, 11 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter

I spent weeks speaking with former and current Pentagon, intelligence, and White House officials -- and Middle East/Iran experts -- about what a US-Iran war would look like.

Bottom line: "a nasty, brutal fight" with maybe 100s of 1000s dead. vox.com/world/2019/7/8… /1
Here's how it starts:

Iran wants sanctions off, & may do something violent to make its point. Bombing a US oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz, killing US sailors and/or causing large oil spill, is just one of many ways to do that.

US would likely respond by sinking Iranian ships /2
At this point, warring sides communicate their red lines to each other. The problem is US and Iran don't really talk, making matters worse.

"The greatest risk of a full-blown war comes from one side miscalculating the other’s tolerance” for conflict, says @jasmineelgamal. /3
That means we could see tensions spiral into a full-blown war.

Both sides have different gameplans for that.

US: Overwhelm Iran with so much air and naval power at the start that it surrenders.

Iran: Spread terror and chaos (incl cyber) around the world until US gives up. /4
Keep in mind that all of this is extremely bloody. Thousands to hundreds of thousands could die.

But now US has a choice to make, as experts say Iran is unlikely to surrender because of just air and naval strikes.

Does US invade? And should it try to topple the regime? /5
The logistics of that alone boggle the mind.

Just read that section on its own. /6
And even if US is successful in overthrowing Iran's regime, remember two things:

1) Maybe over a million people die -- including US troops, diplomats, and civilians -- as US military marches toward Tehran.

2) Power centers in Iran will jockey for control, starting civil war. /7
And so US left with horrible choices now:

1) Help rebuild Iran at cost of billions (trillions?) of dollars, years of effort, and many more lives

2) Leave, but leave behind immense chaos in Middle East

As @mwhanna1 told me: “The worst-case scenarios here are quite serious." /8
And, of course, don't forget the millions of refugees headed for nearby nations and Europe to flee violence.


It's a good thing, then, that neither Trump nor Iranian leadership say they want war. But situation is on a knife edge, and it doesn't take much to push it off. /9
I left out a lot for the sake of brevity in this thread. To get the full picture, I recommend you spend time reading the whole piece. vox.com/world/2019/7/8… /10
My thanks to the many experts who spoke to me, including @ilangoldenberg, @BrewerEricM, Chris Musselman, and those already mentioned in the thread.

And my thanks to @jenn_ruth for being an awesome editor and making the piece better and sharper, as always. /11x
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Alex Ward
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!