Iran downs US old tech drone.. . The Economic Sanctions Working

(edited)

The Iranians are showing on PressTV an animation of what they claim was the flightpath of the US drone. If this is based on true data, it seems that the US drone on its way back to the Hormuz strait headed to the north too early doing a shortcut over the Iranian waters.

https://www.presstv.com/Default/embedattached/693377

We have here three possibilities :

1 - This video is just pure propaganda based on fake data. The US drone was attacked on international waters as claimed by the US.

2 - This video is based on real data and the US drone was intentionally entering the Iranian airspace to spy and Iran had the right to down the aircraft.

3 - This video is based on real data but the shortcut through Iranian airspace was just a mistake.  Bad luck !

Edited by Guillaume Albasini

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33 minutes ago, Justin Hicks said:

Looks like the US was a little too close

Not really, Justin.  Let's remember that no "declared state of war" exists between Iran and the USA.  Nor for that matter between Iran and any other nations, at this point in time.  So, shooting down aircraft is totally outrageous.  If an aircraft, military or civilian, is found to be within national airspace, then the proper procedure is either to (a) send up another aircraft and escort the border-crosser out of the airspace, back over the ocean, or (b) lodge a Diplomatic Protest via diplomatic channels. 

Examples:   during the Cold War the Russians (Soviets) would fly their long-range "Bear" converted bombers (rebuilt into transport planes) on their non-stops between Cuba and Vladivostok up the Atlantic Coast and then have this convenient "navigation error" that would put them over the US submarine building yards at Groton, Connecticut, immediately adjacent to the US submarine Base.  So the US response was to go fly their planes directly underneath so that the Russians could not take photographs.  Nobody has the right to go shoot somebody down because they stray off the flight path.  Finally the US built this huge building over the graving dock to completely shield the construction of US subs from those prying eyes.  Today all sub construction is done "indoors," to keep spy satellites from seeing anything. 

example:  The US was flying these Intelligence planes over the South China Sea to spy on the Chinese.  So the Chinese would send up these fighter jets to go intimidate the US crews by putting their wingtips over the US plane wingtip and trying to push down, using the airflow between the tips to jostle the US plane.  Well, one fine day the Chinese pilot screwed it up and actually collided with the American Nimrod surveillance plane, banging it up and thus forcing the US plane to seek a landing spot.  The nearest airfield was right there is China, so the US plane put it down on the afield.  A diplomatic row got started, and eventually the US sent over a team of mechanics and dismantled their airplane and flew it out in pieces, as the Chinese refused to allow it to take off.  That in turn caused serious problems for the Chinese as various sanctions were levied.  The Chinese have not done anything like that again, and although you have these intimidation battles out on the ocean, nobody actually touches. 

Firing off missiles at aircraft risks mis-identification, and then you have some jetliner shot down, such as MH-17, with hundreds dead.  So shooting missiles is a distinct no-no.  The Russians involved in MH-17 are going on trial in the Netherlands for mass murder, in abstentia, and will end up with international warrants out for their arrest, and whatever funds they have stashed outside Russia confiscated.  they will be prisoners inside Russia forever, and diplomatic immunity will not apply.  In the Iran case, this was a drone, but still, a surveillance drone is not a legitimate military target when no war is declared.  So, bottom line, shooting it down will result is serious sanctions down the road, plus a demand for reparations payments.  The hothead idiots that run Iran do not care, but that is only because they are mentally ill. The last chapter is not written on this event, not by a long shot.  

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2 hours ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

Wouldn't it be better to have oil revenue than to have circulating petrodollars? 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

Not really, Justin.  Let's remember that no "declared state of war" exists between Iran and the USA.  Nor for that matter between Iran and any other nations, at this point in time.  So, shooting down aircraft is totally outrageous.  If an aircraft, military or civilian, is found to be within national airspace, then the proper procedure is either to (a) send up another aircraft and escort the border-crosser out of the airspace, back over the ocean, or (b) lodge a Diplomatic Protest via diplomatic channels. 

Examples:   during the Cold War the Russians (Soviets) would fly their long-range "Bear" converted bombers (rebuilt into transport planes) on their non-stops between Cuba and Vladivostok up the Atlantic Coast and then have this convenient "navigation error" that would put them over the US submarine building yards at Groton, Connecticut, immediately adjacent to the US submarine Base.  So the US response was to go fly their planes directly underneath so that the Russians could not take photographs.  Nobody has the right to go shoot somebody down because they stray off the flight path.  Finally the US built this huge building over the graving dock to completely shield the construction of US subs from those prying eyes.  Today all sub construction is done "indoors," to keep spy satellites from seeing anything.

Jan, Do they still build the Virginia class sub in Groton

 

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1 minute ago, Falcon said:

Jan, Do they still build the Virginia class sub in Groton

 

Yes.  Two per year.

The production system is a bit convoluted.  The actual sub shell is built over in Rhode Island, at a Electric Boat yard there, located at Quonset Point  (North Kingston).  The shells are then towed over to Groton, Connecticut for finishing.  At the same time, yet another pair of those subs are being built in the shipyard down in Newport News, Virginia.  So you have four subs a year at this point in the production schedule.  Each runs about $3.5 billion.  A lot of capital is being spent on subs.  All US subs are nuclear powered, with two reactors each. Several hundred thousand horsepower will drive a nuke sub at over 40 knots underwater!   Speedy little things  (actually, not that little.  I think they run about 10,000 tons, which is a seriously big boat.  Internally, there are three stories.  The sailors tell me it is like living in a three-story hotel!)

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12 hours ago, James Regan said:

Bolton and Pompeo have the nuts to retaliate but DT I don’t believe could handle it.

The Iranians are seriously tooled up and well trained, this being said how far are the US prepared to let this go. It’s time to take a 💩 or get off the pot.

You do not need a ground war to defeat Iran, you just need to take out enough 'command & control' infrastructure, communications and hardware to let the Iranian people rise up.

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(edited)

17 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

This thread starts with the headline:  "Iran downs US drone. No military response"

Why is this so startling?  The US sends a spy drone to go take a look at what the Iranians are up to  (not much of a surprise there), and the Iranians go take a shot at it, get lucky, wing the bird, and down it goes.  Again no big surprise - after you get past the shooting part of hitting the bird.  Let's remember something:  The USA has no business sending spy drones over other countries.  If you do that, then don't be surprised that somebody takes umbrage and tries to knock it down.  Going back some 50 years, the Russians were infuriated that the US had developed that U-2 high-level spy plane that flew up beyond their air power reach, and could travel over several thousand miles of Soviet territory with impunity. So the Russians knocked themselves out developing an ultra-high-altitude interceptor missile, knocked down Francis Gary Powers, and the rest is history.  The US can do it today with the Blackbird SR-71, but nobody much bothers as satellites have made those manned flights obsolete. 

Today those spy drones, and their cousins the assassination drones, are cheap enough to build and operate and can drop a bomb right through some open window and into the bedroom of any foreigner the US wants to go assassinate, and do it with complete impunity.  Now, that prospect is going to make adversaries rather jumpy.  You have to expect that the targets are going to do their damnest to knock those birds down.  Another good reason not to have a live pilot on board. 

Nobody is going to start a shooting war over some spy drone.  They just send up another one, and the game continues. 

Not only that, we (the US) can send drones after drones and scare the schitt out of Iranians and they can keep trying to and shooting down drones. Shooting a drone or anything else in the air on the water in a thoroughfare zone, is not too smart on the part of the Iranians, even if it "wandered" off into "their" air space.... they are testing the air/waters, they did that directly or indirectly with the tankers , the KSA attacks by drone on pipeline substations, missile attacks on airports and now this.... they think they are getting bolder and braver ... its a very fine line of being an irritant upto a point and turning into a major threat that warrants a strike back. 

Iran's economy is in shambles, and it would take them a lot of years of selling a lot of oil to get new ships and boats and rebuild their oil infrastructure.

War isnt happening right now , and I dont think the US is going to be opening fire over a drone .

History may repeat itself at some point and Iran will crawl back/shoved back  into a hole and stay there for a while ...

Edited by ceo_energemsier
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1 hour ago, ceo_energemsier said:

War isnt happening right now , and I dont think the US is going to be opening fire over a drone .

Agreed, despite some obvious warmongers in the U.S.

I don't think this leaked nuclear strategy document was "accidental"  (see attached pdf)  Seems more likely to me that it was leaked to scare the bezeesus out of certain countries.

U.S. JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: NUCLEAR WEAPONS USAGE CONTRIBUTES TO RESTORATION OF STRATEGIC STABILITY

On June 11th, the US Department of Defense’s Joint Chiefs of Staff published a new edition of the Doctrine on the Use of Nuclear Weapons and deleted it shortly thereafter.

After it was deleted, a notice stated that the Joint Publication 3-73 was available at the Joint Electronic Library+, which is a restricted access website. The Federation of American Scientists managed to keep a publicly available copy and here it is.

The publication itself has some interesting statements such as:

Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability.Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.”

Apart from very obvious statements such as the abovementioned, the doctrine mentions the possibility to use tactical nuclear weapons to support the US conventional operations.  ...

 

...  The doctrine itself doesn’t really provide anything new in terms of strategy, but it simply proves that the US is ready to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in a regional conventional conflict to reach its goals, and it is officially its doctrine. 

 

Nuclear Operations June 2019 jp3_72.pdf

Screenshot_2019-06-20-JP-3-72-Nuclear-Operations-11-June-2019-jp3_72-pdf.png

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20 hours ago, Guillaume Albasini said:

$ 189 million  is the unit cost counting the R&D. But the US is selling 6 MQ-4C triton drone to Australia for 5 billions US$. That's close to a 1 billion unit cost.

 

 

https://www.janes.com/article/87481/australia-to-acquire-second-mq-4c-triton-uav

Its rumoured they shot another drone down over Western Afghanistan;)

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6 hours ago, ceo_energemsier said:

Not only that, we (the US) can send drones after drones and scare the schitt out of Iranians

That is exactly right - a contest done with pieces of metal.  No Americans get killed.  The US Army has a morbid fear of losing combat men in the field.  I recall that in the invasion of Iraq the whole battle resulted in only some 140 combat deaths, with more lost to road accidents.  One tank was wiped out when the driver fell asleep crossing a bridge over the Tigris and went over the side.  The unit commander went back and found this big gaping hole in the guardrail and the tank upside-down on the bottom of the river, all the guys inside drowned.  Interestingly, no sentries on either bank heard a thing  (I guess they were all asleep; how can you miss that big splash?).  Yet high command had sourced and deployed 30,000 body-bags for anticipated combat losses - a Top-Top-Secret number that was so secret it was not on any electronic communications and nobody below the rank of general was allowed to know.  A "Drone War" is even better than a "Clone War," in a drone war you have zero casualties.  

So the real issue is: who has more hardware?  And the answer to that is: the USA.  The USA can out-drone the Iranians all day long.  Not only that, the USA can (and likely will) whack some Iranian targets with precision munitions launched from drones, just to bloody the Iranian nose and rub it in, that the USA can and will drop a bomb into anybody's back pocket anywhere in the country.  For that matter, I remain surprised that a smart-bomb cruise missile has not entered through Kim Jong Un's bedroom window, as a dud - just to let him know he can be snuffed with impunity.  

5 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

I don't think this leaked nuclear strategy document was "accidental"  (see attached pdf)  Seems more likely to me that it was leaked to scare the bezeesus out of certain countries.

Yup, exactly correct, Tom's analysis demonstrates the impact of "psywar," the conduct of warfare by psychological means, to frighten and cow the enemy.  And the "Document" so carefully leaked is totally credible, as the US can and just might use tiny nukes, called "battlefield nuclear weapons," to totally cow the Iranian Army.  the politicians, those old farts who live in some Altered Mental State, may say, "who cares?," but the professional Iranian Army is likely not to share that desire for self-immolation.  At one point in the Iran Hostage mess in 1979, the Joint Chiefs suggested dropping a b ig nuke out in the Iranian Desert between Tehran and Mecca at prayer time, so that all those Shi'ite clerics praying towards Mecca would see this gigantic flash and mushroom cloud building up, then proceed to "walk" the nukes towards Iran one every fifteen minutes, to seriously cause panic.  They could do that with impunity.  The project was nixed by President Carter, and they tried that commando raid that became a complete fiasco when the Sea Stallions proved so unreliable.  

The US could just go "walk" a long series of mini-nukes across the width of Iran, through that desert, blasting one every fifteen minutes, just to demonstrate that they can.  Nothing quite like demonstrating overwhelming battlefield superiority. 

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2 minutes ago, Guillaume Albasini said:

image.thumb.png.d02346bcf7648c2263e98cdc8b925d4a.png

 

Two red dots...

Off topic, sorry, couldn't resist a bit of levity

 

5c5748f9f141fb6ad7a299aaa4bf0d96f6a335ef8e110c1426b49381c0b2ea90.jpg

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Anyway, for some perspective

d114ccb810f9fbd467daca8303e2d908ff66d997a15a6e0352582d5b7b13448e.png

 

And some military guys weigh in

33e3c50a60dca220b9a3f97ccfb56ca134172bcfebe469e6ea104e604467e5d7.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Anyway, for some perspective

d114ccb810f9fbd467daca8303e2d908ff66d997a15a6e0352582d5b7b13448e.png

 

And some military guys weigh in

33e3c50a60dca220b9a3f97ccfb56ca134172bcfebe469e6ea104e604467e5d7.jpeg

As per the yellow line the drone must have been on its way back having already past the point of attack. So they got a look at it once and shot it down the second time. If it had been in Iranian air space surely they would have had a go at it first time??

something fishy going on...

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1 minute ago, James Regan said:

As per the yellow line the drone must have been on its way back having already past the point of attack. So they got a look at it once and shot it down the second time. If it had been in Iranian air space surely they would have had a go at it first time??

something fishy going on...

I think you are missing the point.  There is no declared war.  No sovereign entity has some "right" to go shoot down airplanes.  Period. All those Iranian guys are picking up is a radar return.  Nobody has any idea just who that is, drone or manned or airliner.  Shooting at airplanes is a criminal act. Does not make any difference where it is.  

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14 hours ago, Ward Smith said:

That's an insightful point, but the answer is subtle. The key is global commerce and a reason to purchase dollars. Right now 190 countries need to buy dollars to buy oil. That creates a huge worldwide demand for our currency and makes the entire world respect it. Take away that magnetic attraction and the only reason to buy dollars is what? To purchase the paltry amount of oil we sell and maybe buy some airplanes from Boeing? How many countries is that?  

I admit I'm fuzzy on the details of the petrodollar, but I gather that:
1)  Oil is traded in dollars, largely because the US controls the global financial transaction infrastructure.
2)  People who buy products from the US pay in US Dollars.
Please correct me if that's too simplistic. 

Why are petrodollars important?
The point of the petrodollar was to reduce inflation.  There are three ways to reduce inflation:
1)  Have more dollars in circulation (petrodollar accomplished this)
2)  Grow your economy (More tax revenue and more dollars in circulation)
3)  Reduce government expenses

Domestic oil grows the economy.  We're producing the oil and we're growing our petrochemical industry. 

Domestic oil reduces government spending.  IIRC, the US spends $90 billion/year ensuring Middle Eastern oil flows.  Far more if you include the trillions we've spent on Middle Eastern wars.  That expense will disappear.  As an added bonus, China will be forced to either police Middle Eastern sea lanes or rely on US/Russian oil.  Either way, the US gains leverage over them, which reduces defense expenditures. 

Why will people buy petrodollars in the future? 
The petrodollar inflation tax is essentially protection money.  If the world stops paying that tax, we have less reason to defend them. 
- My guess is that we'll withdraw from the Middle East because the world won't need their oil, and any strategic value they add isn't worth the cost.  As an added bonus, they'll have less money to export violence. 
- SE Asia will continue buying petrodollars for fear of China.  They need us to survive. 
- South America and Africa will continue to not matter.  Both are corrupt, incompetent messes that will struggle to compete in an age of high technology. 
- Europe, Australia, and their colonies will continue business as usual. 

Next, there's the rise of natural gas, which the US will export.  Much of the world - esp. Europe - is switching from oil to NG.  In some cases, it's also transitioning from coal/nuclear to NG.  These countries will replace some of their Middle Eastern oil with US NG.  Thus, the US will reap profits from exports in addition to enjoying petrodollars.  Win-win. 

There's other stuff on the horizon, but I'm not sure how much it's worth relative to oil/gas:
- Thanks to SpaceX, the US is cornering the rapidly growing space launch market.  It's interesting to see how quickly and completely SpaceX stole market share from China, Russia, and Europe.  With the cost of launches falling, the value of this industry will explode. 
- SpaceX is deploying fast satellite-based internet.  Essentially, the US will be "exporting" internet services globally. 
- The US is a leader in the growing aerospace and tech industries.
- If it decided to, the US could be a global leader in nuclear power.  I would bet that small, modular reactors become successful and that the US is successful in this market, but we'll have to wait and see.  We seem to be suppressing those in favor of natural gas. 

Are petrodollars worth the cost?
The US spends a lot of money policing sea lanes, dealing with obnoxious nations, and importing products from around the world.  None of this is necessary.  Between the US and Canada, the US has plenty of natural resources.  Latin America provides an endless source of cheap labor.  The US could do as Switzerland has done for centuries: mind its own business. 

Thanks to automation, the US can produce domestically nearly as cheaply as it can import.  As wages rise in SE Asia, the US will become the lowest-cost producer of most products.  Between that and domestic natural resources, the sea lanes are unnecessary. 

There's effectively zero chance of a foreign nation invading the US - esp. since it dominates the air and space.  The US could abandon bases around the world and withdraw fleets.  Allies would pick up the tab for their own defense, which would keep the US defense industry strong.  This is what's happening in Saudi Arabia right now: they fight the wars, and the US profits.  Win-win. 

The massive debt will be handled through a combination of economic growth, mild inflation, and lower government spending. 
-  Growing economy: oil, gas, petrochemical, manufacturing, advanced tech, etc. 
-  Lower spending:  In a world where Europe defends itself, the Middle East is too destitute to cause trouble, and SE Asia contributes meaningfully to its own defense, the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps could all shrink.  Social Security, medicare, medicaid, veterans benefits, and welfare will be completely shafted by chronically understated inflation.  So will government employees.  If Trump gets reelected, the purge of government employees will continue. 
- Mild Inflation: inflation will continue, slowly rendering debts irrelevant. 

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1 minute ago, Jan van Eck said:

I think you are missing the point.  There is no declared war.  No sovereign entity has some "right" to go shoot down airplanes.  Period. All those Iranian guys are picking up is a radar return.  Nobody has any idea just who that is, drone or manned or airliner.  Shooting at airplanes is a criminal act. Does not make any difference where it is.  

Jan not missing the point and I agree with you regarding no one has the right to shoot down anything, however a drone can be detected as a drone and spoofed in some cases the drones controls hacked and forced to land in the hands of whom it’s spying on.

As for declaring war I think the situation with USA and Iran cannot be taken in the context as a normal situation, they have been on the brink of war for decades.

IMO this will escalate, POTUS has basically sent the last warning by pulling back the strike, depending on Iran’s rhetoric or actions in the next 48 hours the USA will have to act either positively or negatively the drone strike cannot go unanswered.

a recap...

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-48676773?intlink_from_url=&link_location=live-reporting-story

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7 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

I think you are missing the point.  There is no declared war.  No sovereign entity has some "right" to go shoot down airplanes.  Period. All those Iranian guys are picking up is a radar return.  Nobody has any idea just who that is, drone or manned or airliner.  Shooting at airplanes is a criminal act. Does not make any difference where it is.  

That's my concern in that usually a visual confirmation is made before engaging. That drone has the wingspan of an airliner.

Iran doesn't want to do anything really stupid like shoot an airliner down over the Persian Gulf.

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1 minute ago, James Regan said:

IMO this will escalate, POTUS has basically sent the last warning

The missile battery that shot down the US drone is quite likely to get whacked.  

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Just now, Jan van Eck said:

The missile battery that shot down the US drone is quite likely to get whacked.  

Agreed, apparently DT was told there would be 150 deaths as a result of the strike, so he pulled the plug. 

Probably now as you stated looking for hardware to attack as no blood had been spilled as of yet, but as soon as one life is lost the 💩 will hit the fan.

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2 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Yup, exactly correct, Tom's analysis demonstrates the impact of "psywar," the conduct of warfare by psychological means, to frighten and cow the enemy.  And the "Document" so carefully leaked is totally credible, as the US can and just might use tiny nukes, called "battlefield nuclear weapons," to totally cow the Iranian Army.  the politicians, those old farts who live in some Altered Mental State, may say, "who cares?," but the professional Iranian Army is likely not to share that desire for self-immolation.  At one point in the Iran Hostage mess in 1979, the Joint Chiefs suggested dropping a b ig nuke out in the Iranian Desert between Tehran and Mecca at prayer time, so that all those Shi'ite clerics praying towards Mecca would see this gigantic flash and mushroom cloud building up, then proceed to "walk" the nukes towards Iran one every fifteen minutes, to seriously cause panic.  They could do that with impunity.  The project was nixed by President Carter, and they tried that commando raid that became a complete fiasco when the Sea Stallions proved so unreliable.  

 The US could just go "walk" a long series of mini-nukes across the width of Iran, through that desert, blasting one every fifteen minutes, just to demonstrate that they can.  Nothing quite like demonstrating overwhelming battlefield superiority.  

Are you serious?!!?  That's the most hilarious thing I've ever heard! 

Would the US have done that under a different president? 

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Whether it was or not in international seas, one question still remains : why did you (US) withdraw from an agreement which seemed to be acceptable ? I mean "acceptable" if your goal is to reach stability. I have to admit that I really do not understand.

I am not so naïve and I know that we are not living in a world where we have to keep our  words,  But I thought that A Country had to keep some kind of consistancy and trust when it comes to international Agreements. But I was wrong, we know now that whatever agreement you sign, it does not matter, you can just change your mind and decide that what former administration did was useless and non binding...

 

 

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2 minutes ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

Are you serious?!!?  That's the most hilarious thing I've ever heard! 

Would the US have done that under a different president? 

@BenFranklin'sSpectacles Under another president, definitely NOT! If it was Bush 1 or 2 we would be watching live strikes as we speak.

DT is doing his thing but unfortunately for him he is going to be forced into a LBJ situation, his tweets won’t stop this situation which has been brewing for a long time.

Iran has been backed into this corner where they appear to now have told the USA to put your money where your mouth is. A war would not be fought in Iran but asymmetrically from all the proxies which litter the region. 

Very dangerous situation unraveling in front of us which is one bad call away from the most complicated theaters of war the region has ever seen, multiple players from all angles.

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1 minute ago, James Regan said:

@BenFranklin'sSpectacles Under another president, definitely NOT! If it was Bush 1 or 2 we would be watching live strikes as we speak.

 DT is doing his thing but unfortunately for him he is going to be forced into a LBJ situation, his tweets won’t stop this situation which has been brewing for a long time.

Iran has been backed into this corner where they appear to now have told the USA to put your money where your mouth is. A war would not be fought in Iran but asymmetrically from all the proxies which litter the region. 

Very dangerous situation unraveling in front of us which is one bad call away from the most complicated theaters of war the region has ever seen, multiple players from all angles.

I was referring to the tactical nukes, but I see your point. 

Trump's problem is optics.  His opponents expected him to be a warmonger, so he must be extra careful not to look like a warmonger.  The good news is that showing forbearance makes the inevitable retaliation look more justified.  At some point, US voters will grow tired of Iran's aggression and give Trump permission to attack.  Gaining voter approval takes a little longer, but the end result is the same: Iran loses. 

The other possibility is that the US truly doesn't care about Iran.  Iran can pick off drones, but it can't do real harm.  Other Middle Eastern nations will bear the brunt of proxy wars, and the US will profit.  Win-win.  With each passing year, Middle Eastern oil will matter less to the world.  A massive war would only accelerate that process.  Basically, the US needs nothing from Iran.  There's no reason to waste resources on them. 

I've dated a number of women over the last 15 years, and I've noticed they all had one thing in common: self interest.  They knew exactly what they wanted out of a relationship, and they were laser-focused on obtaining it.  The second they weren't getting exactly what they wanted, they dropped all communication and moved on.  Zero empathy, zero remorse, zero f***s given.  US foreign policy needs to be like that: we get what we want from international relations, or we move on.

Fortunately, that's more-or-less Trump's strategy. 

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1 minute ago, NickW said:

That's my concern in that usually a visual confirmation is made before engaging. That drone has the wingspan of an airliner.

Iran doesn't want to do anything really stupid like shoot an airliner down over the Persian Gulf.

I suppose the drone flights are quite frequents in this area so the Iranian know how to identify and track them. The downed drone was on it's way back and I think the Iranian radars were monitoring its path  since the moment it reached the Hormuz Strait at he beginning of the flight.

They had plenty of time to double check it wasn't an airliner .

IRGC Aerospace Force commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh said "a Boeing P-8 Poseidon was accompanying the drone with 35 airmen on board. "This aircraft also violated our air borders. We could have shot it down, but did not do so, because, having shot down the drone, we'd sent a warning to the American terrorist forces"

Hajizadeh also told reporters that Iran had issued the US military two warnings before shooting down the drone. "Unfortunately, when they failed to reply...and the aircraft made no change to its trajectory...we were obliged to shoot it down," (quoted by Tasnim).

 

On the legal aspects of this crisis I've found his interesting article :

https://www.lawfareblog.com/iran-shoots-down-us-drone-domestic-and-international-legal-implications

Here is a long quote from this article :

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The lawfulness very much depends on whether the U.S. drone was in Iranian airspace or international airspace.

If the U.S. drone really had been in Iranian airspace, it seems permissible under international law for Iran to shoot it down, at least if Iran had first attempted to warn the drone or its operator.  It is a basic principle of sovereignty that a state has the right to control access to its territory, airspace, and territorial waters.  Article 1 of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, to which the United States and Iran are both parties, provides, “The contracting States recognize that every State has complete and exclusive jurisdiction over the airspace above its territory.”  Article 2 clarifies that “territory” constitutes “the land areas and territorial waters adjacent thereto.”  The Chicago Convention also deals specifically with unmanned aircraft.  Article 8 of the Chicago Convention states, in relevant part, “No aircraft capable of being flown without a pilot shall be flown without a pilot over the territory of a contracting State without special authorization by that State and in accordance with the terms of such authorization.”

Iran therefore is entitled to control access to its airspace.  The relevant question here is whether Iran can use force against an aircraft that has entered its airspace without consent.   Although there is no black letter law on the question, state practice suggests that a state can use force against unmanned drones that have entered its airspace without consent.  If the military aircraft were manned, and the involved states were not in an armed conflict, there appears to be an expectation that the territorial state will give warnings before using force against it.  For example, U.S. fighter jets fired warning shots at Russian planes flying through coalition airspace in Syria in 2017.  This is consistent with Department of Defense Instruction 4540.01 (2015) on the Use of International Airspace by U.S. Military Aircraft and for Missile and Projectile Firings.  Section 3(e) states, “U.S. military aircraft and missile and projectile firings operate with due regard for the safety of all air and surface traffic,” and notes that “[r]easonable warning procedures with regard to the military aircraft of all States must be observed.” It also is a sensible rule, as there are occasions on which a military aircraft enters another state’s airspace in error, or because the plane is in distress. (We welcome additional information about Defense Department rules or policies about the interception of military aircraft.)

It is less clear whether states can or will warn military drones before shooting them down. In recent years, Japan, Israel and India have pursued policies reflecting a view that it is lawful for a territorial state to shoot down a drone that enters its airspace, but not all of those states seem to have warned first.

Japan has a policy of trying to first warn the drones.  In 2013, Japanese Prime Minister Abe approved a plan to shoot down foreign drones flying in Japanese airspace if the drones (or, presumably, their operators) ignore warnings to leave.  Japan developed this policy in the wake of Chinese drone flights over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, the ownership of which Japan and China contest.  According to the Japanese Times, the Japanese government determined that Chinese drones are equipped with high-performance cameras that are capable of detecting warnings.

Israel has actually shot down drones that entered or approached its airspace.  In 2014, during the Gaza war, Israel used a Patriot missile to destroy an unmanned Hamas aircraft over the Israeli city of Ashdod.  In February 2017, an Israeli fighter jet shot down a Hamas drone that took off from the Gaza Strip, hitting it before it entered Israeli airspace.  In that case, the military stated that the interception prevented an “immediate threat of infiltration.” And in November 2017, Israel shot down a drone that tried to infiltrate its airspace from Syria.  It intercepted the drone with a Patriot missile while it was over the Golan Heights.  As for India, in 2019 an Indian air force jet shot down what reportedly was a Pakistani drone in Indian airspace.  In the Israeli and Indian situations, it is unclear whether the states using force first tried to warn the drones or their operators (if known).

This leaves unresolved whether there is an international legal requirement for a territorial state to give a warning to a military aircraft that has entered its airspace when the territorial state is not engaged in an armed conflict and there is no reason to believe that the aircraft poses an imminent threat of an armed attack.  It appears to be U.S. policy to warn where possible, and other states may take this approach as well.  There is no indication in press reports that Iran attempted to warn the U.S. drone or its operators that it had entered Iranian airspace.  Further, nothing in Iran’s rhetoric indicates that it deemed the drone flight to be an armed attack that triggered its right of self-defense and rendered it necessary to use force.

If the U.S. drone was in international airspace and was not engaged in hostile military activities, however, Iran did indeed engage in an internationally wrongful act by shooting it down. On its own, however, most would conclude that this would only warrant U.S. responses short of using military force, such as lawful countermeasures. To warrant a U.S. military response, Iran’s actions would have to trigger the inherent right to self-defense referenced in Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, which is an exception to the prohibition on the use of force between states in Article 2(4) of the same.  Those states that abide by the standard set forth in the International Court of Justice’s Nicaragua decision may have doubts as to whether an attack on an unmanned drone is one of “the most grave forms of the use of force” necessary to trigger the right to self-defense. But the United States has openly objected to this standard and argued that the right can be triggered by any use of “deadly force by the military personnel of another state[,]” including in cases that resulted in no fatalities.  In the present case, the fact that the Iranian attack could not under any scenario have resulted in fatalities—because the drone was unmanned—no doubt weighs against a U.S. claim of self-defense and presents what is, to our knowledge, a question of first impression. That said, it is still undoubtedly a foreign military attack on a U.S. aircraft engaged in lawful activities in international airspace, which the U.S. executive branch, at least, seems likely to find sufficient to trigger a forcible response.

This does not, however, provide the United States with a blank check. As U.S. military doctrine acknowledges, any response will have to satisfy a variety of international legal requirements, including those of necessity and proportionality under the jus ad bellum, as well as distinction, necessity and proportionality under the jus in bello. In short, this means any response will have to be pursuant to a legitimate military need, employ only a level of force proportional to the military advantage provided, and scrupulously minimize damage to non-military targets, including civilian casualties. Implementing these obligations necessarily entails a substantial amount of judgment by military personnel, which can lead to disagreements.  Nonetheless, there is no debate that international law sets important limits on how the United States may pursue a military response.

 

 

I think Bolton and his warmongering team don't care about international law considerations  but these aspects will have an impact on how many countries will react to this evolving crisis.

 

 

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