Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
The Military United States Politics Technology

Tensions Over Hormuz Raise Ugly Possibilities For War 969

Hugh Pickens writes "The high stakes standoff between Iran and the U.S. over the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for one-fifth of the world's oil, escalated this week as Iran's navy claimed to have recorded video of a U.S. aircraft carrier entering the Port of Oman and the deputy chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Hossein Salami rejected U.S. claims that it could prevent Iran from closing the strait. To drive the point home, Iran has started a 10-day naval exercise in the Persian Gulf to show off how it could use small speedboats and a barrage of missiles to combat America's naval armada while in a report for the Naval War College, U.S. Navy Commander Daniel Dolan wrote that Iran has acquired 'thousands of sea mines, wake homing torpedoes, hundreds of advanced cruise missiles (PDF) and possibly more than one thousand small Fast Attack Craft and Fast Inshore Attack Craft.'" (Read more, below.)
Hugh Pickens continues: "The heart of the Iran's arsenal is its 200 small potential-suicide boats — fiberglass motorboats with a heavy machine gun, a multiple rocket-launcher, or a mine — and may also carry heavy explosives, rigged to ram and blow a hole in the hull of a larger ship. These boats will likely employ a strategy of 'swarming' — coming out of nowhere to ambush merchant convoys and American warships in narrow shipping lanes. But the U.S. Navy is not defenseless against kamikaze warfare. The U.S. has put more machine guns and 25-millimeter gyro-stabilized guns on the decks of warships, modified the 5-inch gun to make it more capable of dealing with high-speed boats, and improved the sensor suite of the Aegis computer-integrated combat system aboard destroyers and cruisers. 'We have been preparing for it for a number of years with changes in training and equipment,' says Vice Admiral (ret.) Kevin Cosgriff, former commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Tensions Over Hormuz Raise Ugly Possibilities For War

Comments Filter:
  • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:46AM (#38547440) Journal
    Their primary naval weapon is a missile that can get into ballistic mode before a ship's countermeasure can intercept it. From what I read, the strategy behing "suicide boats" is not the kamikaze strategy of crashing a boat inside an aircraft carrier but rather to be used as the launchpoint of a single anti-ship missile. The launching boat will be easy to sink, but very cheap to replace. If two or three of these boats can sink one large US ship, that is a net win for Iran.

    You can't escape a missile with a ship, and no 100% efficient counter-measure exist yet. If Iran strikes first, no big US ship should expect to survive the first wave.
  • by errandum ( 2014454 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:49AM (#38547456)

    Gee, I dunno, maybe because there are dozens of dictators, generally dangerous countries and places that really needed some help getting their revolution groove on...

    But the US only seem to find a reason to get into armed conflict when there is oil involved. They don't literally steal, they just help you "conquer" your country back and then "request" "payment".

    I know I'm going to get the flamebait mod, but this is actually the general opinion of the rest of the world about most of US wars.

  • by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:51AM (#38547468) Homepage Journal

    Iran unlikely to block oil shipments through Strait of Hormuz, analysts say. [washingtonpost.com]
    From the linked article: And Iran — which has enjoyed record oil profits over the past five years but is faced with a dwindling number of oil customers — relies on the Hormuz Strait as the departure gate for its biggest client: China.

    “We would be committing economical suicide by closing off the Hormuz Strait,” said an Iranian Oil Ministry official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. “Oil money is our only income, so we would be spectacularly shooting ourselves in the foot by doing that.”

    Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani, a political scientist running for parliament from the camp of hard-line clerics and commanders opposing Ahmadinejad, said it is “good politics” for Iran to respond to U.S. threats with threats of its own.

    “But our threat will not be realized,” Ardestani said. “We are just responding to the U.S., nothing more.”

  • by adamchou ( 993073 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:51AM (#38547472)
    Malcolm Gladwell touches about a similar situation in his book Blink. He talks about the largest ever war exercise called the Millennium Challenge [wikipedia.org]. In short, the US hired a badass ex-Marine named Paul Van Riper [wikipedia.org] to command the OPFOR. This guy wrecked havoc on the US Navy by using speed boats and cruise missiles. It was so bad, the US had to stop the exercise, refloat their boats, changed the rules of engagement, then did the exercise ever again. Of course, the blue force won the second time and they claimed a huge success.
  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @09:59AM (#38547528)
    I imagine that is the plan. Iran couldn't win an actual war, and their leadership are smart enough to know that. But they also know that the US doesn't *want* a war right now. The public are already sick war. So they have a good chance at intimidating the US into backing down to avoid a politically-embarassing conflict.
  • by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:04AM (#38547544)

    Take a look at a map. The UAE or Omar could build a sea level canal right through the peninsula . Heck the UAE is pretty good at earth moving. They could use the extra dirt to build even more islands.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:08AM (#38547570)

    Their primary naval weapon is . . .

    Iran: "Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Ayatollah .... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise...."

    Actually, if Iran has an unlimited supply of boats and suicide-minded crews, the only way to stop them will be to bomb their bases of operation. In other words, carpet bombing Iran's coast: naval bases, fishing villages, women and children . . .

    This was not an option on the table, when dealing with the Somali pirates.

    This would be ugly, but war is an ugly business . . . and oil is thicker than blood.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:10AM (#38547588)

    The worst thing that could happen to Iran is that they could sink a few US ships.

    The US would lose face internationally then and would be required to grind Iran into the dust.

    What is so frustrating about the Iranians is how bad they are at dealing with ANYONE else. They're the worst diplomats. No one likes them.

    If they go toe to toe with the US over the straight they'll have no backers. The chinese need that straight open. They have a strong interest in free trade. Europeans are finally on board. The Russians are not going to be the outsider if the US, China, and EU are largely in agreement. And there's the Arabs that are also scared that Iran is going to start threatening them with nukes.

    So... no friends.

    The US almost WANTS iran to attack it just for the justification. But the absolute worst thing Iran could do is sink some US ships. Because they're only going to be able to do that ONCE. The US would never get close enough to let that happen again. And because the US is going to keep going through that straight it would mean Iran either demilitarizes the straight or the US demilitarizes it for them at range.

  • by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:36AM (#38547754) Homepage Journal

    I don't think all the Iranian leaders are as crazy as they make out. I think they portray that face to ensure they maintain their power and affluence. I could be wrong.

    That said, if they are really well and truly nuts, I'm still not worried about a fleet of speed boats- it's the nukes that will be a problem.

    As for the pro-Iran sentiment on the board - I'd rack 90% of that up to trolls and another 10% to anti-US sentiment that is rather in vogue in quite a number of circles. I'm rather cynical when it comes to international politics and I don't really see the US government as any worse or any better than another. So I don't hate them and want to see them go down but I'm not blindly supporting whatever they do either.

    I was in the US Navy though - and the people who think that this would be a huge problem for them are very ill informed and/or naive.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:36AM (#38547760) Homepage

    You just never know how these things will unfold. Lots of posturing and a bit of "chicken." Iran, I believe, has more of a Navy than the article is letting on. But as a former US sailor myself, I can say it would not take much doing to coordinate some drones and install some extra CIWZ mounted around their ships and you will have a pretty fair defense against suicide speed boats. They wouldn't be able to get within 1000 yards... (2000 yard range)

    I worked in OPS in a carrier group. We had the radar and sonar systems linked as a net to create a very large picture of everything in the area above, below and at sea level with every form of projectile defense capable of using that data to hit any target at any speed with pants-pissing accuracy.

    "What about the Cole?" you ask? Well, at the time, people were worried about whether or not it was another green peace boat trying to spray paint on the hull again and they likely had a fire hose ready to spray them off at the time not expecting what really happened. You can bet that mistake will not happen again. The world has been warned that the US will not allow unknown, unannounced small craft anywhere near a US navy military vessel.

    What's more, with today's level of target tracking, incidents like the Stark are unimaginable. That's not to say that some US targets won't take damage... they might... mines are still a threat... a minor threat really. The US ships don't have to be close to be deadly and putting mines into international waters? I don't think so. And we don't need to send landing craft in to invade.

    Iran would be foolish to play too much chicken with the trigger-happy US military... a fight with the US would just "create more jobs" in the US bringing support for a war pretty quickly.

  • by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:42AM (#38547794)

    "Stolen" is a confrontational term, but put it this way: if China backed an armed revolution inside the US which successfully overthrew the government and installed a military dictatorship, and then contracts were signed that gave Chinese corporations access and control over the natural resources of the US, would you consider this to be okay? Or would you consider that, somehow, the natural resources were being "stolen"?

    There are many references claiming that this has happened, see war is a racket [wikipedia.org], the war on democracy [google.com] etc. There was even an honest politician from one country who was vilified because he stated straight up that they were part of the Iraq coalition in exchange for corporate access to oil.

  • Hormuz not necessary (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stomv ( 80392 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:52AM (#38547874) Homepage

    It's the cheapest route, but it really isn't as necessary as Iran would have you believe. There's enough surplus pipeline capacity through Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, even Israel to offset about half of the closure [although admittedly not all of that capacity is ready to go immediately, as some of it has been mothballed]. That means world oil supply is reduced by 10% in the near term. A supply shock? Sure. However, the combination of fuel switching for electricity generation and oil already being stored elsewhere, plus the potential increase in production elsewhere (OPEC and otherwise) to grab extra profits suggests this isn't going to be terribly disruptive, and certainly not something worth going to war over.

    In the mean time, it's worth noting that a sudden increase in petrol-energy-efficiency could shave off that last 10% in just a few years. Help avoid war: ride a bicycle | ride a bus | ride a subway | walk | telecommute | carpool.

  • Two things. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by orphiuchus ( 1146483 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:58AM (#38547932)

    First: This wouldn't be a war like Afghanistan or Iraq, because the US would most likely only be concerned with destroying the Iranian military and forcing them out of the strait of Hormuz. This would be largely an air war, and the US would likely suffer very few casualties as a result. We could destroy their navy, inflict massive military casualties, and cripple their ability to project force into the strait without more than a few boots on the ground, and most likely this is how it would go.

    Second: None of that matters, because Iran does not gain from a war with the US. It would be an absolute disaster for their people and it would likely force their government out of power. The reason that they're doing this is because Ahmadinejad needs a scapegoat in order to keep his popularity up, and calling out the US and Israel at every opportunity is a lot easier than dealing with real issues. Hes been doing it for years, the only reason hes making more noise now is because his popularity is dwindling.

  • Because Bush (Score:5, Interesting)

    by publiclurker ( 952615 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @10:59AM (#38547940)
    never put his failed excuse of a war onto the budget, so taxes were not raised for it. I personally think we should add an amendment to the constitution that every military excursion outside of the USA must be paid for with an immediate tax surcharge of all people and businesses, based on gross income. That would definitely clip the wings of most of the chickenhawks out there.
  • by datavirtue ( 1104259 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:12AM (#38548052)

    Sanctions don't kill people, people kill people. Really though, sanctions end up starving people who would have otherwise provided for themselves. Additionally, I don't like the government telling me who I can do business with, especially now that the economy is increasingly dependent on global trade.

  • Re:Owwww (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ihmhi ( 1206036 ) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:29AM (#38548176)

    Actually, this has the American military very worried [nytimes.com]. In the Millenium Challenge 2002 [wikipedia.org], Red used exactly this tactic and wiped the floor with us in a wargame - 20,000 (virtual) service personnel dead. The military basically said "NUH UH! DO OVER DO OVER!" and restarted the exercise with new rules that would have made such tactics impossible. The leader of OPFOR (retired Marine Corps. Lt. General Paul K. Von Riper) resigned his position as commander of OPFOR in protest.

    Then, of course, there was the Trillion Credit Challenge [newyorker.com] (start at the bolded "I"):

    In 1981, a computer scientist from Stanford University named Doug Lenat entered the Traveller Trillion Credit Squadron tournament, in San Mateo, California. It was a war game. The contestants had been given several volumes of rules, well beforehand, and had been asked to design their own fleet of warships with a mythical budget of a trillion dollars. The fleets then squared off against one another in the course of a weekend. “Imagine this enormous auditorium area with tables, and at each table people are paired off,” Lenat said. “The winners go on and advance. The losers get eliminated, and the field gets smaller and smaller, and the audience gets larger and larger.”

    Lenat had developed an artificial-intelligence program that he called Eurisko, and he decided to feed his program the rules of the tournament. Lenat did not give Eurisko any advice or steer the program in any particular strategic direction. He was not a war-gamer. He simply let Eurisko figure things out for itself. For about a month, for ten hours every night on a hundred computers at Xerox PARC, in Palo Alto, Eurisko ground away at the problem, until it came out with an answer. Most teams fielded some version of a traditional naval fleet—an array of ships of various sizes, each well defended against enemy attack. Eurisko thought differently. “The program came up with a strategy of spending the trillion on an astronomical number of small ships like P.T. boats, with powerful weapons but absolutely no defense and no mobility,” Lenat said. “They just sat there. Basically, if they were hit once they would sink. And what happened is that the enemy would take its shots, and every one of those shots would sink our ships. But it didn’t matter, because we had so many.” Lenat won the tournament in a runaway.

    The next year, Lenat entered once more, only this time the rules had changed. Fleets could no longer just sit there. Now one of the criteria of success in battle was fleet “agility.” Eurisko went back to work. “What Eurisko did was say that if any of our ships got damaged it would sink itself—and that would raise fleet agility back up again,” Lenat said. Eurisko won again.

    Eurisko was an underdog. The other gamers were people steeped in military strategy and history. They were the sort who could tell you how Wellington had outfoxed Napoleon at Waterloo, or what exactly happened at Antietam. They had been raised on Dungeons and Dragons. They were insiders. Eurisko, on the other hand, knew nothing but the rule book. It had no common sense. As Lenat points out, a human being understands the meaning of the sentences “Johnny robbed a bank. He is now serving twenty years in prison,” but Eurisko could not, because as a computer it was perfectly literal; it could not fill in the missing step—“Johnny was caught, tried, and convicted.” Eurisko was an outsider. But it was precisely that outsiderness that led to Eurisko’s victory: not knowing the conventions of the game turned out to be an advantage.

    “Eurisko was exposing the fact that any finite set of rules is going to be a very incomplete approximation o

  • by khipu ( 2511498 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:29AM (#38548184)

    For a start, read about how our CIA led a coup to overthrow an elected leader who wanted more profits from the oil companies to go to the people. It was called Operation Ajax

    Indeed. And where did those profits go? Great Britain. The CIA acted on behalf of Great Britain, because Great Britain asserted that this was necessary to keep communism out of Europe. Great Britain at the time was, of course, busy oppressing other nations and colonies.

    In Saudi Arabia we support an oppressive *monarchy* (i.e., NOT a democracy), apparently because we like their oil.

    That's almost right: we support an oppressive monarchy in Saudi Arabia because we like their oil to be available to the world economy; 80% of Saudi Arabia's oil exports go to Europe and Asia, after all.

    Now, what do you suggest we do instead? Embargo Saudi Arabia? Invade Saudi Arabia? Subvert the Saudi government? It's not like the US has a choice between a democracy and a monarchy in Saudi Arabia, it has a choice between a monarchy and something even worse.

  • by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:34AM (#38548216) Homepage Journal

    The main problem seems to be Ahmadinejad. His own superiors seem to be eternally irritated at him. The people know that their economic lives have been ruined by him (though he maintains his power base by kowtowing to the poorest through price controls). The only reason he hasn't been removed is that it would invalidate his "election" and make Iran look even less democratic than it does already.

    Khamenei is not Khomeini; the latter never would have stood for the antics of Ahmadinejad, even if their goal of a nuclear-armed Iran was the same. He would have put in a better-behaved puppet. Iranian politics are more complex than we sometimes like to think, and that makes Iran less predictable and therefore more dangerous.

  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:37AM (#38548246) Homepage Journal

    I understand what you're saying, very well. And, decades ago, I would have had to plead "guilty".

    I haven't been guilty since I walked out in the streets of an African town, and looked real poverty in the face. Real poverty, that few Americans understand. I outgrew a lot of ignorance on Africa's east coast.

  • by lexsird ( 1208192 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @11:39AM (#38548254)

    It's almost here. 2012 and I feel this year, sans any end of the world scenario playing out, it's going to be one of the most exciting years in recent history. Strap in folks, it's going to be a wild ride.

    Isn't one aircraft carrier group the equivalent to any 3rd world country in military power?

    Oh well, it's not Iran that concerns me, it's China. Iran and China are classic bed buddies. Didn't China load up Iran on Silkworm missiles that can smoke our jets out of the air? Interesting enough though, China has switched into a Capitalistic mode and both us and them are locked in some grim fandango of economics. Will they back our play or Iran's is the question of the day.

    China should, if they were smart, disarm all of their little buddies around them, leaving the US with no excuse to continue it's military spending. Then it all goes to Wal-Mart and then into their pockets, thus defeating the US at Capitalism. Oh the irony!

    If we follow this hypothesis, we will not hear China say a peep when we decide to obliterate the Iranian military. Yes, we can do it. People forget how quickly we rolled in on Iraq. We were completely awesome about it. We are like that, we win wars, but lose the peace. The 10 years that followed overshadowed that stunning victory.

    What we are looking at here from Iran I think is just more of their ballsy sabre rattling. Their people have discovered they can posture, bluster and sabre rattle thus putting up quite a show for the "rube Westerners." When this happens, we tend to just throw money at them and tell them to shut up. It's the classic "the mouse that roared" situation.

    Iran is proving to be a bit retarded though it seems. The American war machine is facing being geared down. The war machine hates this and wants to keep munching on someone's ass. It gets fed well, gets to sleep in a warm bed at night and on the weekends it goes out partying. It really wants Iran to give it an excuse to chew them up into little bitty bits. If Iran doesn't think it's capable, then Iran is smoking some really good weed, and should share it with the rest of the world instead of just its oil.

    Can't you imagine them dancing around with each other in glee, like the merry wee people in some film, down at the Pentagon? "Wooohoo!" They all cried in chorus. "The Iranians are going to give us a war!" There is a band with lutes and flutes in the corner, a bag pipe as well. From somewhere a big wooden keg of ale appears, and serving wenches carrying frothing mugs, bustle about. They end it all with a crescendo, singing like a choir "Oh Happy Day."

    Then they all run off to their offices to pour over their list of war toys they want to play with. They have had a decade of a big trough of money to buy oodles of war toys, but nobody to play with. Fist fights break out at the water coolers as arguments over who gets to blow up the Iranians with what toy happen.

    Hey Iran, posturing around the US during one of their crazy election years is seriously jumping the shark. Hilary will be on the phone soon to tell you what a collective bunch of retards you are, and you are going to have to take it. She's a woman. How do you like dealing with our female Secretary of State? Don't you love having a WOMAN come spell it out for you what you are going to do or else get crushed? Yeah, we did that on purpose. Think about it.

    But then again, they might be a bit turned on by it.

  • by demachina ( 71715 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:02PM (#38548414)

    Actually there is a pipeline being built through the United Arab Emirates which is on the south side of the straight, with something like 2 million barrells/day capacity, which would lessen dependence on the straight.

    Though I think Iran is threatening to attack the pipeline too if their oil is embargoed and they decide to close the straight.

    Most people don't remember but the U.S., Britain and the Dutch embargoing oil going to Japan was the reason Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, it was neither a a surprise nor a sneak attack. FDR wanted Japan to attack the U.S. so he could overcome resistence from isolationists and enter World War II against Germany.

  • by The Snowman ( 116231 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:02PM (#38548422)

    Furthermore, we have reasons and justification for going to war with Iran.

    Justification for obliterating a country on the opposite side of the planet? The Constitution doesn't say anything authorizing that. Part of the reason the United States exists is because our leaders at the time were fed up with the British government for several reasons. This includes imperialism and the fact that the British empire had its nose in too many places, including the colonies.

    I think unless we have a country invading or attacking U.S. soil, we need to avoid war at all costs. Japan bombing Pearl Harbor? By all means, fight back, and take the fight to their allies (Germany, Italy) once we wrap up the Pacific theater. Specious arguments about a madman in Iraq allegedly having WMDs? Who cares? Not our problem. In that case, we didn't even declare war, but we should have. Congress alone has that authority, but ever since WW2, has been too eager to pass resolutions saying "the President can attack this other country, but we don't want to declare war and look like douchebags."

  • Re:Because Bush (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Stan92057 ( 737634 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:30PM (#38548638)
    Ida like to see all our weapons of war made at cost. And i dont mean they work for free or get free materials. No one should profit from wars of any kind. And bombs that are made to kill shouldn't bring profit to anyone.
  • by khipu ( 2511498 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:45PM (#38548742)

    That's where everyone should stop reading this drivel. Oh, FYI Jews have nukes. Pakistan has nukes.

    So? Because little Johnny has nuclear weapons, little Jack has a right to have them too? This isn't about rights, it's about threats.

    The fact that Israel has nuclear weapons isn't a threat to the US or US allies. Hence, it doesn't concern us much. Given Iran's stated policies, Iranian nuclear weapons are a threat to the US and US allies.

  • by demachina ( 71715 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @01:09PM (#38548976)

    There is no disputing that the oil embargo was imposed in an attempt to slow the Japanese occupation and war in China, which was certainly brutal.

    But, it would have been incredibly naive for the U.S. to think that Japan wouldn't retaliate for the oil embargo. Without the oil supply from the U.S., Dutch and British East Indies(no Indonesia) Japan's economy and military was crippled. It was inevitable Japan would seize the Dutch and British East Indies to restore their oil supply. That would inevitably lead to war with the British and U.S. So to protect their oil supply they had to completely remove the British and U.S. from a large buffer around their oil fields and shipping lanes which is exactly what they did in the opening weaks of the war. The U.S. Pacific fleet was the one obstacle to Japan's seizing and holding the East Indies oil fields and shipping the oil to Japan. Everyone knew it so its no surprise the U.S. attacked it first thing. It was also no accident the U.S. carriers weren't at Pearl Harbor because they were priceless, while the battleships were expendable since they were nearly useless with the advent of aircraft carriers.

    So FDR and the U.S. military knew war was inevitable with Japan the day the embargo was imposed. Claiming the attack on Pearl Harbor was a "surprise" was pure propaganda for the consumption of the American people. It was designed to whip American's in to frenzy of support for war against both Germany and Japan. It worked really well.

    I'm not even really being critical of it, Pearl Harbor was a propaganda masterpiece by the Roosevelt administration, in fact I am almost admiring its genius.

  • by gary_7vn ( 1193821 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @01:22PM (#38549074) Homepage
    Sunburn. This weapon has a top speed of Mach 3,[1][2] and is considered one of the most lethal anti-ship missiles in the world.[3] The high speed of the missile means a typical response time for the target of only 25 to 30 seconds, giving a target little time to react. Moskit can be armed with a warhead of 320 kg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS-N-22 [wikipedia.org] A Sunburn can destroy a carrier. See also, Mosqit and Silkworm. Hypersonic missile threat 'Carrier killers' could destroy U.S. Navy's supremacy at sea' "...there is presently no reliable defence against the much faster next generation of anti-ship missiles. These weapons are designed to travel at hypersonic speeds -- greater than Mach 5, or 6,100 km/h -- and therefore present a much more lethal threat." http://bit.ly/sUAeVi [bit.ly] "Cosmetic damage", fuck off.
  • Re:Because Bush (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Monkey-Man2000 ( 603495 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @02:31PM (#38549700)

    Ida like to see all our weapons of war made at cost. And i dont mean they work for free or get free materials. No one should profit from wars of any kind. And bombs that are made to kill shouldn't bring profit to anyone.

    But you're talking..wait for it...SOCIALISM! Neocons would go nuts; how would Cheney's Haliburton buddies ever make money off our wars like that? However, I strongly agree with you.

  • by sgt_doom ( 655561 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @02:34PM (#38549736)
    The USA has been violating Iranian airspace for quite a number of years now, and illegally threatening war (under international law, yet laws and treaties America continues to routinely break) any number of times, and let's not forget that Stuxnet virus unleashed with American cooperation, etc. Iran began developing its nuclear industry from the illegal consulting advice form CEO Dick Cheney-led Halliburton (Iran was under saction and illegal for Halliburton to involve themselves with both studies and materiel to Iran) because radium is the second resource after oil. America will continue their forever wars to continue to enrich the plutocracy, all excuses to the contrary.
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @05:55PM (#38551504)

    Ruinous bombardment would be an option if we would quit with the "hearts and minds" nation building philosophy and get back to the basics of total warfare that has worked since the Roman era. Do what we say or we will destroy your cities, kill your people, sow your fields with salt and bring an end to your civilization as you know it. It worked in Carthage, it worked in Gaul, it worked in Germany and Japan.

    And it would be effective. In a few short days the US could make electricity, clean water and sewage treatment a distant memory for the majority of urban Iranians. What little fuel refining capacity they have could be destroyed and exposed stockpiles destroyed. Ports and harbors wrecked, airfields unusable. And that's just getting warmed up and fairly tightly targeted.

    At that point we could get into the kind of spirit-crushing air power that makes the Blitz look like a mild thunderstorm, like indiscriminate carpet bombing of civilian areas. Did someone say firebombing? Hit a couple of second-tier cities early so that word gets around -- nothing makes the evening news more riveting for residents of Tehran than watching a firestorm consume Shiraz and wondering when it can be their turn to roast.

    After six months of this, the Iranian people will have totally lost their will to fight and instead will be completely absorbed with wondering who will be next to die of cholera in whatever bombed-out ruin they and the other survivors have managed to huddle in.

    This is how you defeat your enemy and make him surrender.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.