October 17, 2012

Ain't Nothing To Mess With: Syria's Air Defenses And Iran's Mining Capabilities

Photo: Turkish jets. Source.

An excerpt from, "Syria's Air Defenses Would Stifle A Turkish Military Intervention," by Eyup Can [Source: Al Monitor]:
Talking is free of charge. Everybody talks. But look what Barkey [a Turkey analyst at Lehigh University], was telling [Radikal journalist] Ezgi Basaran in their interview yesterday: “The Turkish army doesn’t have enough experience to set up a buffer zone.”

And then he lists the bitter truths.

To those who might ask who Henri Barkey is, let me remind them: He speaks Turkish better than most Turks, has worked in the US State Department and is a highly respected academic close to the Democratic Party. What does he say?

“Turkey cannot enter Syria unilaterally even if it wants to.”

Why not?

“Turkey’s aim to create a kind of buffer zone coupled with a no-fly zone in Syria. This is why it is pressing on the US [to get involved] because it can’t do this by itself. So why aren’t Americans doing it? The Syrian air defense system is highly sophisticated. America has to put hundreds of planes in the air to suppress that system. Since that air defense system was designed for use against Israel, it is developed far more than you may think. Yes, we can create a buffer zone in Syria but they will definitely shoot down some of our planes. This is not a game.
An excerpt from, "U.S. Minesweeping Failures Make War On Iran Unlikely," by "b" at Moon of Alabama:
The recent maneuver was a "combined" effort. Over 30 nations took part and even then only half of the dropped mines were found.

This was only a maneuver. A scripted training event without any threat from real mines or from other forces. Under the threat of fire from Iran's Silkworm derived anti-ship missiles fired from this or that cave or truck on the Iranian coast plus under the threat of real mines the clearing percentage would likely be worse.

What conclusion will those ship insurers in London draw from this? Right.

The U.S. navy has for some time tried to develop new mine hunting systems to be put on the new class of oversized unweaponized speedboats Littoral Combat Ships. These efforts have so far failed. When they eventually succeed the capability of the new system will likely be much less than expected.

Unless there is technological leap in mine hunting and clearing coming up (unlikely), the threat and the capability of mining the Straits is likely enough to keep Iran safe from serious military aggressions.