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Essay talk:From the Ottoman Empire to the Islamic State

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When I get a chance, should I add anything to this Essay? Or does it need to be your work only?CorruptUser (talk) 23:20, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, "Essays" are the work of one author only. Scream!! (talk) 00:39, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
CorruptUser: Sure, go ahead. This title probably won't survive cause it will take in Persia & Afghanistan. The Arab-Isaeli dispute won't be the focus. More related to post-colonial relations. It will be ab out the fall of the Ottoman Caliph to rise of ISIS. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 20:19, 6 February 2015 (UTC)


How much of this should involve Israel? AFAIK from the Arab perspective, Israel was an extension of the Sykes-Picot, in the sense that "europeans" decided to carve up the Mideast some more. This of course conveniently ignores the ethnic cleansing/forced deportation of the Jews from the rest of the Mideast, something close to a million people (and seizure of property of area 4 times the size of Israel). Israel, eager to establish itself, absorbed the Jewish refugees. The Arab countries, intending to push Israel off the map, did not do likewise with the Palestinians. Thus, the humanitarian crisis that's been going on since before most of us were born.

I'd just as soon sidestep or minimize the Palestinian Mandate question; this has more to do with dumping the Turkish Sultan as Caliph (which the Arabs wanted), dumping the Hashemites who had hundreds of years of service & loyalty, and favoring the Wahhabis who used their oil wealth to spread a doctrine most Muslims feared outside their borders. British interference in the internal affairs of Islam, followed by FDR & subsequent President's following on without understanding at all what they were getting into, is the focus. Also the Shi's/Iran question. The Zionism, Israel, and the Palestinian Mandate are more specialized subjects whose significance can be overblown or appear out of proportion without understanding the underlying questions of the West disposing of the Caliphate, and the Muslim Brotherhood and other later groups wanting to resurrect it. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 20:48, 11 February 2015 (UTC)


We're covering it all. We got more than a half century done so far. If anybody thinks something of importance is being left out, let me know. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 21:42, 13 February 2015 (UTC)


The term for the child soldiers is Basij, not Shaheed. They were given plastic keys to heaven, they were used to clear minefields, they were used to identify Iraqi sniper positions (by being shot at), and some Iraqi snipers broke down in tears during the war while Adagio for Strings played (Ok, the last one is a slight embellishment). But yeah, it's scary that in the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam, the Butcher of Baghdad, managed to have the moral high ground.

The cynical conspiracy theorist in me wonders how much of this is due to Iran's polygyny; for me to have 2 wives, 1 other man must have 0 wives. If that man were to conveniently die off, I don't even have to worry about competition. Under the Shah, polygyny was becoming increasingly difficult to acquire (and was arguably on the way out). CorruptUser (talk) 19:19, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

That's all good info, and I'm lacking in some sourcing. Feel free to fix or add anything. Some of this Iranian stuff (in all three of my essays) is slow going, cause today you can come up with two radically different narratives about what the future of Iran may bring. Some fear it, other's look forward to it. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 19:46, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Salafi-Wahhabi Split, Saddam, etc[edit]

Mind if I add a section about how the first Iraq War ended up disgracing the Saudis and caused the Salafi-Wahhabi split? One of the reasons for the second Iraq War was so that the Bush families bestest friends evar, the Saudis, could remove the US troops from their country and try to save face (who were only there because the Saudis couldn't defend themselves). Whether or not this reason was greater than the other reasons for the second Iraq War (WMD, oil, human rights, revenge) is another question, but thope was that by removing troops from Saudi Arabia, the Salafi-Jihadists would stop being pissed at the US for being in Saudi Arabia. CorruptUser (talk) 18:54, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Sure, go ahead. I wanna get the Iranian side right in this Essay (I've been lenient and let them off the hook too much in the last two) so any help from the anti-Soviet jihad (Soviet-Afgan War) onwards will speed things up and be appreciated. I see nothing in what you said I disagree with. (IMO, Saudi Arabia, as is, will be lucky to survive another ten years no matter what happens; the question is, WHO will succeed as Custodian of the Holy Places). nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 20:01, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Extra: here's justice on the streets of Mecca three weeks ago. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 20:08, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh I heard about that, don't feel like watching the snuff film. Anyway, Saudi Arabia's only real threats in the near future are a succession crisis and if the rest of the world goes off oil. They have so much money that, in spite of an education so utter crap their own citizens are all but worthless as workers, they have a higher GDP per capita than the US. Longer term, the aformentioned poor education is causing a population boom that, well, can't last forever. They can only produce so much oil, and people are going to get a lot poorer in the future. CorruptUser (talk) 20:20, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
But if they don't give up Mecca (keeping the oil reserves is separate issue), the constant crisis's with Iran, and groups like Daesh or AQ will go on forever. Few, if anyone in mainstream Islam recognize any legitimate right or authority of the Saudis. Even the Saudis themselves can't deny this. The Saudi religious establishment - the Saudi Wahhabi clerics - have had to modify, deny, or abandon true Wahhabi teachings to keep their jobs as state-paid clerics and defenders of the regime. Sure, they crank out lots of high dollar propaganda to legitimize it, but is seems the only consumers of their spin is the CIA & American media. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 20:28, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
So then who does mainstream Islam think has the right to Mecca and Medina? I don't think it's the Hashemites, the mainstream won't accept any Shiite, and I highly doubt most will accept the Muslim Brotherhood. CorruptUser (talk) 20:36, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
There is another proposal which has been around for many years: Make Mecca, Medina and environs an international zone, somewhat independent like the Vatican, with its own security forces large enough to handle the Hajj, strip the Saudi clique of custodianship, appoint some local flunky withe title Custodian (not Caliph), deny the Iranians, the Turks, Egyptians, Jordanians or anyone else direct control. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer swirling in yur Dads' bag. 18:05, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Damn good question. Here's the best summary of IS I've seen so far: page 6 says: "Despite the menace of The Islamic State to the stability of the whole region, states on either side of the sectarian divide [Saudi-Iranian or Sunni-Shia] continue to see it as a lesser danger than the regional dominance of their rivals. Until this calculation changes, The Islamic State will not face major regional opposition." Perhaps spinoff and bring back something like the Kingdom of Hejaz as a monarchy, a limited regional caliphate (with clear rules for selection process) or as a Republic. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 20:49, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Update: according to Wikipedia, the Deputy Fuhrer or Caliph or whatever listed on page 24 of the above link was killed 1 week before publication, but this link still has him alive in charge of the 6 provinces only six days ago. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 00:15, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

On Iraq, Iran and Lend-Lease - check a map...[edit]

I admire the Herculean effort that has already gone into this essay, so it's in a spirit of constructive criticism that I urge you to reconsider this sentence: "The British controlled Iraqi zone was too unstable and dangerous to transport Lend-Lease aid through, so Iran became the main highway for access to the Soviet Union." The actual reason why Iran was the main conduit for Lend-Lease aid to the USSR (apart from that via Murmansk and Archangel, of course) was due to the simple fact that Iraq does and did not have a common border with the USSR. Any shipments to the USSR via Iraq would have had to go either via Turkey or Iran. Since the allies did not want to risk having Turkey drawn into WWII it would make little sense to ship arms and materiel into Iraq, only to ship it to Iran and then into the USSR. Considering that the stuff would probably arrive by way of the Arabian Sea, shipping it via Iraq would represent a significant detour for any destination other than perhaps part of the Caucasus. Furthermore, I suspect that the Red Army preferred their gear delivered to the far side of the Caspian Sea as this was a much safer point of entry than the Caucasus from which the Wehrmacht would not be expelled until 1943, not to mention the further problems caused by the 1940–44 insurgency in ChechnyaWikipedia's W.svg. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:35, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I considered all that, and it's all true. Do you have any alternative language? The point I was trying to make was that (a) Iraq certainly was unstable and hostile to British interests, and (b) this fact played a part in Britain & the Soviet Union's decision to resort to the extreme measure of overthrowing a neighboring, legitimate regime. The consequences of "meddling in other people's affairs" resonates til today. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 16:34, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps something like: "The British controlled Iraqi zone was so unstable and dangerous that even if it had been logistically feasible to transport Lend-Lease aid through Iraq, the alternative route through Iran would probably still have ended up as the main highway for access to the Soviet Union. Greater safety, but most of all Iran's geographical benefit of a direct route for supplies into the USSR across their common border, made this Persian CorridorWikipedia's W.svg as important a conduit for Lend-Lease aid to the USSR as the Arctic convoysWikipedia's W.svg, though both were dwarfed by the amounts delivered through the Pacific RouteWikipedia's W.svg."?
The problem in the phrasing is the causal connection between the unrest and the Lend-Lease transport route, when these two were at most tangentially connected. It's probably also worth mentioning that there was actually a joint Anglo-Soviet invasion of IranWikipedia's W.svg and that the Persian Corridor was thus mainly run as a joint British/Soviet/U.S. military venture outside the control of the new shah, but sweetened with U.S. support for Iran as well (kind of like the transit fees that states get for piping oil or gas through their territory today, I guess).
If you have the interest and patience, Wikipedia has a link to an extensive online book on the U.S. involvement called The Persian Corridor and Aid to Russia which is an official U.S. military record (loads of stats in the appendices) of the endeavour. According to that, there was actually some materiel which was shipped through Iraq, entering through Basra, but that Basra's main function was to supply the British 10th ArmyWikipedia's W.svg, the core of the British IraqforceWikipedia's W.svg (aka PAI Force, for Persia And Iraq). The book's two maps also illustrate the problems of supplying the USSR via Iraq, and that, while better placed, Iran was not actually a quarter master's dream route either. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:18, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
ok, a lot of that can be used to clarify (but I'd like to keep the focus on Muslim lands more so than the USSR). The U.S. Army has lots of detailed information, but when I reviewed this link, for example, there was very little I could find useful other than the photo of the train going thru Persia. I was left thinking, "no wonder the U.S. keeps getting involved in areas it doesn't have an inkling of understanding about." nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 18:49, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, the lack of understanding of the local intricacies in overseas involvement has been a hallmark of several imperial powers. But it also has to be remembered that much of the Entente as well as Central Power activities in the "colonial theatre" of WWI was run by (more or less) gifted amateurs. Outside of the rigorously drilled and organised armies grinding each other down in Europe, there was much slapdash improvisation. For instance, the rather farcical exploits of the Niedermayer–Hentig ExpeditionWikipedia's W.svg which included trying to disguise itself as a travelling circus. Similarly, intelligence during WWI was largely an amateur (and often gentleman) "sport", but we have to remember how small even diplomatic corps and other official bureaucratic organisations (outside the armed or postal services) were at the time. I've seen a picture of the late 19th century Danish foreign service and it was literally a handful of men and that was the entire(!) foreign service (ambassadors and consuls not included). ScepticWombat (talk) 19:23, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's good. Gotta get that wpl link in somehow. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 19:48, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

On an unrelated note, I think it's quite fascinating that Sykes-Picot allocated Istanbul/Constantinople and the Turkish Straits to Russia, since barring Russia from reaching these geo-strategic and symbolic goals had been the objectives of both Britain and France until WWI (e.g. in the Crimean War). What WWI's outcome meant was thus not only the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the division of the Middle East along Franco-British lines, but also effectively the end of (Soviet) Russian influence in the region until WWII's Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran. Effectively, Sykes-Picot became the hypothetical high water mark of Russian influence in the region, as it would later be in a constant "bidding war" for Middle Eastern favour against the U.S. during the Cold War and, after its 1946 withdrawal from Iran, without "boots on the ground" in the region except for tiny contingents of advisers and a single small port facilityWikipedia's W.svg. ScepticWombat (talk) 19:23, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Very well put and I agree 100%. Perhaps after Gallipoli Great Britain felt the Straits were in better hands with the Romanov's than the Ottoman's; it also shows how ignorant Anglo/French intelligence were of the precarious situation of the Romanovs only a few months before the Revolution.
Another thing this article could get into is the Syria–Lebanon CampaignWikipedia's W.svg and the role of Vichy France, but I'm not sure how to tie it in with a drive to re-establish the caliphate. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 19:48, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Don't knock the intelligence too much. I doubt even the Romanovs realised how desperate things were about to become. Remember that things were generally going well for the Russian on two of their three fronts (against the Austrians and the Ottomans), in a pattern so characteristic of the seesaw win-some-lose-some trend in WWI where both alliances would suffer defeats and successes constantly on various fronts. Also, remember the shock of the Soviet collapse in 1989-'91? And that at a time when entire government bureaucracies, academic departments and think tank pundits were devoted to KremlinologyWikipedia's W.svg.
As for the Syria–Lebanon Campaign, I think that it illustrates one of the low points in Middle Eastern control over the fates of its residents'. Namely that a faraway European puppet state (Vichy France) of an even more distant European imperial power (Nazi Germany) is ousted by a motley alliance of imperial powers and their allies and dependants who are more distant yet. If WWI offered the prospect of ousting the Turks and (re)establishing an Arab state and perhaps a caliphate too (or at least a number of Arab states), then WWII merely offered the opportunity to exchange one European imperial overlord (Britain/France) with another (Nazi Germany/Fascist Italy). ScepticWombat (talk) 20:09, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
...with their more experienced Vichy allies who would have gained at the expense of British imperialists. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 20:20, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Look here at Army_of_the_Levant#End_of_French_ruleWikipedia's W.svg, "Following the Vichy defeat in 1941...Free French General Georges Catroux took control of Syria...." So it was the defeat of France by France that ended French rule in Syria. Glad Wikipedia straightened that out. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 21:08, 19 February 2015 (UTC)


Is it worth addressing that until ISIS, the Islamic Republic of Iran was the only official Islamic theocracy in the world? Ikanreed (talk) 15:58, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Well you have the Afghan Taliban, and Caliph Ibrihim stealing Mullah Omar's title as the jihadists leader of the faithful has to be addressed. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 16:27, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the most recent edit: wasn't Bin Laden always a pan-Islamist? Like wasn't his core philosophy that all Muslims could get along as long as there wasn't any western influence? I'm speaking a bit of out of ignorance, as this falls into the "things I've read somewhere" category. Ikanreed (talk) 17:15, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
(ec)Yes, that is true. Bin Laden however compromised his "Muslim unity" beliefs when he accepted Zarqawi's oath of allegiance, made Zarqawi#Emir_of_Iraq and extended him the Iraqi al-Qaeda franchise. Bin Laden knew what he was getting into, as well. Bin Laden and Zarqawi discussed war with the Shia while in Afghanistan in 2000 (before 9/11), and Zarqawi refused to sign up with al Qaeda (this is where the accusations against Colin Powell's speech at the UN stem from, that there was no Zarqawi-bin Laden link). But after 8 months of negotiation in 2003, bin Laden then signed onto Zarqawi's plan to re-ignite the Sunni-Shia sectarian war; but war with the Shi'a always was against bin Laden's views and beliefs (he dies being a tragic figure, I suppose). The point here at length is, bin Laden's ideas of jihad were always a minority view among Salafists and jihadists, and all he did was enjoy 15 minutes if fame for taking the jihad global. Zarqawi & Baghdadi really represent more the Qutbist view and strategynof retaking Mecca and bringing back the Caliphate more than bin Laden did. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 18:21, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Iran's (lack of) ICBM's
The Jane's article does not simply "dispute claims the 89 ft. ICBMWikipedia's W.svg was operational in early 2015 and said it still wouldn't be ready for a few months". Jane's outright rejects the claims that what the photo depict is an ICBM at all. Instead, Jane's insists it's a satellite launching vehicle, and that while it "is theoretically capable of ICBM ranges, it cannot deliver an effective warhead over such distances. Iranian media have reported that it will be able to lift a payload of just 100 kg into orbit." This is important as nuclear warheads (the only realistic payload of ICBMs), even small ones such as the Russian Topol M, weighs about a ton while Pakistan's nuclear missiles (not ICBMs either, but intermediate-range ballistic missilesWikipedia's W.svg) still have to be able to lift half a ton. Compounding this factor, miniaturisation of warheads to keep their weight down is one of the most complicated aspects of nuclear arms design. In other words, according to this well-regarded defence magazine, Iran has still not joined the club of ICBM-armed states. this can also be seen from your Wikipedia ICBM link as well as its List of ICBMsWikipedia's W.svg where only North Korea with its Taepodong-2 is listed as a possible future entrant into the rather exclusive ICBM club currently consisting of: (The People's Republic of) China, France, India, Israel, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:11, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Not being argumentative, there is nothing you've said that I would disagree with or consider untrue. Buuttt, isn't anything capable of launching into space (about 17 miles vertically) considered to have intercontinental ballistic capabilities? nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 15:24, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
In short, no. This is because I'd say that ICBM capability (as opposed to the less complicated orbital flight capability) can be distilled into three parameters:
  1. Ability to reach orbital velocity (Iran clearly has that, but this is arguably the easiest element of the process).
  2. Ability to deliver enough thrust to deliver an effective warhead (as already mentioned, this essentially means lifting at least ½ ton and Iran doesn't have this).
  3. Ability to deliver the warhead with reasonable accuracy onto a target (Iran may or may not have this).
As a function of the warhead parameter, and to make ICBM capability actually matter, it's also necessary to possess A) a nuclear weapon, and B) an ability to miniaturise this weapon to build a warhead small enough to be lifted into orbit (Iran probably doesn't have the first and definitely not the second).
As an aside, I doubt Iran would bother with developing ICBMs for geostrategic and economic reasons. The only plausible ICBM target would be the U.S., but Iran can get a pretty much equivalent blackmail/deterrent effect vis-a-vis the U.S. by threatening a missile strike on Israel, so why would Iran bother "wasting" resources on a complex ICBM system when they already possess the equivalent ability through their IRBMs? ScepticWombat (talk) 18:52, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Nuke question, whether clean or dirty, is a separate issue. (actually, I'm surprised an effective nuke weighs nearly a ton). Iran's development of multi-stage solid fuel boosters is what's of concern. France's decision to rejoin Nato after 43 years was almost singularly based upon Iran's developing ICBM capability. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 02:45, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
In principle, the "[n]uke question, whether clean or dirty, is a separate issue", but in practice it's not. Since ICBMs aren't very accurate weapons, even the most sophisticated American or Russian ones, you really need something pretty destructive for a warhead. This effectively means going nuclear. As for weight, keep in mind that Little BoyWikipedia's W.svg and Fat ManWikipedia's W.svg, the U.S. fission bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki each weighed about 4.5 tonnes, though I grant that they were not exactly on the light side compared with later U.S. nukesWikipedia's W.svg. Note how few U.S. tests, not to mention current stockpiles, depicted in the weight/yield graph weighs 100 kg or less (and again: warhead miniaturisation is one of the most difficult steps in nuclear arms design). Even the most advanced current U.S. MIRVWikipedia's W.svg thermonuclear warheads of 100kt yield weigh at least 150 kg each and they are bundled in groups of up to 8 (limited by treaty, could potentially have been 14) to each Trident II SLBMWikipedia's W.svg. The lightest U.S. nuclear weapon ever, the Davy CrockettWikipedia's W.svg only weighed 23 kg, but it was a tiny battlefield nuke with a minuscule yield of 10-20 tonnes of TNT, compared with 13-18 kilotonnes for Little Boy and 20-22 kt for Fat Man. You can see here how many (or rather few) of the missile warheads (note that the list also includes other nuclear devices) the U.S. has ever designed (let alone produced or stockpiled) would be able to be lifted if your weight constriction was max. 100 kg (spoiler: practically none).
Also, you really need to check what your sources actually write (again): Your archived source never mentions anything about ranges beyond 2000'ish km, which is consistent with the 2000-2500 km range described by Wikipedia for the SejjilWikipedia's W.svg MRBMWikipedia's W.svg in question. Wikipedia also waffles on Iran's solid fuel capabilities (the central issue for the archived source) and the NTI mentions that the solid fuel issue is not a question of range but of response time and logistics (solid fuel = easier maintenance & storage and quicker launch sequence, hence less vulnerable to interception or preemptive destruction). The NTI also describes the solid fuel version of the Sejjil as being "in development" and its range sufficient to reach, not France but "Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey from deployments deep within Iranian territory. If Iran were to deploy the Sejjil closer to its northwestern border with Turkey, it could reach areas as distant as Italy and Poland." However, the latter deployment would not only be more likely to be detected, but also extremely vulnerable and thus pretty unlikely.
Even worse, neither the CFR nor NTI makes any link between France's return to NATO's integrated command (France was always a NATO member, just not part of the integrated command structure) and Iran's missile capability. The NTI even specifically states that what might theoretically reach France is a potential Iranian IRBM, not an ICBM, or the MRBMs that Iran definitely possess already (the aforementioned Sejjil is the longest ranged of these). The NTI is extremely cautious in its language about the theoretical 3500 km range which might allow Iranian missiles to reach France and no wonder, given that the cited source for the claim (the German BildWikipedia's W.svg) is not exactly the bastion of unassailable journalistic integrity.
Furthermore, the white paper cited by the CFR as the basis for France's strategic reorientation is from June 17, 2008, effective only from April 2009, while the Bild reports about Iranian missiles was from August 2005, a three-year gap in the timing which further decouples any arguments for a causal link between the two. Instead, the CFR cites the reason for French return to NATO's integrated command as being: ""France's own strategic approach stresses that its forces must adapt further to the new dimensions of military operations overseas and to asymmetric warfare," writes France's former NATO Ambassador Benoît d'Aboville in the Guardian. "French forces will maintain a robust capacity for overseas military operations within the framework of Nato-led operations, but not exclusively so," he adds." The Guardian article cited makes no mention at all of Iran as part of the motivation for France's return to the integrated command, while the CFR only allude to Iran twice and never in relation to missile capability, citing instead that the new "doctrine puts greater emphasis on cooperation with the United States in countering Iran's growing influence, tracking nuclear proliferation, and expanding NATO's ability to act outside Europe, even as a separate EU defense capability matures". Later the CFR speculates: "Perhaps with Iran in mind, Sarkozy announced that France would build a new navy base in the United Arab Emirates, and it has also ratcheted up efforts to sell its weapons (NPR) in the region." However, France would hardly need a concern about Iran to push for weapons sales (the financial motives alone are quite sufficient) and a base in the oil-rich Middle East close to the pirate-infested Somalian coast also hardly needs an immediate threat from Iran to make strategic sense (although I agree that Iran is probably a part of the strategic concerns).
In addition, your own source again explicitly denies that Iran has ICBMs, as, according to the NTI, "Iran faces significant additional technical hurdles if it intends to produce ICBMs. It would need to design and produce a reentry vehicle, and if it were to develop nuclear weapons in the future, Iran would need to significantly miniaturize any nuclear warheads before mounting them on an ICBM." This is pretty much what I already posted in my previous answer. The next paragraph concerning stage separation may just as well be focused on a future IRBM, as the NTI is pretty unequivocal that MRBMs (the Sejjil again) are the longest range missiles that Iran definitely possess.
Finally, there's the obvious problem that a missile launch is a tantamount to adding an RSVP to your attack, so, as with North Korea, it makes far more sense to view Iran's missile and nuclear programmes as a deterrent against a (U.S.) attack or invasion than as a plausible plausible first strike capability. North Korea thus needs only to be able to strike U.S. troops or allies in South Korea and/or Japan (they can definitely hit the former, possibly with nuclear weapons, but only potentially the latter), while Iran is already able to strike at Israel (though probably not with nuclear weapons) which is really all it needs, as I mentioned earlier. The lesson apparently drawn by the ayatollahs and the Kim dynasty from such events as the fall of Gadaffi and Saddam Hussein seems to be that you need these kinds of weapons to safeguard your hold on power against a (Western-/U.S.-supported) "regime change". ScepticWombat (talk) 04:24, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
wow. nothing gets past you. That's a pretty good re-cap of those open source materials. As to 15kt, this is what it can do and I dont quite get why it would be so difficult to achieve miniaturization. But let's be realistic about all of this: beginning with the V-2 these types of weapons really were always more of a propaganda weapon. In today's thinking, nukes do entirely too much long-term environmental damage. If the "kill factor" is the primary motivation for some type of wmd, the job can be done more efficiently with fuel air devices or some type of biological agent such as anthrax, etc. Granted, this Iranian rocket probably could not deliver a very large fuel explosive, and the cost of delivering one that would provoke a response isn't worth it. But "barrel bombs" (of Soviet manufacture) seem to be the way of the future and evidently are being use quite extensively in Syria right now (this indirectly is related to the burning of the Jordanian pilot, people are being incinerated on the ground by weapons dropped by pilots so he was just receiving god's 'eye-for-an-eye' justice). Again, it's part of a propaganda war.
There's no doubt this Iranian weapon represents a program in development, not a finished product. They want the world to see it. We know what stage they are at. We know what they want to achieve. We know what cost they are willing to pay; what we don't know is to what degree they have, or can, achieve greater efficiency over what it cost the US, British, and Soviet forefathers who traveled this same path a generation ago.
In the end, it's still primarily a propaganda weapon, and still has ICBM capabilities. The photo in mainspace isn't meant to frighten anybody about some imminent doomsday threat; it's intended to present Iran realistically as they themselves wish to be portrayed. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 13:18, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Again, I have to disagree. All the sources you've cited so far are unanimous in the verdict that Iran doesn't have "ICBM capabilities" (even if we ignore the nuclear issue). What Iran does have is MRBMs, it's possibly in the process of developing these into IRBMs, and (and this is a wholly separate ability) Iran has orbital flight capabilities. Thanks to your NTI source I can now make a clear distinction between Iran's orbital flight and ICBM capabilities, since the NTI is very clear on the lack of reentry capabilities for Iran's orbital velocity vehicle (aka satellite launching rocket) and the difficulty involved in developing such reentry capabilities.
And just in case you missed it: Your video link is to a (projected) 14 kt yield explosion, i.e. equivalent to 14,000 tonnes of TNT. If you meant to compare it with the David Crockett, that one had a yield of 10-20 tonnes of TNT (note: no kilo prefix). I know, decimal errors can be a bitch ;-) ScepticWombat (talk) 14:20, 24 February 2015 (UTC)t
ok, you're convincining. Maybe I'll strip off any reference to ICBM on the photo after a little more googling. We'll put off the yield of suitcase bombs and Iran's submarine launched capabilities to another day. Thanks. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 15:25, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Update Today Iran tested sinking a Supercarrier with a ballistic missile in the Straits of Hormuz. Iran boasts they are possibly the only nation with this technology. If it were possible, it would end the use and effectiveness of aircarriers in modern warfare. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 05:24, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

It was to show off the "strength" of Iran, nobs. FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ﹐ Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 06:02, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Jeez, how much money d'ya think they spent on this whole exercise? nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 07:55, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Successor to the Assad regime[edit]

Here's a proposed interim solution: Move King Abdullah and Hashemites back to Damascus as King of Sham (click for English subtitles). This means obliterating Daesh, Iranian intentions, and Putin's allies. The Saudi's get to keep Mecca, for know. And Iran is put back in a box. al-Nusra (al Qaeda) can either go along, or the West still must deal with a loose Iran-Putin-Al Qaeda alliance for the foreseeable future. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 17:23, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

And what makes you think any of this is feasible? Also, since when did Iran, let alone Putin, become an Al Qaeda ally - even a "loose" one? Last time I checked, Putin was one of Assad's strongest supporters, alongside Iran. I think it's ideas such as these that form by far the weakest and most questionable part of your essay. Oh, and the Turkish Cypriot guy in the video, Nazim Al-HaqqaniWikipedia's W.svg (or at least I suppose he's the one), died in May last year, btw. ScepticWombat (talk) 05:54, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
And last I knew, Putin was more or less butchering anyone that so much as looked like an Al-Qaeda sympathizer, what with Chechnya being involved with Al-Qaeda and all. Really, we should be looking to get a bit closer with Russia. If only Putin wasn't so... IDK, walking Bond villain, but I'd sooner trust Putin with petrodollars than I would the friggin Salafis. At least Russia's endgame doesn't involve the outright subjugation/extermination of all non-Russians. CorruptUser (talk) 06:26, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Of course Putin's plan involves world domination! Putin's is a goddamned commie, didn't-ya-know?!?! ScepticWombat (talk) 07:51, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Pfeh, he's as much a commie as he is a democratic leader. (talk) 12:47, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually, Putin might be slightly more of a commie than a democratic leader - though I'd grant it's an exceedingly close call (and anyway it's not saying much), because we know Putin once worked loyally for communism... ScepticWombat (talk) 12:56, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
He might be a bit nostalgic for the old Soviet times, but I doubt he cares for any of the commie ideology. (talk) 13:30, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You guys need to look at the global jihad longterm; it'll survive me (I'm 59 years old). The world 15 years hence will look quite different from today, so it's all going to be your problem.

I've outlined the broad issues. Yes, there are constantly shifting alliances, but right now you have Iran-Putin-North Korea and al Qaeda leadership on one side, opposing Saudi Arabia-the US- and DAESH, yes Daesh. Why? Cause Saudi Arabia, the US, Turkey, NATO and Daesh all oppose the rise of Iranian influence on the Meditteranean coast - the areas controlled by Assad & Hezbollah.

The dead guy in the video, the scholar who kissed the Sharif of Mecca's hand when he was 10, who witnessed all betrayals of the Arabs by the Brits and Americans, all the humiliated defeats in war, all the chaos of today and yesterday, agrees with the Salafs -- the Restoration of the Caliphate is necessary to end a century of humiliation and embarassment. Baghdadi and DAESH hi-jacked the old guys deathbed message.

The tragedy of today is alienating Putin the way Hillary and Obama did (you will recall, the official position of the US State Department at the time of the collapse of the USSR in 1992 was for Ukraine to remain with the Russian Federation. US policy was never set in cement). nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 13:47, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

  • freedom is not the same as independence. Americans will not support those who seek independence in order to replace a far-off tyranny with a local depotism. They will not aid those who promote a suicidal nationalism based upon ethnic hatred."
hate to say I told you so, but me, Papa Bush, and Condolezza Rice all say, "I told you so". nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 16:34, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Ready for prime time?[edit]

Anymore suggestions/objections, etc.? nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 17:24, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

On solutions[edit]

So what should be done about ISIS, let alone the long-term future of the region?

The problem with Burma (UK), Vietnam (France), Vietnam (USA), Afghanistan (Russia), Iraq (UN/NATO), AFRICA (everyone and mercenaries to boot), Afghanistan (NATO), Iran (Coalition), and now Syria/Iraq (???) is not one of ability, or necessarily plan, but one of commitment.

Insurgencies and terrorist insurrections operate on one premise: they can drag it out with more misery longer than intervenors are willing to stay. They don't have to worry about politics, fickle electorates, or dead bodies. In fact, dead bodies are a recruitment tool for them. They count on one thing that - as all of the above conflicts have in common - has been demonstrated time and again: Western countries will intervene with the best of intentions, but they will do so with restraint and for as little time as possible.

All of the above were "winnable" (militarily, they were all actually won) by the invading forces if they were willing to commit to an occupation. And by occupation, I don't mean 5 years. I mean 25+. Germany is probably the best example of a country where stability was reached after an entire populace was subdued, and it occurred because the Allies parked the divisional equivalent of half the current armed forces of the United States into ONE COUNTRY, for YEARS. Then they got pulled into a military/espionage alliance and liberally sprinkled with foreign military forces, intelligence agencies, and diplomats. Today's stability in Western Europe and the reason we haven't seen yet another war caused by infighting amongst European nations? Military occupation, which led the groundwork for the EU as we know it today. Of course, that military occupation was only sustained because of the threat posed by the Cold War. Without it? Who knows.

Korea is another example. Unlike the other named above, UN-backed forces stayed in Korea to this day. South Korea exists because the UN-backed mission, led by the United States, refused to leave. And, to a very small extent, they're STILL there, 60 years later.

Back to modern insurgencies, it's not that Western power can't crush ISIS where they stand - it's that Western voters won't permit us to spend the money and resources, nor disrupt the lives of troops, long enough to do it. Winning against forces in Iraq and Syria in the short term isn't the problem - the problem is when we leave. Unless you're willing to park several million troops from NATO countries into Iraq and Syria for two or three DECADES, forget it, we've lost. And no Western nation will commit to that - just look at the pressure exerted in every NATO country to exit Afghanistan.

People who don't know military history don't know this - hence why you get the narrative that the US 'lost' the Vietnam war. Militarily, the US trounced the Viet Cong. They were a year away from virtual total destruction. The US lost the war for hearts and minds at home.

Want to solve the ISIS problem? Figure out how to get a Western population to commit to a decades-long occupation. Otherwise, you're wasting your time. It's an absolute tragedy, and committing air power and limited ground forces to the conflict at least slows the slaughter, but it's a token stopgap at best. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 03:53, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Pick a faction that isn't hostile to you, an incredibly ruthless but strongone, let them control the region and pretend that human rights abuses aren't happening. But for fucks sake, NEVER pick a religious one; you are always the enemy to them. Personally I'd choose the Kurds, even though they kind of are dicks, but the problem is Turkey. Oh wah wah, the US isn't committed to getting rid of Assad. Do it your damn fucking selves you useless pieces of shit, it's right next door, the US can't do everything for you! But anyway, arm the Kurds to the teeth, let them have South Kurdistan and West Kurdistan so long as they pretend they don't want North Kurdistan (but let them claim East Kurdistan just to scare the Iranians). It's not like the Iraqis are going to stop the Kurds; also useless pieces of shit, outnumbering ISIS 15 to 1 and still retreating. Convince the Kurds to ally with the Assyrians (another major group that's been getting shafted lately), and let both those groups control Syria. CorruptUser (talk) 04:17, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
War ultimately is a contest willpower, and a nation or peoples ability to fight and WIN a war is not measured in bombs, force size, destructive capacity, etc., but in the willpower of the people (notice I said "people", not "government" or "military establishment", "the people who pay taxes that support the regime and its army") to fight and win a war. And again, it's hard to fight an idea with guns and bombs, cause that's ultimately what we're at war with. And its hard to kill an idea that's shown a remarkable capacity to survive and grow for 1400 years (some say these murderous and inhumane ideas are older than 1400 years.). nobsI'm not from this planet, but let me tell u what I think.... 03:29, 31 May 2015 (UTC)