New Counter-Attack Against War Drive from U.S. Military Leaders
March 21, 2012 • 7:25AM

U.S. military sources, in their latest effort to head off the war against Iran demanded by the British, Obama, and Netanyahu, before it results in global thermonuclear war, leaked to the New York Times the results of the two-week war game exercise by the U.S. Central Command, of an Israeli strike against Iran. The war game demonstrated some of the "dire consequences" that would result from any such strike.

Mark Mazzetti and Thom Sanker report in their March 20th New York Times story, "Pentagon Finds Perils for U.S. if Israel Were to Strike Iran": "The results of the war game were particularly troubling to Gen. James N. Mattis, who commands all American forces in the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia, according to officials who either participated in the Central Command exercise or who were briefed on the results and spoke on condition of anonymity because of its classified nature. When the exercise had concluded earlier this month, according to the officials, General Mattis told aides that an Israeli first strike would be likely to have dire consequences across the region and for United States forces there."

Central Command carries out such planning exercises, called "Internal Look," about twice a year "to assess how the headquarters, its staff and command posts in the region would respond to various real-world situations." Military officials emphasized to the Times that this year's exercise was not designed as a rehearsal for American action, but to test internal military communications and coordination in the aftermath of an Israeli strike on Iran.

According to the Times sources, the exercise played out "a narrative in which the United States found it was pulled into the conflict after Iranian missiles struck a Navy warship in the Persian Gulf, killing about 200 Americans, according to officials with knowledge of the exercise. The United States then retaliated by carrying out its own strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities."

The officials also "emphasized that the exercises results were not the only possible outcome of a real-world conflict. But the game has raised fears among top American planners that it may be impossible to preclude American involvement in any escalating confrontation with Iran, the officials said. In the debate among policy makers over the consequences of any possible Israeli attack, that reaction may give stronger voice to those within the White House, Pentagon and intelligence community who have warned that a strike could prove perilous for the United States....

"In the end, the war game reinforced to military officials the unpredictable and uncontrollable nature of a strike by Israel, and a counterstrike by Iran, the officials said."