Stand Down

Whatever the source of the attack on Saudi oil fields proves to be, we should not leap to the KSA’s defense. They should handle it themselves. If they need help, they could withdraw resources from their ill-conceived war against Yemen or ask for help from the United Nations Security Council.

If the UNSec passes a resolution to defend KSA, we should not participate by sending troops. We are not the world’s policeman and the last time we helped the KSA we got terrorist attacks for our trouble. They are a heinous regime who are not our friends let alone our allies. If it was, indeed, the Iranians behind the attacks, it’s one heinous regime against another.

We’d be better off if they both lost.

14 comments… add one
  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    Iran is playing one of its strongest cards — seriously disrupt Saudi oil production.

    If oil goes up only 10% in a temporary spike; it means the Iranian “oil card” is much weaker then thought.

    Especially if Texas shale ramps up to swallow market share.

    That and whether Trump can avoid a shooting war are what I am watching in the next couple of months.

  • steve Link

    Hope we get really solid information on origin of attacks. This feels a bit like we are being sacrificed to help Bibi. Regardless, I am not overly inclined to help KSA. OTOH, the oil does need to flow. Attacking Iran probably won’t help keep that happening.


  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    The relevant factor is not “the oil must flow”; but “where oil flows from?”.

    Just compare the oil markets and 3 top oil exporters (Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Venezuela) from 2007 to today.

  • Grey Shambler Link

    What concerns me is the thought that an attack like this is inexpensive and relatively easy. But as you say, that’s S.A.’s problem and may be an opportunity to sell more defensive systems for the U.S.

  • Attacking Iran would probably reduce the amount of oil in the global market by a percentage point or two. If “keep the oil flowing” is your objective, attacking Iran is a funny way to do it.

    It is a much more dangerous world than it used to be—it’s a heckuva lot easier to mount a major attack.

    The word going around is that the attack was carried out using cruise missiles rather than drones which puts a somewhat different complexion on things. Whatever we do we should follow the rules set out in the international accords to which we are a party and that says we don’t do anything until the UNSec says we do.

  • Guarneri Link

    C’mon, guys. It was Iran.

    But the result is the same. As a practical matter it improves the situation not one bit to attack. Just turn the screws. From the moral perspective, let SA do their own dirty work.

  • Grey Shambler Link

    “turn the screws”
    Sounds moderate and sensible but when has it ever worked? And what does “working” look like? The Mullahs will never come around and say, sorry we give. There’s not going to be a “green revolution” in Iran, with western friendlies coming to power. I think “working” means long term isolation, deprivation, and continual lashing out tactics like this latest. That means isolation and deprivation are the best we can hope for re. Iran. Moving forward, we should look to take steps to make them someone else’s problem.

  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    Due to the sanctions Iran is exporting less than 200000 barrels per day. Before the sanctions they were exporting 2.5 million.

    Iran is already exporting negligible oil.

  • The Mullahs will never come around and say, sorry we give.

    No, but what will happen is generational change. The old revolutionaries will die and the Iranian people will tire of the mullahocracy which will have less and less fervor every year.

  • bob sykes Link

    Well,that generational change has not come to China, yet. There is no reason to believe that democracy is the evolutionary endpoint of all societies. The Democrats themselves have drifted into totalitarian socialism.

    Iran can probably shut down Gulf oil exports for several months. Restarting the exports would require the invasion and conquest of Iran. Is that doable? Consider the Vietnamese War. The South Vietnamese Government had over 1 million troops in the field, and it controlled every city and most of the countryside, at least during the day. We had about 550,000 ground troops, about 60,000 combat units. We hd absolute air and naval supremacy. We lost.

    In Iran, the ayatollahs control the military and the cities and the countryside. We would have NO allies. Iran is mostly mountains, so the war would be an infantry war, walking not riding. The NVA and VC did not have Stingers or other MANPADS. The Iranians do. There will not be any helicopter war like that in ‘Nam. No chattering Hueys, the sound track of our youths.

    The Russians and Chinese would not fight (I hope!), but, as in ‘Nam, they will happily give Iran whatever they need to fight on. Is an Iranian war winnable, or is it a road to world disaster?

  • steve Link

    C’mon guys. They will greet us as liberators. The war will pay for itself with their oil.


  • Well,that generational change has not come to China, yet.

    73 years elapsed between the October Revolution and when the Soviet Union collapsed. Gorbachev was a bureaucrat not a revolutionary.

    It is just 70 years since the founding of the PRC. That may give us a hint as to why Xi consolidated power in his own hands and why he is threatened by the Hong Kong demonstrations.

  • Guarneri Link

    I’m seeing commentary going around that “Iran will escalate and/or won’t stop until we have a military response.”

    That may or may not prove true. But for now it’s projection. I don’t see how we can be the initiators. Let SA do their own work. If the US or our interests are attacked we can do the MOABs then.

  • janz Link

    Being that our SOS has traveled to SA to confer with them, it appears that serious strategy, involving ME partnerships, has a stronger hand than instantaneous knee-jerk retaliation. Some have suggested that pay-back may entail covert, cyber, or laying more sanctions on Iran rather than a physical assault. Whatever happens, though, I do believe, from Iran’s own past patterns of misbehavior, that they will only be emboldened to ratchet up their attacks if they receive no significant counter consequence.

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