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The Drums Beat Again: An Introduction to Our Case Against War with Iran

To read the rest of "The Case Against War with Iran" please click on the following links:


The Drums Beat Again - This post begins below this series outline.

Iraq, Iran, Eric C, and a "Who" Song - Why Eric C wanted to write this series.

To Make the Anti-War Omelet, On V Needs to Break Some Eggs - A post on predictions and chasing the news.

Breaking Down the Media's Rhetoric:

A Sampling of Those Who Want to Go to War with Iran - Why we believe war is likely.

The Schizophrenic Debate over War with Iran - On contradictions in the intelligence about Iran's nuclear program. This post answers why Michael C wanted to start this series.)

Will Ahmadinejad See His Shadow? The Groundhog Day Debate over War with Iran - Repeating the same drum beats year after year.

Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze? - The cost to war largely ignored in the War with Iran debate.

Michael C's IPB for War with Iran:

The IPB for War with Iran: How War Could Play Out  - Michael C lays out Iran's options for a counter-attack against America. 

What Do I Think of Iran's Military? - Michael writes about Iran's sparse, but possibly asymetric, military.

Fighting the Last War: Disruptive Change, Iran and Millennium Challenge 2002

Asymmetric Guerrilla Naval Warfare Comes to a Theater (of War) Near You! - Michael C describes the capabilities of Iran's asymmetric navy. 

The Naval War Summary - Iran's Naval Courses of Action

A Quick History of Iranian/U.S. Proxy Wars - An incredibly brief history of U.S./Iranian proxy wars.

Iran IPB: Afghanistan Proxy War Edition - I describe a dangerous battlefield for the U.S.

The Enemy Courses of Action, Afghanistan Proxy War Edition - I describe Iran's options in Afghanistan.

Robert Ludlum's Missing Iran Novel: The Escalation Scenario - How war in Iran could get much, much worse.

Rep. King Tries to Scare You: An Intro to Iran’s Asymmetric Capabilities  - A warning against a warning against terrorism.

Iran IPB: The Asymmetric Threat, Terrorism  - The first post of two on Iran's asymmetric options, asking, "Will Iran launch terrorist attacks around the world?"

The Iran IPB: The Asymmetric Domain, Ballistic Missiles - Michael C discusses the veyr real threat of Iran's ballistic missiles.

The Iran War IPB: The Air War - Air defenses, the least threatening domain of Iran's military.

Updates to Our Iran Coverage:

Iran and the Battle of Historical Analogies

Unique Takes on War with Iran

On V's Solution to the Iran Problem:

Have a Take: Unique Solutions to Avoid War with Iran

Which Country Do You Prefer? Putting Iran's "Evil" In Context

My Solution to the Iran Problem

We Can't Be Allies with Iran...Iran Is So Mean!

We Can't Be Allies with Iran...Iran Hates Us!

Guest Post: Computer Games, Siege Warfare and Iran

The Words Behind "But Iran Hates Us!"

The Best Comment On Violence Has Ever Received

The History Behind My Solution to the Iran Problem

On V in Other Places:

Small Wars Journal "The Costs of War with Iran: An Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield"

Prior to deploying to Iraq, I (Michael C) read that Baghdad, Tehran and Kabul all lie within two degrees of one another, on a rough band heading across south Asia. Pull up Google Maps right now. Center on Iran. There they are: three capitals lying on roughly the same latitude. When I first deployed to Afghanistan, I didn’t even realize this. I had studied Iraq, a bit, and started studying Afghanistan, but like any good American, I don’t count geography as a specialty.

Looking at that map again, I cannot help but wonder: why has the U.S. spent the last twelve years so preoccupied with these three countries? We invaded and occupied two of the countries for a combined twenty years. Now, the drums of war beat again for the country in the middle.

The sound of those drums has put Eric C and I in a very weird, contemplative, and existential mood. Should we say something about going to war with Iran? Should we agree or disagree? If we disagree, should we take a stand?

In 2001, we watched from our home in Orange County as the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. It inspired a co-authored opinion piece in the high school paper lamenting the invasion. Michael C also wrote a senior thesis predicting that the war in Afghanistan would become another Vietnam. (At first we were wrong, then we were right.)

In 2003, we each watched from our respective colleges as the U.S. launched another war, this time with Iraq. Eric C marched in rainy, winter protests in downtown Santa Barbara; Michael C joined the Army ROTC. Neither of us blogged. Eric C, particularly, thought that going to war was a terrible idea. Horrid. Disastrous. Michael C thought it would turn out badly too, so he joined the Army, not to fight terrorists, but to keep the war effort from going off the rails. We each had misgivings, but we said nothing.

Many years later, we started blogging. Before we knew it, the U.S. initiated several other military actions, including drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, and an air war in Libya. Meanwhile, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continued, with Michael C deploying to each. So in our adult lifetimes, we have seen the U.S. initiate two full blown wars, one psuedo-war with Libya, and air strikes and raids in at least two other countries, if not more.

Our blog’s tag line reads: written by a soldier and pacifist. More than a soldier and a pacifist, we are now a vocal soldier and a vocal pacifist. So people ask our opinion. And in the last few months, one topic has come up again and again: a possible war with Iran. As soon as I stopped being able to count on two hands the number of people who have asked me, “So what do you think about Iran?” I knew we would have to address it.

More importantly, Eric and I feel we should take a stand. If we think military action in Iran will not go well, we should say so. We have to say so. We should use our (limited) position as military/philosophy/foreign affairs bloggers to lay out the case against military action against Iran.

We completely buried today’s lede (unless you read the title), so let’s get to the point: the U.S. should not go to war (or limited military action) with Iran. President Obama should discourage Israel from doing the same. I’ve done the research. I’ve studied this possible war. I do not believe the benefits are worth the costs. Americans need to know that.

We plan to spend a good portion of the next few months making the case against war with Iran from military, intelligence, economic, and political perspectives. We want to add to the discourse by using my military and intelligence experience to explain why we think war with Iran could turn out horribly. In the end, the U.S. does not need to invade three countries abutting each other in the central Asian/Middle East heartland.