Iran contra Obama

 

Ludwig von Gress

 

I doubt Iranians would even dream of doing something like that if Ronald Reagan was in the White House. In February this year they had announced their intention and now Iranian Admiral Afshin Rezayee confirmed that the Iranian fleet is already approaching the South Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Africa.

 

 The plan is to visit the North Atlantic, paying particular attention to the United States’ maritime boundaries; in other words, to rattle the Obama’s cage.

iran.navyAccording to Strafor: It is unclear whether the Iranians will actually sail to the North Atlantic, but it is important to note that such a deployment is certainly within their capabilities. The Iranian navy is dominated by small patrol and fast attack missile boats that are ideally suited for operations in and along the Persian Gulf. These vessels are unable to deploy far from Iran, but Tehran also has around four other vessels similar to the currently deployed frigate that enable it to conduct occasional long-distance missions such as the announced Atlantic deployment.

 

These long-distance blue-water (non-coastal) capabilities are limited; the warships themselves must be accompanied by a specialist ship, especially when venturing as far as the western Atlantic. The other craft the Iranians use to project naval force is a replenishment vessel that provides fuel, food, fresh water and ammunition for extended deployments. This vessel is the Kharg, an aging Ol-class design built in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and delivered to the Iranians in 1984. Without this vessel, the small number of Iranian frigates would be unable to embark on extended deployments without consistent and frequent port visits along the way, a method that the Iranians cannot rely on for a mission to the Atlantic.

Obviously, the Iranian ocean cruise presents no military threat to USA, unless, most unlikely, there are nukes aboard. But it is all very well to say that it is just a symbolic foray, mainly to pacify the Iranian hard-liners, who are unhappy with the progress of the nuclear negotiations; or that it shows that the West’s sanctions are working. If the voyage is medially successful, it will augment the militant Islamic pride, almost certainly leading to more Islamic terrorist acts. It also does not bode well for America.

In 1983, an idealistic student of political science at Columbia University in New York penned an article for the university magazine railing against the “war mentality” of America and “the relentless, often silent spread of militarism in the country”. President Ronald Reagan was a hostage to the “twisted logic of the Cold War”, he wrote, and was “playing into the Russians’ hands” rather than “shifting America off the dead-end track” and pursuing the proper goal of a “nuclear-free world”.

Twenty-five years later that student was chosen by the American people as their 44th President. The first name of his second daughter, born 2001, is Natasha. Now:

 

 

Russians flooded out of their bases in Crimea and occupied the pro-Russian region in southeastern Ukraine.

 

Reluctant to characterise the Russian military push – a flagrant breach of Ukraine’s sovereignty and international law – as a hostile action, the Obama administration chose to term it an “uncontested arrival”, the most startling US foreign policy euphemism since the “war on terror” was renamed an “overseas contingency operation”…

 

Volker believes Obama will not change. “You have seen a lot of this and you’re going to see more. Russia, Syria, the Egyptian generals, (Hamid) Karzai in Afghanistan, Iran within Iraq, the Shi’ite government of Iraq, Hezbollah – you can keep rattling them off. Everyone is reacting to this weakness.”

 

China might seize the Senkaku, also known as the Diayou, islands from Japan; Iran might judge that the cost of acquiring a nuclear weapon would be bearable; North Korea might flex its muscles; Assad’s Syria has no obvious need to come to the table.”

 

Iran’s Navy off the Cape Cod is likely to be just another strategic foreign affair which the President can not or does not want to handle. However “idealistic” he may have been when 31 years old, it would seem that today he pragmatically applies what he then preached.

 Barack Hussain Obama was first elected in 2008. Ayatollas threathened US with the North Atlantic naval expedition in 2011, twice. Now they, like everybody else, got his measure.

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About Ludwig von Gress

Born in communist Europe, interested in defence matters on a macro scale, with a cavalry “devil may care spirit” from his grandfather and cautious effectiveness of asymmetric warfare approach from his guerilla father. He sometimes despairs that he may be the only one taking the defence of Australia seriously.
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