When War Games Go Live. Preparing to Attack Iran. “Simulating World War III”
by Michel Chossudovsky
With ongoing war games on both sides, armed hostilities between the US-Israel led coalition and Iran are, according to Israeli military analysts, “dangerously close”.
There has been a massive deployment of troops which have been dispatched to the Middle East, not to mention the redeployment of US and allied troops previously stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Nine thousand US troops have been dispatched to Israel to participate in what is described by the Israeli press as the largest joint air defense war exercise in Israeli history.
The drill, called “Austere Challenge 12,” is scheduled to take place within the next few weeks. Its stated purpose “is to test multiple Israeli and US air defense systems, especially the “Arrow” system, which the country specifically developed with help from the US to intercept Iranian missiles.”
In the course of December, Iran conducted its own war games with a major ten days naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz, (December 24, 2011- January 2, 2012).
Missile defense and naval war games are being conducted simultaneously. While Israel and the US are preparing to launch major naval exercises in the Persian Gulf, Tehran has announced that it plans to conduct major naval exercises in February.
An impressive deployment of troops and advanced military hardware is unfolding.
Meanwhile, Israel has become a de facto US military outpost. US and Israeli command structures are being integrated, with close consultations between the Pentagon and Israel’s Ministry of Defense.
A large number of US troops will be stationed in Israel once the war games are completed.
The assumption of this military deployment is the staging of a joint US-Israeli air attack on Iran. Military escalation towards a regional war is part of the military scenario.
Ultimately Israel is an American pawn.
The people of Israel are the unspoken victims of US military ambitions, which consist in the conquest and “recolonization” –under a US mandate– of the Anglo-Persian oil empire.
The History of War Planning: “Theater Iran Near Term” (TIRANNT)
The history of war planning including war games and simulations directed against Iran is essential to an understanding of recent developments in the Persian Gulf.
Active war preparations directed against Iran (with the involvement of Israel and NATO) were initiated in May 2003, one month after the invasion and occupation of Iraq. It should be understood that from the outset of these war preparations, a World War III scenario was envisaged by US war planners.
The assumption of escalation was embedded in the simulations and the war games.
Moreover, the war on Iran was formulated as a “Global Strike” plan involving centralized military decision-making and coordination by US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). A “Concept Plan” entitled CONPLAN 8022 was established in 2003. The operational CONCEPT PLAN (CONPLAN) 8022 is described as “an actual plan that the Navy and the Air Force translate into strike package for their submarines and bombers.”
A simulated scenario of an all out bombing campaign against Iran entitled “Theater Iran Near Term” was implemented in May 2003. (To be noted, there have been numerous simulations and war games which have remained classified). .
Code named by US military planners as TIRANNT, “Theater Iran Near Term” had identified several thousand targets inside Iran as part of a “Shock and Awe” Blitzkrieg. (The analysis contained in this section is based on my earlier 2007 article entitled Theater Iran Near Term, Global Research, February 21, 2007)
“In early 2003, even as U.S. forces were on the brink of war with Iraq, the Army had already begun conducting an analysis for a full-scale war with Iran. The analysis, called TIRANNT, for “theater Iran near term,” was coupled with a mock scenario for a Marine Corps invasion and a simulation of the Iranian missile force. U.S. and British planners conducted a Caspian Sea war game around the same time. And Bush directed the U.S. Strategic Command to draw up a global strike war plan for an attack against Iranian weapons of mass destruction. All of this will ultimately feed into a new war plan for “major combat operations” against Iran that military sources confirm now exists in draft form.
… Under TIRANNT, Army and U.S. Central Command planners have been examining both near-term and out-year scenarios for war with Iran, including all aspects of a major combat operation, from mobilization and deployment of forces through postwar stability operations after regime change.” (William Arkin, The Pentagon Preps for Iran Washington Post, 16 April 2006, emphasis added)
What distinguishes the TIRANNT simulations in relation to previous (pre-2003) war game scenarios, is that a) they were conducted in the wake of the Iraq war and b) the Blitzkrieg assumptions behind TIRANNT are similar to those used in the intense March 2003 bombing campaign directed against Iraq.
In other words, the bombing campaign scenarios under TIRANNT are not limited to surgical strikes directed against Iran’s nuclear facilities. They also involve an “invasion scenario”, the deployment of Marines Corps, as well as “the mobilization and deployment of forces through postwar stability operations after regime change.”
The assessment of these war games is crucial in evaluating recent developments in the Persian Gulf because it suggests that if an attack on Iran is implemented it will inevitably evolve towards an all out bombing campaign as well as a ground war.
Confirmed by Arkin, the active component of the Iran military agenda was launched in May 2003 “when modelers and intelligence specialists pulled together the data needed for theater-level (meaning large-scale) scenario analysis for Iran.” (Arkin, op cit). In October 2003, different theater scenarios for an Iran war were contemplated:
“The US army, navy, air force and marines have all prepared battle plans and spent four years building bases and training for “Operation Iranian Freedom”. Admiral Fallon, the new head of US Central Command, has inherited computerized plans under the name TIRANNT (Theatre Iran Near Term).” (New Statesman, 19 February 2007)
It is worth noting that following the implementation of TIRANNT, starting in 2004, there was a stepped up delivery of weapons systems to Israel.
Military Alliances. Simulating World War III
A World War III scenario has been the object of numerous simulations and war games, going back to the Cold War era.
We have no details regarding the geopolitical assumptions underlying the TIRANNT war scenarios, –i.e. regarding analysis of major military actors, alliances, etc. From the available information, the simulations pertained to an all out war (bombing campaign and ground war) directed against Iran, without taking into account possible responses by Iran’s allies, namely China and Russia.
In 2006, The Pentagon launched another set of war simulations entitled Vigilant Shield 07 (conducted from September through December 2006). These war simulations were not limited to a single Middle East war theater as in the case of TIRANNT (e.g. Iran), they also included Russia, China and North Korea.
The core assumption behind Vigilant Shield 07 is “Global Warfare”. In the light of recent war preparations directed against Iran, the Road to Conflict in the Vigilant Shield 07 war games should be examined very carefully. They anticipate the “New Cold War”. They reflect US foreign policy and military doctrine during both the Bush and Obama administrations. The declared enemies of America under Vigilant Shield are Irmingham [Iran], Nemazee [North Korea], Ruebek [Russia], Churya [China]
Vigilant Shield 07 is a World War III Scenario which also includes an active and aggressive role for North Korea.
The simulations are predicated on the assumption that Iran constitutes a nuclear threat and that Russia and North Korea –which are allies of Iran– will attack America and that America and its allies will wage a pre-emptive (defensive) war.
While China is included in the simulations as a threat as well as an enemy of America, it is not directly involved, in the simulaitons, in attacking America.
The war simulations commence with Iran and Russia conducting joint air defense exercises, followed by nuclear testing by North Korea.
A terrorist attack on America is also contemplated in Vigilant Shield 07 based on the assumption that the “axis of evil” “rogue states” are supporting “non-State” terrorist organizations.
The diplomatic agenda is also envisaged as well as a media campaign to discredit Russia and Iran.
It should be understood that the conduct of these war scenarios with America under attack is also intended as an instrument of internal propaganda within the upper the echelons of Military, Intelligence and participating government agencies, with a view to developing a an unbending consensus pertaining to the preemptive war doctrine, –i.e that the threat against the “American Homeland” is “real” and that a pre-emptive attack –including the use of US nuclear weapons– against rogue enemies is justified. And that premeptive warfare is an instrument of peacemaking which contributes to global security.
Irmingham [Iran], Nemazee [North Korea], Ruebek [Russia], Churya [China]
Details and Sequencing: [emphasis added]
“• Road to Conflict (RTC): 11 Sep – 15 Oct 06
– Initial Irmingham Enrichment I&W [indications and warning]
– Initial Ruebeki & Irmingham Involvement
– Ruebek I&W, PACFLT [U.S. Pacific Fleet] Sub Deployments
– Initial Nemazee ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] I&W
– Initial MHLD [homeland defense?] I&W
– Strategic IO [information operations (cyber warfare)] operations (Ruebek & Churya)
– Ruebek & Irmingham Conduct Joint AD [air defense] Exercise
• Phase 1 / Deployment: 4 – 8 Dec 06
– Rogue LRA [Russian long-range aviation] w/CALCM [conventional air launched cruise missile] Launch
– Continue Monitoring Strategic Situation
– Continue Monitoring Nemazee Situation
• Possible Nuclear Testing
• Probable ICBM Preparation
– Continue Monitoring MHLD Situation
• Five VOIs [vessels of interest]
• Churya Flagged VOI into Dutch Harbor Supports BMDS [ballistic missile defense system] Threat to Ft Greely
– Continue Monitoring IO Activities
– Nemazee Conducts SLV [space launch vehicle] Launch – 8 Dec 06
• Phase 2 Minus 42 Days:
• Additional Nemazee ICBM Shipments to Launch Facilities
• RMOB [Russian main operating bases] Acft Conduct LR Navigation Flights
• AS-15 [nuclear armed cruise missile] Handling at RMOBs
– Minus 41 Days:
• Additional Nemazee ICBM Preps at Launch Pad # 2
– Minus 40 Days:
• Activity at Nemazee Nuclear Test Facilities
– Minus 35 Days:
• DOS [Department of State] Travel Warning
– Minus 30 Days:
• Ruebek LRA Deploys Acft to Anadyr & Vorkuta
• Phase 2 Minus 30 Days:
• Growing International Condemnation of Ruebek
• Ruebek Deploys Submarines
– Minus 20 Days:
• Nemazee Recalls Reservists
– Minus 14 Days:
• DOS Draw-down Sequencing
– Minus 13 Days:
• Ruebek Closes US Embassy in Washington DC
– Minus 11 Days:
• Nemazee Conducts Fueling of Additional ICBMs
• Ruebeki Presidential Statement on Possible US Attack
• Phase 2 Minus 10 Days:
• POTUS Addresses Congress on War Powers Act
– Minus 6 Days:
• Ruebek President Calls “Situation Grave”
– Minus 5 Days:
• CALCM Activity at Anadyr, Vorkuta, and Tiksi
• Ruebeki SS-25 [nuclear armed mobile ICBMs] Conduct out of Garrison Deployments
• Nemazee Assembling ICBM for Probable Launch
– Minus 4 Days:
• Ruebek Closes US Embassy in Washington DC
• Ruebek Acft Conduct Outer ADIZ [air defense identification zone] Pentrations
• Mid-Air Collison w/NORAD Acft During ADIZ Penetration
• Phase 2 Minus 4 Days:
• Nemazee ICBM Launch Azimuth Threatens US
– Minus 3 Days:
• NATO Diplomatic Efforts Fail to Diffuse Crisis
• USAMB to Ruebek Recalled for Consultation
• POTUS Addresses Nation
– Minus 2 Days:
• Nemazee Leadership Movement
– Minus 1 Day:
• Ruebek Expels US Mission
• Phase 2 / Execution: 10 – 14 Dec 06
– Pre-Attack I & W
– Imminent Terrorist Attack on Pentagon Suggests Pentagon COOP [continuity of operations plan]
– Nemazee Conducts 2 x ICBM Combat Launches Against United States
– Ruebek Conducts Limited Strategic Attack on United States
• Wave 1 – 8 x Bear H Defense Suppression w/CALCM
• Wave 2 – Limited ICBM & SLBM Attack
– 2 x ICBM Launched (1 impacts CMOC [Cheyenne Mountain], 1 malfunctions)
– 2 x SLBM Launched Pierside (1 impacts SITE-R [“Raven Rock” bunker on the Maryland-Pennsylvania border], 1 malfunctions)
– 3 x Bear H from Dispersal Bases w/ALCM (Eielson AFB, CANR, Cold Lake)
– US Conducts Limited Retaliatory Attack on Ruebek
• 1 x ICBM C2 Facility
• 1 x ICBM Against ICBM Launch Location
• Phase 2 / Execution:
– Ruebek Prepares Additional Attack on United States
• Wave 3 – Prepares for Additional Strategic Attacks
– 1 x ICBM Movement, NO Launch
– 3 x SLBM PACFLT Pierside Missile Handling Activity (NO Launch)
– 6 x BEAR H (launch & RTB [return to base]) w/6 x ALCM (NO launch)” emphasis added
Complacency of Western Public Opinion
The complacency of Western public opinion (including segments of the US anti-war movement) is disturbing.
No concern has been expressed at the political level as to the likely consequences of a US-NATO-Israel attack on Iran using US and/or Israeli nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state.
Moreover, public opinion is led to believe that the war will be limited to surgical strikes directed against Iran’s nuclear facilities and that neither Russia nor China will intervene.
The war on Iran and the dangers of escalation are not considered “front page news.” The mainstream media has excluded in-depth analysis and debate on the implications of these war plans.
The absence of public awareness, the complacency of the antiwar movement as well as the weakness of organized social movements indelibly contribute to the real possibility that this war could be carried out, leading to the unthinkable: a nuclear holocaust over a large part of the Middle East and Central Asia involving millions of civilian casualties.
It should be noted that a nuclear nightmare would occur even if nuclear weapons are not used.
The bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities using conventional weapons would contribute to unleashing a Chernobyl-Fukushima type disaster with extensive radioactive fallout.
For further details on the history of war preparations directed against Iran, see my earlier 2007 article
“Theater Iran Near Term” (TIRANNT)
– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-02-21
“Theater Iran Near Term” (TIRANNT) has identified several thousand targets inside Iran as part of a “Shock and Awe” Blitzkrieg, which is now in its final planning stages.