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Subject: Do we then...
appleciderus    4/1/2007 10:41:06 PM
...stand alone?
 
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CardEE       4/2/2007 5:11:46 AM

No, you are not alone.  You are alone in Europe, and you are alone in much of the rest of the world (which should speak volumes about where to put your faith in the future); but both the US and Australia are resolutely standing behind you waiting for your move. 

However, you have to actually make a stand for us to follow you.  Whining to the UN and to the eurotrash isn’t going to get you anywhere, and quite frankly, you should have known that.   I’m sure everyone agrees that the Rwandans and the people of Darfur had the moral high ground… look what that bought them.  Stop playing for pointless morality points and do something the Iranians won’t take for weakness.  Take the lead and show the world that the British still have a pair, because right now I’m beginning to put you guys a few steps behind the French in the sack department. 

CardEE

 
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StudentofConflict       4/2/2007 6:38:39 AM
Yeah, maybe we'll grow as big a pair as the yanks had over their lot in 1979 eh? heres some advice: Put down Command & conquer or wherever you get your stupid ideas, and think. What can we say 'Give em back or we'll nuke you?' That'll result in nothing other than 15 dead hostages, then ww3. So mr genius, tell me your wonderful strategy for sorting it? Send in the SAS? So where are the guys held? What strength is the defending force? ENGAGE BRAIN BEFORE OPEN MOUTH.
 
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Yimmy       4/2/2007 7:03:54 AM

What can we say 'Give em back or we'll nuke you?'

I don't know really that that is such a bad idea to be honest.

If they call our bluff, just send a lone warhead to a military post in the middle of nowehere.  I really can't see anyone responding on Irans behalf.

Of course I am fully against the actual use of nuclear weapons (for instance I am against the development of nuclear bunker-buster bombs), however we have these nuclear weapons as a deterrent - and they are obviously not detering anyone at the moment - so perhaps we should remind people what the implications are here.

 
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CardEE       4/2/2007 7:21:03 AM

Yeah, maybe we'll grow as big a pair as the yanks had over their lot in 1979 eh? heres some advice: Put down Command & conquer or wherever you get your stupid ideas, and think. What can we say 'Give em back or we'll nuke you?' That'll result in nothing other than 15 dead hostages, then ww3. So mr genius, tell me your wonderful strategy for sorting it? Send in the SAS? So where are the guys held? What strength is the defending force? ENGAGE BRAIN BEFORE OPEN MOUTH.

“StudentofConflict”,

First, I’m not going to argue over our performance in 1979.  It was shameful and our standing with Iran has suffered ever since.  Are you trying to emulate that performance? 

Second, nobody is arguing sending in the SAS.  This isn’t a Chuck Norris movie and the chance of an armed rescue is essentially zero.  But nice try on the strawman, since nothing in my post argued for an armed rescue of any kind.

I don’t mean to sound like I don’t care about your soldiers, but the primary issue here isn’t getting your men back.  The primary goal should be to make this whole ordeal so painful for the Iranians that they would never think of repeating the act (you know, like they’ve done 2 times now).  Your entire nation cannot be held hostage to the fate of a handful of captured soldiers, but you cannot allow a blatant act of aggression to go unanswered. 

If your well thought out, extremely deep analysis of the situation represents the consensus position for most British citizens, you guys should just throw in the towel.  I think it is time for you to take a bit of your own advice.

Respectfully,
CardEE

 
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ProDemocracy    Cardee, Student   4/2/2007 10:09:30 AM
Ok typically when a debate goes off the rails on strategy page, it's "conservative" vs "liberals" and there is no way to build consensus.  But in this situation, we are all on the same side and we should all remember that.  When Americans chastise the British (in ways that leave alot to be desired in terms of tact), it's because we do remember the collective pain and humiliation we felt at being humbled by the Iranians in 1979...really due to nothing more than weak leadership.  We admire and respect the Brits as one of the few true allies we have - and we hate to see you make the same mistake.  Some of the words or advice, while harsh, really is just our way of trying to prevent the same mistake being made twice.
 
To answer the original question - you are not alone...as another poster put on another board (I am confident it's true), there only needs to be a phone call made to Washington from London and whatever you need, we would be there.  I think you can count on the Aussies as well - and you might even be surprised by the French - I think even the French realize how weak they would look as the self-appointed leaders of the EU if they do not support Britain 100%.  EU declarations got Britain nowhere - what does the EU propose to do next?
 
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reefdiver       4/2/2007 12:32:54 PM
DebkaFile, not the most reliable source, is claiming the UK is about to promise not to ever intentionally enter Iranian waters without permission again in return for getting the soldiers back.  Unfortunately, this might mean the UK has then promised not to let its navy participate in any attack or invasion on Iran.  Interesting if its true.
 
Its a solution the "Peace at any cost - as long as its not Euros" EU will love.
 
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anuts       4/2/2007 6:18:13 PM

DebkaFile, not the most reliable source, is claiming the UK is about to promise not to ever intentionally enter Iranian waters without permission again in return for getting the soldiers back.  Unfortunately, this might mean the UK has then promised not to let its navy participate in any attack or invasion on Iran. 


OK. A stupid question from one (me) who is not the military strategist in the least. Would the kind of sortees, strikes, forces, buildup, etc. (assuming a coalition of sorts) require the British Navy to even enter Iran's waters or could it all go down with them operating in international waters?
 
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JIMF       4/2/2007 6:43:09 PM
I think Tony Blair has already made it clear that Britain will not be participating in any proposed U.S. attack on Iran.  It sounds like some kind of a deal is in the works that will allow for the release of the prisoners.  
 
In answer to your original statement I'm sure the U.S. would support Britain militarily if the situation deteriorated.  I think U.S. support was less vocal than it might have been because of the negative view so many hold of our chief executive, and the desire not to compromise the diplomatic effort.  I wouldn't be surprised if the British government requested that we keep our support somewhat muted.  
 
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swhitebull    What Would Maggie Do?    4/2/2007 6:43:53 PM
Full  blockade of all ships entering the Gulf - search and seizure of all gasoline-carrying tankers bound for Iran, does not require entering the Gulf. Since Iran imports 40-60% of its gasoline, and they have only 1 refinery for gasoline, it would bite QUICKLY.
 
If hostages arent released in 1 week, then said refinery becomes toast.
 
Let's see how long the population will stand for their economy literally coming to a complete halt.
 
That doesnt get the hostages released? Cruise missiles on a couple key oil facilities might do the trick. As would a few right on the Holy City of Qoms - as a message to singe the beards of the MOOOOLAHS.
 
 
As Maggie might say to the Mullahs: "Is anything unclear about this? Or perhaps you feel you are being treated unfairly?"
 
 
swhitebull
 
That doesnt
 
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appleciderus       4/2/2007 8:09:00 PM

Yeah, maybe we'll grow as big a pair as the yanks had over their lot in 1979 eh? heres some advice: Put down Command & conquer or wherever you get your stupid ideas, and think. What can we say 'Give em back or we'll nuke you?' That'll result in nothing other than 15 dead hostages, then ww3. So mr genius, tell me your wonderful strategy for sorting it? Send in the SAS? So where are the guys held? What strength is the defending force? ENGAGE BRAIN BEFORE OPEN MOUTH.


Firstly, I’m not British, but 3rd generation American. Decipher that information, as you will.

 

I don’t play military games, although I did before discovering “Mario Kart”.

 

I have often had “stupid” ideas, occasionally here at Strategy Page, but this is not one of them.

 

And when you call me “Mr. Genius”, you sound angry. Yes? Well, please don’t be angry with me.

 

I am perplexed as to your choices. Why only the situation we see unfolding, or nuclear war? Hopefully the British government has other choices, but publicly, it seems they will be forced to squirm, eat humble pie, wipe the egg off their face, apologize a dozen times, bow a few times, and agree never to trespass again.

 

I think that is wrong.

 

One not need be a rocket scientist to understand that, like a recalcitrant child, Iran will continue to do as it pleases until others make it so unpleasant, or so expensive, that they cease.

 

I don’t think nuclear war, or the loss of 15 British military, is necessary. I do think what “appears” to be happening now increases the likelihood of armed conflict, including nuclear war. Perhaps in the near future.

 

So, what are the choices?

 

My belief is that Iran is betting the British government, and the West in general, does not want to impact the world economy with the certain increase in energy costs a confrontation would cause.

 

Why wouldn’t Western governments be willing to spend more on energy in order to penalize Iran to the point of acceptable international behavior?

 

Western economies (G-8) could sustain the increase in energy costs, experiencing an economic slow down or even a recession. Wouldn’t either be preferable to an armed conflict? Third world countries would experience more, perhaps untold, hardship than the West, but the West could help with various economic aids.

 

It is true that Russia benefits greatly from increased energy costs, and China seeks a steady supply of Iranian oil to satisfy it’s stockpiling program. Russia, China, and others will impede any UN action disciplining Iran, as they have regarding Iran’s nuclear program, but even these factors can be dealt with if Western nations are willing to incur the financial costs.

 

It will NOT happen; IMHO, because Western politicians value incumbency and “political correctness” above all else, and $4.00 or $5.00 a gallon gasoline in America is the surest way to get “unelected”.

 

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