Iran's Power Is an Illusion

(Tablet) Lee Smith - Iran isn't actually all that powerful. Its conventional military forces are old and rusting away. Yes, IRGC speedboats can harass, and target, the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf. But it can't move large land forces into Iraq. Qasem Soleimani was commander of the Quds Force, the expeditionary unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. The Quds Force is relatively small, estimated at 3,000-15,000 fighters, a force the size of Hizbullah. For protracted campaigns like the Syria war, the Quds Force relies on what Israeli analyst Shimon Shapira calls the Shiite International - paid militias drawn from Shiite populations in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. It is only because Americans and other Western powers had declined to call out Iran and have instead appeased it, that the regime appears like a formidable adversary. In making Iran accountable, the U.S. has knocked Iran down to its natural size. The writer is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.

2020-01-09 00:00:00

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