Israel – Iran Military Comparison

With all the hooplah about a possible Israeli attack on Iran (which I view as rather unlikely), it is worthwhile revisiting the issue of how weak and how much of a nothing the Iranian military is compared to powerhouse Israel. Statistics mostly 2011 from Global Firepower. Note that some comparisons are invidious, as with Israeli reservists, who are quite professional and Iranian reservists, who typically are not. Or, comparing Israeli fighter jets and other aircraft to old broken down Iranian ones is silly. If Israel’s and Iran’s air forces were close enough to tangle (they are not), Iran’s wouldn’t last a day.

Iran Israel Military Comparison (2011)

And here it is as a jpeg in tabular form:

Iran Israel Military Comparison (2)

61 Responses

  1. The point remains that building a nuclear bomb almost wipes out the traditional military equipment imbalance in a, er, flash. Maybe the imbalance is why Iran stills proceeds with at least the pretence that it is developing a bomb?

    • Nuclear weapons are really only good for preventing the other side from using their nukes. This is why China, for example, only spends enough on nuclear forces to deter ours.

      • Nuclear weapons are really only good for preventing the other side from using their nukes.

        You don’t think they’re useful for deterring conventional attacks as well?

        • Possibly. If both sides have nukes they both know that a conventional conflict could escalate into a nuclear exchange.

          That’s the main reason we never directly fought the Soviets during the Cold War.

      • No. Iran’s messing about with the nuclear option (or at least the perception of the nuclear option) has little to do with military strategy per se. As an Islamic nation, Iran really doesn’t have the option to (for instance) bomb Jerusalem.

        Iranian nukes are all about the bargaining table and being taken far more seriously. Wouldn’t the rhetoric around sanctions and possible naval actions in the Gulf be significantly softer if Iran were nuclear (or perceived to be)?

        Furthermore, I’d suggest that the reason Israel is raining such a stink about a Nuclear Iran has much less to do with the fear of nuclear conflict than it does with loosing it’s already slipping footing in terms of regional negotiations. What’s more, Iran knows that the reason Israel doesn’t want Iran to have nukes is precisely because Israel doesn’t want to lose regional leverage to Iran, so this in a sense will drive the Iranians to either actually develop a rudimentary nuclear capability or the appearence of one.

    • You’re absolutely right.

      So much so that the Iranians know this to be true as well.

      So let’s look at the #s shall we?

      Israel 500 nuclear tipped missiles.

      The worst scenarios say Iran might be “on the verge (timeline indefinite) of having built one or two primitive nukes that it could place on missiles and launch targeting Israel. In reality the best intelligence says they are more than a few years away from even that.

      But let’s assume the Iranians despite the obvious nuke imbalance launch their 2 or 3 nukes at Israel.

      For them to even think they succeeded, they’d have to have perfectly targeted their missiles.

      These missiles would also have to completely and totally evade the most advanced anti-missile defenses on Earth.

      Then upon reaching their target each would have to successfully explode.
      The successful detonation of a nukes is NO small feat. So kudos to the Iranian nuke team for being able to do this without any nuke tests to prove their ability (sarcasm)

      Since Iran is NOWHERE near building a hydrogen bomb, it’s bombs would most likely be atomic which while they are nothing to laugh at. Once again unfortunately for Iran it would require 3 hydrogen nukes to truly devastate the nation of Israel.

      They may be close to building an atomic bomb, but no where near being able to build a hydrogen bomb.

      With the only nuke they could have, an atomic bomb, the very worst Iran could do would be to successfully decimated about 3 Israeli population centers, 10,000s of Israelis would be dead, with several times that suffering radiation poisoning.

      UNFORTUNATELY for Iran, all this pointless destruction would fail to wipe Israel off the face of the map.

      EVEN WORSE for Iran, Israel’s nukes are NOT stored in cities.

      Wherever they may be, it’s quite likely that Israel would still have every single one of its nukes after the absurd notion of a successful Iranian nuke strike.

      So in response to Iran’s “successful nuke attack” (the notion is so absurd, it’s laughable) Israel would have about 500 choice responses with a significant # being the NATION DESTROYING HYDROGEN BOMBS that Iran does not have.

      Do I really have to write out the follow up to a successful Iranian nuke strike on Israel to make it clear just how ridiculous it is to believe Iran would do such a thing.

      Iran knows of the two nations, it is Israel who has the arsenal to wipe Iran off the face of the map, while they do NOT have the ability to do so to Israel.

      Iran has demonstrated all sorts of irrational behavior, but a desire to commit national suicide has not been one of them, and a nuclear attack, even an unsuccessful one would be national suicide for Iran.

    • Are you saying that Iran pretends to be developing a nuclear bomb? When and where were these pretenses let loose upon a fearful West?

  2. What would a comparison of Lebanon and Israels relative military strength look like? After all, the Israelis couldn’t accomplish any of their goals the last couple of times they attacked there. (I know the article here is trying to point out how silly the idea that Iran poses a threat to Israel is, not vice-versa but I do think it should be considered just what would likely happen if Israel and the U.S. were actually stupid enough to go ahead and attack Iran). In the lead up to the second Iraq war I tried to point out to some acquaintances how ridiculous the idea of Iraq being a threat to the U.S. (indeed the whole world according to the neocons) was by pointing out their performance against Iran (and that was done without the handicap of losses from a previous war and a decade of crippling sanctions).

    • Well, Israel really attacked Hezbolla in Lebanon, not the Lebanese army (is there one?). Cuz Israel was sick of terrorist rockets and raids. I think the reason why Israel couldn’t make a lot of headway was because it was pretty inhumane to bomb neighborhoods and mow down civilians on world television. That’s also the main thing stopping them from acting against their own arab population.

      There’s a big mismatch between this inhumanity factor, versus the simplistic notion of ‘bombing them back to the stone age’. Hawks think in terms of the destruction they want to cause, but when it actually starts happening, just a few hundred or a few thousand deaths seem outrageous.

      Compare with 70 years ago, when the bad guys were killing civilians a million at a time, and the good guys were only killing them 100k at a time.

  3. You conveniently forgot the long running Iran-Iraq war of the 1980’s. Whether launched by Iraq or Iran doesn’t really make any difference. Your “statistics” seem to blame Israel for launching ALL the hostilities you list, without any reference to the long standing and ongoing wars of attrition and acts of wanton anti-civilian terrorism initiated by Israel’s Arab neighbors.

    • OH YES it does.

      What a ridiculous assertion on your part.

      Exactly how was Iran supposed to respond to a wholesale military invasion/onslaught from its neighbor to meet your absurd notion of NOT waging war?

      The point being made here is which nation resorts to war as a primary instrument of foreign relations with its neighbors.

      If Iraq had NOT attacked Iran, Iran was NOT going to attack Iraq.

      As the early stages of the war demonstrated. Iran was in NO position to do so. It’s forward lines were quickly overwhelmed by Iraq, and Iraq took more than just the disputed territory. Other less passionate nations would have sued for peace, and Iraq would have declared victory.

      To forestall that, Iran turned to human wave attacks not seen since WWI turned the tide for Iran.

      The Iranians came in such numbers towards the Iraqi front lines that they simply could NOT KILL THEM FAST ENOUGH.

      This allowed the Iranians to overwhelm the Iraqi lines deep within Iran and push them back to the line of dispute, where the war stagnated until Iraq basically surrendered in order to take on a easier target in Kuwait.

      As for the article the problem with the whole notion of preemptive strikes ignores the completely different natures of each nation.

      Iran due to its size and population can afford to sit back and wait for an attack, for no such attack will wipe them off the face of the map.

      Israel on the other hand is small enough that waiting for an invasion would be too late. To survive it had to launch preemptive strikes to take out military forces many times larger in total #s.

    • “…without any reference to the long standing and ongoing wars of attrition and acts of wanton anti-civilian terrorism initiated by Israel’s Arab neighbors.”

      Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were launching anti-civilian terrorism against Israelis? Really?

      You do understand that the wars Prof. Cole references, with the exception of 2009, weren’t launched against the Palestinians, right?

    • Iran didn’t invade Iraq. It was the other way around

      Did your mother drop you on your head?

  4. Useful info, Juan, but you spoil it all with that “wars launched” statistic. I mean, I’m no fan of Israel, but 1967 at least is obviously highly contested. And Iran is hardly the peace-loving lamb suggested by “0” in its column; its preferred method of mischief happens to be support for proxies rather than overt war.

    • The only way that this can be looked at as a defensive war is if one were naive enough to accept the Bush administrations’s contention that their unprovoked attack on Iraq was a purely defensive reaction to an imminent threat. At first the Israelis tried to sell their preemptive war as a response to an attack by the Egyptian Air Force, and when the world saw this for the total fabrication it was, they launched an intense propaganda campaign to convince the world in general and its protector and financial supporter, the United States in particular, that once again the Arabs attacked Israel and that Israel was in danger of annihilation. The undisputed facts are that it was Israel that preemptively attacked Egypt and destroyed virtually the whole Egyptian Air Force while it was still on the ground, and Israel was never in danger of extermination at any time. Egypt, which had a third of its armed forces in Yemen at the time, was never in a position to threaten Israel’s security. Both Yitzak Rabin and Begin admitted publicly that Israel knew Nasser was not planning an attack. Rabin, quoted in Le Monde in 1968 said that, “I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to the Sinai in May (in a show of support for the Syrians who were under threat and attack by the Israelis) would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.” In a speech in August of 1968, Begin was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “In June 1967, we again had a choice, the Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” Also, in 1972 Ha’aretz quoted General Matityahu Peled, who played a major role in developing strategies for the Israeli conquest, as saying, “The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June of 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence was only a bluff, which was born and developed after the war.” Israeli Air Force General Ezer Weizmann openly declared that, “There never was any danger of extermination.”, and Mordecai Bentov, a former Israeli cabinet minister, stated in an interview in the paper Al Hamishar also in 1972 that, “All this story about the danger of extermination has been a complete invention and has been blown up a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territories.”

      • Amazing that all those Israeli leaders speak English and yet none of their later words ever get reported in America. Only their youthful lies, repeated over and over again until they’ve set our knowledge of history in stone.

    • 1967 is not contested. The son of one of Israel’s top commanders did a good job of dispelling this myth of “existential threat” and “pre-emptive war”, as did many others. That’s not to mention that the attack on Jordan, the one the took over the West Bank, was completely unprovoked.

      link to

      Not only it was a war of aggression planned long before to complete the conquest of Palestine, but under the fog of war Israel carried out another round of ethnic cleansing, expelling about 250,000 civilians from their houses in the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

      One by one those myths have been debunked and we are left with a rather simple truth: a colonial aggressive state bent on expansion and the creation of a Jewish lebensraum in Palestine (and perhaps beyond) through the expulsion of the natives.

      • “The son of one of Israel’s top commanders did a good job of dispelling this myth of “existential threat” and “pre-emptive war”

        and that source is about as reliable as Israel’s US MSM proxies. total garbage

    • Perhaps an overlooked comparison which might be clearer than “wars launched” is territory taken and illegally occupied. As far as I know Iran has not invaded and seized territory from any of its neighbors while the state of Israel most certainly has. And then there is the question of territory blockaded and used as a free –fire zone. As far as I know Iran is blockading no one and is not on a regular basis launching massive disproportionate offensive operations against a civilian population under a guise of “self-defence”.

    • Israel launched the 1967 war over the objection of Yitzhak Rabin. Read his memoirs. Egypt’s best troops were bogged down in Yemen

      Iraq invaded Iran in 1980. Iran hasn’t inaded another country since at least the 19th century.

      What ignorant trolling!

    • Ignorant and misinformed commentary, Glenn. Do your homework.

  5. The continuing endless middle-East confrontations are an embarrassment to the premise, “civilization”. There’s a group of common folks being held in captivity illegally. There is faint to no concern given this matter and when any attempt to bring manitarian is tried, such as Gaza, Israeli military forces intercede and inflict heavy losses to those who try to bring supplies. Israel will eventually pay a heavy price by way of mounting very negative international public opinion for such actions and will grow expnentially as time passes.

  6. While I also believe Iran’s developing nuclear weapons, I know the ONLY reason why is the Axis of Evil speech. Iraq had no nuclear weapons and was invaded. North Korea did, proved as much on their second try, the first being a dud, and avoids invasion. So if you’re third on the list what do you do? Plus, nuclear weapons serve but one purpose; to show at the negotiating table when reworking crappy deals made before. That’s it. Otherwise the college dust.

    Now for some really spectacularly fun details. Iran’s smallest possible nuclear warhead design is twenty times bigger than the largest missile lift capacity. Even if they worked that down they’re still more than fifteen years away from having the first generation nuclear weapon. And remember the computer virus used to damage so many of their centrifuges that it set them back many more years. While it hasn’t been said, there’s probably parts of their nuclear facility that is off limits indefinitely because of the damage. The fighter deployed nuclear weapon idea is doubly ridiculous because the Iranian fighters can’t reach Israel even on one way flights. That’s aside from the warhead size issue.

    • That’s what I keep thinking. The US has shown the capacity to make up phony excuses all about how Iraq had 16,000 chemical warheads, yellowcake and mobile bioweapons labs, and is friends with the real Osama. And then invade and topple. All of it was lies, and most of the lies could have been disproven or at least questioned before the invasion – the info was there (I’m talking to you ABC/CNN/NBC/BBC/The Economist). Didn’t matter, the invasion commenced.

      OK so Iran sees this, and sees US politicians advocating for war with Iran next. And exaggerating the threat from Iran. What would you do?

  7. @john Hobson:

    Really a few atom bombs and the means to produce a few more, without any good way of delivering the bombs to targets, those capacities qualify as balance to what the other side commands?

  8. I hope the other commenters aren’t seriously suggesting that covert/proxy wars should be added to this list. Israel uses covert military operations and proxies as much as, if not more than, Iran.

    Furthermore, I’m sure Juan could do a side by side comparison of Iranian vs Israeli covert forces, intelligence agencies, and proxies. Mossad would come out the clear winner in terms of money, training, technology, number of successful ops, etc, etc. The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence concerns itself far more with domestic repression. Something similar could be said for the Revolutionary guard. The same point would be made, Iranian covert capabilities are nothing compared to Israel’s.

  9. Unfortunately for your argument, Glenn, some guy named Moshe Dyan has readily admitted that Israel preemptively attacked in 1967. He admitted that the Israeli Air Force struck the first blows of that war.

    The perceived threats of action by the Egyptians, Jordanians and Syrians was aggressive and worrying, but they did NOT fire the first shots, as General Dyan has admitted.

    • It doesn’t actually refute Glenn’s argument to point out the Israel preempted an attack. Preempting an attack is still a defensive action.

      Now, if you could demonstrate that Israel was not about to be attacked when it launched preemptive strikes, that would refute Glenn’s point, but you don’t actually have to wait for the muggers to stab you in order to defend yourself.

      • “Now, if you could demonstrate that Israel was not about to be attacked when it launched preemptive strikes, that would refute Glenn’s point”

        Well, heck, that’s easy to demonstrate:

        1) When the IAF Mirages screamed out of the morning sky they found the Egyptian MIG-21s lined up alongside the tarmac. Few were in revetments. Even fewer had been dispersed. None were on alert.

        How odd.

        2) When the IDF tank commanders drove their tanks aross the Sinai Desert towards the Suez Canal they found that the Egyptian soldiers were well forward and dug in, and the tanks were located well to the rear.

        Q: What sort military doctrine is *that*?
        A: It is classic Soviet defensive deployment.

        Q: But why didn’t the Syrians rush forward when they saw that the IDF was busy dealing with Egypt?
        A: They were also dug in, and the Syrians showed not the slightest interest in urging them up ‘n’ forward.

        Which is odd indeed, seeing as how the hasbarah had both Egypt and Syria straining at the leash to get at Israel.

      • “Preempting an attack is still a defensive action.”

        if that’s true, then Osama Bin Laden’s attack on the US in Sept 2001, was a defensive action, too. He perceived a threat of an attack, so he lashed out.

        You could say the same about Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The US had stopped selling oil to Japan, and had moved the Pacific Fleet from San Diego to Hawaii; obviously they were gearing up for an attack. Japan was just defending itself.

        EVERY attack can be rewritten to make it look like a defensive measure. Including the US’s preemptive attack on Iraq in 2003. You gotta see through the bullshit.

  10. Maybe mix the US into those statistics, so as to further the point that Iran is only an existential threat to itself.

  11. Israeli generals themselves have admitted that in 1967 Egypt posed no real military threat to Israel and that their strike was aimed at expanding their frontiers.
    Not mentioned are the mini land grabs Israel carried out against Jordan and Syria in the years prior to 1967, Israel’s extraterritorial assassinations,war crimes, violations of international law, and the selling of US secrets to other nations.
    Israel fits the definition of a rogue state rather well but it is a rogue state franchised by US taxpayers and to our shame we are all accessories.

  12. Professor Cole: If you think it useful, perhaps the following is illustrative of the problem.

    L.A Times, “U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bomb”, February 23, 2012:

    link to

    “As U.S. and Israeli officials talk publicly about the prospect of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, one fact is often overlooked: U.S. intelligence agencies don’t believe Iran is actively trying to build an atomic bomb. A highly classified U.S. intelligence assessment circulated to policymakers early last year largely affirms that view, originally made in 2007”.

    “Both reports, known as national intelligence estimates, conclude that Tehran halted efforts to develop and build a nuclear warhead in 2003. The most recent report, which represents the consensus of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, indicates that Iran is pursuing research that could put it in a position to build a weapon, but that it has not sought to do so. Although Iran continues to enrich uranium at low levels, U.S. officials say they have not seen evidence that has caused them to significantly revise that judgment. Senior U.S. officials say Israel does not dispute the basic intelligence or analysis…”

  13. No one can win a war, any war with the media these days. That’s what happened to Israel last time around. The media goes in and only shows a one sided story. If media was not allowed to report and military was able to do well what they do, Israel would have kicked ass. Just like the US would have demolished iraq. With our media the way it is now we could have never dropped the atomic bomb. And if we were able to drop the first then most definitely there would not have been a 2nd.

    • Is this RedStates? Did I tune in there by mistake? Glad some of us have such nice manufactured enemies to hate, and to produce such revised cognition.

      What does the America that Tea Party folks say they “want back” look like, then?

  14. I think the fairest thing to say about this situation is that there are no saints or blameless entities involved. For example, the strong stance the US takes on Iran developing or obtaining a nuclear weapon clearly is very hypocritical considering the open secret that is Israel’s nuclear arsenal. I mean, sure, Israel has long been under threat first from all and now from many of its neighbors, but Iran has dealt with long running sanctions from the US and war with Iraq in the 1980’s.

    I think you are quite right, that Iran would be no match for Israel in the air or on the ground *in relatively evenly matched engagements*. But since the route to or from Iran involves crossing one or more countries, I can’t see Iran launching a ground war against Israel, or Israel doing much more than commando operations at Iranian nuclear facilities. If the US somehow got involved, we might see some kind of invasion, and the US might well capture all the cities it wanted to. But I think the US would have incredible difficulties trying to occupy Iran.

    Never the less, I can see Iran taking pot shots at oil tankers sometime quite soon, to see if they could force the US to loosen its sanctions. Not that that is a very logical approach, but since when has logic applied in international relations?

  15. Assume Iran get nukes. No matter what the US and Israel do or do not do, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will quickly plan on obtaining their own.

      • Not same thing. Israel has had nukes for some 40 years. Why haven’t Egypt and Saudi Arabia tried to get nukes until now?

        • So if they weren’t fussed about Israel having nukes then why, exactly, should they be fussed about Iran having nukes?

          After all, Egypt has never got itself involved in a war with Iran, but it’s fought more than a few with Israel..

        • According to Richard Clarke’s book “Your Government Failed You”, he witnessed the US intelligence services catching Saudi Arabia in 1986 attempting to import an entire Chinese nuclear missile facility. We do not let Egypt and Saudi Arabia get nukes. We let Pakistan and South Africa and Israel get nukes. We have arbitrary power.

  16. “Iran’s citizens should be starved in order to curb Tehran’s nuclear program, officials in Jerusalem said Wednesday ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming trip to Washington.”

    link to

  17. So true. If it wasn’t for that damn liberal media we would have won all of our wars by now, and president McCain would have purchased ponies for everyone.

    • Yeah! I want my pony! Wait, I’m Canadian… Well, maybe prez McCain would have triumphantly annexed Canada, made me an honorary U.S. citizen (because I’m of northern European descent) and given me a pony to win my heart and mind. Damn you liberal media!

      (You know, the problem with trying to use sarcasm and irony these days is that I’m sure you wouldn’t have too much trouble finding a number of people that would voice these same opinions in earnest. I think of it as “Disappearing over the Colbert Event Horizon”)

  18. If anything, these figures understate Israel’s superiority. Israel’s modern tanks are roughly equivalent to a US Abrams, while Iran’s are Soviet-era. Israeli military personnel have a similar advantage on a man-to-man basis over the Iranians Ditto aircraft, ditto APCs.

    • Israel’s Merkava tanks were subject to widespread damage or even being destroyed during the Second Lebanon War by Russian-manufactured anti-tank rockets employed by Hezbollah during that conflict.

      The performance of Merkava tanks in that conflict was heavily criticized and if these are the same ones that Israel plans to deploy in the future against anyone they may have a rough going.

      • These aren’t washing machines or espresso makers, they’re tokens in the Idiot’s Game called “War.” As our Networked Battlespace Managers keep being shown and never learning, NewTech threat-chasing never gets ahead of the asymmetric skill sets of inventive humans forced to defend their own terrain.

        Maybe 9 months ago, to too-too-te-roo fanfare, it was announced that 12 whole M1A2 Abrams tanks were being deployed to Helmand province, and were going to be THE game changer there. link to The deployers, of course, were bribing the “insurgents” to let the convoys hauling the tanks (which don’t run so well on unpaved surfaces) and the munitions and fuel to be moved there.

        And then there’s the game changing XM25 grenade launcher, link to Why are there no helmet-cam videos of this thing “changing the game?”

        And toward the end of the Vietnam thing, and toward the end of WW II, desperate losers were pinning hopes of snatching victory from the jaws, and all that, on every kind of freak “threat generator.” And the businesses that dreamed up these creations, built in the German case with slave labor, worked their contacts to get contracts for, and then supplied, “did really well.”

        Most code writers, even the ones that work for the MIC, know how to avoid the futility of endless loops. Some of us humans, however, are stuck in the stage of post-pubescent testosterone-poisoning, capture-the-flagitis.

  19. 1) With all due respect, a little deeper reading, using some of the credible historians cited in Prof Cole’s bibliography might be in order here. But maybe this sort of flailing supports next point, that

    2) The realities don’t matter as much as I think most of us would like. Take the most current post from Glenn Greenwald
    link to
    blowing the whistle on ret. Gen McCaffrey’s warmongering to NBC executives. Between such presentations and all the “news” people get on these slow news days (is there anything other than morbid curiosity in the GOP primary?), a conflict with Iran is being built up to be inevitable. The realities have nothing to do with that, and only the clear head of Obama ultimately stands in the way….

    I’m watching closely for whatever comes out of the visits of Barak and Netanyahu over the next few days. The reality is that the demonstrated history of the Israeli Way of Political Life wants and needs the US to go to war with Iran, it must happen in the next few months, and they’ll do anything to see it happen. And I do mean ANYTHING.

  20. Hi,
    What about their respective missile forces? There is an analysis on the NBC site that says Iran possesses thousands of Shabab mid-rage missiles and could possibly overwhelm Israel’s missile defense capability.

  21. I an not sure if any of the stats Juan posted actually matter.

    There are numerous countries between Israel and Iran which would not allow either country to cross their borders.

    Under what conditions could Israeli/Iranian reservists, tanks or airplanes engage in combat?

    Likely, the only thing that matters is their missile forces and strategic alliances. And they both have enough of them to create deterrence for any conflict.

    But again, at the end, if there is conflict, Israel will likely come out on top. As long as they have the superpower backing them, all the other stats are really meaningless.

    • “Under what conditions could Israeli/Iranian reservists, tanks or airplanes engage in combat?”

      Well, apart from the likelihood that the IDF would attempt to drive up to the Litani River to push Hezbollah missiles out of range of Tel Aviv….

      There are many other scenarios, though most involve special forces e.g. Israel could attempt to (temporarily) seize an abandoned Iraqi airbase to act as an emergency base for returning F-16s.

      Also, of course, in a long war the Iranians have a route to Israel’s doorstep via Iraq -> Syria -> Lebanon, and the IDF might have to move up to cut that route off, or use its airpower to attack any such moves.

  22. I wonder what would happen if Russia and China suddenly allowed Iran to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization? That means an Israeli attack on Iran might be treated as an attack on China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Currently the SCO will not allow a country under UN sanctions to join.

  23. If Iran (or anyone else) dropped a nuclear bomb on Israel, how many Palestinians would they kill? I am not an expert on nuclear warfare, but I think that they would kill a great many whether in the first strike or through radiation. Therefore, Iran (and anybody else who cares about Palestinians) would not drop a nuclear bomb on Israel. Please tell me if I am wrong.

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