And there's always the "Turkey versus Iranian Nukes" option
Reader comment on item: Israeli Jets vs. Iranian Nukes
Submitted by James Vesce (United States), Jul 13, 2007 at 10:31
Here's what may unfold in the next few weeks. It may be that Turkey and Iran will fall into conflict over Kurdish territory in Iraq, territory that Turkey has claimed since the end of World War I but which they've never been allowed, territory that Iran covets, and territory that both nations have apparently made tentative military probes into over the last couple of weeks (though Iran has been silent about their participation in the probing process). If that occurs, Turkey would target Iran's nuclear facilities, and the US and Israel would be glad to see that happen. Here's how it might play out, remembering there are no straight lines between Point A and Point B in the Middle East:
Syria announced a July 15 deadline for Syrians to leave Lebanon to avoid anticipated "eruptions" there. I think we can all safely predict that the "eruptions" will not be volcanic in nature. It's more likely that the eruptions will be of the rag-tag military variety that doesn't involve uniformed combatants so that aggressors like Iran, Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia can hide behind a veil of plausible deniability.
Syria probably isn't going to send tanks and troops across their border with Israel. Instead, they're going to stage their attack on Israel from southern Lebanon, mainly disguised as somebody other than standard issue Syrian military.
Iran isn't going to send tanks and troops across their border for an advance on Israel. Instead, they're going to stage their attack on Israel from southern Lebanon, mainly disguised as somebody other than standard issue Iranian military. Iran has another plan for their military assets, and even Iran isn't sufficiently arrogant and grandiose to try waging a war on two fronts
When Israel defends itself the media will portray Israel as evil and aggressive, and jihadists will claim Israel is the imperialist oppressor in an attempted genocidal land-grab.
The UN will piddle around and posture a bit in Lebanon, often shielding Hezbollah missile launch sites, but it will ultimately function as an agency of the global Islamist jihad. Most Americans and Europeans will mistake the UN for an organization that holds a valid claim to moral authority.
While all that is going on, Iran and Turkey are very likely to use the excitement and distraction to claim that they have to defend themselves from a terrorist threat from the Kurdish PKK, and they may each move a heavy mechanized force into Kurdish territory in Iraq.
Turkey has announced they're ready to go. By comparison, Iran has carefully veiled their intentions.
Turkey has established a "buffer zone" around their projected area of operations in Kurdish Iraq, which will be in place until mid-September. Both the Turkish military and the Turkish government have stated that their plans are detailed and complete, and that they can execute a complete military incursion in 24 hours. It would be interesting to compare a map of the area Turkey has encircled within their "buffer zone" to a map of the territory it claimed at the end of World War I and failed to obtain when the Iraqi-Turkish border was drawn, since that border has been disputed for the last 80-plus years.
Of course, Turkey knows where the oil reserves in Kurdistan are located, as does Iran, as does Jordan and Syria and Saudi Arabia. They all think a war for oil is reasonable. We should, too. Energy is a big deal.
This toppling of dominoes may be scheduled by the involved belligerents to kick off before the next US aircraft carrier group comes on station in a couple of weeks. We can be fairly certain that Iran and Turkey and Saudi Arabia are fully aware of that schedule, since it is the job of their expensive intelligence assets to inform them of such things, and because aircraft carrier groups are too large to hide.
Although the countries neighboring Israel are certainly committed to Israel's destruction, some more explicitly and vocally than others, they've all been eyeing territory within the boundaries of Iraq, and they've all decided on what they want to grab and what they're willing to settle for.
Because Israel is far better defended than Iraq, the initial attack on Israel will be a feint, and as soon as Turkish troops enter Iraqi Kurdistan the fragmentation of Iraqi territory will begin.
When it's all over, travel agents won't try to book any vacation packages in Beirut for many years.
When it's over, Israel will still be there.
Us troops should prepare for a tactical withdrawal into rural compounds, away from the cities, and should expect to be in a position to "direct by yielding" in the process of dividing up the Iraqi land into parcels big enough to satisfy each bordering country in what could turn out to be a 5-way split. The three biggest players that must be dealt with will be Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran. Jordan and Syria must be seen as minor players in the dash for land in Iraq.
No single country can be allowed to grab the entire territory of Iraq, and we should be deciding whom we want to favor. The extensive influence of Saudi petro-dollars in American politics will doubtlessly come into play.
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