In the past few days, I received an Israeli briefing document outlining Israelís war plans against Iran. The document was passed to me by a high-level Israeli source who received it from an IDF officer.
My source, in fact, wrote to me that normally he would not leak this sort of document, but:
The reason they leaked it is to expose the arguments and plans advanced by the Bibi-Barak two-headed warrior.
Neither the IDF leaker, my source, nor virtually any senior military or intelligence officer wants this war. While whoever wrote this briefing paper had use of IDF and intelligence data, I donít believe the IDF wrote it. It feels more likely it came from the shop of national security advisor Yaakov Amidror, a former general, settler true-believer and Bibi confidant. It could also have been produced by Defense Minister Barak, another pro-war booster.
Iíve translated the document from Hebrew with the help of Dena Shunra.
Before laying out the document, I wanted to place it in context.
If youíve been reading this blog youíll know that after Bibiís IDF service he became the marketing director for a furniture company.
Recent revelations have suggested that he may have also served in some capacity either formally or informally in the Mossad during that period.
This document is a more sophisticated version of selling bedroom sets and three-piece sectionals. The only difference is that this marketing effort could lead to the death of thousands.
This is Bibiís sales pitch for war. Its purpose is to be used in meetings with members of the Shminiya , the eight-member security cabinet which currently finds a 4-3 majority opposed to an Iran strike. Bibi uses this sales pitch to persuade the recalcitrant ministers of the cool, clean, refreshing taste of war. My source informs me that it has also been shared in confidence with selected journalists who are in the trusted inner media circle (who, oh who, might they be?).
This is Shock and Awe, Israel-style. It is Bibiís effort to persuade high-level Israeli officials that Israel can prosecute a pure technology war that involves relatively few human beings (Israeli, that is) who may be put in harmís way, and will certainly cost few lives of IDF personnel.
Bibiís sleight of hand here involves no mention whatsoever of an Iranian counter-attack against Israel. The presumption must be that the bells and whistles of all those marvelous new weapons systems will decapitate Iranís war-making ability and render it paralyzed. The likelihood of this actually happening is nearly nil.
There will be those who will dispute the authenticity of this document. Iím convinced it is what my source claims, based on his prior track record and the level of specificity offered in the document. It references cities by name and the facilities they contain. It names new weapons systems including one Israel supposedly hasnít even shared with the U.S.
No, itís real. Or I should say that while itís real, it is the product of the Israeli dream factory which manufactures threats and then creates fabulist military strategies to address them. The dream factory always breaks the hearts of the families of those whose members fall victim to it.
It never produces the result it promises, nor will it do so here.
Now, think of what an Israeli war against Iran could turn into.
Think about how this sanitized version of 21st century war could turn into a protracted, bloody conflict closer to the nine-year Iran-Iraq War:
While the level of specificity in this document is, in some senses, impressive, in one critical aspect it is deficient.
Muhammad Sahimi points out that the current chief of the Revolutionary Guards, when he assumed his position in 2007, deliberately addressed the issue of over-centralization of command and control by dividing the nation into 31 districts. Each of these has its own independent command and control facilities and mechanisms.
So Israel wouldnít be able to knock out a single facility and paralyze the IRG. Theyíd need to knock out 31 separate sets of facilities - a much harder task.
There seems also to be an assumption that Iranís leaders and nuclear specialists live nice domestic lives and that Israeli intelligence knows where they all live and can easily target them. In truth, the most senior Iranian military and scientific figures live clandestine lives and itís hard for me to believe even the Mossad knows where they are and how to target them.
So it appears that Netanyahu believes heís fighting Saddam circa 2003.
During that war, the Iraqi Revolutionary Guards were centralized and knocking out one C&C center could decapitate the entire military apparatus. But Iran has learned from Saddamís mistakes. It isnít fighting the last war as Bibi appears to be. It is preparing for the next one.
While Israel may have new tricks up its sleeve that no one in the world has yet seen, if it doesnít understand the nature of the enemy, its defenses, its structure, etc. then it canít win.