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The Enemy Courses of Action, Afghanistan Proxy War Edition

(To read the rest of our series, “The Case Against War with Iran”, please click here.)

Continuing yesterday’s post, we finish with our summary of Iran’s proxy war options.

The Enemy Courses of Action, Afghanistan Proxy War Edition:

Best Case: Iran’s proxies focus elsewhere in the Middle East, and Afghanistan continues its slow slide into chaos without additional help.

Worst Case: Iran starts giving or firing surface-to-air missiles at American helicopters. Iran aids Afghan insurgents in launching a coordinated, lethal attack on American soldiers over a period of a few days, including surface-to-air missiles launched at helicopters, improved IEDs and anti-tank missiles fired at American troop carriers. Over a short period, it causes a significant number of casualties forcing the U.S. to curtail its air operations. The war in Afghanistan goes from bad to terrible.

Most Likely (my opinion): Iran continues its contact with the Taliban, and increases smuggling to support their operations. It supplies a handful of SAMs, IEDs or anti-tank missiles to insurgents.

The Iraq Option: Iran focuses only on Iraq, where it has more reach anyways. Technically, the U.S. doesn’t have troops in Iraq. Realistically, America has thousands of contractors and diplomats. I’ll discuss this more when I cover terrorism and ballistic missiles, but Iran could still target diplomats and contractors with IEDs, anti-tank missiles and SAMs.

Most Unique Option: Sniper operations. I lived in fear of these when I deployed to Afghanistan. Fortunately, the insurgents don’t have good marksmanship training, or access to top-of-the-line sniper rifles. The IRGC Quds Force doesn’t have these same limitations. And high-powered sniper rifles, and their bullets, cause much less of a scene than anti-air missiles.

Bottom line: Iran will do something in Afghanistan if only to divide America’s attention. Whether this means dozens of missiles and hundreds of IEDs or handfuls, only war will tell.