This post first appeared on Russia Insider
Israeli politician and diplomat Yakov Kedmi makes the case that the US simply cannot beat Iran in a war.
He brings up many of the same points that The Saker made in his classic article about how NATO would perform in a war with Russia: that the US cannot mass forces quickly, that it does not have enough men to fight a large enemy, and that any major new commitment would force it to deplete its assets in other, geo-strategically critical regions.
Yakov Kedmi, political figure (Israel):
- There are a few aspects. In purely military terms, it's impossible to defeat Iran. It has a huge amount of territory. The Americans won't have enough forces to deploy there. The logistics are crazy, it's impossible for the Americans. So, there's no opportunity to conduct a war against Iran and win it. And the Pentagon knows that better than anyone. And they warned and said it. To advance by a few miles in small, miserable Kuwait, the Americans deployed half a million servicemen there. They strained their entire army.
- Three months.
- They prepared the operation for six months to arrange logistics for a short-term war. It's impossible in the case of Iran. In addition to that, the military thinks in a way that politicians don't. To concentrate all of the American forces in Iran means to leave the Far East unprotected and set China loose. The first thing that the Chinese will do, when Americans focus on Iran, will be to twist Taiwan's neck. Americans won't be able to do anything. The American army isn't able to conduct two medium-sized wars. It can hardly conduct a big one. That's why China will be set loose in the Far East. That's what Americans want the least.
Here's my second point. There's a commonplace phrase, everyone knows its beginning and end. Americans don't even understand what a stupid thing they did when they overthrew Saddam Hussein. Iraq is 60% Shia. You talked about Arabs in Iraq - the Shia. They're Shia.
- Sunni. They're mainly Sunni.
- In the south of Iran, there are Arabs who are Shia. And there are Arabs who are Shia and live in Iraq. And in Saudi Arabia, the area where the oil is developed is controlled by the Shia. And the majority of Kuwait's population is Shia. 80% of Bahrain's population is Shia. Then, such a big fire will start in the Middle East. And the Sunni won't be able to [stop] the Iranians and pro-Iranian forces. They don't have enough forces. Saudi Arabia has a huge military budget. Its hands are tied, so it can't do anything to tiny Yemen. They can't do anything to the Houthi. Therefore, in this war of Persians against Arabs, the Persians will win. And this is another problem. It means a stronger Turkey. The Americans won't remain whole after that war. The Middle East won't remain whole. If anyone wins, it'll be Russia.
There's another thing. If the price of oil exceeds $100 per barrel, it hits the Chinese economy. Most of all, it hits the European and American economies. All of the world's economy and industry now have a huge energy component. If you double the price, the industry will be ruined. First of all, it'll happen in the U.S. The U.S. is the biggest consumer of electric power. For the price of oil, it doesn't matter if it's developed in Texas, or Siberia, or Saudi Arabia. If it's $150 per barrel, the economy will be ruined.
- Theirs will be, but ours…
- Yes but…
- It'll be the opposite in our country. Our economy will begin to develop. We'll feel like kings with golden wheels, diamonds, having nothing. I'll ask a bad question and give a bad answer now. Ask the question only. Could the American army, for example, take Japan and hold it?
- Of course. No problem. There was no problem.
- Japan was ready for a partisan war.
- These are propagandists' tales. Two weeks... Two weeks…
- What if we didn't interfere?
- Even without it, two weeks before Hiroshima was bombed, the last oil refinery in Japan was destroyed. And Japan was left without fuel. So, in two or three weeks, the Japanese could only walk. There wasn't any fuel. Here's my second point. The air raid on Tokyo alone killed more people, yes. 100,000 people were killed. The city was ruined. So, in that war, it didn't matter if you destroy a city and 100,000 people with one bomb in a day or 100 planes arrive and do the same. The Japanese didn't have anything to conduct a war. We can tell tales that they sharpened daggers and spears.
- I'm afraid that Americans use Iran to demonstrate the capacities of its nuclear weapons.
- The American army and America had two types of forces. One is the fleet, the other is the army, because there are two armies. They could easily conquer Japan, island after island, within six months.
- Can Americans attack Iran with nuclear weapons?
- They can.
- No. It'll lead to nothing.
- Now, they can't.
- Now, they can't. Wait, in military terms.
- Actually, they can.
- Vladimir, in military terms, it'll lead to nothing. It'll lead to nothing.
- It'll demonstrate that there's no threshold for using nuclear weapons.
- To whom will it demonstrate?
- To the rest.
- The meaning of nuclear weapons is that it works before you use it. Once you've used it, it's the end. To destroy Iran, one needs to destroy all of Iran with nuclear weapons. The United States. won't go for it.
- This is approximately what Trump promised. He said that if they threaten America, nothing will be left of Iran. He said something like this, right?
- Trump promised it. Trump is a politician. He isn't a popular politician.
- That's true.
- The military conducts war. I'd like to remind you again.
- But it's politicians that make decisions, Yakov Iosifovich.
- But a year ago, the commander-in-chief of the U.S. strategic forces said that if the president gives an illegal order, he won't fulfill it.
- Very funny, Yakov Iosifovich. I believe that he said it. But I strongly doubt that he won't obey.
- I don't doubt because…
- He'll be shot right in his office.
- Nobody in America…
- In America?
- Of course.
- It's treason.
- There's precedent. Who will shoot? Trump? He can shoot? There are a lot of things in the American army.
- But we don't know them.
- The American generals aren't self-killers. They very well know that it's impossible to do anything to Iran. They've warned about it repeatedly.
- Did they listen to them at least once?
- This tale about 120,000 isn't a tale. The American servicemen, just counted that in order to maintain the U.S. presence, 120,000 servicemen are required. These aren't operational plans. When they ask the military what it's necessary for that, they say that they need 120,000 servicemen in order to stay in the Middle East.
- Unfortunately, we have to…
- They need one million servicemen to go to Iran. They don't have them.
- We have to take a break. If the American embassy, base, ships are attacked, the Americans won't be able to not retaliate. And Bolton wants to withdraw gracefully.
- Then, the two destroyers will launch their 180 missiles, which will do approximately what was done in Syria, and it'll be the end. They don't have the forces to deploy in Iran. I'd like to remind you about the well-known operation in Iran which overthrew Carter.
- That's true.
- What was it? It was outrageous incompetence. Americans didn't even understand that their helicopters can't fly over Iran at that height because their filters will get clogged with sand.
- I hope that they became smarter after that.
- Firstly, the Golan Heights have no military significance for Israel if only one doesn't think in terms of WWI. Now, they have no military significance. There's no threat to Israel. The Golan Heights are crucially important? What are you talking about?
- I can't but trust the Israeli prime minister.
- The Israeli prime minister is a politician. I know a little better about how the Golan Heights were seized, and why, and what our military generals think about their military importance. This is a humiliation for the intelligentsia to raise this issue. Politicians can do whatever they want. So leave the Golan Heights alone. We have only one problem with all of these countries except for that psycho sultan.
This is a possibility that Iran could get nuclear weapons. We aren't interested in anything else at all. Anything else means nothing. If we take a closer look, the United States's goal in Iran is regime change in Iran, this is the main reason. Trump came to the conclusion that it's almost impossible to conduct regime change in Iran. Why almost? It's because American specialists, who think like Americans and have no idea what the Middle East is, think that the economic environment in Iran will lead to the collapse of that regime.
They don't understand what they're talking about. The current government in Iran is stable. And nobody and nothing threats it. If Iranians will have half as much food, the government will stay. This is Iran. It isn't Spain. That's why everyone who thinks like Americans or Europeans, that if somebody doesn't have enough of anything, the government will change. They treat Hamas and Iran like this.
They don't understand what they're talking about. Another option that Trump has is simple - to conduct negotiations. And all of those shouts, that hysteria, are meant to make Iranians take part in negotiations. But he wants to do it and save face, so he wants them to ask for it. And here's my last point.
The Americans don't care about Iran's nuclear weapons at all. Who has a problem with it except for us? Saudi Arabia? They don't care. Americans would say that they'll protect them like they protect Europe. Nobody cares about Iran's nuclear weapons. Turkey does because it wants to make it. Saudi Arabia does but America isn't interested. It's an excuse for the Americans to put pressure on Iran and conduct regime change there. Speaking of the beginning of hostilities with Iran, it won't be a short-term war. The Americans have never started a war when the Pentagon didn't want it.
The military wanted a war in Vietnam. The military wanted a war in Iraq. When the military says don't, no American politician would start a war. But the beginning of a long war against Iran will lead to Iran having nuclear weapons in six months.
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