War with Iran: Considerations for the Next Coalition Campaign   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Western nations and moderate Arab states view Iran's resurgent military strength with concern. Allied forces may be called upon in the future to form a coalition and conduct operations to deter Iran from interfering with the affairs of other nations. Such a coalition would face many problems similar to, and many different from, those which faced the nations participating in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Barring Iranian use of weapons of mass destruction, the coalition would likely implement a campaign plan which included political, diplomatic, economic and military measures with the limited goal of neutralizing Iran's capability to interfere in neighboring countries and adjacent air and sea space. The military sequence of events that would help achieve this end state might consist of the neutralization of key Iranian command and control nodes; the infrastructure supporting weapons of mass destruction; and offensive air, naval, and missile forces. Yet the coalition would be confronting an enemy with both the capability and will to vigorously resist. It is therefore likely that the application of limited military force, together with the questionable effectiveness of diplomatic, political and economic measures, would result in little, if any, long term change in Iranian foreign policy, and at best might offer only a short term reduction in Iran's capability to cause mischief beyond its borders."

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