U.S. war game predicts Israeli strike on Iran will result in regional war, hundreds of Americans dead (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Haaretz 03/20/12)
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A classified war simulation exercise held earlier this month by the
United States estimated that a strike on Iran would lead to a
regional war which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds
of Americans dead, a New York Times report revealed on Monday night.
According to the report, top American officials said the so-called
war game was not designed as a rehearsal for American military
action, and emphasized that the results were not the only possible
outcome of a potential conflict.
However, the report also stated that the simulation has raised fears
among top American planners that it may be impossible to prevent
American involvement in any escalating confrontation with Iran, the
The New York Times report further revealed that the results of the
war game were especially troubling to General James N. Mattis, who
commands American forces in the Middle East, Persian Gulf and
Southwest Asia, and who told aides, upon the conclusion of the
exercise, that an Israeli first-strike could have dire consequences
for the region and for United States forces stationed there.
According to the report, the two-week war game, played out a
potential narrative in which the United States found itself pulled
into the conflict after Iranian missiles struck a Navy warship in the
Persian Gulf, killing about 200 Americans, said officials with
knowledge of the exercise. The United States then responded by
launching its own strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The initial Israeli attack was assessed to have set back the Iranian
nuclear program by roughly a year, and the subsequent American
strikes were not able to slow the Iranian nuclear program by more
than an additional two years, the report said.
However, the report also stated that Pentagon officials have said
that America’s arsenal of long-range bombers, refueling aircraft and
precision missiles could do far more damage to the Iranian nuclear
program should President Obama were to decide on a full-scale
In the end, the report states, the war game reinforced to the
unpredictable nature of a strike by Israel, as well as a
counterstrike by Iran, the officials said.
According to the New York Times, the war game, called “Internal
Look,” has been one of Central Command’s most significant planning
exercises, and is carried out about twice a year to assess how the
headquarters, its staff and command posts in the region would respond
to various real-world situations. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 03/20/12)
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