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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A 'no fly' zone for Tehran

Here's an interesting idea for dealing with Iran's nuclear aspirations: The creation of a 'no-fly zone' over Iran as was done with Iraq from 1991-2003.
A no-fly zone is the legal equivalent of a naval blockade, but it can be used selectively to stop all military flights and all rocket launches. Because all of Iran’s neighbors are now on 15-minute notice against massive missile attacks with an expanding target radius that will soon encompass Europe and the United States, the crucial point is to stop Iran’s missiles from being launched in the first place. If someone is pointing a gun at your heart, make sure they aren’t able to pull the trigger.

The only way to stop a large-scale strategic attack is at the source. Ballistic missiles have to fight gravity on their way into space — they are a big fat target. Even jet planes and cruise missiles have a giant heat signature when they launch. If somebody can’t be stopped from firing a gun at you, you can only strike and take cover. The strategic equivalent today is a fast strike at known nuclear facilities in Iran, plus slamming a heavy lid on any military flights.

A single launch of a plane or rocket should receive instant, overwhelming retaliation. That can be done by using massive radar and satellite coverage over the complex topology of Iran, and with routine overflights by U.S. and allied air patrols.

A no-fly zone is relatively harmless to civilians — Iranian exports and imports could continue by land and sea, and sea shipping could be inspected for WMDs by the U.S. Navy.

If Iran chose to challenge the airspace blockade, its nuclear industry could be knocked down in a matter of weeks. From a threat, the nuclear sites would become a point of high vulnerability. No missile testing could take place, and any effort to commit aggression could be stopped at the source. It is even possible that Iran’s heroic, modernizing Green Movement would feel encouraged to overthrow the regime. Iran’s constant threats to its neighbors would be reduced.

Of course, getting the Obama administration to agree to do this would not be easy.


At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is essentially a violation of a country's sovereignty and therefore an act of war, no matter how you slice it.

So, if war is inevitable, the military experts have to decide if the best way to begin the battle is simply by controlling Iran's airspace.

I don't think any of us simpletons are qualified on our own to make such an assessment.

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The no fly zone in Iraq was designed to prevent saddem from attacking the Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south. If the u.s. Et al take any type military op against Iran it should be a total military engagement not a limited one. With an objective of an unconditional surrender of all the mullahs. Not a limited war but a total war against Iran and it's proxies.


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