Tulsa Peace Fellowship

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US bases surrounding Iran_map adapted from JuanCole

Thank you James, for finding this.

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Comment by Tony Nuspl on February 23, 2012 at 4:13pm

Some discussion of this map image here: http://www.juancole.com/2011/12/iran-has-us-surrounded-all-right.html

In addition, Rex Wingerter has this article up at antiwar.com, on the lack of threat from Iran's military: http://original.antiwar.com/rex-wingerter/2012/02/17/iran-outgunned...

e.g. number of military troops.  According the Israel-based Institute for National Securities Studies, Iran has  520,000 uniformed service members, or roughly a 1/2 a million people in uniform

e.g. military expenditures: Iran’s spends about $8 billion a year on its military

excerpt from the article by Wingerter:

The 800-pound gorilla in the Gulf is the presence of U.S. military forces. Bahrain is the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet’s carrier strike group (CSG), which currently includes the largest warship in the world, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, hosting about 80 warplanes and supported by an armada of five to nine ships, including guided missile cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and attack submarines. The U.S. Sixth Fleet’s CSG sitting in the Mediterranean Sea is posed to intervene in the Gulf, as it did during the Iraq war. B-1 bombers are stationed in Oman, along with a storehouse of U.S. munitions. Kuwait is an important refueling depot for U.S. aircraft as well as a perch from which reconnaissance planes operate. U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta said in November that nearly 29,000 U.S. troops are in Kuwait, in addition to over 17,000 more in the Gulf states. Complementing U.S. forces are warships and ground troops from France, Britain, and Canada. The cumulative result is that perhaps the greatest concentration of conventional military firepower on the planet is located in or near the Gulf, most of it U.S.-owned or controlled, and potentially aimed at Iran.

In the face of such overwhelming military might, claims that Iran poses a military threat to its neighbors fall flat.

The U.S. Institute for Peace points out that Iran’s military is configured in a defensive posture, tailored "specifically to counter the perceived U.S. threat."

Meanwhile, in an article provided by Reuters, 17 Feb 2012, we read: "US Navy fears small Iranian boats"


Military experts say the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet patrolling the Gulf - which always has at least one giant super carrier accompanied by scores of jets and a fleet of frigates and destroyers - is overwhelmingly more powerful than Iran's navy.

But it is the small boats that worry the U.S. Navy most. Vice Admiral Fox said last week that Iran had built up its naval forces in the Gulf and prepared boats that could be used in suicide attacks. The Iranians make their presence felt every time U.S. forces cross the Strait of Hormuz, by almost escorting the fleet either by air or using patrol boats.

Five thousand sailors live on board the 20-storey USS Abraham Lincoln. ... Fighter aircraft that have been sitting on deck over the past 24 hours with their noses pointing towards Iran and readiness to launch within 15 minutes have now been stowed. The admiral said the same preparations are taken every time the fleet passes through a narrow canal.

But the Wingerter article also warns:

In 2002, the Pentagon conducted a war game where large numbers of small Iranian speedboats attacked American ships in the Gulf with machine guns and rockets. In the simulation, the U.S. Navy lost 16 warships, including an aircraft carrier, cruisers, and amphibious vessels in battles that lasted 5-10 minutes. Since that war game, Iran has only improved and expanded its asymmetric capabilities.



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