins to release the fifteen. If nothing changes and the hostages are not released, then any response will be a revenge attack. That might be graduated as you suggest, but I think it more likely that it would be all out. Sink their fleet or destroy their air force and there is no point in interspersing such actions with polite demands. It would be war. A peace treaty of some form would be needed to resolve matters.

The RN are already reviewing the forces they use for close-to-border inspections. It seems a little late, in light of what happened in 2004, but remember there was a lot less trouble getting those hostages released.
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StudentofConflict       3/30/2007 11:28:54 AM
Well, in my own completely unscientific poll of various fellow Brits over the past few days, consensus seems to be that the Iranians are utter bastards. I think what really gets our goat as a country is when people break agreements with us. If they say they'll release them, and then try to renege on the deal in some way, thats a massive step toward hostility...what finally pushed us to WW2 was Hitler breaking the Munich agreement. Perhaps its the Common Law heritage and the importance of contractual relationships therein...
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neofire1000       3/30/2007 12:26:34 PM
My view ProD is from alot of army mates as well as civvy mates. I feel the general feeling of the british public is rage, and like S.O.C states feel they are utter bastards. Ask any British soldier and they will line up to go into Iran and try to free them.
Tony Blair has dissapointed me a little as well, although he stated on ITN news that he WILL NOT negotiate with Iran for the release of his sailors and that if they wern't released it would enter a different phase. I would hope the different phase is to go in there with a show of strength. The problem I foresee is that if we try and remove them by force it will escalate to all out war, the Irainians will simply not stand for it. The problem we have is that as much as i love my country and have utter faith in our armed forces the reality is we are stretched so thin we couldn't do it without the US anyway. Anytime we have been in exercise with US forces they have been brill, true friends and always ready to fight with us, i can only hope that would be the case as a sustained war with Iran would be too much for our ground forces without US support and would then put pressure on the MOD to use larger weapons in order to prevent massive casualties. Contrary to what alot of people thing Britain mantains independent control of her Nukes and can use them without US approval, not saying that would happen but we couldn't manage Iran without a massive strike of conventional weapons from aircraft etc and I don't think we have that capability for the next 10 - 15 years when our new carriers mabye ready.
I may be talking of course through a hole in my arse as was just a soldier, but we need the US before we can carry out threats.
I wouldn't be surprised if an ultimatum came quite soon along the lines of, release or sailors or we will deliver a surgical strike to your nuclear assets, only much more diplomatic.
At this moment I would be surprised if the british public aren't already clamouring for blood, but with recent problems in Iraq they may be more reserved. If it was maggie a task force would have underway in a week, but sadly thats not the case.  I think the Iranians have done enough to preticipate a military strike, it's just a question of when.
Sorry guys for going on so much, i could talk all day!!!.
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ProDemocracy    neo   3/30/2007 12:37:13 PM
Actually, I appreciate the lengthy post - exactly the sort of insight I was looking for. 

As an American with ties to Britain (Mum is English), I am enraged - moreso after seeing Nathan Summers on television.  Just makes me want to advocate going in guns blazing.  I realize there are steps which need to be taken to lead up to that.
I don't think you would find much objection among Americans - even the Dems in Congress would more than likely advocate helping Britain with a military strike.  A ground force would be a harder sell. 
I think the initial response was too diplomatic and the Iranians sensed (incorrectly) a lack of will to do more.  I think that the longer it goes on, the more emboldened the Iranians will get - and given how the media has been so far, the farther back in the newspapers this story will be.  Like Rumsfield once said (and not a big fan of him here) "you go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want" - in this case, when war is forced upon you, that certainly applies.  Perhaps we need to pull together a coalition - including the French, Germans and whoever will truely stand by Britain, and go into Iran.
Also, on a completely separate note, I think this crisis is an opportunity for the EU to give Britain reason to be more enthusiastic about it...what political or military benefit does it really give Britain now?  I guess this crisis will demonstrate the answer to that question.
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swhitebull    The Darth Blair Approach   3/30/2007 2:24:51 PM
Ive written this on other threads, but it bears repeating, and should be very effective:
Iran gets up to 60 % (!) of its gasoline from foreign imports, having only 1 gasoline refinery in the entire country. IF I were Tony Blair, this is what I would say, unequivocally, to the MOOOLAHS:

"You have 24 hours to release our illegally-taken sailors and marines, or we implement a total embargo of all ships in the Gulf carrying gasoline to your country - we will stop, search, seize and turn back such vessels if necessary; after 1 week, if our people have not been returned, your remaining gasoline processing facility goes up in smoke."  24 hours thereafter and no return, we will add oil tankers to the embargo , then we start destroying your oil infrastucture, then start in on your nuclear facilities, and finally on your holy city of Qoms, where your mullahs reside. I'm sure that the United States, with their cruise missiles and 2 carriers sitting outside of the Gulf, wouldnt mind giving us a little help with this as well. Is the price of wrecking your economy worth holding our sailors and commandos?
Maggie Thatcher would have ended by saying:
"Is there anything unclear about this? Or perhaps you feel you will have been treated unfairly by our proportional approach to resolving your little act of war? "
WE can only hope and pray that Tony Blair doesnt go wobbly and has the balls to do the same, should it prove necessary.
swhitebull - Maggie wouldnt have messed around with these fanatics.
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sofa       3/30/2007 6:37:17 PM
Pin pricks, a strike, whatever is non-sense.
Iran is a strategic target. The big plans from the back of the file cabinet are on the table.
Lebanon, Iraq, nuclear, kidnapping pirates, ongoing acts of war since November 4, 1979 ... This just helps with PR for what was going to happen anyway.
Ahmanutjob is a product of the jihadi organization, so removing a few does nothing. Like removing the Baath in Iraq, removing this jihadi upper crust is a massive undertaking and will leave Iran shattered for some time. But Iran enjoys far greater economic vitality today and will recover much quicker if we do not, first, destory the middle class and businesses that will be needed to get Iran back on it's feet.
Iraq was already knocked very low by sanctions and the brutality of a regime clinging to power.
In Iran, we can avoid those depths if we don't destroy the country through sanctions first. Just take out the upper crust. Leave the middle class with something to lose and everything to gain if they can get their country going again.
There will be chaos, but they will recover much quicker.
That's the difficult thing- Leaving a middle class and re-establishing enough organization to get the medium and small businesses going again.
In Germany, this was acheived with blunt force trauma and the destruction of almost everything.
In Japan, there was more finesse - Much of the economy and government was in place, when the US occupation changed it forcibly. Japan rebounded well, largely due to the character of it's culture. And then there was the clear wisdom of US redirection of Japanese government and economy.
Stunning brutality, firm resolve, and complete domination is the better approach.
Protracted sanctions, or a slugfest, would just destroy the very things we need after a war to re-establish a modern society.
But I've had a few beers and my vision is cloudy....
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sofa       3/30/2007 6:43:29 PM
Having said that... Iran has created a scenario where US could be constrained by Blair.
<and sorry, it's a US opinion>
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reefdiver       3/30/2007 9:51:38 PM
There are a large number of options the UK and EU have in this crisis short of starting to fire missiles.  First and foremost are financial weapons.  They can start out simply and ratchet up the pressure - there are an almost infinite number of increments that could be used.  Iran is actually very vulnerable to strong financial pressure - and I'm not talking about the wimpy worthless sanctions the UN is doling out.   I believe strong financial actions are more likely to bring down the mullahs regime than and attack on the country which is more like to unify the country.  Unfortunately, the EU may resist significant financial pressure more than war. This is because half the EU wants to do business with Iran. Hey money is money. Money at any cost.  Anger the Iranians with severe sanctions and trade bans and you're losing even more business to the Chinese and Russians.  However, if the US and the UK attack Iran, and the EU condemns the attack - well you get the picture.  And the Iranians feel smug in this knowledge - that the EU will do nothing significant.
War just isn't necessary if the EU is willing to do what needs to be done (I still think the same about Iraq). But they aren't.  I don't think the EU has the balls to do what needs to be done to resolve the whole Iranian thing (hostage and nuke crisis).  They could help end it quickly but won't.  All they care about are their precious contracts and business.  Just like they did during the whole Iraqi oil scandal.  Doesn't matter what the threat, doesn't matter who's killing who, just as long as they can keep the money flowing.
So if war comes, the EU will be self-righteously blaming and condemning the US and the UK. Myself,  I'll personally blame the EU for not doing what needed to be done, for not making the hard decisions but instead easy greedy ones - for in essence supporting the Iranians. 
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sofa       3/30/2007 10:38:57 PM
"... and those who support them" surely includes these EU enablers.
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