current events, thoughts

strategypage: iraq, iran, etc

There’s some good stuff on “strategypage”:http://www.strategypage.com/ today. First off, “an article”:http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htarm/articles/20060405.aspx on the development of the Iraqi army, specifically the 9th Mechanized Division. It’s interesting that we’re choosing to outfit these divisions with practically all old Soviet-bloc equipment.

Another article “explains”:http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htiw/articles/20060406.aspx why the “recent coverage”:http://www.heraldextra.com/content/view/173248/3/ of Iran’s supposed new “super weapons” is mostly just hype. Their new high-speed “Hoot” torpedo is a great example of this. Being supercavitating, it is necessarily unguided since it would make way too much racket for sonar to work; for the same reason it would be detectable from quite a distance. Unless the attacker got extremely close the chances of scoring a hit on a military vessel are basically nil. This makes it either a suicide weapon, or something to use to target oil tankers in the gulf. Either way it’s no laughing matter, but hardly the huge military threat that it’s been portrayed as. This quote from the article is unintentionally quite humerous though:

bq. “It has a very powerful warhead _designed to hit big submarines_. Even if enemy warship sensors identify the missile, no warship can escape from this missile because of its high speed,” Fadavi told state television.

He’s right that any warship would be foolish to try to outrun it, but since it’s unguided they wouldn’t have to. And when he says it’s “_designed_ to hit big submarines” he actually means in can hit _only_ big submarines. Really big ones that don’t bother to get out of the way. šŸ™‚

Here’s another interesting one: “a non-nuclear nuclear weapons test in Nevada”:http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htchem/articles/20060404.aspx. It’s sounds like a feasibility test of the concept of bunker-busting nukes, which as the article mentions are primarily intended to take out the hardened assets of rogue states (such as Iran). You can bet the mullahs will be paying attention to how the test goes, and if we’re smart about it we’ll make sure they find out. Of course, the chances of us ever using even a micronuke (such as what would be needed for a bunker buster) are really slim, but considering that much of the Muslim world has a caricatured view of world affairs in general and the U.S. in particular, it might be useful to play these misperceptions to our benefit. It doesn’t hurt that Iran’s leaders are apparently more delusional than most. Once again, it never hurts to get inside your enemy’s head.

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