Monday, April 21, 2014

War is Boring: In 1980s Battle with America, Iran Held Back Its Deadliest Missiles

Twenty-six years ago this past Sunday, the US Navy began an operation that would become the largest naval engagement for the navy since World War II. Who was the opponent? None other than our best friends in the whole-wide world, Iran.

For those with an interest in this chapter of the US-Iran rivalry in the region, this naval engagement, known officially as Operation Praying Mantis, was arguably one of the pivotal moments for Iran when it came to how to reacts and views the United States military. During this fairly brief engagement, the Iranian navy (the IRIN) attempted to fight fire-with-fire with the United States Navy and came off rather badly for it.

But this battle also helped change how Iran views any future war with America: why fight head-on against America's military might when you can hit them from where they least expect?

This type of military strategy is best summed up as "asymmetrical warfare", which as the name suggests, is conducting war in an unconventional manner compared to that of your presumed enemy.

With this idea in mind, this recent article from the good folks at the War is Boring have put together a good piece concerning how it appears that Iran's military COULD have done the US Navy a great deal more damage during Operation Praying Mantis and chose not to do so because they feared the retaliation that likely would follow (especially since Iran was still waging a war of attrition with Saddam Hussein's Iraq).

For those who don't know much about Iran's military and it's rather, "interesting" history and tactics, this article is a good start!

War is Boring: In 1980's Battle with America, Iran Held Back Its Deadliest Missiles

Bloomberg: Is Moldova Next on Putin's Hit List?

One of the few potentially positive takeaways from the events transpiring in Ukraine over the last few months is that it's opening many Americans' eyes on the real aftermath of the Cold War on eastern Europe.

Specifically, the sad truth that many ex-Soviet states gained their independence by the skin of their teeth and yet been unable to truly escape the USSR's shadow, now in the form of Putin's Russian Federation.

Ukraine is arguably the biggest "poster child" for this group of states that have yet to truly escape Russia's political, economic, and now military shadow, which raises a rather alarming question: if Ukraine, the largest (by population) and with the 2nd most powerful military of the ex-Soviet states can't successfully resist Russia's overt actions...what chance for smaller countries such as Moldova and the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) have?

Further to this point, is this interesting piece via Jeffrey Goldberg writing on

Is Moldova Next on Putin's Hit List?