Egypt

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Re: Egypt

Post by Arathena » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:20 pm

Define US interests and pragmatism over in that shithole in the first place. There's really only three interests to have in that area: world oil prices, preventing the humanitarian and (American) reputational disaster that would result from some of the various tribes, and yes, I mean tribes, not nations, in the area banding together against Israel again, and the general humanitarian disaster that the area is anyway from the sheer virtue of being a semitribal hellhole full of pockets of unearned wealth.

'Pragmatic' would be to develop non-gasoline transportation for the nation and letting the whole area burn itself to ashes - cheaper in blood and gold. I'm not terribly worried about a united Arabian caliphate, for the same reason I'm not worried about a Christian prinicpate somewhere - Witness how many years of warfare between Iraq and Iran?
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Re: Egypt

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:46 pm

There once was a Christian prinicpate, the Holy Roman Empire. It fundamentally changed world culture. It could easily happen again on the other side of the coin, its just a different time.

Do you let Israel deal with the issue alone? I'm conflicted with that.
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Re: Egypt

Post by Ddrak » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:06 pm

Embar Angylwrath wrote:There once was a Christian prinicpate, the Holy Roman Empire. It fundamentally changed world culture. It could easily happen again on the other side of the coin, its just a different time.

Do you let Israel deal with the issue alone? I'm conflicted with that.
Wait, what?
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Re: Egypt

Post by Partha » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:15 pm

Technology argues against that. Nothing kills totalitarianism dead quite like rapid information access and transmission. If not for US missteps, we'd have an Iran already out from under the mullahs already, for one thing.
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Re: Egypt

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:32 pm

Ddrak wrote:
Embar Angylwrath wrote:There once was a Christian prinicpate, the Holy Roman Empire. It fundamentally changed world culture. It could easily happen again on the other side of the coin, its just a different time.

Do you let Israel deal with the issue alone? I'm conflicted with that.
Wait, what?
If the US were to withdraw from that part of the world, would we leave Israel to deal with the combined power of the Arab nations, many of which stay out of conflict with Israel primarily because they fear retaliation from both Israel AND the US, should they attack Israel. That calculus would change if our policy was to turn our backs on the Mideast, much in the same way we stay out of all the shit going down in Africa.
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Re: Egypt

Post by Partha » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:03 pm

No, it wouldn't, because nukes. Israel has em and the Arab world don't. And no leader wants to glow in the dark, the ones who do died long before they became leaders.
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Re: Egypt

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:33 pm

Hmmm... maybe.

Israel has what, maybe 200-300 nukes? I suppose they could target every single major metropolitan area in the Arab countries with those. However, if Israel can't defend against the consolidated power of the Arab countries conventional military (and I don't think they can), they would have no choice if attacked by a unified Arab force but to use their last deterrent, the nukes.

It's an interesting intellectual exercise. In the countries where a limited few control the government (Saudi Arabia, Jordan), they might be persuaded to fight on behalf of Israel if nothing more than to preserve their own power base. Other crazies, like Iran, might say fuck it, and we don't mind if we meet Allah a little earlier than planned. It could put Saudi Arabia and Iran in open conflict with one another. Which is coming sooner than later, as this Sia v Sunni thing works towards a final resolution.
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Re: Egypt

Post by Ddrak » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:55 am

Assuming the US abandoned Israel, and the Arab nations decided to invade, using nukes would achieve nothing. If Israel launched even a single nuke, the entire area would see it as an imperative for every man, woman and child to destroy every last brick of Israel. There would be no stopping that tide, and the rest of the world would end up watching the largest genocide in history.

I think the US could do a lot worse than establish a controlled drawdown of support in the area, both financial and military. Force nations to figure out for themselves how they are going to re-establish norms on a gradual basis without a massive shift in power causing rash action. Then the US (obviously) compensates the plan to ensure a favorable outcome.

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Re: Egypt

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:13 pm

I disagree.

If Israel used its nukes in a fashion to favor Sunni or Shia (they would favor Sunni, if they had to eat that shit sandwich), I think they could split the Muslims. What's happening over there is akin to our civil war, Confederate v Union. Right now its a proxy war fought regionally within countries, disguised as civil uprisings. But in reality, its a religious war fought over the entire Arab peninsula and some of north Africa. Most of the Western world doesn't get that yet. Iran and Saudi Arabia are the anchor points right now in that struggle. Saudi Arabia wants a Sunni-based caliphate, Iran wants a Shia based caliphate. National borders become irrelevant if the 100% of the governments are one way or the other.

Israel is in an interesting position of making a nuclear deal with the devil (should the US pull out). Leave us alone and we'll nuke your enemies. And save some nukes for you should you renege.
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Re: Egypt

Post by Ddrak » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:49 am

If given that choice, why Sunni? Shia/Iran seems a more stable alliance geographically.

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Re: Egypt

Post by Harlowe » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:19 am

But in reality, its a religious war fought over the entire Arab peninsula and some of north Africa. Most of the Western world doesn't get that yet. Iran and Saudi Arabia are the anchor points right now in that struggle. Saudi Arabia wants a Sunni-based caliphate, Iran wants a Shia based caliphate.
Exactly, and I agree it's something the Western world does not seem to take into consideration at all. That's why these regional fights are never just regional. They pull in players from the entire Arab peninsula and north Africa.

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Re: Egypt

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:15 pm

Ddrak wrote:If given that choice, why Sunni? Shia/Iran seems a more stable alliance geographically.

Dd
You think a country like Iran is more stable than Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, etc? With the exception of Iran, Iraq and Bahrain, I think all other Arab countries are Sunni majorities. If I recall, Sunni's make up about 80% of Muslims, and Iran has been calling for the death of Israel for a long time.
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Re: Egypt

Post by Partha » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:52 pm

Azerbaijan and Lebanon are Shia majority, as well, although very small countries. More importantly, Sunni/Shi'a ratios in Western states, India, and Indonesia are more like 60-40 or 55-45. And if you define 'stable' by Saudi Arabia, they're also some of the most radical Sunni and finance such wonderful people like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
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Re: Egypt

Post by Ddrak » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:45 pm

Embar Angylwrath wrote:
Ddrak wrote:If given that choice, why Sunni? Shia/Iran seems a more stable alliance geographically.

Dd
You think a country like Iran is more stable than Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, etc? With the exception of Iran, Iraq and Bahrain, I think all other Arab countries are Sunni majorities. If I recall, Sunni's make up about 80% of Muslims, and Iran has been calling for the death of Israel for a long time.
Yes - especially in the absence of US money, and Iranian/Iraqi alliance would steamroller the entire area. An alliance between Israel and Iran would see an instant truce between Israel and their best armed annoyances, and cement a military truce from Tel Aviv to Kabul (Syria and Jordan would fall in an instant).

Iran would have no problem with the alliance - they'd claim Israel had come enlightened out from under the influence of the Great Satan, or some shit, and Israel is about as "pragmatic" as you get in military terms.

Awesome map of religion in the area: http://thesinosaudiblog.files.wordpress ... ligion.jpg

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Re: Egypt

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:51 pm

Not sure about that whole "absence of American money" argument. If the US pulled out of the Middle East, money and all, that leaves the Iran-Iraq hegemony against a coalition of what, 14 other countries? The Iran/Iraq population combined is about 2 million. The rest total about 6 million. Iran has a decent military, on a regional scale, but so does Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Iraq is still pulling itself into the third world after its military debacles with the US over the last 20 years or so. Iran and Iraq are politically unstable. So is Egypt and Syria now. The rest of the Middle Eastern countries are relatively calm, in a Middle East "cross me and I'll behead your family" kind of way.

It makes no sense whatsoever for Israel to partner with a batshit crazy Iran, who, after using Israel's forces and nukes to subjugate the Arabian peninsula to its rule, would most likely say "things have changed, Israel, we are dealing with you next."

If the Middle East melts down and the US isn't going to be involved (purely intellectual exercise here, because we know that scenario is unlikely), Israel's best move is to focus its military might on countries that can be taken out and make a deal with those they can't. Israel can handle Iran and Iraq, especially with the help of the other Arab countries. I doubt they'd be able to fight against a coalition of 14 other countries, plus deal with the Palestinians.

Edit: Got the population numbers wrong. Iran/Iraq about 112 million combined. The rest of the Arab countries, about 274 million.
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Re: Egypt

Post by Partha » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:38 pm

True story: When the Iran-Iraq war started, Iran didn't have enough weapons to outfit all the people it took into the army.

When it came time to send men into places where they'd be clearing mines and such, they gave them keys. The keys to Heaven, the commanders told the troops.

Do you REALLY want to fight a war with people who are willing to enter a battlefield with nothing but fucking keys?
Well, it’s the Super-Monroe Doctrine: “Get off our oil, people who dress funny!” - M. Bouffant

"You're a bad captain, Zarde. People like you only learn by being touched, and hard. And you will greatly disapprove of where these men put their hands." - M. Vanderbeam.

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Re: Egypt

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:02 pm

Partha wrote:True story: When the Iran-Iraq war started, Iran didn't have enough weapons to outfit all the people it took into the army.

When it came time to send men into places where they'd be clearing mines and such, they gave them keys. The keys to Heaven, the commanders told the troops.

Do you REALLY want to fight a war with people who are willing to enter a battlefield with nothing but fucking keys?

Fuck yes I do, if I was a commander.

Look how well it worked out for the Iraqis when we basically leveled their country in a few days. Or any other army that faced a technologically superior force. Doesn't matter what they believe in, arrows trump slings, rifles trump arrows, and tanks trump rifles. Nukes trump all, at our level of technology.

Fanatics just die in greater numbers.
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Re: Egypt

Post by Ddrak » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:45 am

Fuck yes I do, if I was a commander.

Look how well it worked out for the Iraqis when we basically leveled their country in a few days. Or any other army that faced a technologically superior force. Doesn't matter what they believe in, arrows trump slings, rifles trump arrows, and tanks trump rifles. Nukes trump all, at our level of technology.
First of all, the Iraqis didn't have that level of zealotry at all.
Secondly, despite not having that level of zealotry, Iraq basically beat the US - maybe not on the initial invasion (which counts for nothing), but certainly in the following occupation.
Third, Iran isn't "batshit crazy" by any stretch of the imagination. If you really believe that then they're playing you for a sucker. Hint: NK isn't either.

Most Arab countries wouldn't get involved in X vs. Israel unless it was seen as a sure thing (treaty or no-treaty). They're not stupid. That's why I'm saying that Israel is better allying with the single strongest nation in the area rather than a loose coalition of lesser powers.

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Re: Egypt

Post by Partha » Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:40 pm

Embar Angylwrath wrote:
Partha wrote:True story: When the Iran-Iraq war started, Iran didn't have enough weapons to outfit all the people it took into the army.

When it came time to send men into places where they'd be clearing mines and such, they gave them keys. The keys to Heaven, the commanders told the troops.

Do you REALLY want to fight a war with people who are willing to enter a battlefield with nothing but fucking keys?

Fuck yes I do, if I was a commander.

Look how well it worked out for the Iraqis when we basically leveled their country in a few days. Or any other army that faced a technologically superior force. Doesn't matter what they believe in, arrows trump slings, rifles trump arrows, and tanks trump rifles. Nukes trump all, at our level of technology.

Fanatics just die in greater numbers.
Rome was technologically superior to the German tribes. Tell us all again how that worked out. Plus forget the fact that Iran, unlike Iraq, hasn't been under a decade plus of sanctions that prevent them from building up their army, and that their army wasn't destroyed wholesale like Iraq's was in Desert Storm.

While we're at it, Shinseki lost his job pre-Iraq for telling BushCo that you would need several hundred thousand troops to keep order in Iraq - which turned out to be absolutely correct. How many do you think you need to garrison a country over 600,000 square miles with double the population of Iraq? Where you getting them at?

You wanna be a commander, stick to this. Better for everyone all the way around.
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"You're a bad captain, Zarde. People like you only learn by being touched, and hard. And you will greatly disapprove of where these men put their hands." - M. Vanderbeam.

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Re: Egypt

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:35 pm

Rome fell over a period of centuries, about 400 years. The Germans were a part of it, but not the only reason. Unlike Germany and the Roman Empire, the US and the Middle East are separated by rather large body of water, which prevents military raids of opportunity on the ground. Add to that the US has absolute superiority of the skies, and the oceans, compared to Iran. Iran can't support any type of meaningful air attack anywhere on US soil, and the can't support a long range air attack across the ocean. Their Navy is very small, and would not be a deterrent to ours. Finally, with nukes, the US doesn't need to occupy Iran to decimate it.

Your analogy is pretty far off the mark.

And, uh, Iran has definitely been under sanctions for a long while. They have, and continue to, suffer from them. The military included. If you're the Ayatollah, you can command everyone to pick up a rifle and then claim they are your army, but it doesn't make them an effective fighting force. Iraq tried that, and look how it turned out for them. The Republican Guard was really the only disciplined military segment of Iraq. The rest of the "soldiers" just got buried as they took on tanks with AK-47s.

Iran's military is a completely different animal, basically split between the Revolutionay Guard and the regular Army. The Revolutionary Guard was set up to act as a bulwark against the conventional Iranian army, a protection against internal coups, ala 1953. Both report up to the Supreme Leader, bypassing the President, and by most accounts, the relationship between the two elements of the military are fractious at best. They aren't cohesive within the two divisions either. Finally, neither reports through the other, to maintain separatist protections.

The Iranian regular army has about 350,000 troops I think. The Revolutionary Guard about 150,000. That is another way of saying Iran has 350,000 luckless bastards who will serve as cannon fodder to shield the RG in the event of a military action with the US, and the RG will do the actual effective fighting while the Iranian regular army troops take the brunt of an assault.

I guess you could toss in the Hezbollah as irregulars if you want, but they are only ground troops. And then there's the Basij force, about 100,000 volunteers. Irregular and not much to speak of.

I'd need to go back and check, but I think the Iranian army is primarily ground forces, while the RG has most of the naval, medium and long range ballistic missiles, air assets, plus the Iranian version of special forces/advisers/outreach (the Quds), which are less than 20,000 of the 150,000 I think. Think militarized CIA for these guys, its the best analogy I can come up with.

In short, in a full-on military engagement with the US, and disregarding for the moment other country-states that may enter the fray, from a pure military calculus, the US would destroy Iran in a matter of days. Hours if you count nukes.
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