by Lenny Ben-David
A silly back-and-forth took place this week with U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy saying "Military force is an option of last resort. It's off the table in the near term." Then the Pentagon's Press Secretary Geoff Morrell responded, "The president always has at his disposal a full array of options, including use of the military....It is clearly not our preferred course of action, but it has never been, nor is it now, off the table."
Why does everyone assume that only the
Are the Iranians currently deploying their "assets" in
In fact, I bet that if war breaks out, the spark will come from overconfident, Mahdi-inspired, Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The threat of "biting" or even "nibbling" sanctions being imposed could set them off. If one has to find the detonator for the explosion, look for Iranian mischief and miscalculations in the Straits of Hormuz of the Persian/Arabian Gulf.
The Iranians launched this week "Great Prophet V," a three-day military exercise, and if history is any indication, the Guard's fast boats may attempt to play their famous game of chicken with U.S. Navy vessels like they did in January 2008.
This time, the Iranians may have added to their armada a record-breaking fast boat prototype that they got their hands on last year, despite attempts to block and intercept the boat.
Considering the extensive damage done to the USS Cole in 2000 in a relatively unsophisticated bombing attack using an inflatable boat, the dangers of swarming fast boats should not be minimized.
The tension is already high in the Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz through which 40 percent of the world's oil imports flow.
Under construction is an oil pipeline across the
Lenny Ben-David Former diplomat.
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