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The Road to War in 2012

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The Road to War in 2012 Empty The Road to War in 2012

Post  BJ on Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:08 am

(In order to provide some context for the Middle East game now underway -- and hopefully spark further interest in participation -- the following provides a description of the events leading up to the outbreak of hostilities in May of 2012. It's a bit long but should give you some good background on the prewar situation and how it developed.)

The Road to War

By the end of 2011, the situation in the Middle East is one of relative stability. The US occupation of Iraq has ended, largely as a result of regional diplomacy which managed to defuse the threat of large-scale civil war, and the country has transitioned by means of "soft" partition into three sectarian/ethnic autonomous regions supported by a negotiated distribution of oil wealth. An US-led initiative to bring the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table has been successful, and the talks show promise of finally reaching permanent agreement. A ceasefire has been established in Afghanistan, allowing talks with the Taliban begun earlier in the year, to continue. Relations between Iran and the US have significantly improved, (especially since the ascension of a more moderate figure to the Iranian presidency, plus modest democratic reforms and an agreement on further nuclear development), with a restoral of diplomatic contact scheduled for the end of 2012.

However, while tensions have been greatly reduced, they have by no means disappeared. The US and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council have watched with increasing concern a sudden acceleration in 2008 of the ongoing buildup of the Iranian military, and the creation by Iran of an alliance of Islamic countries from northwest Africa to the southwest Pacific. In Iraq, occasional acts of sectarian violence, averaging one or two per month and mainly in the Baghdad area, are beginning to increase. The Turkish government has twice warned the Kurdish Autonomous Region against cross-border activity promoting separatism for Turkish Kurds. In Saudi Arabia, dissatisfaction with the rule of the Saud family has become widespread and more vocal, sparking similar anti-royalist feeling in the Emirates and Bahrain.

In early February of 2012, the situation takes a sudden and dramatic turn for the worse. A car bomb explodes in Mecca at the beginning of the Islamic pilgrimage month, killing twenty-five Saudi pilgrims and wounding forty others. Suspecting Iranian complicity, the Saudi government vows vengeance and promptly arrests and executes four Shia radicals from the eastern provinces on virtually no evidence, sparking angry demonstrations by the Shia community in several Saudi Arabian cities. Iran is outraged at the accusation and condemns the Saudis both for their failure to protect the Holy Places and the continued oppression of their Shia minority.

Over the next three months, unrest in Saudi Arabia rapidly increases and moves to the streets, as anti-Saud opposition groups begin to actively cooperate with Shia radical political organizations, resulting in several confrontations between demonstrators and police. In late April, a massive rally in Riyadh turns violent, resulting in the deaths of twenty-four demonstrators and five policemen. Once again, three Shia dissidents are arrested, tried on flimsy evidence and executed for treason and murder. Martial law is quickly declared in Riyadh and the Saudi government mobilizes virtually all of the National Guard to assist police in maintaining order.

At the same time, the US and GCC have been carefully monitoring Iranian activity in preparation for the Alliance's biennial military exercises. On the basis of intelligence regarding unusual developments within Iran, the US has concluded that the possibility of the exercises being used as a cover for an attack is significant enough to warrant positioning of additional forces into the theater. Iran, detecting the initial stages of the buildup, immediately charges that the US is finally preparing to attack them, using the unrest on the Arabian peninsula as a pretext. In a bitter attack on the US, Iran asks for a UN Security Council resolution condemning the buildup as a destabilizing event in the region. The resolution is narrowly defeated. As new US troops and equipment are airlifted into Kuwait and Qatar, Iran moves a division to the border of Iraq near Basrah and a brigade to Bushehr.

At noon on 11 May, the Saudi Minister of the Interior announces that intelligence and security assets have uncovered and prevented a clandestine operation by “Iranian radicals and Shia terrorists” to inflict damage on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina and “kill large numbers of innocent pilgrims” in order to cast further doubt on the Saud family’s ability to “protect the Holy Places, inflame internal dissent and undermine the legitimate government of Saudi Arabia.” He then announces that until further notice, Saudi authorities would close Mecca and Medina to all Iranian pilgrims and any Shia Muslims from Saudi Arabia indefinitely.

Reaction by the Iranians is swift and harsh, and is followed quickly by statements of support by all members of the Islamic Alliance, as well as many non-Muslim nations. Several Western nations propose immediate action in the UN Security Council to head off the growing crisis. The White House states that the Saudi action is, under the circumstances, “not particularly helpful.” Later in the day, the UAE announces that it cannot support or condone the Saudi action, and that night announces to the US Ambassador that if the Saudi decision leads to war, the UAE would declare its neutrality and not honor its GCC commitments.

At 0245 on 12 May, Iran, supported by Yemen and Pakistan, attacks Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.

Last edited by BJ on Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:09 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : misspelled word)


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The Road to War in 2012 Empty Re: The Road to War in 2012

Post  !LH@N on Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:42 pm

I like your idea and it is well researched. As a Turkish Moslem I would like to to point out to a few mistakes, though.
1.)The Shia-Sunni seperation is much bigger as you think, especially the more radical the people get. A cross Shia-Sunni alliance led by Iran is impossible as of now.
2.)No Moslem, especially not radical ones, will carry out attacks in Mecca or Medina, this is just impossible! And deliberately seeking to damage holy sites in those cities is...unthinkable!

I hope this helps.



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Post  Baztanz on Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:03 pm

I do not pretend to have any extensive knowledge of the events of the Middle East region and especially not the cultural religious implications within that region.

However unlike Ilhan I do not see the situation as impossible or even unthinkable. The instigators that created the events in Mecca do not even necessarily have to be Muslim. They may be Muslim extremists, but they could equally be Israeli, Chinese or even American/European interests covertly operating to inflame Muslim
resentment and hatred.
Whether Saudi intelligence knew who was truly behind the attacks or not is of no real matter, I have no doubt that they would use the events to settle some of the issues plaguing their Kingdom for the last decade or so. In may be more practical for them to use the situation to rid their nation of "enemies" of the Kingdom now and deal with the real instigators later.

The power behind the actions could be Chinese hoping to destablise the American interests in the Middle east, it could be Israeli intelligence hoping to settle Mid east issues knowing full well the United states would act to protect the Saudi Kingdom.
It could even be American/European interests such as armament conglomerates knowing an escalation in tensions would inevitably be beneficial to their trade.
Finally it could be Muslim extremists or Iranian meglamaniacs who have less love for their religion than they do for power over peoples and nations.

So in my judgment, the events written are possible; and sadly even likely at some time in the future.
In the context of the game "the why" is perhaps not as important as that the "fact" that nations involved find themselves in the situation as written by BJ.

regards to all



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