The Mess in the Middle East
Iran is set to announce the completion of the next phase toward becoming a nuclear armed nation. Israel is already set to do a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s facilities to alleviate this threat. They haven’t said exactly how or when, but with the upcoming announcement it will most likely be within the next month since Israel can’t afford to soft step the issue with anymore sanctions that have so far proven to be more porous than a sponge. After all, Israel’s very survival is at stake so more game playing isn’t an option.
What the Iranians were attempting to do by closing the Straight of Hormuz last month had nothing to do with military training exercises. It had everything to do with controlling what ships were traveling in and out of the gulf that Israel could use as a launching platform. If Israel does strike, Iran wants to force them to fly overland thus violating neighboring sovereign Muslim airspace in order to widen the conflict.
Israel basically has four strike options. The first option would be to send in another computer virus to create havoc on the technological end. They used this strategy two years ago and it proved effective. However, it may prove more difficult to get the same results the second time around since I’m sure the Iranians have implemented tighter computer security measures.
The second and third options are conventional strikes against these facilities. They could either use deep penetrating bombs in an attempt to collapse these underground facilities. This may or may not prove effective depending on how deep and how hardened these facilities have been constructed. Or they may opt for an electronic impulse weapon. These have proven to be quite effective at destroying electronic equipment such as computers, electric grids, radar systems, etc. But again, it depends on how well shielded these facilities are. If either of these tactics are used successfully there will be a lot of public saber rattling by the surrounding Middle Eastern countries, but also a lot of private relief since no one really wants a nuclear Iran.
Although I expect the Israelis to at least attempt the first three options, they still possess a final option which is the one that everyone fears most. If Israel does decide to do a pre-emptive nuclear strike all bets are off. It’s not a matter of other Middle Eastern countries returning nuclear fire since most lack the capability to do so. It’s a matter of the escalation of conventional forces on all sides drawing in the “big brothers” that do have such weaponry. I’m not big on prophesies, but at this point the best we can do is pray that this issue doesn’t turn out to be the breaking point that proves the Mayans were right all along.