TCS Daily


Profiles in Surrogacy

By Gordon Cucullu - August 1, 2006 12:00 AM

Ever since Hitler used the civil war in Spain in the mid to late 1930s to test his aircraft, tanks, and blitzkrieg tactics, dictators have looked for surrogates to try out options for aggression. Arguably Josef Stalin used the Korean War to test the mettle of the U.S. and its allies in making a decision whether to invade Western Europe. A lukewarm response by Harry Truman to aggression in Korea might have encouraged Stalin to roll his tanks. More recently in the terror wars, Osama bin Laden attacked in many places around the world, increasingly raising the ante by going after more difficult and sensitive targets until he was convinced that a weak-kneed response from America was the most he had to fear. Then he launched 911, a strike he intended to bring down the entire economic and social structure of the United States.

We may be seeing something similar today. Ever more analysts are convinced that Iran is using the current fighting between Hezbollah and Israel as a test bed for new tactics and weaponry as well as a deliberate provocation to incite further popular Muslim anger against the Jewish state. In an example of what looks like a 21st century version of testing prior to an attack, it is now fairly certain that Iranian scientists, engineers, and military and political leaders attended the North Korean missile testing that occurred the first week of July, and some have suggested that Iran sponsored and paid for the testing. Could it have been a live simulation of tactics that Iran intends to use against Israel via Lebanon?

Most Western analysts and all of the media were focused on the large, long range missile, the Taepodong II. Estimated ranges were given, a maximum range radius was drawn so that American and Canadian citizens in an arc from roughly southern California up to Alaska and out to Hawaii were included in a possible target area. While the rocket did not perform anywhere near projections, NASA engineers noted that more vital information can be obtained from a launch failure than from a perfect shot. But could this Taepodong II missile have been a red herring, intended to distract watchers from the real tests?

Otherwise it is difficult to explain or rationalize the multiple launches -- at least six more -- that Kim Jong Il's military shot into the sky in what some regarded as a bizarre mirror of American Independence Day celebrations. But an explanation that does make sense is that Iran regards North Korea as its missile testing ground. For the long range rocket, perhaps, but more importantly for multiple, highly coordinated missile launches designed as an offensive or defensive tactic. This may have been analogous to Hitler putting part of a squadron of Stuka dive bombers through their paces in Spain and refining the tactics until they could be taught to the rest of his Luftwaffe with confidence of combat success.

Imagine a fully deployed Iranian Revolutionary Guard force composed in large part of missile units. Unlike Saddam who deployed his SCUDs in small, uncoordinated clusters, these missile units would be dispersed for security but highly coordinated so that on signal, scores, perhaps hundreds of sophisticated missiles could be raining down on a target which would have no chance to intercept and destroy more than a few. Arm these missiles with radioactive material (it would not even have to be a fission nuclear bomb) or with VX nerve gas, and the effects could be catastrophic.

Suppose that the real test in North Korea was to demonstrate for Iranian purchasers the high maneuverability of missile battalions and brigades, and the ability of such strike units to coordinate a surprise, simultaneous, multiple-launch of deadly missiles against a fixed target. In that case the test not only was a huge success but went largely unnoticed by international observers who were preoccupied with the "failure" of the Taepodong II.

The Iranian leader not only lusts for the utter destruction of "the Zionist entity" but thinks that he will earn status in his Islamist afterlife by killing as many Jews as possible. He plans to bring the 12th Imam from his "hibernation" under the mosque of Samara by causing as much terrible destruction to Israel and America as is possible. If either state retaliates against Iran itself then so much the better. In his twisted mind the more destruction that erupts will hasten the appearance of the 12th Imam in the form of the Mahdi, the supernatural leader who will bring Islam to world conquest. We lampoon or dismiss such visions at our peril. Men like Ahmadinejad believe completely in the tale and are prepared to bring the most horrible wrath down upon their enemies and their own people as a causal force to initiate the Return of the Mahdi.

Furthermore, our intelligence analysts, particularly in State and CIA, have to develop a broader spectrum of their own analytical vision, an ability to think past arbitrary institutional divisions in our own bureaucracies. We can no longer artificially divide our enemies into geographical, political, secular, or religious groups that are organizationally convenient and expect that reflects the real world. Nor can we trust career analysts who hold to failed perceptions despite overwhelming proof to the contrary, simply to reinforce their careers or to advance a political stance. Our enemies are not sitting by idly while we dither with reforming our institutions.

We had best take our enemies seriously. They are marching against us and our allies. We need to recognize clearly that they will grasp at every opportunity, exploit any weakness, and seize any initiative that will unite them, albeit temporarily, against their overall enemy, America.

Gordon Cucullu is a former Green Beret lieutenant colonel and author of Separated at Birth: How North Korea became the Evil Twin.

Categories:

16 Comments

Core values
There is lots to agree with in this post. If Iran and AQ are testing the west for weakness, what are they finding? Do we hang tough like Truman in Korea, or do we cut and run like Reagan in Beirut?

One of the weaknesses both AQ and Hezbollah have exposed is how easily we abandon our core values. The American treatment of prisoners at Abu Graib and Guantanamo bay showed how little we respect the law, our own and international. The Israeli disregard for lives of Lebonese civilians sends a strong message. Of course, there's the claim that Israel is the only democracy in the middle east. Well, Israel has invaded Lebanon months after a democratic transfer of power there. It respected Palestinian elections by assassinating the election winners.

National Hug-an-Islamofascist Day
>"The American treatment of prisoners at Abu Graib and Guantanamo bay showed how little we respect the law, our own and international."

Gee, we prosecuted and imprisoned those who abused prisoners at Abu Graib and Gitmo treats its prisoners with great care and respect. No international or American laws were broken. We have abandoned nothing outside of certain Democratic leaders slandering our troops and leadership during a time of war.

>"The Israeli disregard for lives of Lebonese civilians sends a strong message."

I believe this is the disregard Islamofascists have for civilian lives you are speaking of. The strong message is that Israel is not dealing with a civilized enemy.

>"Of course, there's the claim that Israel is the only democracy in the middle east."

I marked this down on my calendar as the day that a liberal actually noticed that Israel is a democracy. Good job! Although I noticed that you put in your obligatory "the claim". As though Israel isn't really a democracy. Perhaps you can outline the argument that "claims" that Israel is not a democracy to clear this up for us.

>"Well, Israel has invaded Lebanon months after a democratic transfer of power there."

I guess it does not matter to you that Lebanon attacked Israel first? Has the liberal memory-hole grown so large that you are no longer capable of remembering facts only a couple of weeks old? A shame.

>"It respected Palestinian elections by assassinating the election winners."

Likewise with the Palestinians. Israel respected the Palestinians enough to give back land in the hope that the Palestinians would leave them alone. Instead they elected a terrorist organization into power and proceeded to turn that returned land into a rocket launch site. Not to mention the suicide bombs and tunneling across borders to kidnap Israeli citizens.

LiberalTalkingPointsMan seems to have jumped the gun somewhat with his historical revisionism.

Anyway, to say we have abandoned our "core values" in the face of terrorism is inane and ignorant. What we have abandoned is the naive notion that those who behead people on camera, who strap bombs on children, who target another religion for extermination can not be dealt with or reasoned with.

Not to mention that such a concept as "core values" is absolutely meaningless to terrorist organizations. If you think the point of Jihad is to make us question our virtues then you missed the point of Islamofascism.

LG shows that his core value is delusion
AbuGraib, an isolated incident in which soldiers forced prisoners to wear women's pants on their heads and form human pyramids while naked. The soldiers responsible have been punished.
As to Gitmo, all of the allegations have been shown to be false.

Yet LG declares that these examples show that the US doesn't respect law. Somehow the deliberate execution of prisoners by LG's side, is excused as being within the law.

Israel is not disregarding civilians in Lebanon. Israel is taking great pains to avoid harming or killing civilians, even putting it's own soldiers at greater risk.

Yet somehow, the fact that Hezbollah is putting it's military forces amongst civilians, in complete violation of the Geneva conventions, is once again given a pass.

The only thing that is constant with LG is his complete hypocrisy.

He eagerly condemns those he dislikes, flimsy, or even made up excuses. Yet his side is allowed to break any convention or law, with nary a peep.

What a typical liberal.

liberals and democracy
stephen routinely disputes that the US is democratic.
He points to the fact that his candidates never win as proof.

I hear this every day...
on Air America. A funny little buzz on the radio that has not seemed fit to move past 2000 or 2004.

These "progressives" are constantly talking about how to shift the Democrats to the left in order to make them more appealing to what they believe is the real majority in the US: leftists. That screed is usually followed by how stupid, lazy, and uncivilized Americans are which is usually followed shortly by an explanation of how to hide "progressive" policies behind mainstream rhetoric. It hurts to listen to sometimes due to the complete lack of logic and knowledge but it also makes me giggle.

I thank God, and I am an atheist, that we have alternate sources of information these days.

Surviving Surrogacy
This is truely a scary article. Liberal Goodman's response only heightens the threat. Clearly we are going to have to ignore the so-called "World Opinion" (as if the world could have an opinion) and appeasers like Liberal Goodman, and bite the bullet and destroy the evil of North Korea, Iran and Syria. The longer we delay, the more deadly it will become.

Like the fictional cyborg in the film, "The Terminator", there is no reasoning, no appeal that will divert this evil. It will keep on coming at us until we either destroy it, or it destroys us.

Surrogacy?
If Iran was actually using Hezbullah as a surrogate don't you think they'd have better weapons?

Missiles that are inaccurate over a few miles. You really think that is the best Iran and North Korea can do? Complete lack of anti-tank and anti-personnel mines... No counter artillery missiles... Little or no surface to air missles...

What you have is men with guns. These guys are *at best* a diversion for Iran. They are a talking point for populists that says Iran is supporting the global cause without actually doing anything.

And Syria? They conveniently pulled out of Lebanon so that Israel could take a turn. They seem a lot more like an accomplice than an enemy.

Rub the sleep out of the eyes...
In case you haven't realized it, the Hezbollah terrorists are holding there own quite nicely because they are trained by the Iranians and Syrians. The Israelis are quite shocked at the level of coordination and strategic thinking being employed by Hezbollah. You can bet Iran is watching this as a test of combat readiness.

>"Missiles that are inaccurate over a few miles. You really think that is the best Iran and North Korea can do? Complete lack of anti-tank and anti-personnel mines... No counter artillery missiles... Little or no surface to air missles..."

They are starting to use longer range missiles and actually used a silkworm type missile to hit a couple of ships. Pretty sophisticated stuff.

One thing they do succeed at is making the Useful Idiots swallow their propaganda. That is much more devastating than killing Israeli soldiers and civilians which no one seems to care about anyway.

Rosy scenario...
You're wrong. You know you are. A few damaged ships during a naval blockade. Yawn. This is not the best Iran can dish out. This is a distracting sideshow.

The Israelis are *shocked*, right, Hezbullah has been preparing this ground since they pulled out. You've got to be kidding. These guys were, in a very real sense, trained by the Israelis.

Longer range missiles, what like 30 miles? These are unguided artillery weapons. They are hardly what we mean when we use the term missile any more. What's the blast radius on one of those things? Looks comparable to a 20mm grenade from the pictures I've seen.

The Argentine's used Exocets on the British during the Falklands. They were more effective than these.

Call me what you will, but don't downplay the capabilities of Iran and North Korea in your rabid desire to attack. These weapons are all circa 1975.

Who cares about Argentina?
>"You're wrong. You know you are. A few damaged ships during a naval blockade. Yawn. This is not the best Iran can dish out. This is a distracting sideshow."

Saying one is wrong does not make it so. Like most, you find the prospect of sophisticated anti-ship missiles being used to kill a couple of Israelis boring. How sad for you.

Never did I say that this was the best that Iran had to offer. You are an idiot if you believe they would give their best to Hezbollah although they have supplied them with a goodly amount of sophisticated weaponry. I do agree that this is a sideshow and I am also of a mind that this is a test of the Israeli military. You are equally an idiot if you believe otherwise. The level of combat training has been noticed by the Israeli command and I am pretty sure that the Lebanese military is not the reason.

>"The Israelis are *shocked*, right, Hezbullah has been preparing this ground since they pulled out. You've got to be kidding. These guys were, in a very real sense, trained by the Israelis."

The Israelis have dug out such organizations before and in harder conditions than this. The difference is the training, the tactics, and unexpected weaponry. Have they learned from the Israelis? Absolutely. Never said they were stupid. But the real training came at the hands of the Iranians and Syrians.

>"Longer range missiles, what like 30 miles? These are unguided artillery weapons. They are hardly what we mean when we use the term missile any more. What's the blast radius on one of those things? Looks comparable to a 20mm grenade from the pictures I've seen."

And yet those "primitive" weapons kill pretty effectively. Not to mention the fact that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Go here and cure your ignorance:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3276451,00.html

From the article: "Hizbullah is in possession of four types of advanced ground-to-ground missiles: Fajr missiles with a range of 100 kilometers, Iran 130 missiles with a range of 90-110 kilometers, Shahin missiles with a range of up to 150 kilometers and a 355 millimeter rockets with a 150 kilometer range."

>"Call me what you will, but don't downplay the capabilities of Iran and North Korea in your rabid desire to attack. These weapons are all circa 1975."

First I will call you willfully ignorant. Then I will question your reading ability since you somehow got the notion that I was "downplaying" the capabilities of North Korea and Iran. I never did.

In fact, in your "rabid desire to attack", you have downplayed the type of weaponry and training that the Iranians are pumping into Hezbollah. Next time read my post and try to educate yourself before inserting that foot in your mouth.

Asymmetrical Costs
Whereas the Cold War forced the USSR into bankruptcy, it seems the "Islamo-facists" playbook is to bankrupt the US with a series of prolonged asymmetrical wars.

Funding shortfalls jeopardize Army operations, chief says
by By Katherine McIntire Peters
GovExec.com, July 17, 2006

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker told congressional staffers last week he is worried that the Army cannot repair vital equipment fast enough because supplemental budget requests have been too little, too late.

...At the Red River Army Depot in Texas, for example, nearly 1,500 HUMVEES, BRADLEYS AND TRUCKS AWAIT REPAIRS; another 500 M1 tanks and hundreds of other tracked vehicles are in the backlog at Anniston Army Depot in northeastern Alabama.

The DELAYS IN REPAIRS HAVE HAD A CASCADING EFFECT ON THE ARMY, Schoomaker said. Because many units rotating out of Iraq are leaving undamaged equipment there for the use of units replacing them on the battlefield, they are returning home with little equipment to use in training exercises. By the time the equipment is repaired or replaced, those soldiers have lost precious time in which to prepare for their next deployment.

The Army entered the Iraq war with what service leaders estimated was a $56 billion budget shortfall. In order to field the force that took Baghdad, Army leaders had to move troops and equipment from various units to cover the shortfalls. The ongoing rotations of troops in and out of Iraq, along with increased wear and tear of equipment has created what Schoomaker called "A SLOPE OF DIMINISHING RETURNS."

http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=34568&sid=21

Another shallowend of the pool me good you bad bit of crap.
Come off every arms maker in the world wants to battle prove their goods. It makes for good sales.

No Subject
The Iranians and hizb terrorists have learned the very important lesson that the tactic of using human sheilds works, as witnessed by the recent qana bombing. Since the west has lost the stomach to really fight, it's noticed everytime by the enemy, so they use it more. Instead of more bunker buster and expensive laser stuff, I recommend more of those 'daily cutters' which only cost about $30k. So instead of risking israeli lives to mop out areas, DCs sanitize an area of about 300-900 radius. Some innocents would be killed but only those not allowed by the terrorists to leave the scene. Indeed, the isrealis shouldn't even bother begging civilians to leave, it ruins the tactical advantage of element of surprise. If a leader hears a certain site will be bombed, of course he will leave himself, and just leave his underings and the human shields behind.

wwgeek1 just can't accept the notion that someone who wants to kill jews is bad.
...

My sad prediction - millions will die
Because we (the West) are not confronting an enemy with the overwhelming force necessary to utterly and completely defeat it NOW, millions will die later when the full force of our military is unleashed.

The enemy hides among civilians now and will continue to do so. Eventually they will attack us successfully enough to inflict large casualities (hundreds of thousands)on us.

When that happens, we will no longer care about the enemy hiding behind the skirts of women and behind the carriages of babies. We will have let the enemy get too powerful and know it is a true life and death struggle like WWII.

We will not self-impose a geographical limit at that time on where we go to fight the enemy the way we do now by not attacking Syria and Iran.

Partly because of the carping of useful idiots like Liberal Goodman and wwgeek, we reward the enemy for using civilians as shields. However, if we had the will now, we could easily ignore them and destroy the enemy now, so all the blame does not fall on these fellow travelers.

The enemy believes that their destiny is to destroy and conquer us. They will not give up until they have failed or succeeded.

Unforturnately, we will wait until our backs are against the wall before we do what needs to be done.

Future generations will look at us and shake their heads at why we did not take care of this evil now, just like we shake our heads at Chamberlin for trying to negotiate with Hitler in 1938.

I know this is a somewhat apocalyptic post, so I hope someone can point to a different and better realistic (ie one that somehow does not assume that negotiations and cease-fire's will solve the problem) outcome.

Bring it on?
Its stunnig the ignorance of you war mongers posting on here. My God the Republican base is a bunch of loonies. You're one step from calling for nuclear strikes on the Middle East. Which I might support, just to get you to shut the hell the up with this false tough-guy crap you're oozing on everyone. You're so scared you don't even know what to think.

We are not going to defeat terrorism with military power. Why don't you understand that yet? We can push them back, we can kill their leaders, we can kill half their ranks- but we cannot defeat them with war alone. They exist among the civilians. We'd need to use genocide to clear them out, but that wouldn't even work.

For every family of civilians that gets killed there is another family of civilians willing to become terrorists because of seething anger the West is bombing their land.

Your response is: bomb more!

Don't bomb more, bomb the same and send in diplomats to forge an agreeable peace. Tell Hezbollah and Hamas, agree to allow Israel to exist as your neighbor, or we will destroy you. Our problem is not that we don't have the will to wage war, its that we don't have the will to wage diplomacy. Its total nonsense that talking to Iran and Syria would somehow seem like a reward. Thats just an excuse to continue a failed policy of not talking to them. We should be talking to everyone, thats how you gain leverage and hold them accountable.

Instead, we have Israel doing the bidding of Iran in Lebanon. Iran started a war without even firing a shot. Israel is doing exactly what Iran wants. Hezbollah gets to kill Israeli's and shoot missiles into Israel, Israel is killing civilians thus feeding Arab resentment and giving public opinion in the region to Hezbollah. They don't care that Hezbollah fighters are getting killed. That is the reality of the situation. I support what Israel is doing, except that it is exactly what Iran wants. There is no more focus on Iran's nuclear program. Iran's power and influence in the region is growing because of Israel's unilateral action. I repeat, except for the fact that Iran is orchestrating this whole thing, I support Israel's right to defend itself. If Israel was really smart they would've attacked Iran instead.

Where is America in all this? Impotent. Our military is bogged down in Iraq because of incompetent civilian leadership. We have no contacts with all the involved parties because of incompetent civilian leadership. We have no leverage in the region, which only further damages our reputation and power in the world. It is this tough-guy war monger BS attitude that has gotten us to this point. Impotent.

Maybe thats what it will take, millions to die, for us to learn how stupid this is. Well, start the killing then. Reason and common sense sure aren't working on the war mongers. Your fear is debilitating.

TCS Daily Archives