Information operations · Information Warfare · Iran

Iran Escalation (19) – Counter-Strike Aborted

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

I’ve been reading and hearing some rather striking comments about President Trump, usually from folks completely unfamiliar with the military, the Laws of Armed Conflict, and proportionality.  Bottom line: President Trump listened to his advisors.  A strike killing hundreds on the ground is way out of proportion to hitting an unarmed drone in the air, even if it was in international airspace.  It is a good thing he canceled the strike. 

So, what are we going to do?  Iran now has bragging rights, they shot down an American drone.  Right now Iran can puff out their chests and say “yeah, we’re bad” and things can settle down to a dull roar. 

The issue is what will Iran do next? Will they recognize they can stop or will their hyper-machismo tendencies drive them to do something even more stupid and foolish, and necessitate a strike by the US?   Only time will tell. 

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POTUS calls off retaliatory strike 10 minutes before DMPIs were to be plinked – on the basis that it was disproportionate. We should expect intensive argument over this decision. In terms of the politics observed, POTUS’ decision may or may not produce a good outcome. Tehran and Muscovy will use it for propaganda purposes, arguing the US is weak, that is inevitable. It does however sink the Iranian and media propaganda campaign that POTUS wants to start a war.

Will the message get through to Tehran? We will see in coming days, but optimism is not warranted as the regime leadership sees the world through the prism of its own ideology, and its domestic needs to distract the populace from its mismanagement, corruption and repression.

FAA issues emergency order to divert air traffic away from Iranian covered airspace in the Gulf  region, and a number of international airlines follow suit.

USN releases footage of BAMS-D falling out of the sky following the SAM hit.

Lots and lots of Tehran puffery in the media, and lots of lots of media attacking POTUS.

Iran’s Response to US Aggression ‘Would Be Relentless And Disproportionate’ – Sputnik International

The Thursday downing of a US drone by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has caused tensions between Tehran and Washington to reach new heights, with both sides claiming to have been in the right. Some argue, however, that history shows the US is not afraid to fire first and withhold admissions of guilt until they get what they want.

Donald J. Trump on Twitter: “President Obama made a desperate and terrible deal with Iran – Gave them 150 Billion Dollars plus I.8 Billion Dollars in CASH! Iran was in big trouble and he bailed them out. Gave them a free path to Nuclear Weapons, and SOON. Instead of saying thank you, Iran yelled…..”

Donald J. Trump on Twitter: “….Death to America. I terminated deal, which was not even ratified by Congress, and imposed strong sanctions. They are a much weakened nation today than at the beginning of my Presidency, when they were causing major problems throughout the Middle East. Now they are Bust!….”

Donald J. Trump on Twitter: “….On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not….”

Donald J. Trump on Twitter: “….proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!”

Trump explains why he called off strike against Iran

President Trump said he called off a strike against Iran because the estimated casualties were not “proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”

Trump confirms he called off retaliatory Iran attack ‘10 minutes before the strike’ | Fox News

President Trump confirmed early Friday that he called off a retaliatory attack on Iran in response to the downing of a U.S. drone “10 minutes before the strike,” saying the number of expected casualties was not “proportionate” to what Tehran did. 

Trump Stopped Strike on Iran Because It Was ‘Not Proportionate’ – The New York Times

President Trump said “we were cocked and loaded to retaliate” after Iran struck an American drone, but he said the 150 predicted deaths was not a proportionate action.

Trump Claims He Called Off Iran Strike After Learning How Many People Would Die – Mother Jones

Trump Explains Why He Aborted Airstrikes On Iran, Which Underscores Something The Anti-Trump Masses Will Ignore

For some, you could hear the sound of war drums. It was coming. Iran had shot down a surveillance drone in international waters. President Trump did not mince words, saying Iran made a huge mistake, though was cagey about military action. He told the press “you’ll find out” when asked. President Trump has taken action before, firing cruise missiles at an airfield in Syria in 2017 after a horrible chemical weapons attack struck the town of Khan Shaykhun. The airfield was the staging ground. Reports trickled in last night that air strikes were ordered against Iran but were halted by Trump. We didn’t know why, but earlier this morning the president tweeted that he aborted the mission because the retaliatory strikes were not proportionate (via WaPo):

Trump warned Tehran that strikes were imminent before reversing decision | News | The Times

President Trump warned Iran that it had made “a very big mistake” when it shot down an unarmed US spy drone, even as he sought to dampen fears that the countries were on the brink of war.The US Navy’s RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone was destroyed by Iranian forces yesterday as it conducted surve

Donald Trump ‘cancelled Iran strikes with planes in the air’ | World news | The Guardian

Military operation reportedly called off, as Democrats warn US could ‘bumble into’ war

U.S. prepared strikes on Iran, but approval was abruptly withdrawn – Los Angeles Times

The strikes were recommended by the Pentagon and would have targeted radar sites and missile batteries, a U.S. official said.

Trump Approves Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back – The New York Times

Military and diplomatic officials still expected a strike as of 7 p.m. Thursday in retaliation for Iran shooting down an unmanned American drone.

Military operation against Iran was set before Trump called it off – CNNPolitics

A military operation to strike Iran in retaliation for the downing of a US drone was set to begin Thursday night when President Donald Trump called it off, a US official with direct knowledge of the matter told CNN.

Situation Room briefing on Iran crisis concludes, as McConnell says ‘measured’ response is coming | Fox News

Top administration officials and lawmakers have left the White House after a classified briefing lasting over an hour, about Iran’s sudden downing of an American surveillance drone in the Middle East — and a “measured” U.S. response, they suggested, is likely coming soon.

President Trump makes first comments after Iran shoots down U.S. Drone | ABC News Special Report – YouTube

Donald J. Trump on Twitter: “Iran made a very big mistake!”

Trump says Iranian shootdown of US military drone may have been a ‘mistake’ – ABC News

President Trump said Thursday Iran may have mistakenly shot down an American drone the U.S. military says was flying in international airspace.

Putin warns US over Iran in annual call-in show – ABC News

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin sought to use his annual phone-in show to address Russians discontent on the economy and warned the US agains attacking Iran

Putin says US military action against Iran would be a ‘catastrophe for the region’ | Fox News

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin warned the U.S.  Thursday not to take military action against Iran following the recent downing of an American drone and attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran vs US war: Russia just warned world is on BRINK of war – is the threat a real one? | World | News |

WAR is looming amid increased tensions between Iran and the US, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has now warned a military conflict between the two nations would be a “catastrophe”. Is the threat a real one?

FAA issues emergency order barring commercial operators from some Iranian airspace | TheHill

The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday evening issued an emergency order that bars U.S.

US Federal Aviation Bars Airlines from Flying Over Iran-Controlled Airspace After Drone Shootdown – News18

The order came hours after United Airlines suspended flights between New Jersey’s Newark airport and Mumbai, which fly through Iranian airspace after Iran shot down a high-altitude US surveillance drone.

FAA Prohibits Operators From Flying Over Some Iran-Controlled Airspace | HuffPost

The emergency order prohibits U.S. operators from flying in an overwater area of Tehran-controlled airspace.

FAA restrictions: United and Qantas adjust flights near Iran – CNN

United Airlines has suspended one of its flights and other airlines are re-routing planes to avoid the Gulf of Oman after Iran downed an American drone operating in the area.

Airlines avoid parts of Iran-controlled airspace amid safety concerns

Escalating tensions prompted the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue an emergency order to its carriers on Thursday.

Airlines halt Hormuz flights amid US-Iran crisis | The Times of Israel

FAA bars US-registered aircraft from flying in airspace, citing ‘potential for miscalculation, misidentification’ after Iran downs drone; several top global companies follow suit

Lufthansa and global airlines avoid Iranian airspace | News | DW | 21.06.2019

A host of major carriers are rerouting flights away from the Strait of Hormuz after a US reconnaissance drone was shot down in the area. Airlines fear being mistakenly attacked.

U.S. Central Command on Twitter: “The ISR Flight path and grid plots for the RQ-4A shot down by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz. “This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset that had not violated Iranian airspace at any time …” – Lt Gen Joseph Guastella, @USAFCENT…”

Pentagon releases footage of US drone being shot down by Iran | Fox News Video

Jennifer Griffin predicts Trump’s military response to Iran shooting down a U.S. drone would be much different if an American had been injured or killed.

Pentagon releases map disputing claim US drone violated Iranian airspace; Iran’s version is very different | Fox News

The Pentagon released a map Thursday pointing out that the U.S. drone shot down by Iran was over International waters and not over Iran, contrary to what Iranian officials claim.

U.S. Navy Releases Video of Drone Shootdown over Strait of Hormuz

U.S. Central Command confirmed a U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance ISR drone was lost to an Iranian surface-to-air missile.

U.S. Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Shot Down – YouTube

U.S. Navy Published on Jun 20, 2019 Video showing the smoke trail left after an RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard June 19th, 2019.

Video shows Iran shooting down US drone – YouTube

CNN Published on Jun 20, 2019 The Pentagon has released a video that they claim shows Iran shooting down a US drone. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it had shot down an “intruding American spy drone” after it entered into the country’s territory. A US official confirmed to CNN a drone had been shot down, but said the incident occurred in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s most vital shipping routes.

Iran says it refrained from shooting down U.S. plane with 35 on board: Tasnim news – Reuters

Iran refrained from shooting down a U.S. plane with 35 people on board that was accompanying the downed drone in the Gulf, a Revolutionary Guards commander said on Friday.

Iranian state TV claims to show debris from downed drone | Fox News

An Iranian state television published images on its website Friday morning that it claimed show debris from a U.S. military surveillance drone the country shot down Thursday.

Iran releases first images of downed US drone: Live updates – CNNPolitics

US President Donald Trump called off military strikes against Iran on Thursday night after approving them, the New York Times reported.

Tehran Confirms Downed US Drone Was in Stealth Mode and Engaged in Spy Activity – Letter to UN Chief – Sputnik International

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – The US Navy drone shot down by Iran over the Strait of Hormuz was in a full stealth mode and engaged in a spying operation, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres obtained by Sputnik.

In NPR Interview, Iran’s Ambassador To U.N. Defends Shooting Down Drone : NPR

In an interview with NPR, Majid Takht Ravanchi also denied responsibility for the attack on two tankers last week and steadfastly maintained that Iran is not interested in war.

Mikhael Smits, David Adesnik: Drone attack – Iran needs to know it will pay a price for its risky provocations | Fox News

It is essential for the U.S. to show Tehran that Iran will pay a price for its dangerous provocations.

Michael Vickers: Iran must be deterred with limited U.S. military strikes to avoid wider war – The Washington Post

Failure to hit back will only embolden Iran further.

Jim Hanson: US should attack Iran militarily to retaliate for downing of American drone | Fox News

It’s time for the U.S. to take military action against Iran – not to start a war, but to blow some things up in retaliation for Iran shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone Thursday in international air space, just days after setting off explosives that damaged two oil tankers.

Rebecca Grant: Iran shoots down US drone and pushes for war. Here’s what to expect next | Fox News

Do you go to war with Iran over a lost drone?

Israel said worried US may not respond decisively to drone downing | The Times of Israel

Officials concerned Iran may be emboldened after Trump appears to dismiss incident as a possible accident; White House invites House, Senate leaders for briefing

Iran Defiant Over Drone Downing As Trump Reportedly Aborts Military Strikes

Iran says it has “indisputable” evidence that an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone it shot down on June 20 violated Iranian airspace.

Ex-Bolton chief of staff says Trump ‘responded with restraint’ after Iran downed US drone | Fox News

President Trump acted responsibly after Iran shot down a U.S. Navy drone over a key Middle East strait, according to a former National Security Council official.

U.S.-Iran Showdown: American Position Strong | National Review

Because Iran is losing friends and money, it will have to escalate. But the U.S. can respond without looking weak and without going to war.

Iran’s Gambit: Force the World to Rein In Trump – The New York Times

Iran is resorting to rogue state tactics as part of a strategy to induce other countries to counter what it sees as an existential American threat.

Drone shooting raises risk of war, exposes Iran divides in Trump team – CNNPolitics

Iran’s downing of a US drone takes the bitter foes one step higher in a cycle of escalation that could soon overwhelm each side’s reassurances that they have no desire to tumble into war.

One drone down and the new nuance of escalation

A 2015 wargame sought to explore how drones factor into conflict escalation, in an analysis that proves prescient today.

Opinion | Attacking Iran Is Congress’s Call – The New York Times

The Trump administration’s campaign of maximum pressure and minimal diplomacy is bringing the two countries ever closer to blows. Lawmakers must weigh in.

To Deter Iran, Give War a Chance | The National Interest

Either we put the Islamic Republic of Iran back in a box, or we will in effect encourage it to do what it has done since its birth—wage war throughout the Middle East and kill Americans.

Iran must escape the American chokehold before it becomes fatal – The Washington Post

We’re closer to the brink of war.

Trump Doesn’t Need to Attack Iran: He’s Winning Already. – Bloomberg

The president should hold fire. A military strike would damage America’s interests and play right into Ali Khamenei’s hands.

Trump downplays Iranian attack with bizarre, counterfactual explanation in what looks like a move to avoid war | Business Insider

President Donald Trump bizarrely dismissed Iran shooting down a US drone as a “mistake” – after the country admitted to it and declared itself ready for war – in what looks like a counterfactual move to avoid war.

Explainer: How Serious Is Iran’s Nuclear Deal Violation?

Iran has said that in 10 days it will breach the limit on its stockpile of enriched uranium set by the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers. What does Iran’s announcement mean for the deal?

Trump Wanted a More Docile Iran but Got the Opposite – WSJ

U.S. policies aimed to ban uranium enrichment and stop bad behavior. So far, both have grown worse. Recent violence, continued enrichment are seen as signs the administration’s policy is backfiring, threatening a dangerous confrontation.

Trump calls Iranian shootdown of Navy drone a ‘fly in the ointment.’ Say what? – Los Angeles Times

When he ran for president in 2016, Trump said he wanted to avoid war. On Thursday he showed he meant it, shrugging off an Iranian shootdown of a US Navy drone.

Trump’s maximum pressure tactics are incoherent – The Washington Post

On Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and other matters, Trump’s tough posture runs up against reality.

How the Pentagon Nickel-and-Dimed Its Way Into Losing a Drone – Defense One

The lion’s share of the U.S. drone fleet is easy prey for advanced air defenses. It didn’t have to be that way.

Trump Might Not Want War, but the Military Is Steering His Iran Policy – Defense One

The buildup in the Middle East is coming at the request of the forces responsible for the region.

Bolton Keeps Trying to Goad Iran Into War – Defense One

For more than a decade, he’s consistently promoted war with Iran. All that has changed are the pretexts he’s offering to justify one.

How Donald Trump created one hell of a mess with Iran (Opinion) – CNN

Peter Bergen writes that the deepening conflict between the US and Iran begs one question: Does anyone have a clue what Trump’s endgame is in Iran — including the President himself?

What to do with the Islamic Republic of Iran – Israel National News

The Islamic Republic of Iran has entered its fourth decade and the mullahs are waiting to see what Trump will do now that they have attacked a US drone.

Opinion: Why War With Iran Is Bad For Trump — And America : NPR

Iran’s shoot-down of a U.S. drone underscores the growing risk of conflict between the countries. If war occurs, President Trump will wish he stayed out, write Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky.

A Closer Look at the MQ-4 Triton, the Recon Drone Iran Just Shot Down

Designed to spy on maritime environments, Triton is the largest drone in the U.S. Military.