- The launching of an outright war using nuclear warheads
against Iran is now in the final planning stages.
- Coalition partners, which include the US, Israel
and Turkey are in "an advanced stage of readiness".
- Various military exercises have been conducted, starting
in early 2005. In turn, the Iranian Armed Forces have also conducted large
scale military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf in December in anticipation
of a US sponsored attack.
- Since early 2005, there has been intense shuttle diplomacy
between Washington, Tel Aviv, Ankara and NATO headquarters in Brussels.
- In recent developments, CIA Director Porter Goss
on a mission to Ankara, requested Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan "to provide political and logistic support for air strikes
against Iranian nuclear and military targets." Goss reportedly
asked " for special cooperation from Turkish intelligence to help
prepare and monitor the operation." (DDP, 30 December 2005).
- In turn, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has given the green
light to the Israeli Armed Forces to launch the attacks by the end of March:
- All top Israeli officials have pronounced the end of
March, 2006, as the deadline for launching a military assault on Iran....
The end of March date also coincides with the IAEA report to the UN on
Iran's nuclear energy program. Israeli policymakers believe that their
threats may influence the report, or at least force the kind of ambiguities,
which can be exploited by its overseas supporters to promote Security Council
sanctions or justify Israeli military action.
- (James Petras, Israel's War Deadline: Iran in the
Crosshairs, Global Research, December 2005)The US sponsored military plan
has been endorsed by NATO, although it is unclear, at this stage, as to
the nature of NATO's involvement in the planned aerial attacks.
- "Shock and Awe"
- The various components of the military operation are
firmly under US Command, coordinated by the Pentagon and US Strategic Command
Headquarters (USSTRATCOM) at the Offutt Air Force base in Nebraska.
- The actions announced by Israel would be carried out
in close coordination with the Pentagon. The command structure of the operation
is centralized and ultimately Washington will decide when to launch the
- US military sources have confirmed that an aerial attack
on Iran would involve a large scale deployment comparable to the US "shock
and awe" bombing raids on Iraq in March 2003:
- American air strikes on Iran would vastly exceed the
scope of the 1981 Israeli attack on the Osiraq nuclear center in Iraq,
and would more resemble the opening days of the 2003 air campaign against
Iraq. Using the full force of operational B-2 stealth bombers, staging
from Diego Garcia or flying direct from the United States, possibly supplemented
by F-117 stealth fighters staging from al Udeid in Qatar or some other
location in theater, the two-dozen suspect nuclear sites would be targeted.
- Military planners could tailor their target list to reflect
the preferences of the Administration by having limited air strikes that
would target only the most crucial facilities ... or the United States
could opt for a far more comprehensive set of strikes against a comprehensive
range of WMD related targets, as well as conventional and unconventional
forces that might be used to counterattack against US forces in Iraq
- (See Globalsecurity.org at http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iran-strikes.htmIn
November, US Strategic Command conducted a major exercise of a "global
strike plan" entitled "Global Lightening". The latter involved
a simulated attack using both conventional and nuclear weapons against
a "fictitious enemy".
- Following the "Global Lightening" exercise,
US Strategic Command declared an advanced state of readiness (See our analysis
- While Asian press reports stated that the "fictitious
enemy" in the Global Lightening exercise was North Korea, the timing
of the exercises, suggests that they were conducted in anticipation of
a planned attack on Iran.
- Consensus for Nuclear War
- No dissenting political voices have emerged from within
the European Union.
- There are ongoing consultations between Washington, Paris
and Berlin. Contrary to the invasion of Iraq, which was opposed at the
diplomatic level by France and Germany, Washington has been building "a
consensus" both within the Atlantic Alliance and the UN Security
Council. This consensus pertains to the conduct of a nuclear war, which
could potentially affect a large part of the Middle East Central Asian
- Moreover, a number of frontline Arab states are now tacit
partners in the US/ Israeli military project. A year ago in November
2004, Israel's top military brass met at NATO headqaurters in Brtussels
with their counterparts from six members of the Mediterranean basin nations,
including Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania.
A NATO-Israel protocol was signed. Following these meetings, joint
military exercises were held off the coast of Syria involving the
US, Israel and Turkey. and in February 2005, Israel participated in military
exercises and "anti-terror maneuvers" together with several Arab
- The media in chorus has unequivocally pointed to Iran
as a "threat to World Peace".
- The antiwar movement has swallowed the media lies. The
fact that the US and Israel are planning a Middle East nuclear holocaust
is not part of the antiwar/ anti- globalization agenda.
- The "surgical strikes" are presented to world
public opinion as a means to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
- We are told that this is not a war but a military peace-keeping
operation, in the form of aerial attacks directed against Iran's nuclear
- Mini-nukes: "Safe for Civilians"
- The press reports, while revealing certain features of
the military agenda, largely serve to distort the broader nature of the
military operation, which contemplates the preemptive use of tactical nuclear
- The war agenda is based on the Bush administration's
doctrine of "preemptive" nuclear war under the 2002 Nuclear
- Media disinformation has been used extensively to conceal
the devastating consequences of military action involving nuclear warheads
against Iran. The fact that these surgical strikes would be carried out
using both conventional and nuclear weapons is not an object of debate.
- According to a 2003 Senate decision, the new generation
of tactical nuclear weapons or "low yield" "mini-nukes",
with an explosive capacity of up to 6 times a Hiroshima bomb, are now considered
"safe for civilians" because the explosion is underground.
- Through a propaganda campaign which has enlisted the
support of "authoritative" nuclear scientists, the mini-nukes
are being presented as an instrument of peace rather than war. The
low-yield nukes have now been cleared for "battlefield use",
they are slated to be used in the next stage of America's "war on
Terrorism" alongside conventional weapons:
- Administration officials argue that low-yield nuclear
weapons are needed as a credible deterrent against rogue states.[Iran,
North Korea] Their logic is that existing nuclear weapons are too
destructive to be used except in a full-scale nuclear war. Potential enemies
realize this, thus they do not consider the threat of nuclear retaliation
to be credible. However, low-yield nuclear weapons are less destructive,
thus might conceivably be used. That would make them more effective as
a deterrent. ( Opponents Surprised By Elimination of Nuke Research Funds
Defense News November 29, 2004)In an utterly twisted logic, nuclear weapons
are presented as a means to building peace and preventing "collateral
damage". The Pentagon has intimated, in this regard, that the 'mini-nukes'
(with a yield of less than 5000 tons) are harmless to civilians because
the explosions 'take place under ground'. Each of these 'mini-nukes', nonetheless,
constitutes in terms of explosion and potential radioactive fallout
a significant fraction of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
Estimates of yield for Nagasaki and Hiroshima indicate that they were respectively
of 21000 and 15000 tons ( http://www.warbirdforum.com/hiroshim.htm
- In other words, the low yielding mini-nukes have
an explosive capacity of one third of a Hiroshima bomb.
- The earth-penetrating capability of the [nuclear] B61-11
is fairly limited, however. Tests show it penetrates only 20 feet or so
into dry earth when dropped from an altitude of 40,000 feet. Even so, by
burying itself into the ground before detonation, a much higher proportion
of the explosion energy is transferred to ground shock compared to a surface
bursts. Any attempt to use it in an urban environment, however, would result
in massive civilian casualties. Even at the low end of its 0.3-300 kiloton
yield range, the nuclear blast will simply blow out a huge crater of radioactive
material, creating a lethal gamma-radiation field over a large area.
- Gbu 28 Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28)
- The new definition of a nuclear warhead has blurred the
distinction between conventional and nuclear weapons:
- 'It's a package (of nuclear and conventional weapons).
The implication of this obviously is that nuclear weapons are being brought
down from a special category of being a last resort, or sort of the ultimate
weapon, to being just another tool in the toolbox,' said Kristensen. (Japan
Economic News Wire, op cit)We are a dangerous crossroads: military planners
believe their own propaganda.
- The military manuals state that this new generation of
nuclear weapons are "safe" for use in the battlefield. They are
no longer a weapon of last resort. There are no impediments or political
obstacles to their use. In this context, Senator Edward Kennedy has accused
the Bush Administration for having developed "a generation of more
useable nuclear weapons."
- The international community has endorsed nuclear war
in the name of World Peace.
- "Making the World safer" is the justification
for launching a military operation which could potentially result in a
- But nuclear holocausts are not front page news!
In the words of Mordechai Vanunu,
- The Israeli government is preparing to use nuclear weapons
in its next war with the Islamic world. Here where I live, people often
talk of the Holocaust. But each and every nuclear bomb is a Holocaust in
itself. It can kill, devastate cities, destroy entire peoples. (See interview
with Mordechai Vanunu, December 2005). Space and Earth Attack Command
- A preemptive nuclear attack using tactical nuclear weapons
would be coordinated out of US Strategic Command Headquarters at the Offutt
Air Force base in Nebraska, in liaison with US and coalition command units
in the Persian Gulf, the Diego Garcia military base, Israel and Turkey.
- Under its new mandate, USSTRATCOM has a responsibility
for "overseeing a global strike plan" consisting of both conventional
and nuclear weapons. In military jargon, it is slated to play the role
of "a global integrator charged with the missions of Space Operations;
Information Operations; Integrated Missile Defense; Global Command &
Control; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Global Strike;
and Strategic Deterrence.... "
- In January 2005, at the outset of the military build-up
directed against Iran, USSTRATCOM was identified as "the lead Combatant
Command for integration and synchronization of DoD-wide efforts in combating
weapons of mass destruction."
- To implement this mandate, a brand new command unit entitled
Joint Functional Component Command Space and Global Strike, or JFCCSGS
- JFCCSGS has the mandate to oversee the launching of a
nuclear attack in accordance with the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review, approved
by the US Congress in 2002. The NPR underscores the pre-emptive use
of nuclear warheads not only against "rogue states" but also
against China and Russia.
- Since November, JFCCSGS is said to be in "an
advance state of readiness" following the conduct of relevant military
exercises. The announcement was made in early December by U.S.
Strategic Command to the effect that the command unit had achieved "an
operational capability for rapidly striking targets around the globe using
nuclear or conventional weapons." The exercises conducted in November
used "a fictional country believed to represent North Korea"
(see David Ruppe, 2 December 2005):
- "The new unit [JFCCSGS] has 'met requirements necessary
to declare an initial operational capability' as of Nov. 18. A week before
this announcement, the unit finished a command-post exercise, dubbed Global
Lightening, which was linked with another exercise, called Vigilant Shield,
conducted by the North American Aerospace Defend Command, or NORAD, in
charge of missile defense for North America.
- 'After assuming several new missions in 2002, U.S. Strategic
Command was reorganized to create better cooperation and cross-functional
awareness,' said Navy Capt. James Graybeal, a chief spokesperson for STRATCOM.
'By May of this year, the JFCCSGS has published a concept of operations
and began to develop its day-to-day operational requirements and integrated
- 'The command's performance during Global Lightning demonstrated
its preparedness to execute its mission of proving integrated space and
global strike capabilities to deter and dissuade aggressors and when directed,
defeat adversaries through decisive joint global effects in support of
STRATCOM,' he added without elaborating about 'new missions' of the new
command unit that has around 250 personnel.
- Nuclear specialists and governmental sources pointed
out that one of its main missions would be to implement the 2001 nuclear
strategy that includes an option of preemptive nuclear attacks on 'rogue
states' with WMDs. (Japanese Economic Newswire, 30 December 2005)CONCEPT
PLAN (CONPLAN) 8022
- JFCCSGS is in an advanced state of readiness to trigger
nuclear attacks directed against Iran or North Korea.
- The operational implementation of the Global Strike is
called CONCEPT PLAN (CONPLAN) 8022. The latter is described as "an
actual plan that the Navy and the Air Force translate into strike package
for their submarines and bombers,' (Ibid).
- CONPLAN 8022 is 'the overall umbrella plan for sort of
the pre-planned strategic scenarios involving nuclear weapons.'
- 'It's specifically focused on these new types of threats
-- Iran, North Korea -- proliferators and potentially terrorists too,'
he said. 'There's nothing that says that they can't use CONPLAN 8022 in
limited scenarios against Russian and Chinese targets.'(According to Hans
Kristensen, of the Nuclear Information Project, quoted in Japanese economic
News Wire, op cit) The mission of JFCCSGS is to implement CONPLAN
8022, in other words to trigger a nuclear war with Iran.
- The Commander in Chief, namely George W. Bush would instruct
the Secretary of Defense, who would then instruct the Joint Chiefs of staff
to activate CONPLAN 8022.
- CONPLAN is distinct from other military operations.
it does not contemplate the deployment of ground troops.
- CONPLAN 8022 is different from other war plans in that
it posits a small-scale operation and no "boots on the ground."
The typical war plan encompasses an amalgam of forces -- air, ground, sea
-- and takes into account the logistics and political dimensions needed
to sustain those forces in protracted operations.... The global strike
plan is offensive, triggered by the perception of an imminent threat and
carried out by presidential order.) (William Arkin, Washington Post, May
2005) The Role of Israel
- Since late 2004, Israel has been stockpiling US made
conventional and nuclear weapons systems in anticipation of an attack on
Iran. This stockpiling which is financed by US military aid was largely
completed in June 2005. Israel has taken delivery from the US of several
thousand "smart air launched weapons" including some 500 'bunker-buster
bombs, which can also be used to deliver tactical nuclear bombs.
- The B61-11 is the "nuclear version" of the
"conventional" BLU 113, can be delivered in much same way as
the conventional bunker buster bomb. (See Michel Chossudovsky, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO112C.html
, see also http://www.thebulletin.org/article_nn.php?art_ofn=jf03norris
- Moreover, reported in late 2003, Israeli Dolphin-class
submarines equipped with US Harpoon missiles armed with nuclear warheads
are now aimed at Iran. (See Gordon Thomas, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/THO311A.html
- Late April 2005. Sale of deadly military hardware
to Israel. GBU-28 Buster Bunker Bombs:
- Coinciding with Putin's visit to Israel, the US Defence
Security Cooperation Agency (Department of Defense) announced the sale
of an additional 100 bunker-buster bombs produced by Lockheed Martin to
Israel. This decision was viewed by the US media as "a warning
to Iran about its nuclear ambitions."
- The sale pertains to the larger and more sophisticated
"Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) BLU-113 Penetrator" (including
the WGU-36A/B guidance control unit and support equipment). The GBU-28
is described as "a special weapon for penetrating hardened command
centers located deep underground. The fact of the matter is that the GBU-28
is among the World's most deadly "conventional" weapons used
in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, capable of causing thousands of civilian
deaths through massive explosions.
- The Israeli Air Force are slated to use the GBU-28s
on their F-15 aircraft.
- (See text of DSCA news release at http://www.dsca.osd.mil/PressReleases/36-b/2005/Israel_05-10_corrected.pdf
- Extension of the War
- Tehran has confirmed that it will retaliate if attacked,
in the form of ballistic missile strikes directed against Israel (CNN,
8 Feb 2005). These attacks, could also target US military facilities in Iraq
and Persian Gulf, which would immediately lead us into a scenario of military
escalation and all out war.
- At present there are three distinct war theaters:
Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. The air strikes against Iran could contribute
to unleashing a war in the broader Middle East Central Asian region.
- Moreover, the planned attack on Iran should also be understood
in relation to the timely withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, which
has opened up a new space, for the deployment of Israeli forces. The participation
of Turkey in the US-Israeli military operation is also a factor, following
last year's agreement reached between Ankara and Tel Aviv.
- More recently, Tehran has beefed up its air defenses
through the acquisition of Russian 29 Tor M-1 anti-missile systems.
In October, with Moscow`s collaboration, "a Russian rocket lifted
an Iranian spy satellite, the Sinah-1, into orbit." (see Chris Floyd)
- The Sinah-1 is just the first of several Iranian satellites
set for Russian launches in the coming months.
- Thus the Iranians will soon have a satellite network
in place to give them early warning of an Israeli attack, although it will
still be a pale echo of the far more powerful Israeli and American space
spies that can track the slightest movement of a Tehran mullah's beard.
What's more, late last month Russia signed a $1 billion contract to sell
Iran an advanced defense system that can destroy guided missiles and laser-guided
bombs, the Sunday Times reports. This too will be ready in the next few
months. (op.cit.)Ground War
- While a ground war is not envisaged under CONPLAN, the
aerial bombings could lead through the process of escalation into a ground
- Iranian troops could cross the Iran-Iraq border
and confront coalition forces inside Iraq. Israeli troops and/or Special
Forces could enter into Lebanon and Syria.
- In recent developments, Israel plans to conduct military
exercises as well as deploy Special Forces in the mountainous areas
of Turkey bordering Iran and Syria with the collaboration of the Ankara
- Ankara and Tel Aviv have come to an agreement on allowing
the Israeli army to carry out military exercises in the mountainous areas
[in Turkey] that border Iran.
- [According to] ... a UAE newspaper ..., according
to the agreement reached by the Joint Chief of Staff of the Israeli army,
Dan Halutz, and Turkish officials, Israel is to carry out various military
manoeuvres in the areas that border Iran and Syria. [Punctuation as published
here and throughout.] [Dan Halutz] had gone to Turkey a few days earlier.
- Citing certain sources without naming them, the UAE daily
goes on to stress: The Israeli side made the request to carry out the manoeuvres
because of the difficulty of passage in the mountain terrains close to
Iran's borders in winter.
- The two Hakari [phonetic; not traced] and Bulo [phonetic;
not traced] units are to take part in the manoeuvres that have not been
scheduled yet. The units are the most important of Israel's special military
units and are charged with fighting terrorism and carrying out guerrilla
- Earlier Turkey had agreed to Israeli pilots being trained
in the area bordering Iran. The news [of the agreement] is released at
a time when Turkish officials are trying to evade the accusation of cooperating
with America in espionage operations against its neighbouring countries
Syria and Iran. Since last week the Arab press has been publishing various
reports about Ankara's readiness or, at least, agreement in principle to
carry out negotiations about its soil and air space being used for action
- (E'temad website, Tehran, in Persian 28 Dec 05, BBC Monitoring
Services Translation) Concluding remarks
- The implications are overwhelming.
- The so-called international community has accepted the
eventuality of a nuclear holocaust.
- Those who decide have swallowed their own war propaganda.
- A political consensus has developed in Western Europe
and North America regarding the aerial attacks using tactical nuclear weapons,
without considering their devastating implications.
- This profit driven military adventure ultimately threatens
the future of humanity.
- What is needed in the months ahead is a major thrust,
nationally and internationally which breaks the conspiracy of silence,
which acknowledges the dangers, which brings this war project to the forefront
of political debate and media attentiion, at all levels, which confronts
and requires political and military leaders to take a firm stance against
the US sponsored nuclear war.
- Ultimately what is required are extensive international
sanctions directed against the United States of America and Israel.
- Michel Chossudovsky is the author of the international
best seller "The Globalization of Poverty " published in eleven
languages. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and
Director of the Center for Research on Globalization, at www.globalresearch.ca
. He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His
most recent book is entitled: America's "War on Terrorism", Global
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