Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tom Cotton is a Very Serious Person

Sen. Tom Cotton says bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities would take several days and be nothing like Iraq War.
The Arkansas Republican, who earlier this year upset Democrats and the White House by sending a letter warning the Iranian government to think twice about entering into a deal on its nuclear program with President Obama, said President Obama offered a “false choice” by saying it was his deal with Iran or war.
“This president has a bad habit of accusing other people of making false choices, but he presented the ultimate false choice last week when he said it’s either this deal or war,” the Arkansas Republican said on Family Research Council’sWashington Watch radio program Tuesday.
In Senator Cotton's world, the Air Force flies high, bombs our enemies, and everyone gets to go home. The poor savages we have bombed get to suck it--Tom Friedman style--and dance angrily around their burning buildings.

If it was that easy, Israel would have bombed Iran ten years ago. The mere fact that they haven't bombed Iran should tell you that if it is beyond their ability to take out Iran's facilities, it certainly won't be easy for us to do the same thing. In fact, it would take months and months of precision bombing, losses would be unacceptable, and the costs would be enormous, both in terms of equipment and pilots. Iran is not a "lightly defended" country; it has sophisticated air defense systems. It has an air force inferior to ours but nothing like Iraq's in 2003.

And, bear in mind, we didn't exactly set the world aflame with our bombing of Serbia or our "shock and awe" attempt in Iraq.
Subsequent investigation on the ground by a munitions effectiveness assessment team dispatched from NATO concluded that Serb losses had been perhaps a tenth of those claimed. Nato commander General Wesley Clark was reportedly outraged at this report, and sent the team back to Kosovo for further research. Once again, the team found no evidence that the air strikes had in any way discommoded the Serb occupation military.
Ultimately, a US Air Force general, John Chorley, obligingly produced a report, without conducting further research in the field, with numbers—ninety-three tanks, 153 armored personnel carriers—that were close enough to the initial claims to be acceptable and have so been recorded as the final tally.
NATO staff was in no doubt as to what had happened. US Army Colonel Douglas MacGregor, who was director of joint operations at Nato military headquarters throughout the war, recently confirmed to me in an e-mail: “Pressure to fabricate came from the top…the [Air Force] senior leadership was determined that whatever the truth, the campaign had to confirm the efficacy of air power and its dominance.” MacGregor, now retired, recalls senior British and German officers on the Nato staff joined him in protesting to Clark over the adulteration of the figures, to no avail. 
The story would deserve no more than a footnote if the political effects of the instant falsification of history had not had such far-reaching effects. Air power had been failing to live up to its advocates’ promises since at least World War II, with Vietnam being a signal case in point. The Kosovo campaign’s apparent confirmation that bombs and missiles could achieve a victory at no cost in friendly casualties, and in a good cause too, undoubtedly prepared the political landscape for the automated drone warfare so eagerly embraced by our current leadership. A wider awareness that the official history of that campaign is a fabrication might help people to understand why current remote-control air campaigns in Waziristan, Yemen, Somalia, and beyond yield such disappointing results.
Then there's the simple fact of retaliation. Ever heard of the Strait of Hormuz?
The Strait of Hormuz is the world's most important chokepoint with an oil flow of 17 million barrels per day in 2013, about 30% of all seaborne-traded oil.

Located between Oman and Iran, the Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The Strait of Hormuz is the world's most important oil chokepoint because of its daily oil flow of 17 million barrels per day in 2013. Flows through the Strait of Hormuz in 2013 were about 30% of all seaborne-traded oil.
EIA estimates that more than 85% of the crude oil that moved through this chokepoint went to Asian markets, based on data from Lloyd's List Intelligence tanker tracking service.6Japan, India, South Korea, and China are the largest destinations for oil moving through the Strait of Hormuz.
Qatar exported about 3.7 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the Strait of Hormuz in 2013, according to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy 2014.7 This volume accounts for more than 30% of global LNG trade. Kuwait imports LNG volumes that travel northward through the Strait of Hormuz.
At its narrowest point, the Strait of Hormuz is 21 miles wide, but the width of the shipping lane in either direction is only two miles wide, separated by a two-mile buffer zone. The Strait of Hormuz is deep and wide enough to handle the world's largest crude oil tankers, with about two-thirds of oil shipments carried by tankers in excess of 150,000 deadweight tons.
Another Republican in favor of all out war--exactly what America needs. What happened to this country?

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