Donald Trump has already warned Iran on Twitter that it would “suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history of suffered before”, so it is not surprising that he’s brought these plans back to life following renewed Iranian threats.
These plans, entitled Theatre Iran Near Term (TIRANNT), were carried out in simulations in the early 2000s during the initial planning for the Iraq War. In them, the US army, navy, air force and marines would all work together to obliterate the Iranian Regime. The US military already surrounds Iran, from a variety of military bases across the Middle East and the Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf, so these plans could easily be put into place.
In 2007, during the George W. Bush administration, scholars at SOAS University of London published a report on how such an attack by the US could look. The details of TIRANNT remain classified, for obvious reasons, but the academics advised that the US would likely avoid a ground invasion and focus on US bombers and long-range missiles, as these can be ready in “hours” and destroy much larger targets. However, they also stated that the close proximity of US forces in the Middle East would allow the US to use a “massive multi-front scale” which could “devastate Iranian forces, the regime and the state at short notice”.
If this were to happen, Iran would face over 200 bombers, including B-52 Stratofortresses and B-2 stealth bombers, that are capable of carrying explosives weighing as much as 80,500lbs.
The report said that the US has “strike power sufficient to destroy all major Iranian political, military, economic and transport capabilities”, which would leave Iran with “few if any conventional military capabilities”, and that the US has made the necessary military preparations to “destroy Iran’s WMD, nuclear energy, regime, armed forces, state apparatus and economic infrastructure within days if not hours of [the President] giving the order”.
While the plan may be 15 years old, with Trump now putting massive pressure on Iran and trading threats with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, it seems like it will soon go into use.
As Trump tweeted: “[To Iran:] Never, ever threaten the US again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. Be cautious.”