According to a recent New York Times article, high-ranking U.S. government officials have been briefed over the last few days on contingency plans for Iran, plans that include an invasion force equal to or greater than what it took to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003. These war plans would introduce as many as 120,000 American soldiers into the Persian Gulf and surrounding regions. These briefings take place against the specter of provocative American military actions in the Gulf, including the deployment of a carrier group to send a “clear and unmistakable message,” in the words of National Security Advisor John Bolton.

“Any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force,” Bolton said, although one has to wonder how American forces would be attacked had Bolton not deployed them intentionally within Iran’s striking range. It now appears this deployment was in response to unverified intelligence information passed on to the U.S. from Israel that Iran was planning an attack against America. The U.S. news media largely reported on this pending attack without skepticism, which is needed, as many saw parallels to the George W. Bush administration’s claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion.

Tensions have continued to escalate as Saudi Arabia claimed two of its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on May 13th while the Emirates itself said four of its ships were sabotaged near the Gulf of Oman. Who committed these acts of sabotage is unknown, although publicly Iran appears to be getting pinned with the blame. The war drums are now beating, simply waiting for a spark. For those who see the chess pieces being moved around the board, it is clear all this war needs is a Gulf of Tonkin moment which helped the Nixon administration greatly accelerate the war in Vietnam.

America’s war plans for Iran are already in place. NEWSREP wrote about some of them previously in regards to the U.S. military’s operational preparation of the battle space in Iran, codenamed NITRO ZEUS: