Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.


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Well, knock on wood, no US attack on Iran … yet. The quiet before the storm? Nothing has happened yet, but the more I learn about the attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq oil facility, the more worried I am. This attack was important in at least four scary ways. It’s a new and possibly game-changing addition to the world’s arsenal. It’s exactly the sort of incident the US has used to justify wars before. It’s an attack on major oil production facilities, which are usually tacitly off limits to the major players. Lastly, this really highlights how vulnerable the world’s infrastructure to, well, smart drones. In that order:

This attack was like something out of a James Bond movie. Drones that flew in and hit their targets with precision. I tend to mostly agree with the just linked article, this has been coming for awhile. The technology is off the shelf, the next gen Scud missile if one wills. Insurgents just got a lot more dangerous. One can bet that military and intelligence people are quietly meeting around the globe to discuss this attack.

The US has a long history of using incidents far more trivial than this attack to justify wars. Going back almost to the beginning of our republic. And there are certainly elements in the power structure in Washington calling for an attack on Iran. Trump’s base has certainly bought the idea that Iran is behind all the problems in the region. Trump likely believes it himself. An attack on Iran could have unexpected consequences. More on that later.

Attacks on major infrastructure are rare. The big players generally avoid it because they are all equally vulnerable. So this either means minor players can now attack economic infrastructure in precision ways, or a major player just really upped the ante. Neither possibility is a good thing. Maybe it’s an attempt by the Houthis’ to force peace talks, like what the IRA did to drive the U.K. to the negotiating table. Economic terrorism. Still, not a happy development.

Lastly, this really highlights just how vulnerable the world’s infrastructure really is. You can deliver small explosive loads accurately over hundreds of miles, this makes World War Two bombing raids look like catapults and arrows in comparison.   Hundreds of tons of explosives dropped willy nilly at great risk and expense, hoping the damage done exceeds the cost. Or a few hundred pounds of high explosive delivered to pinpoint targets to maximize damage at little risk or expense. A new day in warfare has dawned.

What does it all mean? Who knows. Oil prices have spiked some, Iran and the US are trading accusations and denials. One of the big takeaways is … whoever did this could do it again. Which is likely a big factor in why no knee jerk response. Iran or the Houthis or the Taliban or Hezbollah could have thousands of drones ready to launch. Even if they don’t, orders are being issued as I type to acquire them. And Iran has plenty of other military options as well. Unlike the defenseless countries the US has been waging war on since 9/11, Iran has teeth. And powerful friends.

Every day that goes by without further escalation is a good thing. The conspiracy mongers are going nuts, but such is life. I don’t think it’s a false flag attack, false flag attacks are generally trivial in their costs. And as I keep saying, the actual details of who launched it really are academic. The US has already made it abundantly clear that it regards Iran as responsible, and will act accordingly. Maybe that means war. Maybe Trump will X-out Iran on a map with his sharpie. Frack if I know, the world post Supercollider weasel is a strange place indeed.

I’m going to call it a night and hope this post doesn’t require major revision come morning. Hopefully nothing will happen by Friday, and I can get back to aliens and comets. BB all.

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: The USS Stark struck by two Exocetxocet missiles in 1987 during the Iran-Iraq War. Credit: Unknown. This image is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, it is in the public domain in the United States.)


Written by unitedcats

September 18, 2019 at 4:42 am

Posted in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Trump, War

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