Iran's plan for US invasion
Iran, apparently anticipating an American invasion, has quietly been restructuring its military and testing a new military doctrine that calls for a decentralized, Iraqi-style guerrilla campaign against an invading force.It sounds like a strategy for defeat. No rational country plans to lose and then fight with a raiding strategy, because the US can then easily overthrow the government and keep it out of power with out occupation. It does sound like Iran is more realistic about their prospects in a fight with the US than many of the US commentators who have been building Iran up over the last year in hopes of frightening the US out of a confrontation. In fact, Iran is as weak or weaker than Iraq who they fought to a stand still in the 80's by marching young men over the mine fields to clear the way for attacks by follow on troops. That same Iraqi Army that stopped the Iranians for years was defeated twice by the US and coalition partners in short order each time. Another problem with Iran's strategy is that all of Iran's military assets would be destroyed quickly and she would be left to fight with little more than light infantry and little hope for a sanctuary state to manufacture IED's in.
Iran's military planners are acutely aware that a military confrontation with technologically more advanced U.S. armed forces would be rapid and multifronted, unlike the static and slow-paced 1980-88 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
Therefore, a series of war games have been carried out since late last year to test the army's readiness.
In December, more than 15,000 members of the regular armed forces participated in an exercise in northwestern Iran's strategically sensitive Azerbaijan border provinces that focused on irregular warfare carried out by highly mobile army units, according to the official MENA news agency.
A second exercise was conducted in the majority-Arab province of Khuzestan in September, according to the Iranian press, aimed at quelling insurgencies in areas subject to ethnic unrest and prone to foreign influence.
Involving a reported 100,000 troops, the exercise provided an example of how the Islamic Republic would respond to further disturbances in the strategic, oil-rich province that has been the scene of a year-old terrorist bombing campaign.
Iranian officials, including the interior and the intelligence ministers, as well as several religious leaders, have repeatedly blamed the disturbances on British forces occupying nearby southern Iraq.
At the same time, a European military attache in Tehran told The Washington Times that the Revolutionary Guard is moving away from a joint command with the ordinary army and taking a more prominent role in controlling Iran's often porous borders, even as it makes each of Iran's border provinces autonomous in the event of war.
Iranian war planners expect that the first step taken by an invading force would be to occupy the oil-rich Khuzestan region, secure the sensitive Strait of Hormuz and cut off the Iranian military's oil supply.
Foreign diplomats who monitor Iran's army say that Iran's leadership has acknowledged it stands little chance of defeating U.S. armed forces with conventional military doctrine.
The shift in focus to guerrilla warfare against an occupying army in the aftermath of a successful invasion mirrors developments in Iraq, where a triumphant U.S. military campaign has been followed by three years of slow, indecisive struggle with insurgent and terrorist forces.