When Alexander the Great swept through the Middle East, he didn't mess around much with occupations or supply lines--he kept his main force together and just kept moving forward, living off the land. This suggests a third option: We go in and wreck the place, but we don't stick around to help clean up the mess. Over 90% of the casualties in the Iraq War have occurred during the occupation. Thus, the lesson is that we should just skip the occupation. What we do is shoot down every airplane in their air force, sink what's left of their navy, and then move in with half a dozen divisions and we'll cut through them like a hot knife through warm butter. If they try to stand and fight anywhere, they will be decimated by the Air Force. Let them send human waves like they did against Iraq all they want. That's the easiest tactic of all to deal with. It will only create a lot of Iranian widows. The thing is, we don't stop. We sweep through the country, destroy every weapons facility in the country, capture or kill every mullah and every nuclear scientist we can find, destroy every tank, artillery piece, jeep, and every Ak-47 we can lay our hands on--and then we just leave, taking with us about 200,000 POW's as hostages, and we simply leave the Iranians to their own devices. The whole operation from commencement until the last soldier drives back into Iraq and Afghanistan would be over in three months at the outside. Fatalities would be on the order of those incurred during Desert Storm or the initial phase OIF. Supply lines won't be too much of a problem because we will be gone before the insurgency can get fully organized. And there won't be any supplies for them coming from Iraq or Afghanistan. Now, this probably will seem crazy at first, but consider the political fallout. The old regime WILL be shattered and scattered. Most government higher-ups will be dead or sent to Abu Graib. The progressives within Iran will justly be able to say that the mullahs brought on the invasion because of their insane hubris; meanwhile, the progressives could not be accused of collaborating with the Americans, because there will be no Americans to collaborate with. The defeat will actually be more humiliating than if we stayed and occupied them because there would be no one to strike back at to exact revenge. And they will be too busy rebuilding to embark on more international adventures. And if ten years down the road, they start all over with their plans for the Bomb, well, we just do the blitzkrieg all over again. It's not like we haven't had reprise wars in the past (WWI-WWII, GWI-GWII). The cost in lives and dollars will be less than if we stayed and occupied the place for 10 years. On the American side, the public will appreciate the built-in exit strategy. The Iranian civilian infrastructure will not be specifically targeted; thus, the oil will soon flow again. Fortunes will be made in oil speculation as the price spikes and then crashes. Moreover, since it cannot be perceived that the Americans are stealing the oil, since we will have left, there will be less motivation to sabotage the pipelines. If the whole op could be pulled off with fewer casualties than OIF, all will be forgiven. Catastrophic losses of aircraft carriers will be avoided by keeping them out of the Gulf until the missile threat is neutralized beyond a shadow of a doubt. Eventually, a new government would form. Most likely, the new government would be sullen, but it would not be openly belligerant like it is now. Most likely, they will cooperate, especially if the families of the Iranian POW's ever want to see their husbands and fathers again. If the Americans know anything, it is how to run a prison system. Moreover, Iranian cooperation with the civilized world will be rewarded with reconstruction aid and trade.