Iran's Military Forces in Transition: Conventional Threats and Weapons of Mass Destruction

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - History - 432 pages
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Iran today is still struggling with the legacy of its own Islamic revolution, and is deeply divided between the moderates who enjoy broad public support and the conservatives who control the levers of power. The mixed policies that result are reflected in Iran's ambivalent military posture. In recent years, Iran has only conducted a limited build-up of its armed forces and has cut defense spending and arms imports. On the other hand, Iran has developed a carefully focused program that threatens shipping in the lower Gulf and the world's oil exports. It has strengthened its capability for unconventional warfare and continues to be a significant proliferator, setting up indigenous military industries and developing a greater ability to import weapons. In this authoritative analysis of interest to Middle Eastern specialists and military affairs experts alike, Anthony Cordesman concludes that the continuation of Iran's current defensive security posture depends as much on these economic factors as on the outcomes of domestic political rivalries.

Iran may eventually limit any military expansion to a necessary defensive strength and set strategic goals for itself that are compatible with the legitimate interests of other nations, or it may choose a more aggressive course. Regardless of the ultimate outcome, argues Cordesman, it does no good to either demonize or excuse Iranian policies. Instead, the United States and other nations with interests in the Middle East and Central Asia need to deal realistically with Iran as a reemerging regional power.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
IRANS THREATENING ACTIONS
2
PRESIDENT KHATAMI AND THE HOPE FOR CHANGE
4
OTHER MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS
13
DEMONIZATION VERSUS SANCTIFICATION
16
Irans Strategic Perspective
20
THE CONSTANT THREAT OF OUTSIDE INTERVENTION
21
THE SHAH AFTER MUSSADIQ
22
IRANS SURFACE NAVY
187
IRANIAN MINE WARFARE CAPABILITIES
196
IRANIAN AMPHIBIOUS WARFARE CAPABILITIES
198
IRANIAN NAVAL AIR CAPABILITIES
199
IRANS SUBMARINE FORCES
202
THE NAVAL BRANCH OF THE REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS
207
IRANIAN NAVAL WARFIGHTING CAPABILITIES
208
Irans Conventional WarFighting Options
217

THE IRANIRAQ WAR AND THE TANKER WAR
23
THE SITUATION SINCE THE IRANIRAQ WAR
24
The Control and Leadership of Irans Military Forces
31
THE KHOMEINI ERA
32
POSTKHOMEINI CHANGES
33
PARTIAL REFORM OF THE COMMAND STRUCTURE
35
IMPROVING REVOLUTIONARY FORCES
36
INTERNAL SECURITY COMMAND STRUCTURE
38
THE COMPETENCE AND COHESION OF COMMAND
39
IRANIAN MILITARY EXPENDITURES
40
DIFFERENT ESTIMATES OF TOTAL MILITARY EXPENDITURES
41
THE BURDEN OF MILITARY EXPENDITURES
45
RECENT INCREASES IN MILITARY EXPENDITURES
49
Iranian Conventional Arms Transfers and Military Industry
55
PATTERNS IN NEW AGREEMENTS
62
THE QUALITY OF IRANS ARMS TRANSFERS
63
THE PROBLEM OF IRANS AGING WEAPONS INVENTORY
69
IRANS MILITARY INDUSTRIES
73
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
79
Irans Military Manpower
85
NUMBERS VERSUS FORCE COHESION
86
ALLOCATION OF MANPOWER BY SERVICE
91
Iranian Land Forces
93
REGULAR ARMY ORGANIZATION AND MAJOR COMBAT FORMATIONS
94
IRANIAN ARMORED FORCES
99
IRANIAN ARTILLERY
114
ANTIAIRCRAFT WEAPONS
123
HELICOPTER AND ARMY AVIATION FORCES
124
COMMUNICATIONS AND BATTLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
126
THE BASIJ
135
OTHER PARAMILITARY FORCES
136
THE WARFIGHTING CAPABILITIES OF IRANIAN LAND FORCES
137
The Iranian Air Force
151
STRENGTH AND ORGANIZATION
152
READINESS AND FORCE QUALITY
161
THE MODERNIZATION OF IRANIAN AIR FORCES
163
THE WARFIGHTING CAPABILITIES OF IRANIAN AIR FORCES
167
Iranian GroundBased Air Defenses
176
STRENGTH AND ORGANIZATION
177
MODERNIZATION EFFORTS
179
THE WARFIGHTING CAPABILITIES OF IRANIAN LANDBASED AIR DEFENSE FORCES
180
Irans Naval Forces
186
OTHER WARFIGHTING OPTIONS
219
KEY CAVEATS AND UNCERTAINTIES
221
Iran and Weapons of Mass Destruction
222
Iranian Reasons for Pursuing Weapons of Mass Destruction
265
IRANS REASONS FOR DENYING PROLIFERATION
267
IRANS CURRENT TACTICAL AND STRATEGIC REASONS FOR PROLIFERATING
268
Plans Doctrine and WarFighting Options
271
THE TECHNOLOGY OF UNCERTAINTY
272
WARFIGHTING OPTIONS AND THE INABILITY TO PREDICT CONTINGENCY REQUIREMENTS
273
PLANS AS THE FIRST CASUALTY OF WAR
274
COMMAND AND CONTROL
275
Dealing with Uncertainty
279
Irans Delivery Systems and LongRange Missile Programs
284
IRANIAN ROCKETS
286
IRANIAN AIRCRAFT
288
IRANS BALLISTIC MISSILES
291
POSSIBLE CRUISE MISSILES
318
Iranian Terrorism Unconventional Warfare and Weapons of Mass Destruction
329
Iranian Delivery Systems and WarFighting Capabilities Using Weapons of Mass Destruction
334
Iranian Chemical Weapons
337
IRAN RESPONDS BY DEVELOPING ITS OWN PRODUCTION CAPABILITIES
341
IRANIAN CAPABILITIES IN THE LATE 1990s
343
POTENTIAL WARFIGHTING CAPABILITIES
346
IRAN AND THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION
349
Iranian Biological Weapons
355
Iranian Nuclear Weapons
362
IRANIAN STATEMENTS AND DENIALS REGARDING NUCLEAR WEAPONS
363
NUCLEAR WEAPONS EFFORTS UNDER THE SHAH
365
THE REVITALIZATION OF IRANS NUCLEAR WEAPONS EFFORT
367
CREEPING PROLIFERATION UNDER RAFSANJANI
369
PROLIFERATION AND THE NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION TREATY
378
POSSIBLE DATES FOR IRANS ACQUISITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
385
IRANS NUCLEAR WARFIGHTING DOCTRINE AND CAPABILITIES
387
The Uncertain Implications of Irans Weapons of Mass Destruction
399
Irans Military Future and the Proper Response
405
IRANS UNCERTAIN FORCE DEVELOPMENT
407
PREDICTING THE UNPREDICTABLE
408
THE VALUE OF CONTAINMENT AND DETERRENCE
414
Sources and Methods
417
Selected Bibliography
421
Index
427
Copyright

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Page 422 - Unclassified report to Congress on the acquisition of technology relating to weapons of mass destruction and advanced conventional munitions, 1 January through 30 June 2002', Apr.

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About the author (1999)

ANTHONY H. CORDESMAN is Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a military analyst for ABC News. A frequent commentator on National Public Radio, he is the author of numerous books on security issues and has served in a number of senior positions in the US government.

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