Nuclear Mangos

This blog is intended to provide reliable technical analysis of nuclear issues with non-state actors and nuclear beginner states. Some technical issues have important policy implications that citizens in a democracy should be able to make informed decisions about. The motivation for the blog has been the incredible amount of lies & hyperbole on the Iran situation of early 2006. The blog title is to remind you constantly of the quality of minds in charge of our nuclear security today.

Location: MA

Until recently I was a physics professor at Harvard, where I taught the nuclear and particle physics course, among others. I've recently left that position to work as an R&D physicist in security applications. I have never done classified weapons work.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How Thoughtful!

Two new reports from Britain are ably reported on at DKOS.

The first report, at the New Stateman, indicates that planning has been going on for four years (I can actually personally attest to this; well before the Iraq war even started I knew friends who were working on Iran invasion scenarios.) This report contains two very unsettling details:

  • There is a codename for the invasion known as "Operation Iranian Freedom"
  • The war plans are known as TIRANNT (Theater Iran Near Term)

The second report, from the BBC, essentially says that American war plans wrt Iran are intended to go far beyond attacks on nuclear targets, and encompass a wide range of targets. Most disturbingly, the triggers have been decided upon:

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says the trigger for such an attack reportedly includes any confirmation that Iran was developing a nuclear weapon - which it denies.

Alternatively, our correspondent adds, a high-casualty attack on US forces in neighbouring Iraq could also trigger a bombing campaign if it were traced directly back to Tehran.

If Iran does in fact engage in such a bombing campaign, our military should send them a little thank-you note. How considerate, to wait until all of our carrier groups are in place before undertaking it.

Without comment, I offer you

Bush's False-Flag Iraq Provocation:
George Bush considered provoking a war with Saddam Hussein's regime by flying a United States spyplane over Iraq bearing UN colours, enticing the Iraqis to take a shot at it, according to a leaked memo of a meeting between the US President and Tony Blair.
The Air Force's 1960's Cuba False-Flag Provocation Plan Operation Northwoods:
America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation."
Former NSC Chair Z. Brzenski's Testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations:
A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a “defensive” U.S. military action against Iran
AJ at Americablog, from the Department of "Two Can Play At That Game":
Last week, two major bombings hit Iran, one at a girls school and the other at a military installation. The latter attack was deadly, with dozens of casualties, and a firefight followed the former. [...]

They claimed responsibility, in fact, through the MKO, a terrorist organization reportedly based in . . . Iraq.
Iran is claiming that the explosives used in the attack against Iranian military were manufactured in . . . wait for it . . . the U.S.

Update: just to clarify my thinking--a false flag operation is much, much harder to carry out than it is to contemplate. But it is more than a little "shocking to the conscience" that at the highest levels of our government, it is not an unthinkable thought. I think this is especially the case that generals might regard the deaths of U.S. servicemen as "helpful".


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