Yemen, Iran, USA

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  • #2
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Just another proxy war for the Saudis and Iranians. Looks like we've picked sides even with our Nuclear deal with Iran.
 
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  • #3
mheslep
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Proxy war for the Saudis? The US and other countries have their own security interests in an Iranian take over of Yemen.

Imagine "20 nations [with] nuclear capacity" as President Kennedy predicted would happen by 1964. It did not. Why? The US and NATO remaining involved in the world, preventing the rise of malevolent hegemonic states, as has been the case through much of history, must be a reason. In the Middle East, likely nuclear candidates after Iran include Saudi Arabia, then Turkey, then Greece or Egypt. What could be done now to help prevent Iran from becoming a run-away dominant power in the ME and triggering the above chain of events? Well, the US could use sea power to cut off Iranian naval support of military action in Yemen.

Now, after weighing the above consequences one might still conclude intervention is not worth US blood and treasure. But dismissing any intervention in the area, ever, as motivated by no other reason that a proxy war for the Saudis is bound sooner or later to lead to foolish decisions.

So far however the OP's source is wrong about any actual announcement by the US to actually intercept Iranian shipping. All that's been said is that the carrier has been deployed there " as instability in Yemen has caused the U.S. Navy to increase its presence in the region."
http://www.defense.gov/Video/default.aspx?mediaid=2001042521
 
  • #4
nsaspook
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So far however the OP's source is wrong about any actual announcement by the US to actually intercept Iranian shipping. All that's been said is that the carrier has been deployed there " as instability in Yemen has caused the U.S. Navy to increase its presence in the region."
http://www.defense.gov/Video/default.aspx?mediaid=2001042521
http://news.usni.org/2015/04/20/roosevelt-strike-group-departs-gulf-9-u-s-warships-now-near-yemen
The U.S. has also sent two Avenger class mine countermeasures (MCM) ships — USS Dexterous (MCM-13) USS Sentry (MCM- 3) in the vicinity of Yemen, service officials told USNI News.
I can read between the lines and hope Iran gets the hint but I got my feet wet in the last little Iranian dust up when they acted stupid by dropping mines.

Operation Praying Mantis
 
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  • #5
mheslep
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This is not 1988 and Barack Obama is not Ronald Reagan. Iran is now a couple months away from nuclear weapon according to the US, so the US's current look-but-don't-touch policy off Yemen, versus the direct US retaliatory attack on an Iranian naval platform then, is a prime example of how even the near possession of nuclear weapons changes things.
 
  • #6
nsaspook
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I agree with your points on our side playing checkers vs Iran playing 3D chess. There are forces in that country who do not want a deal with the US and wish to see how much we are willing to take for that deal.
This is the type of mindset that can easily lead Iran to push the limits by mining and why we might be a little trigger happy if something happens to our forces that can be blamed on Iran.
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940131000576
Also, tens of IRGC vessels conducted high-speed mine-laying operations in a short period of time to get ready for critical situations in times of possible threats.

Fadavi described Iran's "mine-laying" capability as "the most important concern of the Americans", and said, "We have the most advanced sea mines which cannot be imagined by the Americans."
 
  • #7
nsaspook
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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32503660
Pentagon officials say the US is monitoring the seizure by Iran of a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship.
The MV Maersk Tigris was moving through Iranian waters in the Straits of Hormuz, according to the Pentagon.
Iranian patrol vessels fired warning shots across the bow of the boat, US officials said, branding the action "inappropriate".
While the Marshall Islands is not in the USA, it is a USA protectorate with the US in charge of defense and diplomatic relationships.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_of_Free_Association
 
  • #8
nsaspook
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http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/28/polit...fficial-says-no-americans-on-board/index.html
Warren said it was "to be determined" what the USS Farragut will do when it reached the vicinity of the incident.
...
The senior official pointed out that that historically, Iran Revolutionary Guard naval forces have been more likely to be engaged in hostile contact with the shipping and military vessels in the region than the regular Iranian navy. Contact with regular Iranian naval forces is frequent and "professional," the official said.
The 'Iran Revolutionary Guard' is exactly the type of forces in the Iranian government that would love to kill any deal with the US.
http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais...27.01728/zoom:8/mmsi:538005749/shipid:1635726
 
  • #9
russ_watters
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This is not 1988 and Barack Obama is not Ronald Reagan. Iran is now a couple months away from nuclear weapon according to the US, so the US's current look-but-don't-touch policy off Yemen, versus the direct US retaliatory attack on an Iranian naval platform then, is a prime example of how even the near possession of nuclear weapons changes things.
I think the landscape has changed a bit. Nuclear warfare has become obsolete, so having nuclear weapons isn't worth as much as it used to be. But what is highly valuable is being close to gettign nuclear weapons. Hovering just on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons for the past decade or so allows Iran to play that chip over and over again. North Korea foolishly cashed-in that chip a few years ago and now no longer has anything to bargain with.
 
  • #10
mheslep
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Nuclear war among super powers is obsolete at the moment. Regional nuclear war still seems possible: Pakistan-India, Israel-Iran.

I agree with you regarding the leverage gained by a state on the brink of weapon, but there could also be a second move: N. Korea or an Iran might be to begin threatening to let a weapon slip out. I think the Russians played that card a little after the coldwar.
 
  • #11
nsaspook
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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/01/w...aersk-tigris-container-ship-seizure.html?_r=0
WASHINGTON — The Navy on Thursday began deploying warships to protect American commercial vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz against any interference from Iran, which this week seized a cargo ship in the narrow waterway, though which about 20 percent of the world’s oil passes.
...
Iran appeared to be similarly aware of the risks of letting the seizure of the Tigris harm the nuclear talks. The deal would ease sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran’s abandoning its nuclear weapons programs.
...
The disposal of the crates led to court battles in several Iranian courts. Maersk said that on Feb. 18, a court ordered it to pay $163,000, which the company said it was willing to pay. But Maersk said it was told on Thursday that a higher court had ordered it to pay $3.6 million.
$163,000 then and $3.6 million now, that sounds like pirates on the high seas holding the ship for ransom.
 
  • #12
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Nuclear war among super powers is obsolete at the moment. Regional nuclear war still seems possible: Pakistan-India, Israel-Iran.

I agree with you regarding the leverage gained by a state on the brink of weapon, but there could also be a second move: N. Korea or an Iran might be to begin threatening to let a weapon slip out. I think the Russians played that card a little after the coldwar.
I think that it changes rules not in case of a border clash, but when there is risk of total country collapse and regime can credibly show that has nothing to lose.

Iranians border Afghanistan and Iraq (no love for Sunnis, but still)... They've seen how nearby Ukraine gave up nukes and what has happened to them recently. With such data, one can be scared enough to seek nukes at high economical cost.

Paradoxically I think that the best thing that American can threaten Iran is an arm race in region. Do they want to see their "beloved" Saudis backed by the Great Satan armed with nukes too? Then they should pray at least 5 times per day for long reign of Saudi royal family, because otherwise they may end up with ISIS like state with nukes on the other side of Persian Gulf.
 
  • #13
lisab
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I think that it changes rules not in case of a border clash, but when there is risk of total country collapse and regime can credibly show that has nothing to lose.

Iranians border Afghanistan and Iraq (no love for Sunnis, but still)... They've seen how nearby Ukraine gave up nukes and what has happened to them recently. With such data, one can be scared enough to seek nukes at high economical cost.

Paradoxically I think that the best thing that American can threaten Iran is an arm race in region. Do they want to see their "beloved" Saudis backed by the Great Satan armed with nukes too? Then they should pray at least 5 times per day for long reign of Saudi royal family, because otherwise they may end up with ISIS like state with nukes on the other side of Persian Gulf.
Who do you mean by "they" (bolded above)? Sure, I know you were referring to the US, but this is not only our problem. I might remind you...you're a lot closer to what would be that ISIS-like state than we are.
 
  • #14
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Who do you mean by "they" (bolded above)? Sure, I know you were referring to the US, but this is not only our problem. I might remind you...you're a lot closer to what would be that ISIS-like state than we are.
I was referring to IRAN

As nearby heretics Shia are on higher to nuke list than any far away infidels.
 
  • #15
nsaspook
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  • #16
nsaspook
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http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/14/politics/persian-gulf-iranian-boats-shots-fired/
(CNN)Five Iranian boats fired shots across the bow of a Singapore flagged cargo vessel in the Persian Gulf on Thursday in an attempt to potentially stop the ship, a U.S. official told CNN. For the first time, the incident brought another Persian Gulf nation into the recent rising maritime tensions in the region.
...
Several shots hit the cargo ship, but did not disable it. The ship went into UAE waters and the Iranians followed it into those territorial waters, continuing to fire, before breaking off.
 
  • #17
nsaspook
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...ing-combat-operations-in-yemen-pentagon-says/
The Pentagon has placed a small number of U.S. advisors on the ground in Yemen to support Arab forces battling al-Qaeda, military officials said on Friday, signaling a new American role in that country’s multi-sided civil war.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said U.S. personnel had been in the country for about two weeks, supporting Yemeni and Emirati forces that are fighting a pitched battle against militants near the southeastern port city of Mukalla.
...
Since then, the United States has confined its military activities mostly to supporting a Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthi rebels, which the Kingdom sees as an Iranian proxy force. The Pentagon has provided some intelligence and aerial support to the Saudi-led air war.

The new American advisory team will support the Emirati troops and Yemeni forces loyal to the old government as they seek to capitalize on recent headway against AQAP in Mukalla, which was seized by militants last year. Saudi Special Operations forces have also been taking part in the campaign against AQAP around Mukalla.
 
  • #18
SteamKing
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I think the landscape has changed a bit. Nuclear warfare has become obsolete, so having nuclear weapons isn't worth as much as it used to be. But what is highly valuable is being close to gettign nuclear weapons. Hovering just on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons for the past decade or so allows Iran to play that chip over and over again. North Korea foolishly cashed-in that chip a few years ago and now no longer has anything to bargain with.
Somebody forgot to tell the Norks that. They have moved on from testing nukes to building and testing longer-range missiles. They have advanced from putting a satellite in orbit to testing the engine for a proposed ICBM. What was once a regional problem in east Asia has the possibility of becoming a global headache.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_North_Korean_missile_tests

North Korean and Iran have done business in various arms and research deals since the latter's revolution in 1979. It's not out of the realm of possibility that North Korea and Iran could cooperate on nuclear weapons technology and the development of ballistic missile technology.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran–North_Korea_relations
 

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