Usually the prelude to a war is the drumming up of national spirit by those in charge. This happened before the Iraq war, and even (by the bad guys) in the run-up to World War II.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has recently given out a lot of information that is usually considered to be classified. Panetta has said that there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June. He has said that Iran will have the materials to build a nuclear bomb in one year, and the means to deliver that bomb two years after that.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak may have signaled the prospect of an Israeli attack soon when he asked last month to postpone a planned U.S.-Israel military exercise in May. Barak apologized that Israel couldn’t devote the resources to the annual exercise this spring-they may be needed elsewhere
President Obama and Panetta, playing good cops, have cautioned the Israelis that the United States opposes an attack, believing that it would derail an increasingly successful international economic sanctions program and other non-military efforts to stop Iran from crossing the threshold.
A war could benefit Obama as voters are reluctant to change Presidents during a war.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration is conducting intense discussions about what effects an attack on Iran.
Would Iran target U.S. ships in the region or try to close the Strait of Hormuz? Would Iran launch a conventional missile attack on Israel? Finally, what effect would the war with Iran which would case a huge spike in oil prices have on the fragile global economy.
It is more than likely that Iran would strike back, and, if they do, here is what will happen:
First off, there would not only be a “huge spike” in oil prices—much more importantly there would be huge reduction on the amount of oil available to industrial nations.
For starters, Iran could block the Strait of Hormuz, This was confirmed by Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey said recently on Face the Nation, “They’ve invested in capabilities that could, in fact, for a period of time block the Strait of Hormuz.” That would have only a short-term effect as General Dempsey also said, the U.S. “would take action and reopen” the waterway.
The greater danger comes from the fact that it would be very easy for Iran to destroy Saudi Arabia’s oil fields. This would create an oil shortage would last for years. Iran does not yet have a nuclear bomb, but they enough conventional missiles to destroy the oilfields of Saudi Arabia. Iran also has enough radioactive material with which they could contaminate the Saudi oil fields—for years to come.
The Gulf countries (Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) produce nearly 30% of the world’s oil, while holding 57% of the world’s crude oil reserves. Besides oil, the Persian Gulf region also has 45% of the world’s total proven gas reserves.
A major portion of the oil that is shipped through the Strait of Hormuz goes eastwards to Asia (especially Japan, China, and India).
A lack of oil would cause a severe world wide depression and social dislocation (today’s polite term for riots and revolution).
Perhaps Hollywood director James Cameron’s decision to leave America and move his entire family to a farm in New Zealand is more than providing his kids with a “strong work ethic.” There are others of the elite 1% of Americans who are doing the same.
There is an old Italian saying, “non tutti mali vengono per nuocere”—not all bad things come to hurt you.
Maybe some good will come of a war with Iran.
Lack of oil would be especially hard on China which lacks any reserves of its own. China would suffer the most, and most of its manufacturing capability would be gone. Factories would shut down in China and throughout Asia.
This could be good as it would cause manufacturing and jobs to return to the United States.
Maybe we are not just declaring war on Iran…
Maybe we are declaring a more important war—a war on China.