Since 2021, there has been a war simmering between the United States and Iran. The US began seizing – via court-based “arrest” orders – ships carrying cargo (mostly oil) –out of Iran, to various nations that the United States has under economic sanction. The nations under US sanctions, such as Venezuela, have no real method to respond to the United States.
Iran, however, is a different matter.
Iran has begun seizing ships in the Persian Gulf by force, and in earnest, in response to the actions by the United States; the number is now up to twenty vessels. Additionally, some firms in the United States have begun to refuse to unload ships seized with Iranian cargo, fearing Iran seizing their vessels in retaliation.
Because of the clear threat presented to the “freedom of the seas”, the United is now responding to Iran by reinforcing its forces in the Persian Gulf with additional destroyers…and a few thousand US Marines.
While the first inclination of many will be to recall that the United States severely damaged the Iranian Navy in 1988’s Operation Praying Mantis – launched in response to an Iranian naval mine severely damaging the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) – that was some thirty-five years ago.
Iran’s naval capability – while still no match for the US Navy in a direct fight – has significantly improved since their defeat, very likely enough to cause serious damage to United States forces in the process. Such a defeat, were it to happen, would almost certainly spark hysterical screams from within Washington, DC, demanding an all-out invasion.
This is certainly not a whimsical or marginal threat. There has been a long-standing resistance within the Washington establishment to any rational negotiations with Iran; indeed, this escalated after then-President Donald Trump called off a disproportionate attack in response to Iran shooting down an unmanned US surveillance drone in 2019. In fact, hysterical calls for war with Iran have been a steady feature of US rhetoric for over a decade.
While the reasons for this hysterical behavior by long-serving chickenhawks in the Washington Swamp are unclear, they are nonetheless real. And with the weak, disconnected and floundering administration currently in place in the Swamp, wallowing in failures both domestic and foreign, highly irrational decisions are a serious possibility.
Iran is not Iraq. An irrational and ill-advised war against the current iteration of Ancient Persia – no matter how technically weak it may appear – would be an absolute disaster for the United States in the immediate sense, but also for the wider world, as the impact on the global trade system would not simply be catastrophic, but could swiftly escalate out of control.
For far too long, the people of the United States have bought into the mythology of “American Invincibility”. While this belief was justifiable until about 2010, it is no longer the case. The US Navy currently fields less than 300 vessels; all of the armed services except the Marine Corps have admitted that they expect to fall short of their recruitment targets by at least 20%, if not more. As the Biden administration openly admitted less than two weeks before this writing, US industry has not been able to step up the production of basic artillery ammunition to meet the needs of the administration’s support to Ukraine.
There is nothing left for the United States’ potential need for combat operations, should that happen.
And there are painfully few options available, if any still exist at all. Despite some twenty-odd years of near-continuous combat, neither US industry nor the wider population have been mobilized for the possibility of a major war…or wars. In 1941, as the forces of Imperial Japan were attacking Pearl Harbor, the United States had been girding for war for nearly two full years, mobilizing a “command economy” to increase the production of war materiel to support Great Britain in its war against Hitler’s Germany, and instituting the first peacetime military draft in the country’s history, giving all of the armed services of the day time to bring in and train troops in readiness for war.
None of that has been happening in the last 20+ years. And the cold reality is that it is likely not possible, without twenty years, minimum, of corrective measures: Thirty years of globalism’s industrial and business realities have removed the bulk of heavy industrial manufacturing from within the borders of the United States. Likewise, there is virtually no chance of the Draft being reactivated; while it is certainly still on the books as a legal option, the social policies instituted, promoted and encouraged by the Democrat Party in the last fifteen years have poisoned the recruiting well for the military, encouraging the armed service’s core demographics to pointedly not step forward to enlist. Basic training has been eroded to the point where the vast majority of troops with under ten years service are not psychologically prepared for combat at any level.
And yet – the chickenhawks of the Swamp persist, thinking that their actions to please their vote base have had no impact on military readiness – despite facts to the contrary – because they are so disconnected from the real world…
…Now, if the issue were simply Iran and a shortfall for materiel’s shipments to Ukraine, this might not be that large of a problem. A problem, certainly, but not a critical one.
However, as many chickenhawk cheerleaders crow over the recent attack on the Kerch Bridge over the Sea of Azov, Russia’s response was swift and decisive: Russia has abandoned the deal it agreed to previously, which allows the export of Ukrainian grain crops to supply the world’s food needs.
Russia is now actively targeting the port city of Odessa with long-range missile strikes, and is laying naval mines to close off Ukraine’s remaining coastal regions. Moscow has also hinted at the possibility that it will attack commercial vessels attempting to reach Ukraine.
The real danger in this series of moves lies far to the south, where Egypt is critically dependent upon Ukrainian wheat to feed its population. In the face of this loss, Egypt – already struggling with massive unemployment and the irrational and childish dismissal of its concerns over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dame (GERD) project by the government in Addis Ababa.
This is important, because if Egypt lashes out against Ethiopia in desperation – using an air force largely reequipped by the US – it could easily spark a much wider war, a war that could easily result in the closing of the Suez Canal…an act that, as was demonstrated by the grounding of a single container ship in 2021 for less than a week, would up-end the world trade system.
Which loops us back to Iran.
If the United States tilts that windmill, it will destroy the International North–South Transport Corridor, the decade-old project by Russia, China, Turkey, India and Iran to build a trade corridor designed to drastically shorten the transit of commercial cargo, bypassing the Suez Canal entirely.
This is a hair-trigger environment that is capable of sparking World War 3. This is not hyperbole, in any way.
It is solely the construct of the Swamp – a body that imagines itself as completely immune to anyone it deems “lesser”…which term includes you and I.
Let that sink in.