Wednesday, September 18, 2019

TEHRAN911-- "Second Deterrent Balanced Operation"-- STRATEGIC DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION


     "A day earlier, Abdul-Mahdi said he had a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who, a readout by the Iraqi prime minister’s office said, backed Baghdad’s assertion that the drone strikes September 14 against Saudi Arabia were not launched from Iraqi territories." (Arab Weekly)

     (Post003)--Press TV gives a fair and balanced update of some of the terminology behind the Aramco oilfield air blitz by alleged Iranian perpetrators;
     “Our forces have reached a high level of efficiency and ability. They can manufacture various types of unmanned aerial vehicles in record time. The Second Deterrent Balance Operation, which targeted Saudi oil installations, is a perfect example of the capabilities of our forces in terms of planning and implementation,”  (Press TV)
That's Brigadier General Yahya Saria of the Yemeni Armed Forces making that quote and while the Saudis are busy showing off the results in the form of fried munitions, there's some new terminology being introduced.

     "Balanced Deterrence" is nothing new but the origin of it becomes a case in point as to why there hasn't been an immediate response. General Maxwell Taylor first brought attention to the concept with relation to atomic weapons. (Taylor) Further recognition of the concept appears in George E. Lowe's book "Stalking the Antichrists;"
     " By high-lighting the real nature of the doctrinal conflict, perhaps insight may be gained into the continuing debate over Department of Defense problems. For purposes of argument and structure, there are two doctrines—finite or balanced deterrence (Traditionalist) and counterforce (Utopian)—stemming from post-World War II confusion caused by the inability to read properly the lessons of the recently completed conflict." (Lowe, page 26)
    Lowe adds that General Taylor was appointed by JFK as his military advisor.

     As warfare gradually moved from mutual assured destruction (MAD) annihilation by nuclear holocaust to asymmetrical guerrilla ops by stateless and terrorist militias, the term itself gradually took on new meaning. The Pentagon's problems only increased and its battlefield tactics adjusted toward the new threat.  Citing a Robert Powell theory in American Political Science Review from 1991, R. Harrison Wagner outlines premises for deterrence versus first strike;
     "1. A nuclear attack can only occur if some state intentionally orders it. 2. Whenever a state has the option of attacking, it also has the option of trying to submit to its adversary; and if its adversary has not already committed itself to an attack, this attempt to submit will succeed. 3. No state will attack unless it believes that the probability that an attack by the other is inevitable is greater than one-half. 4. It is common knowledge that the first three conditions are satisfied." (Wagner, page 730)
Although not necessarily related to nuclear engagement, the theory holds true for first strike and can be directly related to non-military infrastructure. This was possibly the lessons improperly read mentioned in Lowe, probably Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

     The Iran-Yemen bromance realizes it cannot hope to destabilize the Middle East militarily. It cannot use its limited, though effective, arsenal of weapons to neutralize Saudi Arabian and allied military strength. The solution is to limit its role economically by attacks on its oil facilities. A far more effective method would be to direct drones and cruise missiles at the highly vulnerable targets of peninsula refineries.
     The President of the United States has already revealed the position of the West merely by Tweeting it is "locked and loaded," indicating Tehran anticipates some sort of military action against the Iranian regime, thus its counterforce initiative, the "Second Deterrent Balanced Operation." Obviously, the first operation was to read General Taylor's thesis although it probably refers to the drone strike on the pipelines in May of this year.
     The US drew the same conclusion as before that the first deterrent operation was launched from Iraq, not Yemen, as reported by Coles and Nissenbaum in the WSJ;
     "U.S. officials have concluded that drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry in May were launched from Iraq, not Yemen, raising concerns that Iran’s allies in the region are trying to open a new front in the conflict between Tehran and Washington. " (WSJ)
The first attack came in May and the launch location is still as sketchy as it is for the current attack with no concrete confirmation by US defense apparatus. Al Jazeera attempted to verify the WSJ story;
     "At a weekly news conference on Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi told reporters that US officials had contacted Baghdad recently, alleging the drones may have taken off from Iraq.
The prime minister denied the attacks could have come from Iraqi territory.
'All of our intelligence services and our air force denied these reports because the airspace is known," he said.
'As far as we are concerned, we have no proof and we have no evidence in this matter,' Mahdi added.
He said none of the Iraqi intelligence or military services that monitor its airspace detected any launch.
'There was no movement on that day on this subject,' he said." (Al Jazeera)
     Again, the West attempts to confirm something that is unverifiable by the locals, especially the Iraqis who apparently do have a very good system of tracking. Across the board, most of the articles that pointed to Iraq originated from the WSJ story, which was probably from the usual "officials who chose not to be identified" citing the usual security concerns; in other words fabricated.
    Wagner continues to follow up on what happens next;
     "If an actor postpones its counterforce attack but continues conventional military operations, will it suffer a degradation in its strategic counterforce capabilities? and If an actor decides to stop fighting entirely, can it always do so in time to avoid its adversary's (nuclear) counterforce attack? Somewhat surprisingly, it is the latter question that is important, and not the former." (Wagner, page 731)
     In the meantime, the best thing to do here is to leave the story and see what happens next. Predictions are that there will be even more "balanced deterrent" operations as the Iranians have a keen sense of just how to create significant damage while suffering no consequences. The US will increase economic sanction pressure but that is proving ineffective and will just be a matter of time before that policy draws fire from human rights groups. Political infighting between the White House and Congress has boiled over as staunch defenders of executive policy already  shows some defectors. Just how far the President can go with his "lock and load" deterrent strategy has yet to be tested even as Tehran continues to pull the trigger.

Sources Verified
Taylor, The Gettysburg Times, 01 July 1957, Page 4
General Taylor photo,
Lowe, GE, "Stalking the Antichrist, Xlibris, USA, 2013
Wagner, RH., 
Coles, Nissenbaum,
Launch origin, May drone attack,
Arab Weekly quote,

No comments:

Post a Comment