In 2010, Dr. Shmuel Bar, director of studies at the Institute of Policy and Strategy in Herzliya, Israel, wrote the following:
Armor and in particular tanks had been the keys to Israeli success in previous wars. Following the battle of Bint Jbeil and the broadcast of destroyed Merkvas [Israeli “Chariot” tanks], the regional population knew that God’s Chariot, a symbol of power in the region for decades, was no longer invincible.1
The lessons of the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, the 1987–88 Tanker War, and observations of recent developments in Iran offer insight into the scope and scale of what a potential conflict with Iran would hold for the U.S. Navy and its coalition partners. During the 2006 conflict in the Levant, Iran’s proxy Hezbollah executed a form of hybrid warfare that combined well-trained conventional forces, unexpected new weapons and tactics, and masterful exploitation of the information environment.2
1. Shmuel Bar, Hybrid Conflict: A Retrospective Analysis of The Summer 2006 War Between Israel and Hizballah, October 2010, Contemporary Op Art Exam Case Study (Newport, RI: Naval War College, October 2010), p. 14.
3. U.S. 5th Fleet’s unclassified website (www.cusnc.navy.mil/command/accomplish.html) notes the goal for maintaining sea lines of communication as, “Coalition maritime forces operate under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that all commercial shipping can operate freely while transiting the region.”
4. U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet Public Affairs, “Port Royal and Hopper COs Discuss Incident in Strait of Hormuz,” www.cusnc.navy.mil/articles/2008/007.html.
5. VADM William Gortney, “DoD News Briefing with Vice Adm. Gortney from the Pentagon,” 15 January 2009, www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4341.
6. Eugene Gholz, “The Strait Dope,” Foreign Policy; Sept.–Oct. 2009, p.174; Proquest Military Collection, p. 105.
7. Lee Allen Zatarain, Tanker War: America’s First Conflict with Iran, 1987–88 (Philadelphia, PA, Casemate Press, 2008), p. 386.
8. The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. (http://hormuz.robertstrausscenter.org/tanker_war).9. Peter J. Pham, “Iran’s Threat to the Strait of Hormuz: A Realist Assessment,” American Foreign Policy Interests, #32, 2010, p. 69.
11. Ibid. , p. 70.
12. George Friedman, “Rethinking American Options on Iran,” posted 31 August 2010: www. stratfor.com, p. 4.
13. Caitlin Talmadge, “Closing Time,” International Security, vol. 33, no. 1 (Summer 2008), pp. 88–89.
14. Friedman, “Rethinking American Options on Iran,” p. 4.
15. Fariborz Haghshenass, “Iran’s Asymetric Naval Warfare,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Policy Focus #87, September 2008, p. 23.
16. GEN Michael Maples, “Testimony,” Senate, Current and Projected National Security Threats to the United States, Statement for the Record, Senate Armed Services Committee, 28 February 2006, p. 12.
17. Steven R. Ward, “The Continuing Evolution of Iran’s Military Doctrine,” The Middle East Journal, Autumn 2005; pp. 59, 4; Research Library, 569.
18. Haghshenass, “Iran’s Asymetric Naval Warfare.”
20. CAPT Wayne P. Hughes, Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2000), p. 156.
21. Ward, “The Continuing Evolution of Iran’s Military Doctrine,” p. 574.
22. GEN Ali Fadavi, “Our Defense Potential is Higher than What the Enemy Can Understand, Extensive Interview, Iranian Navy Chief Addresses Small Vessel Strategy signed by Hoseyn Nikpur,” 28 Aug. 2010, http://OpenSource.gov.
23. Gortney, “DoD News Briefing with Vice Adm. Gortney from the Pentagon.”
24. MAJ Christopher McCarthy, “Anti-Access/Area Denial: The Evolution of Modern Warfare,” Naval War College Student Journal, vol. I, p. 7.
25. Hughes, Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat, p. 26.
26. Zatarain, Tanker War, America’s First Conflict with Iran, 1987–88, p. 54.
27. Hughes, Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat, p. 28.
28. Ward, “The Continuing Evolution of Iran’s Military Doctrine,” pp. 59, 4; Research Library, p. 566.