by Austin Bay
November 8, 2023
Despite waging proxy offensive wars throughout the Middle East -- wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, in the Persian Gulf littoral, Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza and Israel -- Iran's ayatollah regime has escaped deadly retribution.
The Pentagon jargon term for "we're really going to kill you" is "kinetic attack." That means conducting violent and destructive attacks using very powerful weapons delivered by military forces.
Recent U.S. military moves in the Middle East at least suggest Iran could face devastating offensive kinetic retaliation.
Undisguised military moves are a form of diplomacy. However, military deployments --even suggestions involving missile submarines and heavy bombers -- don't mean an American counterattack on THE ayatollahs and their vicious allies is imminent, especially with the Biden administration in charge.
The Biden administration has a dismal leadership record. Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal fiasco demonstrated instinctive gutlessness.
Reviewing recent events helps frame the facts indicating U.S. offensive preparations.
In a column published Oct. 25 I discussed Iranian proxy attacks on two different fronts that involved American military forces.
Iraq-Syria Front: On Oct. 18 Iranian proxies in Iraq began launching drone and rocket attacks on U.S. forces and assets in Iraq and Syria.
As I write this on Nov. 7, the attacks continue. The attacks have wounded American personnel -- 46 wounded according to one source. The U.S. has launched limited strikes against Iranian proxies in Syria. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin warned the U.S. would strike back if attacks continued.
Red Sea/Arabian Peninsula Front: On Oct. 19, the USS Carney, a Navy guided-missile destroyer in the Red Sea, downed several missiles and drones launched by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The Pentagon concluded the missiles and drones were targeting Israel, not the USS Carney. Reasonable conclusion, since the Houthis routinely target Saudi Arabian cities and oil facilities.
The column included this warning: "Guided-missile warships carry a limited number of offensive and defensive missiles." Even cheap suicide drone shots by Houthi fighters eventually "deplete a warship's missile magazine and leave it vulnerable to a coup de grace."
The enemy goal: the ship runs out of defensive munitions. With no anti-air, anti-missile, or, to use a term pertinent to Israel, with no anti-projectile munitions, and very likely the next volley of enemy projectiles strike ship, kill U.S. Navy sailors and sink it.
A nation state, like a ship, can run out of anti-projectile munitions.
Israel has a very advanced anti-projectile defense systems. Israel can identify and intercept and destroy incoming projectiles -- from the small (mortar and artillery rounds, short range rockets), to the semi and middle range (rockets, drones and short range ballistic and cruise missiles), to the medium range (longer range drones, medium range cruise and ballistic missiles, strike aircraft) and long-range ballistic missiles and drones.
Iron Dome is the primary short defense system. The Arrow-2 is Israel's mid-range defense weapon and Arrow-3 can handle longer range threats.
So far only cheap drones have been used in long range strikes. However, Hamas (from Gaza) and Hezbollah (from Lebanon) have fired thousands of rockets. Word is Israel is running out of Iron Dome's Tamir anti-projectile rockets. The U.S. has begun shipping Tamirs to Israel.
But why let Iran set the battle conditions and force Israel to expend defensive munitions?
The alternative: Attack the enemy that empowers Hamas. Iran.
On Nov. 5 a U.S Navy Ohio-class guided-missile submarine passed through the Suez Canal. The sub can carry 154 Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles. That's a lot of conventional firepower. On November 6 the Pentagon touted the deployment of B-1 strategic bombers to the Middle East. B-1s can carry more bombs than B-52s and stealthy B-2 bombers.
The sub and heavy bombers send this signal to Tehran: the U.S. has the military platforms in range to deliver a "simultaneous strategic bombing strike." In a short time frame, aircraft, cruise missiles, drones and perhaps ballistic missiles with conventional warheads deliver hundreds of precision weapons, hitting nuclear targets and air defense sites.
A bluff? Stay tuned.