Kenneth Pollack: Is war with Iran imminent? – Here's the real truth

Posted by  $  mminnick 1 month ago to History
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Pollack says Iran doesn't want one and he says the U/S. doesn't want one thus chances are slim that one will occur. This is normal political logic. The logic of War is different. If Iran believes it can inflict serius damage on the U.S. and its allies without sustaining serius damage it will go. If the U.S. thinks it can destroy Irans military and political structure with minimal damage to itself of its allies in the region we will go at the appropriate time. Wither scenario if possible (granted not likely). so I would put the chance at about 40% for war. If Iran continues the provocations the probability will rise. if it gets over 60% we are looking at the accidential war possibility. One side or the other miscalculates the intent and response of the other and bang off it goes.
This situation is fraught with danger and is likely to remain so for a long period of time.
SOURCE URL: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/kenneth-pollack-iran-war-united-states-trump-truth


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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 weeks, 5 days ago
    Conflicting signs: Iran appears to disarm their small high speed boats, which indicates they are backing off; however, they damage four tankers (being careful not to sink them), which looks like a demonstration of their ability to block the Strait of Hormuz if sanctions become too tight.

    Placing a carrier battle group offshore is good strategy. There's enough firepower to frustrate Iranian attacks on tanker traffic. The B-52s? I'm sure the Iranians have heard about the incredible damage theses big bomb haulers did to Iraqi forces. They aren't that stupid to risk being targets.

    There's a calming influence when you have military supremacy, and the enemy knows it. Display of that formidable force is what Trump calculated would send a clear message without firing a shot.

    There's another factor at work here. The Ayatollah isn't ignorant of Iran's internal unrest. The start of hostilities could inspire another revolution, with the leadership on the losing side.
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    • Posted by  $  3 weeks, 5 days ago
      All you say is true. But (there is always a but///) this may be obviated by a mistake or miscalculation. The Navy has issued commercial aircraft in the ares to avoid flying into certain very specific areas of the Gulf and Arabian se. Over 20 years ago an Iranian commercial jet was shot down by the Navy due to errors on both sides but that doesn't lessen the damage. All on board were killed..
      If this happened now, the result would be vastly different than then.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 3 weeks, 5 days ago
    I would like to see some small asteroids redirected on to Teran then some onto China and Moscow then maybe all this international posturing would go away.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 1 month ago
    I still maintain "we're not going to have a war with Iran. They're not that stupid."
    https://www.nytimes.com/1987/10/20/wo...
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    • Posted by freedomforall 3 weeks, 5 days ago
      But are the terrorists they support that stupid? It only takes one terrorist leader who wants to instigate a war against the western infidels.
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      • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 weeks, 4 days ago
        Good point. One motivator for Kruschev to pull the missiles out of Cuba was the KGB warning him that Castro was planning to seize control and launch the nuclear weapons at the U.S. east coast. The warning message was blunt. "The crazy bastard wants to start a nuclear war!"
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    • Posted by  $  1 month ago
      Not too sure about that. They became used to getting their way with Obama and crew. Trump not playing nice and kissing the *&^ is really irritating the. they may just do something stupid. Theat is what aI mean by the logic of War [or illogic]]. It is often the unintended consequences of reasonable steps but something go awry in the lssst step.
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      • -4
        Posted by CircuitGuy 1 month ago
        I don't believe who is POTUS has much to do with it. Right now we have the most clownish embarrassing president imaginable, but the military is a huge organization that's not affected as much by the clown show. I could imagine a frightening scenario where an adversary thinks it can exploit a moment of indecision in the connection between military and civilian leadership. This scenario would assume Trump's clownishness is real (not just show for his rubes) and military would leadership would hesitate because of it. I hope that neither of those is true.
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        • Posted by  $  4 weeks ago
          Disagree. It matters a lot who the president it. He has his finger of the go button. Not only the nucs but all of the conventional weapons and troops as well. A carrier Strike group, an amphibious force and a B-52 Bomber group are not playthings with no punch. A single miscalculation can lead to unimaginable consequesnces for the world , not just the U.S. and Iraq.
          The missile strike near the Green Zone over the weekend. It was most likely ordered by the Mullahs in Iran. NOt 100% on that but it dod come fraom a area controlled by Shite militia's controlled by Iraq.
          WE could have a repeat of the Airliner downing when the U.S. Shot down an Iraqi airliner going to Mecca because it appeared to be squawking a know hostile aircraft mode 4 response. and would not change course when requested to by the U. S. Navy. It that happened now, who knows what would happen next.
          How about if the "Cole Incident" is repeated with know Iraqi terrorists?
          HOw these evens are handled and their consequences depends heavily upon the President is and who is leading Iraq.
          One wrong stgep and the world is on fire from pole to pole and all areas in-between.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 weeks, 5 days ago
            "One wrong stgep and the world is on fire from pole to pole and all areas in-between."
            I hope you're wrong, but it's scary to think because I'm not that knowledgeable about it. I've lived my entire life in the era after WWII where US has a permanent armaments industry and a military presence around the world. The argument is US being the main police officer of the world is responsible for the lack of wars between major powers. I'm not convinced this is true. I want US to go back to have a minimal standing army with a citizen militia providing most defense. In this scenario, US wouldn't be in Iraq, Yemen, or involved in the things you're talking about.

            Would the world go on with the same level of violence as now? Or would regional conflicts spill over into global ones, bringing about WWII horrors, causing US to have to quickly built up a massive military industrial complex to help save the world? I don't know the answer, but I don't think anyone's even thinking about getting about to a small gov't like the Founders imagined. A large standing army and armaments industry getting a chunk of gov't outlays an indirectly lobbying for more money is just a fact of life now.
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            • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 weeks, 5 days ago
              Thank Teddy Roosevelt for our current pickle. Up until our involvement in the Spanish American conflict, our foreign involvements were primarily commercial. Had the war been contained to the Caribbean theater and Cuba, things may have turned out differently, but inheriting the Philippines changed all that in the future President's mind.

              TR saw that the way for the USA to make sure its destiny was not controlled by foreign powers was to exercise power internationally. His success in negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese conflict further convinced him that we might one day become the next world leader, replacing the British Empire in that informal role.

              The Great White Fleet was TR's way to send out a challenge to anyone who might mistake his country for a second rate power. Picking up the failed French enterprise of the Panama Canal was a further demonstration of our ambition and ability.

              Should TR and his successors have taken a lesson from the declining UK empire, with its resources and military manpower stretched to the breaking point? We stumbled into the role of world leader without a game plan, finally inheriting that role with the end of WW II.

              You pose a question that I think has gone through both Obama and Trump's minds, about whether or not we could successfully withdraw from the role of world policeman without losing our global reach commercially and diplomatically. Unfortunately I suspect both have had to come to the realization that commerce and diplomacy are like two legs of a milking stool. Without the third leg of military force, a nation's power can't stand in the international arena. Would isolationism work for us? I doubt it, given our international involvement, but it would be an interesting storyline for a talented alternate history writer, to imagine a nation that had stayed out of international conflicts.
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              • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                That's a lot to think about, some of which I'm more aware of than other parts.
                "Picking up the failed French enterprise of the Panama Canal was a further demonstration of our ambition and ability."
                I'm fascinated by the Canal as an engineering marvel. It's odd how mosquito control turned out to be a big part of making it work. It's also interesting how they made some command-economy-like structures of company housing, company stores, company healthcare, and company recreational activities work.
                Supporting the rebels secede from Colombia and not caring what kind of gov't they established as long as US controlled the Canal Zone looked like theft, although it worked out well for Panama.

                " a question that I think has gone through both Obama and Trump's minds,"
                I thought that when President Obama said it's part of American exceptionalism that US get involved in Syria because US is exceptional in its ability to project military power abroad. I have never thought of American exceptionalism as having that meaning. I also thought of it when President Trump ordered missile strikes in response to Syrian gas attacks. People had thought he might be more isolationists. His nutjob supporters came up with creative stories about how he must have been playing some mafia-like politics with the military industrial complex and its allies. I take what he said at the time at face value. He just felt compelled to do something to show heinous attacks on non-combatant women and children will not be tolerated.
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 3 weeks, 6 days ago
          Given that POTUS can instigate a confrontation at any time without Congressional approval (he has to get that after 90 days according to the War Powers Act) I would say that POTUS is a "YUGE" factor. And we've actually seen this play out in every CinC since Eisenhower.

          We had a strong pro-military leader in JFK which forced Kruschev to back off.
          We had a weak military leader in Lyndon Johnson who allowed the Communists to expand in Asia, triggering the Vietnam War. (I think it was also under Johnson that the Ayatollah toppled the Shah but I'd appreciate a fact check.)
          We had a strong military leader in Nixon - but he was derailed through impeachment.
          We had a weak leader in Ford - which is why he never got re-elected.
          We had an incredibly weak leader in Carter - which is why the Iran hostage crisis persisted right up until...
          We had an incredibly strong leader in Reagan. Reagan not only faced down the Mullahs in Iran, Saddam in Iraq, but Gorbachev and the Soviets.
          We had a weak military leader in Bush I who merely rode the coattails of his predecessor.
          We had a weak military leader in Clinton, who sold proprietary wing secrets to the Chinese, appeased the North Koreans with millions in food, used the Bosnian crisis to distract from his Impeachment, not to mention the Khobar Towers bombing.
          We had a strong military leader in Bush II who took the battle to the Middle East to fight against dictators there.
          We had a disastrously weak leader in Obama who allowed for the proliferation of terrorist groups throughout the world, failed to support a popular and democratic uprising in Iran, hampered our own FBI from prosecuting terrorist groups, allowed Russia to annex Crimea, and who continued to appease foreign dictators - not to mention funded and facilitated the development of nuclear weapons in Iran.

          And now we have a strong leader in Donald Trump who has threatened Iran with war for their belligerence. And you don't think that the rest of the world has noticed this chain of events?
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          • -2
            Posted by CircuitGuy 3 weeks, 5 days ago
            "I would say that POTUS is a "YUGE" factor. "
            I hope this is wrong. If it's true, we should consider amending the Constitution to give the POTUS power to declare war. It's dangerous for one person to have that power. We can't guarantee we'll have one great president like Obama after another. War continues to decline in the world without regard to the US president, it suggests there are other factors. Or if it has an effect, maybe it's overwhelmed my some longer-term post-WWII effect.
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 3 weeks, 5 days ago
              Uh, I'd strongly recommend that you revisit the Constitution - Article II. The Constitution specifically sets aside the President as the Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the United States of America. How the President goes about prosecuting a war (such as the rules of engagement) is how the Armed Forces respond - for better or for worse.

              Theoretically, only Congress (as per Article I) has the power to declare war, but Congress passed the War Powers Act (again for better or worse) which authorizes the President to respond to "situations" and puts a 30 day time limit before requiring authorization from Congress to continue. This was abused by Bill Clinton in Kosovo to distract from his scandals and was also abused by Obama in the Middle East. Bush II at least did the right thing and asked Congress to officially declare war in Kuwait/Iraq.

              "We can't guarantee we'll have one great president like Obama after another."

              To me, a great President is one who champions freedom and seeks to limit government. Obama did neither. I hope we never have another one like him.

              "War continues to decline in the world without regard to the US president, it suggests there are other factors."

              Uh, you must not be reading the newspapers. Just because we haven't broken out into WW III yet doesn't mean there aren't huge problems - a powder keg waiting for a spark. Iran is the tip of the iceberg. We also have China, North Korea, and Russia as State players and radical Islam throughout the globe as non-State actors. I'd suggest that the problem is very serious indeed.
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              • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                " you must not be reading the newspapers."
                Major wars are disappearing. Proscriptions on chemical and biological weapons are mostly respected. Major powers are into open warfare. The world has been moving in the right direction.
                "Just because we haven't broken out into WW III yet doesn't mean there aren't huge problems"
                That is so true.
                "a powder keg waiting for a spark. "
                We'll have to see what happens. On one hand, I think we're too complacent about the risk of nuclear war, mainly because even though the risk is low the damage if it does happen could be apocalyptic.
                I think the very factors that created the need for nation states have gone away, and nation states are becoming a vestige of another time.
                Time will tell. If there's a war the kills as many people as one of the world war, I'll have been completely wrong. At the moment, though, more places are at peace, becoming more economically open (compared to the past) and therefore getting richer.
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                • Posted by  $  blarman 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                  "I think the very factors that created the need for nation states have gone away"

                  That's an interesting statement. Nation states exist because there are different groups of people who see the world in different ways and take on differing value sets. I see not a harmonization of value sets in the world, but a continued fracturing of them into smaller and smaller subsets. Any harmonization is away from personal responsibility and natural rights because of the rise of socialism and driven by apathy.

                  Secondary to the rise of socialism is the plague of Islam which continues to pervade the globe. Of the top 100 terror threats in the world as categorized by the FBI, nearly all are Islamic.

                  This is the tenor of our times. What remains to be seen is how the world decides to act facing these two threats.
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                  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                    " I see not a harmonization of value sets in the world, but a continued fracturing of them into smaller and smaller subsets. "
                    Yes, and not along geographic boundaries anymore.

                    "Secondary to the rise of socialism"
                    I think socialism is the default state. There was only so much land. Kings claimed divine right to own it, in partnership with religious leaders who agreed but also said gods call on us to share the wealth. In a world where people can create wealth with industrial and post-industrial tools, this doesn't apply anymore. Reason shows us the stories of religions cannot be taken seriously. In environments where rights are respected, people use reason to build incredible wealth.

                    All the opponents of reason have is the outdated calls for socialism or viewing people as groups, which are actually the same. People from various backgrounds come together in places that respect rights and embrace pluralism and create wealth. Collectivist try hard to tell us we should see one another as groups. They're fighting a losing a battle because science, reason, liberty, and hard work deliver the goods.
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