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12-29-2011, 09:04 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by CG-23 Sailor Quote
Ah Australia!
One of the very few countries I wanted to see but never got the chance too on multiple WESTPAC deployments. Been dang near everywhere else though!
Hello again,...You must've seen a few interesting things.
What ships did you serve on?.....Anything that I might know.....well known stuff like those AWESOME (Missouri class?) Battleships, or any of those big Carriers?
Cheers, Pickles.

12-29-2011, 09:44 PM   #32
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Well my name would be a small hint for starters, LOL. USS Halsey CG-23, A Leahy class Guided Missile Cruiser. Spent most my time aboard her up until her decommissioning and getting turned into razor blades. My Second ship I served on until I got out. USS Kitty Hawk CV-63.
Kitty Hawk's been to the Land of Oz a few times though never when I was aboard her thanks to that newly dead dictator Kim Jong Il. 1994 being one of those years where Kim Jong decided he wanted some more stuff so he gets it the only way he knows how... throwing tantrums about his nuclear reactors until the west gives in and gives him what he wants in return for him not doing what he was doing.... at least until he wants some more stuff and it starts all over again. We planned to hit a few good liberty ports and Sydney was one mentioned, but due to his tantrums, the battle Cat had to remain with X number of hours steaming of strike range of the NorKs.
12-30-2011, 12:20 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
Thanks for the update on gaffney --- his wasn't the article I'd read (in the New Yorker, a year or more ago) but was the first one that came up on google. So while this guy may be a peace activist and gardener (and so what? we're amateur photographers, and some of us are pacifists...) there have been I'm sure more 'qualified' opinionators.
While his bio may not disqualify him, his blatant propaganda and misinformation does.

QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
Can you link us to some of the multiple layers of defense against this missile? thanks
The systems to directly defeat incoming threats are listed (not in order) on the manufacturers page:

Raytheon Company: 2011 Sea Air Space Exposition - Naval Weapon Systems

Gaffney only mentions Phalanx and SeaRam. The latter he dismisses for not being battle tested against a weapon that..hasn't been battle tested. There is no mention ESSM, and SM2. In addition to the direct defense, other layers I already mentioned are the limitation of Iran's anti-shipping missiles range and our ability to find and destroy them before being launched. Gaffney cites Gulf War 1, 20 years ago, as evidence of our inability to find mobile, land based launchers. JSTARS and UAVs aren't even in the picture.
12-30-2011, 03:08 AM   #34
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I suppose the general scheme would be the Iranians laying out mine fields first. They would probably manage that well enough to block the strait from commercial traffic so that minesweepers would need to go in. They would be in harm's way because of the anti-ship missiles and the missiles alone could be used to block the strait from commercial traffic. To counter them the US (and/or possibly others) would need to start a major air campaign to take the missiles out. The Iranians in charge are probably calculating that the US would be r-e-a-l-l-y reluctant to do that and that they do not need to worry about a land operation, never mind an occupation: not because these cannot be done from a military point of view, but because of the political situation in the aftermath of Iraq. All this affects the effect of the threat, which the Iranians have apparently considered worth making.

12-30-2011, 04:33 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
I suppose the general scheme would be the Iranians laying out mine fields first. They would probably manage that well enough to block the strait from commercial traffic so that minesweepers would need to go in. They would be in harm's way because of the anti-ship missiles and the missiles alone could be used to block the strait from commercial traffic. To counter them the US (and/or possibly others) would need to start a major air campaign to take the missiles out. The Iranians in charge are probably calculating that the US would be r-e-a-l-l-y reluctant to do that and that they do not need to worry about a land operation, never mind an occupation: not because these cannot be done from a military point of view, but because of the political situation in the aftermath of Iraq. All this affects the effect of the threat, which the Iranians have apparently considered worth making.
I understand what you're saying, but I just can't see the U.S. copping that.
Cheers, Pickles.
12-30-2011, 05:20 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by jolepp Quote
I suppose the general scheme would be the Iranians laying out mine fields first. They would probably manage that well enough to block the strait from commercial traffic so that minesweepers would need to go in. They would be in harm's way because of the anti-ship missiles and the missiles alone could be used to block the strait from commercial traffic.
I can guarantee you that from the very moment Iran started making threats to close the gulf, the US and her allies have had a 24 hour, 7 days a week coverage on the straits monitoring every Iranian military vessel. P-3 Orions are extremely fuel efficient and can even shut down several engines in flight to conserve fuel once on station. they also have radars capable of spotting a 55 gallon drum barrel in the water from over 50 miles away. a small ship from 100's of miles off. The strait is only about 35 miles wide.
FLIR is accurate enough to tell if the jagoff taking a whizz off the stern of the Iranian mine-layer has a fever or not!

The moment the Iranian star laying mines, we would be all over them and if they refuse to stop... well... they'll go the way of the Iran Ajr. Straight to the bottom of the strait.

Iran would never be able to get more than a handful of mines into the water before we stopped them. And those few mines would immediately be noted and marked as a hazard to navigation until such time as EOD could remove them.

Iran cannot close the strait. They can attempt it. maybe hurt a handful of ships with their ASM's before we take them out. But they never will have the ability to actually close it. The moment they try, all their naval assets would simply cease to exist via the USN and USAF.

Iran knows this as well. That's why they are either all bluster and talk, or extremely unhinged mentally.
12-30-2011, 06:11 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by pickles Quote
I understand what you're saying, but I just can't see the U.S. copping that.
Cheers, Pickles.
I quite agree: the US would be forced to do something effective about an actual attempt to block the strait, pretty much (prestige and the oil supply).
12-30-2011, 07:07 AM   #38
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Well, I'm glad they don't have the sunburn.

However, it does seem to me that there is a credible threat, for at least some period of time, for Iran to wreck havoc on Western economies. I doubt the Western countries have the stomach to take on another major war, and the internal political motivations are different in Iran - civilian and army collateral damage doesn't seem to carry much weight, and it seems they are willing to enter a neo-neolithic state if they had to. So a few tankers destroyed, a halt to the flow of oil while the West stages its air attacks... All of which plays to the interests of the Iranian extremists, and the various terrorist groups attached.

12-30-2011, 07:31 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by CG-23 Sailor Quote
I can guarantee you that from the very moment Iran started making threats to close the gulf, the US and her allies have had a 24 hour, 7 days a week coverage on the straits monitoring every Iranian military vessel.
...
Iran knows this as well. That's why they are either all bluster and talk, or extremely unhinged mentally.
I do hope we don't find out how things actually play out. I suppose the chief problem would be being sure of what the Iranians are up to early enough to give the orders stop them while not starting a war in a haste. Attracting an attack on a bunch of unarmed civilian ships moving about in their own waters on some suitable pretext would probably suit Iran rather well.

In general the threat of closing the strait is probably meant as PR (for mostly an internal audience in a preaching-to the-choir-kind-of-way) and as something to affect the decision(s) to actually impose further sanctions. AFAIK the crude oil price has not moved much since the threat so it would seem that it is not generally believed that Iran would actually try to carry out their threat (and/or be effective in doing so) at least not immediately. Also, getting into a more or less serious confrontation with the US should help to solidify ranks within Iran (and they could probably use that sort of thing).

It is worth bearing in mind that the rationale for further sanctions is Iran's 'peaceful' nuclear program. Stopping this would be most desirable (but also very hard, it seems).
12-30-2011, 07:37 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
... All of which plays to the interests of the Iranian extremists, and the various terrorist groups attached.
Another way of looking at it would be a simple marketing exercise to push up the price of crude, which - after all - is their chief export. edit: Actually, the Russians providing their more advanced supersonic anti-ship missiles to Iran knowing that they would most likely point them across the Strait of Hormuz would be a smart move for another major oil&gas exporter. Nothing wrong with profit, huh?

Last edited by jolepp; 12-30-2011 at 08:41 AM.
12-30-2011, 11:52 AM   #41
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A CBC article expresses doubt about Iran's ability to actually close the Hormuz strait:

QuoteQuote:
...
Laying minefields in the Hormuz waters would in theory be the most effective action, forcing time-consuming clearing by U.S. forces and their allies before tankers could move through. But particularly strong currents in the strait make such mining difficult. Moreover, the U.S. and its Gulf allies have extensive surveillance in the area, Rue said, and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have both extensively increased their anti-mining capabilities.


Iran's anti-ship missile batteries on the coast are another major threat. But while the missile platforms are mobile, the radar facilities that enable them to target shipping largely are not, making them vulnerable to U.S. strikes.
...
Iran can't blockade Hormuz, analysts say - World - CBC News

Otoh the summary of the article, also convincing, I referred earlier goes thus:

QuoteQuote:
How might Iran retaliate in the aftermath of a limited Israeli or U.S. strike? The most economically devastating of Iran’s potential responses would be closure of the Strait of Hormuz. According to open-source order of battle data, as well as relevant analogies from military history and GIS maps, Iran does possess significant littoral warfare capabilities, including mines, antiship cruise missiles, and land-based air defense. If Iran were able to properly link these capabilities, it could halt or impede traffic in the Strait of Hormuz for a month or more. U.S. attempts to reopen the waterway likely would escalate rapidly into sustained, large-scale air and naval operations during which Iran could impose significant economic and military costs on the United States—even if Iranian operations were not successful in truly closing the strait. The aftermath of limited strikes on Iran would be complicated and costly, suggesting needed changes in U.S. force posture and energy policy.
Closing Time: Assessing the Iranian Threat to the Strait of Hormuz - Harvard - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
12-31-2011, 03:55 PM   #42
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QuoteQuote:
US President Barack Obama has signed into law a major defence bill including tough new sanctions against Iran.

The law cuts off from the US financial system foreign firms that do business with Iran's central bank.
...
BBC News - Obama signs Iran sanctions bill into law

I understand that buying oil from Iran means doing business with their central bank. I suppose this means that Iran now has fewer buyers for their oil (but is hardly blocked from selling it).

edit:

QuoteQuote:
...
The sanctions require foreign firms to make a choice between doing business with Tehran's oil and financial sectors or central bank, or the mighty US economy and financial sector.

Foreign central banks which deal with the Iranian central bank on oil transactions could also face similar restrictions under the new law, which has sparked fears of damage to US ties with nations like Russia and China which trade with Iran.
...
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-01/obama-signs-iran-sanctions/3753988

Also:

QuoteQuote:
Iran said Saturday it has proposed a new round of talks on its nuclear program with six world powers that have been trying for years to persuade Tehran to freeze aspects of its atomic work that could provide a possible pathway to weapons production.
...
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/12/31/iran-nuclear-talks.html

Last edited by jolepp; 01-01-2012 at 03:22 AM.
01-07-2012, 12:06 PM   #43
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QuoteQuote:
Should Iran's rulers ever make good their threats to block the Straits of Hormuz, they could almost certainly achieve their aim within a matter of hours.

But they could also find themselves sparking a punishing -- if perhaps short-lived -- regional conflict from which they could emerge the primary losers.
...
Few believe Tehran could keep the straits closed for long -- perhaps no more than a handful of days -- but that alone would still temporarily block shipment of a fifth of all traded global oil, sending prices rocketing and severely denting hopes of global economic recovery.

But such action would swiftly trigger retaliation from the United States and others that could leave the Islamic republic militarily and economically crippled.
...
The true purpose of its recent sabre-rattling, many analysts suspect, may be more a mixture of deterring foreign powers from new sanctions and distracting voters from rising domestic woes ahead of legislative elections in March.
With the United States signing new sanctions into law on New Year's Eve -- although they will not enter force until the middle of the year -- and the European Union considering similar steps, few expect the pressure on Tehran to let up.

"This is probably less a genuine military threat than a bid to put economic pressure back on the West and split Western powers over sanctions that threaten Iran's oil economy," says Henry Wilkinson, head of intelligence and analysis at London security consultants Janusian. "Iran now does not have much to lose by making such a threat and a lot to gain."

But many fear the more Iran is pushed into a corner, the greater the risk of miscalculation.
...
"All the Iranians have to do is say they mined the straight and all tanker traffic would cease immediately," says Jon Rosamund, head of the maritime desk at specialist publishers and consultancy IHS Jane's.
...
Whilst in theory it would be possible to push heavily protected convoys through the straits even in the face of Iranian attack, few believe shippers or insurers would have the appetite for the level of casualties that could involve.
Instead, they would probably hold back until Tehran's military had been sufficiently degraded. That, Western military officers confidently say, would only be a matter of time.
...
"This isn't the first time we have heard these types of threats," said Alan Fraser, Middle East analyst for London-based risk consultancy AKE. "Closing of the Straits of Hormuz is the perfect issue to talk about because the stakes are potentially so high that nobody wants it to happen."
...
For many long-term watchers of the region, the real risk remains that in playing largely to domestic audiences, policymakers in Washington, Tel Aviv and Tehran inadvertently spark something much worse than they ever intended.
"Both sides are talking tough," said Farhang Jahanpour, associate fellow at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University. "Unfortunately it can very easily get out of hand and cause a conflagration. I blame hardliners on both sides. They are playing a very dangerous game of chicken."
Analysis - Iran could close Hormuz -- but not for long | Reuters

Last edited by jolepp; 01-07-2012 at 03:49 PM.
01-07-2012, 02:05 PM   #44
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Just some points for thought.

The United States has consistently refused to take military engagements with Iran off the table. The United States flies spy planes over Iran. To me, it makes sense that they desire to build a nuclear weapon. A nuclear weapon is almost a guarantee against invasion. In addition, other countries in the region have nuclear weapons (Israel, Pakistan). To me it makes logical sens that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons. If other countries were trying to prevent the United States from developing a weapon system that they already had, I believe we would still build it as well.

I also think Iran's threat to block oil if we put sanctions on them is predictable (we hurt their economy, they hurt ours). I think there are a number of countries, including the United States, that would give a similar response if placed in a similar position. My point is that I believe Iran is acting predictably in reaction to threats from other nations. They have had some rash language in the past (like wiping Israel off the face of the earth), but I think that it is just talk.

I believe that it is only a matter of time until Iran gets a nuclear weapon (just like it was only a matter of time until North Korea got one). When this happens I would rather have an Iran that does not hate our guts. While their may be too many differences to build a friendship with Iran, My opinion is that we should try and build a cordial relationship with them. I really think we are doing more harm than good by trying to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon. Whenever you back somebody into a corner, that is when they are most likely to lash out.

Anyhow, just wanted to share my thoughts. I think they are a bit different from the mainstream philosophy, and I hope they will be an interesting addition to the conversation.
01-07-2012, 05:48 PM   #45
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I've more than once said that such matters are a matter of internal politics. I'm not big on nuclear power or nuclear arms, period, but I have never understood why some countries on this planet think they have a right to dictate whether or not other countries will have them. It's not our business what they get up to in that way unless they cross a line and drop one where they shouldn't and while it might be "too little too late" at that point to stop them from indulging in that kind of destruction it's not anyone's business to play "big brother" and to forbid developing countries from making things nuclear. If you're going to go there at all then they also have to have a say in OUR having bombs, reactors, et all because it's just as much their business as is it ours.

The USA dropped a couple of those nasty bombs once and the whole world saw the horror of that. Whether or not there was some justification for that is something that people will likely argue till the end of time and what's done is done, but 50 years later the aftermath of that decision is still with us. It still continues to affect the Japanese physically, mentally to this day. It still has the power to horrify and those bombs were nothing compared to what we could wage war with today. I'd really like to think that even Iran has learned the lesson of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and that the only reason they want nuclear weapons is for the sake of defense and posturing, but even if they are crazy enough to aim one at their so called enemies for real until they actually act none of us can legitimately step in and stop them from doing more damage. It's just not our right to do that. It's their country, their decision to make, and while I hope they will make it wisely we can't just step in and make it for them.

I'm not saying just help them do it. In fact I'm all for making it as difficult as possible for them to get the materials to go there. They're not exactly acting like they deserve a vote of confidence here, but if they manage it anyhow, then they do have the right to have those weapons, those reactors, and it's the same right by which more advanced nations first developed theirs, their right to sovereignty, the right to decide how to run their own country for themselves. Like it or not the ability to defend themselves is a part of that and in a world where nuclear weapons are pretty much the gold standard of defense I don't think it's so weird that they think they need them to stay ahead of those they think of as not being their friends.

We have them, so why shouldn't they? Either we all give them up or we just have to give up the idea of playing big brother to anyone who is getting them. It's not that hard to understand. Personally my vote is for total nuclear disarmament and that includes the power reactors. It's not just the bombs we have to worry about. The mess in Russia with Chernobyl and the mess in Japan with the 5 reactors there I think has shown us just how arrogant we really are about our ability to protect ourselves in the event of a nuclear emergency.

Of course Iran will develop nuclear power and weapons just to compete with the rest of the planet, to make sure that they can be seen as a stronger nation. It's sad that they even think they have to, but that how our world is today, isn't it? The country with the nastiest bombs and the biggest threats is the "big bad" and of course any country that isn't the "big bad" just plain wants to be, thinks it needs to be to keep it's arse from being kicked.

Stupid? Yeah, truly, but there you go....
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