By Sam Gardiner
-- 02/17/07 -- For those concerned about a
possible war with Iran should turn up their worry-dials
two notches. This morning’s news has a couple dark
IED’s Inside Iran - If you have not been reading foreign
press, you might have missed two explosions this past
week in Iran. One of them killed 11 and injured 31
members of the Revolutionary Guard, and the other was
near a school.
Although the devices were not IED’s like those found in
Iraq, the explosions were in the area a group sponsored
by the United States may be operating. The area in Iran
is Sistan-Baluchestan near the borders of Afghanistan
and Pakistan. Sy Hersh and a number of other reporters
have said this is the area in which the MEK (or the
mouthful name Mujahedin-e Khalq) have been operating.
This morning a Chinese newswire is reporting that the
Iranians have evidence linking the attacks to the United
According to the report, “Relevant documents,
photographs and film footage, which show that the
explosives and arsenals used in the attack were
American, would soon be made public, an ‘informed
source’ was quoted as saying.”
The issue is not that “informed source” has switched
sides, although I find quoting him to be interesting.
This, however, ratchets up the tensions between
Washington and Tehran.
Even if the United States were behind the operation, it
is unlikely the Iranians would find weapons and
materials that would be identifiable as American. US
organizations that are involved in covert operations are
very good about not leaving signatures that can be
That is even more of a concern. The Iranians are
choosing to make an issue.
Surge within the Surge - We have known before that five
brigades were being sent to Baghdad. On Friday, the
Department of Defense announced that an additional 1,000
troops from the 3rd Infantry Division Headquarters were
being sent 90 days early. According to the announcement,
these additional troops and a two star general were
needed to do command and control in Baghdad.
This is a strange announcement because it was the same
day that in a video press conference from Baghdad the
commander of the division now operating there told
reporters saw no command and control problems.
The announcement is a concern because if some of the
brigades that are supposedly part of the Iraq surge were
to go to the Iranian border, an additional headquarters
would be required. We may be seeing that unfold.
Sam Gardiner is a retired Air Force colonel who has
taught strategy and military operations at the National
War College, Air War College and Naval War College.