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May 17, 1982
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uepuzy Jecz v fiat y vi /. L.r{{J Room 3E944, Pentagon UFMORANDUM TO The'Hor1orAYe''M nk C. ar ucci -I thought you might find of?interest our,recerit memorandum addressing some of-' the possible outcomes of,-the Iran-Iraq war and their'implicatios'for the US and 'the region. l ' Director, Near East/South Asia.. UPON REMOVAL OF ATTACHMENTS THIS FIE SSQ ' L I A ? pOCUMENT :BECOMES UNC .Introduction Iraq is.losing 'its wa'r' with Iran--in fact, its main concern .Iraqis can do,'alone or in combination with abs., to salvage much from the military situation.. now is'to prevent.an Iranian invasion. There seems little the'. Saddam Hussein's total identification with the costly and unpopular war points toward an early challenge to his ruse. The most serious threat is likely to come from among the current political and military leader's. Some of them may want to topple the President,to'preclude?popular uprisings against'the regime. A-period'of Iraqi instability--that would be exploited by Iran-- could.eventually result in an Islamic fundamentali9't government their'implications for'US interests and for the region as a We address below 'four'possible outcomes to the war, and Border War - No' Peace, But No Mvasion '? The most likely nea; term scenario in our judgment envisages subversion.against Iraq, and refusing to allow reopening of the through boeder clashes and'shelling of Iraq, 'engaging ?in ' or'a member of the leadership in-power in Baghdad] and Iran Iraq.being pushed out of Iran br.withdrawing?voluntarily; Saddam Subsequent developments would be dependent on the Iraqi disintegration would improve the prospects for I.rr nian-supported. the majority. Shia (See.-Map,)-and other ethnic groups. The Army's Army's ability to avoid disintegration. The Army is essential to Iraq's Sunni minority (20.percent.of the population) control over. Ceasefire,"-Withdrawal, and Negotiations * 4 000 44huAy wN{.-:wuu wwu1" 14" a Lw1_441 1i041 M/tAI. wcy withdrawal, followed by a ceasefire and negotiationif, probably. US. pol cy on the Palestinian. and Israeli.questions.. nothing, adding-to their already high level of:frus?tration with ,defend against this danger. The US would be pressed by Arab conservatives to do "soiething" to help Iraq, and this could be exploited,by the-US to try, to organize a regional consensus on security.' Iran, of course, would interpret any such US move as additional evidence of-Washington's hostility. The Arab.' moderates, in. turn, would become more hostile.' if, tt)e US did .to-stimulate an Islamic revolt in Iraq,-and grab efforts to Implieatforis for the US . Politics in the region would revolve around Iran's attempt through the Islamic Conference.(See Appendix B). Iraq remains despr,,ate for negotiations, but Iran shows no interest. Even may not now.be enough. to entice Iran into negotiations. Implications. for the US compl.ete.public vindication of its position and substantial reparations--the Iranians have used the figure of $1,00 billion-- -?Saddam's regime might manage to hold power; at a minimum,., danger of an Islamic fundamentalist,regime coming to power in Baghdad in the near term would lessen. on Cairo'to adopt a' tougher line toward Israel. -- Settlement with Iraq would imply Iran does,not inten -- Iraq would.turn to rebuilding its economy, reinforcing its drift.away from the'Soviet orbit. There would be less'need for quick Egyptian'reentr.y into the Arab orbit'as the protector of moderate Arabs against . Iranian Shia revolutionaries. This would stiffen Arab terms for Egypt's reentry--probably in the'form?of more pressure ..aggressively export its revolution. Iranian Military Enters ' Iraq . .On balance,.we do not expect the Iranian military to move in ,force into Iraq, but the temptati'on will be great and the call is a close one. Tehran could opt for any of three forms of direct .military intervention to try to bring down Saddam Hussein: -- An all-out attack to spark a general insurrection. -- Limited military incursions either 'for tactical reasons or to support local uprisings. Introduction of a "liberation.armyi' of Iraqi exiles,' POWs, and possibly~Iranian volunteers. The Iranians are providing military training to some of the estimated 50,000.1 agis expelled, from Iraq during.the past three. ye'ars:,.. They could be introduced' into Iraqi" Kurdistan where, combined with~ loca Kurdish rebels, they could capture a major,. city and pfocDaim provisional government. The same tactic. could be used in B srah, if Iraqi regular Units in the south collapse.. The Ira ian army would need to maintain pressure along the border to prevent Baghdad from dispatching. units to. crush the rieagling operation army. logistic problems involved. (See Order,of Battle Table). army. totally.collapses, however, we~o not believe Tehran's forces are, capable of taking Baghd or Karbala because of. the likely-target of a.full-scale Iranian attack., Unless the nIragi kilometers of Basrah,'Iraq's second largest city and, the most Iranian troops at the border already are within 200 --,The ffS would..be criticized by Arab moderates for'not doing more to restrain Iran. -- US refusal to help Iraq would be'seen by moderate*Arabs as. carrying. the fight,to Iraq territory. Impi?icatiohs for the US US. interests generally would be adversely affected by Iran's confi rmin a.widel-held suspicion that US lic _is__tied to The Gulf Arabs might be. more' willing to accept US support in the intelligence and security fields, but-they also might ask. for security guarantees.. We doubt that an Iranian invasion would trigger a general Arab-Persian war) The Arabs might make symbolic internal troop . people. e? fighting; the ground forces of all Arab Gulf'states combined ,amount to less. than one-third of Iraq's ground forces. A?large- scale commitment of Egyptian troops could have a significant impact, but Cairo probably would not,risk heavy involvement 'in a cause that at best would have only,modest support from its ,movements and even-'some, small-scale deployments to Iraq in i support of Saddam in-the hope that these; might constrain the! Iranians. None of the moderate Arab states except Egypt have the military capability to,make a significant contribution to the flow of oil from the,Gulf. escalate.the war along,the length of the Gulf. The Strait' of Hormuz could be'closed'by Iran, ending the as a whole. :Iranian. responses to,such moves could quickly danger for US interest3,"with broad implications',for She region Implications-for the US Active"Arab intervention would present the most serious -- The moderate, pro-Western Gulf states'would turn to the US ) Vulnerable.oil targets on,both'sides of the Gulf would be, open'to attack.',,'.' --,Syrian involvement could, not be precluded. for direct assistance; the-Iranians, Syrians and Libyans would turn to the Soviets. The Iraqis might look to both Washington and Moscow to see which would be more'\ forthcoming. -- US temporizing' or help to Iraq would.be viewed as abandonment of its Arab friends. The War and the Region in Perspective, Saudi Arabia' and the other 'Gulf States will do whatever is and check Iran. However much Iraqi forces have been discredited by the war, the Gulf states' still believe that only the, present, Baghdad. regime, or one li,ke'it, stands between %hen and'the spread of Iranian and radical,Arab.(Syrian', Libyan, Palestinian) within their limited power to help Sa am ussein stay .in power. If Iran stops its advance at the border and initiates either a war.of attrition or protracted negotiations designed to undermine Saddam,?the Gulf states will.continue to provide .logi.stic and financial support to prevent 'Iraq's position from deteriorating further. They also will encourage Jordan and probably Egypt to help bolster Baghdad in whatever way they can., -At the same time, they might renew Gulf offers.to-Fran to help'pay war damages in'the hope oL inducing Iran's leaders to accept a compromise.with.Baghdad: The.Gulf?.states are unlikely to'commit military forces .to the fighting. They know this,.would have. no impact on the outcome and only increase the risk of Iranian retaliation Rather, were, Iran to, invade Iraq in force or to open supply lines to Shia and Kurdish.rebels. inside Iraq, 'the` Saudis and others--b~e,,aides looking more anxiously'to the'US--probably would cast about for some way-to involve the Arab League or even the UN to shore up SaddamHussein.. Syria's President'Assad is likely to continue-his support, ..for Iran.if it undertakes a limited invasion of Iraq.,. He I probably would become increasingly, uncomfortable, however,.?with a.'? larger Iranian military adventure.. Assad fears a'Shia fundamentalist'regime in.'Baghdad. that might increase Iraqi support for'Syr.ian Muslim fundamentalists opposed to.Assad's AlthoughJbrdan's King Hussein has sent volunteers--the ?2,000-man Yar.mouk Brigade--to.Iraq, he would be reluctant to send' regular units because that would weaken. Jordanian defenses against Syria and Israel. Still, if he could convince. Egypt and Saudi Arabia to send-troops, he probably'would feel. obliged to ante up more Jordania orce's. Jordan will. increa e. its efforts to galvJanize Arab sfSpport for Iraq as the possibility of an Iraqi defeat becomes more .real. The King probably will encourage the US to become involved is trying to end the war.. Libya would continue to provide Iran with limited military and political support if.Ira'n continued to-keep economic and military pressure on Iraq. An Iranian invasion of Iraq, ,particularly one.using Iraqi dissidentb as surrogates, is unlikely to upset the Libyans..Qadhafi might, in 'fact, use Libyan influence to'help.stir the Kurds against the Saddain Hussein, regime. At the same time, Qadhafi--to help his internati6nal credentials--might be interested in acting as an intermediary in peace negotiations in the event. of an Iraqi withdrawal and a ceasefire. Egypt, although alarmed by the prospect of an I i military .victory, is constrained by, a lack of ran an tiler su ort for ,nfro` a s cou o ferto send military avigers to .. a Gulf states and appeal to the US to increase its security assistance to these states. An Iranian military advance into Iraq, that appeared to threaten Kuwait'o? Saudi Arabia might cause Cairo to send,, pilots to these, states to bolster their air defenses, or 'dispatch a token ..battalion. The Iraqi oil industry would benefit the most from a ceasefire. f cant orce.to Iraq. The Oil Factor J' 'i e y p 'commit large, numbers of ground forces to the fray, and in any case, lacks the capability rapidly to move a 404 nifi t fr.om?the Persian Gulf and within another. 2-6~'monthseexpr s could probably be restored to Pre-war ports million world.?oil market:. Defense of the.$34 OPEC benchmark pprice..would require the continuation.of an effective OPEC production allocation scheme,.with Saudi Arabia willing to continue to produce at relatively low levels. Iraq might be-willing to phase 1 .-per day,' however, would renew'downward R arre s price pressures in the re s per ay to 1.5-2.0 million barrels per day. This would be above Baghdad's OPEC production quota of 1.2 million barrels per, day. An Iraqi attempt'to increase exports to'2 -4114r% b 14 Damascus allowed'Iraq.to,resume pumping oil through the Iraq-Syria pipeline system, Baghdad could immediately ? increase - production, from the'c,urrent level of about 750,000 bar l d A ceasefire would have only a small impact on Te(hran's uction.in war-.risk an-urance on-tankers.calling at the Kharg ability to produce sand export erude." The war has not imposed any significant constraints on,Iranian.'export capabilities r a . A -= Within 4-6 months Iraq probably could resume crude Island export terminal, however, would further' improve the price' competitiveness of Iranian oil and make it easier.for Tehran to the largest refinery in the country. .action 'in the south; however, could jeopardize oilfields containing,over.half of-Iraq's productive. capacity and threaten ? with exports limited to thq Iraq-Turkey pipeline. Military crude oil production and processing now takes place in the.north, immediate effect on'current Iraqi crude oil exports.' A-,l Iraqi An Irani1an'military move' into southern Iraq would have no As long as the-Iranians occupied the area,* Baghdad would be Shatt a1 Arab, about?20 kilometers from the border . It is not,operating. -- 'The Basrah oil refinery--accounting for about 45 ercent of .-Iraqi refining capacity--is located on the west nk ef,the -- All of Iraq's major southern oilfields--with a total .capacity of about 2 million barrels per day--are within a. about 75 kilometers..of the border. unable to produce or export crude oil from its southern fields.. .Maieover, Tehran'might order the destruction or rempval,of oil equipment'from.occupied areas in retaliation for similar Iraqi actions, significantly reducing Baghdad's ability to quickly -restore its oil.industry to pre-war conditions.- Any significant market?.reacti.on would be unlikely unless.thece was evidence that EMMIMMISM ~+ ar N (1) 0 U 'O 3 1Claw _ O U CT a 10:1 R1 rr ?., ? -J ~ ~ 0~ M 44 _15 -4 L4 0 y? ...l W 4J 4JJ al C O ~~ N O- C7 10 b W gy fem. .-1 .p ro C J C N 0 U) 0 0 W N 54 ID . !tl Q 0 ? y. L .-4 C a, t . a -E . 49 - 4 -4. D., u,0 RS 2. rtNf .NO Al n,.. N -4 0 41 JJ r-1' Sd IV 0 w 41 00 Ai > IRAN-IRAQ: ?QRDER OF BATTLE CIAI estimates as of 15 April 1982, eroore the Khuzpptan offensive 1 1 'Ground Forces Iv .Personnel Division Headquarters Armored Infantry 170,000-190,000a Mechanized infant;y Maneuver brigades Maim battle tanks -Armored personnel?carrie ,s " i rt4llery (over 100-inn) Self-propelled `owed Air and Air Defense Fort Personnel*. Combat-'aircraft' Attack helicopters SA.M. batteries Major naval combatantse 200,000 to 250,000 men. ` bEccludesian?estimated 370,000 paramilitary forces. Fewer half are operationally'ready.' aSome`,60 75 percent are apraticnally ready. ' eincludesdestr s frigates and Dyer ? ga.. '. missile boats.. 8 4 \..4 3 1 825-1,000 1,3'00-1,400 665-775 255-275 450-500 75,000-80,000 300c 132. .24 Iraq 350,000b 15' 8 2 71 2,600 2,350 1,435 205 1,230 30,000 425d 105 55 5 ai cludesRevolutionary Guard and other paramilitary forces which number