Eyes Only/Top Secret
From: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
To: Joint Iranian military council, general officers, and distribution
Re: Upcoming US Invasion: Strategy
Greetings brothers. God is great, and may God be with you.
After consulting with many of you, our strategy in the coming war with the United States has become clear. This memo outlines that strategy so that we will all know, when the time comes, where our responsibilities and duties lie. (Note: this memo addresses a full-scale attack, only. A purely air-based attack will be handled diplomatically.)
Our former enemies, the Iraqis, have learned painful lessons from fighting the United States and, in the process, taught us much. We know now that symmetrical warfare, in other words, going toe to toe with the US with our tanks against theirs, our navy against theirs, and our air force against theirs, is unwinnable. God will help us, of course, but I doubt he will provide much assistance to fools.
Instead, we will wage asymmetrical warfare, and wage it very, very well. In the end, all we need do to win is endure more pain than the US is willing to endure. We can do that. We will do that.
It is unlikely that the Iranian air force can kill even a single US aircraft in any head-to-head battle. Our avionics, long-range missiles, electronic warfare systems, and command and control systems are vastly inferior. If hostilities seem imminent, we will fly our planes to any neighboring country willing to keep them for us until the cessation of hostilities. If such a country cannot be found, we will destroy our aircraft on the ground. Martyring out pilots serves no useful function. They will be needed to rebuild after the war.
Our ground-based missile sites will turn on their radars, find a target, fire their missiles, and evacuate immediately. US HARM missiles will quickly hit our radars, making those sites useless.
Since we cannot contest absolute US air superiority, we cannot win a conventional war.
It is quite likely that the first US attack will target our Silkworm anti-ship missile installations. This may well be our first warning of a nationwide attack. If we determine that a full-scale attack is in progress, any remaining Silkworm sites are to fire upon any available target. US warships are the highest priority, tankers are next.
Upon confirmation of a full-scale attack, I will authorize arming the sleeper mines we have been laying for years in the Persian Gulf and Straits of Hormuz.
All Iranian surface craft are to stand down. We have no vessels capable of inflicting damage upon the US fleet with the exception of our three Chinese Kilo-class diesel electric submarines. These are quiet enough to escape detection from all but the most sensitive sonar devices. They are also equipped with anti-ship missiles good to a range of 220 kilometers. We currently have these vessels in the Indian Ocean on the lookout for US carriers. We will attempt to target the carriers. Some thought was given to using them to prey on oil tankers, but that idea was abandoned because of the near certainty that these subs will be found and killed by the US once they have launched their missiles. We salute the martyrs of our submarine fleet.
We will use mines, landslides in the mountains, and strategically placed anti-armor missile teams to slow the enemyâ€™s advance, but we have no hope of stopping them. Any attempt to do so would lead to utter destruction from the air. The US has airborne anti-armor weapons that can take out whole tank brigades at a time. We will need our soldiers. Without air cover, they cannot hope to survive even a few minutes on a battlefield.
Instead, all army personnel have been assigned to underground liberation teams. They will abandon most of their equipment and go to their places in cities, mountains, and countryside. As you know, we have prepared a number of caches of weapons, explosives, food, and other supplies for them. Each liberation team will be given a regional area with not fewer than eight of such caches available to them. No one will know where to find caches for other assault teams, so capturing officers will be of limited use to US forces.
The teams will be led by specially trained commandos, and will include demolition experts, guerrilla tactics experts, intelligence personnel, and counter-insurgency personnel. They will attack both US military targets and civilians and the families of civilians who cooperate with US forces.
All oil-producing and oil-transporting facilities have been wired. We will destroy them at the first hint of an invasion. The US will not use Iranian oil to finance its invasion and occupation.
We will also immediately destroy key bridges, generating plants, wastewater treatment plants, fresh water transport pipes and utilities, and food storage facilities. This will create great hardship for the Persian people and that is to be regretted, but it is necessary. We must leave the US with a humanitarian disaster on a huge scale. They will be forced to spend billions trying to save lives, but will still be confronted by television images of starving children. We will issue press releases blaming US bombing of infrastructure for the disaster.
At our urging, friendly Shiâ€™a militias in Iraq have ceased military operations for some time. They have not been idle, though. We have been supplying them and training them while the Sunni militias have been busy fighting Al Qaeda, and they are ready to mount an attack to take full control of the government. They will be assisted by our people in military and police units. When they do so, the US will be forced to choose between continuing their attack on us, returning to save the Iraqi Sunnis from certain genocide, or doing both. All three options are in our favor.
It is hard to predict the course of events in Iraq, but it is safe to say that none of the possibilities are likely to be good for the US effort against us.
We will inflict casualties on US forces and target rolling stock, rail lines, trucks over one ton, pipelines, and Iranians who cooperate with US forces. We will bleed both the US forces and the US treasury dry. We are not divided like the Iraqis. The blood of Cyrus runs in our veins and the ruins of Persepolis and Susa in our hearts. We will be united against the invaders. Every Persian home will be a safe house for our liberation teams. We will take videos of our successes and broadcast them to the world.
We will win.
God be with you. God is great.
J. Stephen O’Brien makes his living in the belly of the beast as a management consultant, specializing in organizational behavior. His current and former clients include more than 90 of the Fortune 500 (depending on how you count), plus organizations as diverse as Harvard University and Eddie’s Rib Shack. Formerly, he headed the investor and media relations function for a Fortune 500 company, and was a professional stage actor on both coasts for three years. He still does some theater, industrial videos, and voice overs. A native Southerner, O’Brien now lives in the Rocky Mountain West with a wife, teenage daughter, two lovely, female dogs, female cat, and big, cowardly, tom cat. He mops estrogen off the walls in his spare time.