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Does Britain Really Want to Start a War with Iran?

In light of the recent sabre rattling and blatant provocateuring coming out of London vis-a-vi Tehran, the question then arises about who would prevail in any military stand-off between this UNSC nuclear state – against a seemingly weaker regional player in Iran? The answer may have less to do with military capabilities, and more to do with the real objectives of Britain should to choose to start a conflict with Iran.

As far as nuclear power goes – UK and US have nukes, and Iran does not. But military firepower is secondary in this case to other capabilities.

Firstly, Britain would never fight alone. It would be obligated to drag the US, Australia, Canada and Europe (and Israel?) into any war with Iran, by assembling a pack of nations which is now referred to as a “coalition.” This is no different from the climate of power-politics which sucked Europe, the British Commonwealth and North America into WWI. Logically speaking, this would indicate that any move by Britain to trigger a conflict with Iran would be for the sole purpose of dragging in its fellow coalition members. After that, logic becomes redundant and all bets are off as the jingoistic spectacle quickly takes precedence over any considerations of international relations.

Secondly, if the object of the conflict is to win the political war, then Britain is automatically at a disadvantage in operating 3,000 miles from home. Today’s global public will not accept the inevitable war in the same way previous generations would. On top of this, any major losses of life or hardware sustained by either the UK or the US in Persian Gulf will quickly prompt serious questions back at home as to what they are doing there in the first place.

In the sphere of global public opinion, both the US and UK cannot maintain any international authority if the rest of the world view them as a bad actor. Trying to trigger any war with Iran could tip the scale of global distrust against the current ruling Atlanticist hegemonic alliance led by US and UK.

So Iran vs. Britain: who would win if a war starts?

Journalist Michael Peck National Interest writes…

Breathless was the headline in Britain’s tabloid Daily Express: “Iran military strength REVEALED as tensions with the UK soar.”

“A comparison of the UK and Iran’s military strength shows Britain falling behind when it comes to manpower, land and naval strength and petroleum resources,” the newspaper proclaimed after Iran seized a British tanker in the Persian Gulf, in retaliation for Britain seizing an Iranian tanker at Gibraltar.

The Daily Express article was based on GlobalFirepower.com, which features both statistics on the armed forces of 137 nations, and ranks those nations using a proprietary formula that apparently includes a nation’s population and military manpower, geographical size, financial strength, oil reserves, transportation infrastructure, and quantity of military hardware.

Britain ranks eighth on the “Global Firepower Index,” while Iran comes in not far behind in 14th place (the U.S. comes in first place, Israel 17th). Indeed, GlobalFirepower.com lists Iran as being stronger than Britain in several categories: 873,000 military personnel to Britain’s 233,000, 1,634 Iranian tanks to 331 British vehicles and 386 Iranian naval vessels to 76 British (Britain is credited with more airpower, with 811 military aircraft to 509 Iranian). Iran has more oil, but weaker finances.

All of which proves how much statistics can be misleading. Britain and Iran are not in the same league at all.

First and foremost, while Iran may or may not be developing nuclear weapons, Britain most certainly has them. And not some jury-rigged “physics package” assembled in an underground bunker, but four Vanguard-class nuclear submarines, each armed with 16 Trident thermonuclear-armed ballistic missiles. That’s enough atomic firepower to send Russia and China back to the Middle Ages, let alone Iran.

Continue this story at the National Interest

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