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Re: Persian gulf activity [Kay Serrar] [ In reply to ]
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Inadvertent escalation as a result of accident because difficulty exists with effective communications. And that is not only comms with Iran, but also between members of our own team.

Diplomatic off ramp is a swiss 3 way phone call with Trump. Is the next bro'mance between Trump and Khomeni?

We have painted ourselves into this corner and the solution will be........?
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Re: Persian gulf activity [gofigure] [ In reply to ]
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gofigure wrote:
Inadvertent escalation as a result of accident because difficulty exists with effective communications. And that is not only comms with Iran, but also between members of our own team.

Diplomatic off ramp is a swiss 3 way phone call with Trump. Is the next bro'mance between Trump and Khomeni?

We have painted ourselves into this corner and the solution will be........?

And trump thinks that being unpredictable towards Iran is a good thing, which is wild. That is how you accidentally start a war, because Iran may overreact to everything, because they don't know what the US is doing.

I kinda think a bro'mance is a good idea, maybe? I mean the bro'mance between Kim and trump just tells everyone if you develop nuclear weapons, the US will not invade and treat you like an equal. That is a bad lesson to show Iran. So maybe treating them like an equal, without nuclear weapons, is a good idea?
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Re: Persian gulf activity [chaparral] [ In reply to ]
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chaparral wrote:
gofigure wrote:
Inadvertent escalation as a result of accident because difficulty exists with effective communications. And that is not only comms with Iran, but also between members of our own team.

Diplomatic off ramp is a swiss 3 way phone call with Trump. Is the next bro'mance between Trump and Khomeni?

We have painted ourselves into this corner and the solution will be........?


And trump thinks that being unpredictable towards Iran is a good thing, which is wild. That is how you accidentally start a war, because Iran may overreact to everything, because they don't know what the US is doing.

I kinda think a bro'mance is a good idea, maybe? I mean the bro'mance between Kim and trump just tells everyone if you develop nuclear weapons, the US will not invade and treat you like an equal. That is a bad lesson to show Iran. So maybe treating them like an equal, without nuclear weapons, is a good idea?

News Update:
We are in the war of words phase.

Near as I can tell, the bro'mance is definitely not happening. Come back into the JCPOA and then we can talk being the current Iranian stance.

Mattis was in Oman and spoke on Monday: Iran's behavior must change. But also time for the diplomats to work their magic. Iran has petitioned the UN tor more involvement.

Congress was briefed and wouldn't you know, they came away with divided yet predictable partisan take aways.

Iran is now pressuring Europe and Russia as signatories to the JCPOA with their threat to back out further from the deal should Europe not come around and act in opposition to the US sanctions on oil and finance. 60 day notice given. Merkel, Macron and Putin talked.

The hostile pin prick drone attacks from Yemeni houthis into SA continue.
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Re: Persian gulf activity [gofigure] [ In reply to ]
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News update:

Pompeo notified congress that the president was invoking national emergency authority to bypass the congress and deal with the Saudis and the UAE to the tune of $8B in arms sales.

Numbers of US military forces in theater to be increased with justification to enhance self defense capability.

The fog has lifted. Maximum pressure strategy on Iran is clear with both sides declaring defensive responsive intent only. All is quiet in the Persian Gulf now while a disquieting unease of what lies ahead continues.
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Re: Persian gulf activity [gofigure] [ In reply to ]
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gofigure wrote:
News update:

Pompeo notified congress that the president was invoking national emergency authority to bypass the congress and deal with the Saudis and the UAE to the tune of $8B in arms sales.

Numbers of US military forces in theater to be increased with justification to enhance self defense capability.

The fog has lifted. Maximum pressure strategy on Iran is clear with both sides declaring defensive responsive intent only. All is quiet in the Persian Gulf now while a disquieting unease of what lies ahead continues.

News update:

The number 1,500 was given to our enhanced defensive posture in the gulf.

During the president's trip to Japan, Iran came up, News is significant and straight out of the presidents mouth, As to whether he is to be believed, that is another another story. Maybe he will amend his comments.
* "Nobody wants to see terrible things happen, especially me." Context is that Abe is to visit and talk with Iran soon and maybe will act as a mediator since Abe has a "very good relationship with Iran". Japan is still heavily dependent on gulf oil.
* "looking for no nuclear weapons"
* " Were not looking for regime change" " I just want to make that clear"

So analysis brought current by Karim Sadjadpour, senior fellow at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (I have no idea as to this man's standing on the left right bias meter). " What trump articulated in Japan was another reminder that his main problem with the nuclear deal was that it was signed by Obama. Given Trump's eagerness for a public summit and deal with Tehran, it's conceivable Iran's leaders could sign a more favorable deal with Trump than they did with Obama. But the pride and mistrust of Iran's Supreme Leader makes him more inclined to subject his population to another year of sanctions and economic malaise rather than deal with Trump."

So conflicting messages are now the news of the day. Hezbollah, ballistic missile development, terrorism sponsorship are no longer in play?? Just the nukes? Abe and Japan are now our conduit to the ear of the Supreme Leader?

We are back into the fog bank and it sure is comforting that the May 19 tweeting from Trump and the May21 response to the UN by Iranian foreign minister beating the war drums were just taunts.
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Re: Persian gulf activity [gofigure] [ In reply to ]
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3 days later a news update:

That 3 days has passed without news is encouraging.

There has been no hostile activity or hostile intent reported. The only military news from the WH was hide the USS McCain.

Diplomatic off ramp is taking shape in form of back channels using Oman and Switzerland with Trump distancing himself from his warhawk Bolton and saying he would love to summit with them. Iranian leadership pride signals that no way are they to summit with Trump.

Pompeo is in Switzerland for the weekend having met Merkel already. Max pressure support from Europe is still the goal.

Somewhat related: Israel is in do-over mode with Bibi losing Knesset control over a pissing contest with defense minister, an ultra orthodox wing and service requirements for armed services. Kushner's Middle east plan is placed on hold pending that do over election.

No word from WH on whether the president really did abandon ballistic missile development and testing and terrorism sponsorship concerns with a sole focus on nuclear abandonment. Don't know if anybody has even asked.

Right now the takeaway is that 2020 election dominates all players thinking. This thread is now officially in caretaker status.
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Re: Persian gulf activity [gofigure] [ In reply to ]
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gofigure wrote:
This thread is now officially in caretaker status.

No! Keep it up. You've been doing great.

It is a little disconcerting that Trump, Bolton, and Pompeo aren't even trying to project that they're working on a common strategy. Though I'm glad that Bolton has apparently been chastened. He hasn't learned Stephen Miller's fine art of creating policy while keeping himself almost entirely out of the related PR. Bolton has a fondness for public bluster, which easily backfires with Trump.
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Re: Persian gulf activity [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:
gofigure wrote:
This thread is now officially in caretaker status.


No! Keep it up. You've been doing great.

It is a little disconcerting that Trump, Bolton, and Pompeo aren't even trying to project that they're working on a common strategy. Though I'm glad that Bolton has apparently been chastened. He hasn't learned Stephen Miller's fine art of creating policy while keeping himself almost entirely out of the related PR. Bolton has a fondness for public bluster, which easily backfires with Trump.

As much a warhawk Bolton is and as much a strong arming diplomat Pompeo has become, I thank God Miller wasn't elevated to either of those jobs.

I mentioned caretaker status only because after the near month long build up here it seems we have plateaued and events are following a predictable course with not much new to add. So for all that there is:

A News Update:
Pompeo's talks in Switzerland over the weekend didn't produce headlines. The possibility of Switzerland being mediator is kaboshed. they will act as intermediary if both sides want them. Roehani says they will talk with us, only if not pressured. And Pompeo says we will talk, but with no pre-conditions. So not direct talks then.

The Kushner led peace plan took some harsh criticism from Pompeo and is delayed what with the collapse of Netanyahu's coalition. The rollout in June in Bahrain will be the economic chapter only with defining the goodies we and the Arab nations of the gulf will provide the Palestinians, who already voiced opposition. West bank annexation will be the next flashpoint. There is no peace in the offing here.

The only other news is that there is some reporting out there that the middle class is taking a hit with the current max pressure economic sanctions. When will Persian pride reach the breaking point?

I thought a potential discussion topic could be the efficacy of the JCPOA and how much it will mean to Iran to be a nuclear armed country in 13 years when the agreement ends. Is there validity to the argument that by then the 1979 revolutionaries would no longer hold sway and the country would have evolved into a less aggressor role in the region? and maybe compare that to the current position to have unilaterally backed out of it and exactly what is Trump's endgame? Does the terrorism sponsorship fall by the wayside of de-nuking.

I know this is the LR and serious debate is a rarity, but I thought you and all the contributors to this thread to be an exemplary exception with well thought out, sincere and professional input. Exceptions to and differences in positions taken lent to a lively and informed discussion. From Greenplease's quick and easy air war: to the oil as a valued resource out into the future debate with Guffaw and others; the social change in evidence in the region and how that might play down the road 20-40 year from Andrew Mc and others with experience in living and working in these cultures and last the contribution from veterans who have fought there and Harbinger who has a son currently deployed there. Thank you all.
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Re: Persian gulf activity [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:
He hasn't learned Stephen Miller's fine art of creating policy while keeping himself almost entirely out of the related PR.


Stephen Miller is one of the few truly scary guys in the administration. He has genuinely evil ideas - I am 100% certain that he could justify any evil to forward his twisted ideology. There is a terribly sad irony in that he, a Jewish guy whose family escaped Europe just in time, is forwarding some version of a racist ubermench philosophy. He is a true sycophant to Trump, and thus safe from being fired because he appears to challenge or upstage the 'boss', but he has an ability to influence Trump behind the scenes like some sort of Vizier Jafar in Aladdin or Wormtounge in LOTR. This makes makes him frightening.

The fact that he looks like Rif Raf from the Rocky Horror Picture Show does not help.





<Insert witty quip here> 
Last edited by: Guffaw: Jun 4, 19 11:08
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Re: Persian gulf activity [gofigure] [ In reply to ]
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I have just watched Vice with Christian Bale and Steve Carrel

Setting aside the fictional content of dialogue and the caricatures of the protagonists

It is really interesting that rumsfeld, cheney, Bolton, rove etc seem / have seemed so intent on the role of American interventionist policies and seemingly never learn from history

All the gcc countries now have significant stakes in the west. The Qatar sovereign wealth fund is I think the second largest real estate owner in London (everyone needs an exit strategy)

It's no longer a case of rolling in to these countries and I am not sure that the US can count on the unquestioned continued support from the UK

I am personally far more concerned about Germany and Nord Stream 2 than I am about Iran.

As stupid as Iranians or othrt actors may be on their behalf, sat within 1000 miles are at least 2 usaf and the 5th fleet

Russia buying its way in to Western Europe is a much greater concern
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Re: Persian gulf activity [Andrewmc] [ In reply to ]
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Andrewmc wrote:
I have just watched Vice with Christian Bale and Steve Carrel

Setting aside the fictional content of dialogue and the caricatures of the protagonists

It is really interesting that rumsfeld, cheney, Bolton, rove etc seem / have seemed so intent on the role of American interventionist policies and seemingly never learn from history

The curse of the most powerful armed forces in the world. There does seem to be a WTF were they thinking repetition to our post involvement requiems

All the gcc countries now have significant stakes in the west. The Qatar sovereign wealth fund is I think the second largest real estate owner in London (everyone needs an exit strategy)

So why is it that don't think the Iranians have an exit strategy. Are they the last nation standing as oil plays out? Or do they?

It's no longer a case of rolling in to these countries and I am not sure that the US can count on the unquestioned continued support from the UK.

Am uncertain if trump has screwed the pooch for good. But it may take a while for friends to return with arms in support. Leading from behind (Libya) or leading alone both have deficiencies.

I am personally far more concerned about Germany and Nord Stream 2 than I am about Iran.

Could you expand specific concerns? Russia turns off the supply valve? Germany then beholden to russia? Nato responses to protect what? What really is the Iran threat and to whom, if one discounts the terrorism sponsorship play?

As stupid as Iranians or othrt actors may be on their behalf, sat within 1000 miles are at least 2 usaf and the 5th fleet

Russia buying its way in to Western Europe is a much greater concern
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Re: Persian gulf activity [gofigure] [ In reply to ]
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I'm not sure if Iran has a plan. Mckinsey just published a vacuous report about the future but it was basically all bollocks that you could have written without using anything more than google

There are practical issues for Iran not least getting money out

I have no doubt that the UK if push came to shove would commit to assist, but not for some Iraq 2 redux

The concern with Germany is no matter what they say about politics and nord stream being seperate, when Russia annexes crimes and Germany receives a significant proportion of its natural energy supplies from them, there is obviously a conflict. That can be extended to Iran or other Russian allies
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Re: Persian gulf activity [Andrewmc] [ In reply to ]
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Andrewmc wrote:
I'm not sure if Iran has a plan. Mckinsey just published a vacuous report about the future but it was basically all bollocks that you could have written without using anything more than google

There are practical issues for Iran not least getting money out

I have no doubt that the UK if push came to shove would commit to assist, but not for some Iraq 2 redux

The concern with Germany is no matter what they say about politics and nord stream being seperate, when Russia annexes crimes and Germany receives a significant proportion of its natural energy supplies from them, there is obviously a conflict. That can be extended to Iran or other Russian allies

I understand disclaimers are not required in the forum, but you did offer that continued instability in the region helped with your employment situation. As such can you make a better alternative case to the McKinsey Iran 2035 report? Or describe how it is bolluxed? Or, were we not to intercede violently and the JCPOA is adhered to, Iran will be where in 15 years?

I ask to spur discussion on the depth and breadth of schism between middle class Iranians who might not be radical islamist's and the old guard revolutionaries whom the Shah chose to ignore for 25 years before the foment of 1979. Understanding that the tenet of temporary status written in to the JCPOA of 10 and 15 years was with an expectation of a generational change with the old revolutionaries dying off and the younger generation assuming the reins of power and not sharing those old motivations. Or does religion win out and the succession of grand ayatollahs and their power continue to dominate? Or something else entirely?

Germany and Russia and the nexus of natural gas pipelines is worthy of it's own thread.
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Re: Persian gulf activity [gofigure] [ In reply to ]
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I think the problem with the mckinsey report was the superficiality of it

If you look at the UAE 2030 strategy or even Saudi's 2030 vision, they are taking concrete steps to change their economies, be that good or bad

So far, I'm not sure that Iran is doing anything

That said, of all the countries in the region, I really think Iran could be the strongest and most progressive.

Iran is more Liberal, has a young population and it has a sizeable enough population to be serious. Dubai is too small and Saudi without massive cultural changes is never going to become the same sort of Liberal economy that others in the region are.

Even if there were total stability in the region and Saudi were not fighting Qatar and Iran on different fronts, Saudi will still not be the choice of stop-over in the middle east

UAE plans to have something like 120m transit passengers that stay and spend money.

Abu Dhabi has a third airport 200k down the road, Qatar another 30 min flight away. Saudi is not going to compete with them.

Iran could, I suspect, compete with investment, it has culture, history and a coastline but it requires investment.

The only thing I'd say about generational change, is that no one saw the Arab spring coming. When it came, they backed the wrong horse. When they asked them to vote again, again they backed the Muslim brother hood.

Historically westerners, even those who understand the region have repeatedly misread individuals in the region.
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