Monday, October 30, 2006

It's prediction update time

We're fast approaching the deadline for my "95%" prediction. That is, the US getting into a shooting war (whether called such or not) with Iran before the November 7 elections.

For what it's worth, I'm a lot less confident.

Supporting the likelihood: There are sufficient assets in place - both air and sea assets - at this time. Israel's Olmert-led ruling coalition has recently put a person in charge of strategic assets (nuclear weapons) who has been heavily advocating an attack on Iran. Iran is making a LOT of noise of reaction should the UN sanctions go into place.

Against the likelihood: There's been a relative silence on the US front about Iran. The UN sanctions appear unlikely to be in effect anytime soon - and the current draft reflects the insistence of some members of the security council that it prohibits military action in the event of violations. One of the carriers in the region is nearing the end of its six month deployment (Enterprise left homeport May 2, 2006) and appears to be getting ready to sail home.

The peculiar nature of current deployments is such that after about November 12 and till sometime in mid-January any movement of assets - both air and sea - into the region will be unscheduled. In other words, they'll either be in response to or anticipation of provocation - and in turn a more obvious indicator of intent.

For the record, I hope I'm wrong. I hope we do not have hostilities in the Middle East - not soon, not ever. But I still bet on seeing shooting before the new congress is seated in January, and still think the odds favor it beginning within a week. Not 95% any more, but more than 50%.


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