Pentagon: Oh, by the way, Iran fired at a U.S. drone in the Persian Gulf seven days ago

posted at 8:59 pm on November 8, 2012 by Allahpundit

Just something that slipped their mind. Happened five days before a presidential election, they revealed it two days after the election. Perfectly up-and-up.

Here’s the real question: Why’d Iran fire on it?

Spokesman George Little said the incident, which marks the first time the Iranians have fired on a U.S. drone, occurred Nov. 1 at 4:50 a.m. ET. He said the unarmed, unmanned drone was conducting “routine surveillance” over the Persian Gulf when it was “intercepted” by Iran. He said the MQ1 Predator drone, which was not hit, was not in Iranian airspace.

According to Little, two Iranian jets fired twice, missing on both attempts — the drone headed away from the Iranian coast, landing safely soon after at an undisclosed location. The Iranian jets pursued the drone for a short period before giving up…

Little stressed that the drone was flying 16 nautical miles off the coast of Kuwait in international waters, and never entered the 12-mile limit that would constitute Iranian territory.

Top speed for a Predator is 135 mph. How’d they miss?

The temptation here is to wonder whether Iran was trying to bait O into some sort of conflict right before the election. I’m skeptical, just because there are much surer ways they could have done that if they wanted to. In fact, two days ago, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence published a report on a potential war with Israel that was actually somewhat conciliatory towards Obama:

The report, titled “Reasons and Obstacles of a Military Attack by the Zionist Regime Against Iran,” also makes a clear distinction between positions on Iran’s nuclear program held by the Israeli government and the U.S. administration. It says President Obama “hopes to solve this issue peacefully and through diplomacy.” It goes on to say that Obama does not think Iran’s enrichment program, which Iran insists is solely for peaceful purposes, is an imminent threat and that, in addition to diplomacy, he thinks “severe sanctions” can help control the situation.

With Obama’s reelection Tuesday, there is guarded hope in Tehran and Washington that a solution agreeable to all parties in the nuclear standoff might finally be possible.

Strange tone to take if they’re trying to pick a fight. Either a couple of pilots went rogue, possibly because they misjudged where the drone was vis-a-vis Iranian airspace, or the regime ordered the lamest, most easily ignored sort of provocation in hopes of … forcing an aggressive response? Like I say, if they wanted to do that, why not attack a U.S. ship in the Gulf and guarantee it?

As for why the Pentagon refused to mention this until now, I invite military readers to speculate. If there was some sort of election-related gag order issued, I assume it’s less because O thought revealing this would absolutely hurt him than because it would introduce an element of unpredictability that could go either way. Romney obviously would have used it as evidence of weakness: Iran wouldn’t dare take potshots at an American drone with a Republican in office, etc. Problem is, that argument didn’t do much for him as applied to Benghazi. And given the moronic applause for O’s handling of the hurricane, there may well have been some sort of “rally ’round the flag” effect in the last few days that ended up boosting Obama’s numbers. If I were him, that would have been my biggest worry from a strictly political standpoint — that if the Pentagon announced what happened days before the polls opened, the opposition would use it as an excuse to discredit my victory. “Obama only won because of that dirty trick involving the drone.” He probably figured it wasn’t worth rolling the dice in putting it out there before the vote.



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The future will not belong to those who insult Islam.

-Preezy B. Hussein Obama

tom daschle concerned on November 8, 2012 at 9:01 PM

and a week from now, we’ll find out about various things that have happened today!!

Sachiko on November 8, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Unexpectedly.

eforhan on November 8, 2012 at 9:03 PM

The Iranian jets pursued the drone for a short period before giving up…

If true then Israel should get every plane in their nation in the air towards Iran right now; F16′s, Mysteres, Hornets, Piper Cubs, Biplanes, those rubber-band powered prop toys, balsa gliders, everything.

Bishop on November 8, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Most transparent adm eveah????

LaRepublican on November 8, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Oh yea.. President Barack “the future does not belong to those who insult the prophet of Islam” Obama will take care of that right away. Right after he has Erick “No prosecutions of my people” Holder dismiss all the voter fraud accusations.

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:05 PM

And so it starts…..

Jvette on November 8, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Hey, at least is wasn’t an October surprise.

DeathtotheSwiss on November 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Big deal, who cares, us? America has more important things to think about like their vaginas, free birth control, abortion on demand, whitey putting everyone back in chains, making rap music illegal, outlawing tampons…you know.

Tell any loved ones you have it’s time to leave the military. We appreciate their service and a job well done. But now it’s the left’s turn to defend our country.

Rockshine on November 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM

I’d like to see Fox News do a “news you don’t give a sh*t about” segment each night:

“Iran is shooting at our drones. The Obama administration kept that from you until after the election. But, you know, you don’t really give a sh*t, so whatevs.”

“We gave a bunch of guns to the Mexican drug cartels. They’re killing people with them. American people. Yeah, yeah. We know. You don’t give a sh*t.”

“Our Ambassador to Libya was raped and murdered by terrorists. The Obama administration lied to you about that. They’re still lying. And they’ve sent a guy in California to prison for a year to cover up their lies. But whatever. You don’t give a sh*t.”

Rational Thought on November 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Aren’t Russian BM subs routinely floating right off of our coast now as well…hell, no telling what’s going on right under our noses.

AUINSC on November 8, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Well that really only shows you that Iranians wanted to help Romney win

El_Terrible on November 8, 2012 at 9:08 PM

You know who sits in the White House advising Obama?

Iranian Valerie Jarrett.

tom daschle concerned on November 8, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Hey, at least they told us at some point! What more do you want?

/

RedNewEnglander on November 8, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Top speed for a Predator is 135 mph. How’d they miss?

Pre-mature ejection..

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 9:13 PM

“Fired”? Why use that word? That’s a provocative word. Perhaps it was some kind of spontaneous kinetic protest or demonstration, or an accident, or something. Let’s investigate for a few months, or years, or however long it takes to get to the truth of the matter.

farsighted on November 8, 2012 at 9:14 PM

The Iranian jets missed because they were Su-25 ground-attack jets — not fighters — carrying, at most, former-Soviet air-to-air missiles with 35-year-old technology.

The Iranians didn’t send out their best counter-air fighters for this attempt.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Nothing to see here. Proceed, Governor Romney.

On a serious note, anyone who has a loved one in the military needs to tell them that we are thankful for their patriotism, service and a job well done. However, it’s time for them to let the leftist who voted for Obama to step up and do their part. It’s going to get bad across the world in a second Obama term. Let the Obamaites handle it.

Rockshine on November 8, 2012 at 9:15 PM

We will respond with more high tech computer viruses..

Oh wait…

That time has passed..

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Top speed for a Predator is 135 mph. How’d they miss?

The Iranians have really sh1tty Air to Air missiles. I think they have two. One that we gave to the Shah of Iran that they keep running with duct tape and bubble gum and …

The other is one they developed themselves but only a couple of years ago and it has Iranian avionics so yeah – I’m not really confident it’s a winner either.

HondaV65 on November 8, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Here’s the real question: Why’d Iran fire on it?

You have to ask that question after Benghazi…?

Seven Percent Solution on November 8, 2012 at 9:16 PM

The Iranians didn’t send out their best counter-air fighters for this attempt.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Or maybe they did.

farsighted on November 8, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Would have been over-shadowed by Sandy and President Bombardier anyway

onetrickpony on November 8, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Here’s the real question: Why’d Iran fire on it?

You have to ask that question after Benghazi…?

Seven Percent Solution on November 8, 2012 at 9:16 PM

THIS^^^

Russia doesn’t like us being involved with Libya..
But Russia will not engage us directly..
Russia has interests in the ME and they don’t jive with ours..
But Obama…????

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 9:18 PM

They missed because the Frogfoot aircraft is not designed for air to air combat, it is a ground attack aircraft with no air to air radar. Likely target of opportunity incident or the Iranian Air Force is lead by complete idiots and that isn’t likely. They could have only used older variant IR missiles which is probably why they missed.

Centurion68 on November 8, 2012 at 9:18 PM

why not attack a U.S. ship in the Gulf and guarantee it?

I haven’t seen anything in the last four years that would have guaranteed a response from Obama over something as trivial as attacking a US ship. If they wanted a response, they’d have to run around one of his putting greens wearing cleats.

DrAllecon on November 8, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Like I say, if they wanted to do that, why not attack a U.S. ship in the Gulf and guarantee it?

I know this is on the shoulder of the road and everything, but I’m not sure attacking “a U.S. ship in the Gulf” is going to guarantee any particular response at the moment.

Axe on November 8, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Of course, our government has also been known to lie to us.

Dante on November 8, 2012 at 9:21 PM

I know this is on the shoulder of the road and everything, but I’m not sure attacking “a U.S. ship in the Gulf” is going to guarantee any particular response at the moment.

Axe on November 8, 2012 at 9:20 PM

THIS^^^

They know that there will not be a response..
Even after 7 hours..
The sun came up and Al-Queda in Benghazi left because they were bored..

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 9:22 PM

The swine, from Iran and from the US. They are in the same pigstie, brothers of a feather, both hating the US.

Schadenfreude on November 8, 2012 at 9:23 PM

I haven’t seen anything in the last four years that would have guaranteed a response from Obama over something as trivial as attacking a US ship. If they wanted a response, they’d have to run around one of his putting greens wearing cleats.

DrAllecon on November 8, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Ever hear of a trial balloon? No response to this and things will escalate. I expect things to escalate.

VegasRick on November 8, 2012 at 9:25 PM

The pentagon has it’s head so far up Obama’s rectum.

VorDaj on November 8, 2012 at 9:26 PM

DrAllecon on November 8, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Sorry. I was thinking the same thing you were and typing at the same time, or I would have just quoted you. :)

Axe on November 8, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Now that the election is over, the media is free to end their blackout. For all we know Israel could have been wiped off the face of the earth by Iran last week.

They’ll let us know when it’s no longer convenient for them to hide the truth.

Eschelon on November 8, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Swine of the USA, same as the USSR swine…the land deserves the hoodlums and charlatans.

The USA is no more “shock or awe” – Zawahiri

He is right. Obama made a paper tiger of the USA. The fools deserve him, fully.

He’s right in front of you, and you don’t see. Go under, fools, and enjoy the 3rd rate status, in all regards.

Schadenfreude on November 8, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Like I say, if they wanted to do that, why not attack a U.S. ship in the Gulf and guarantee it?

Maybe they tell us next week about that…

the_nile on November 8, 2012 at 9:28 PM

The Iranians didn’t send out their best counter-air fighters for this attempt.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 9:14 PM

ROTFLMAO… True, but damn it, it take sooo long to get those hot Air balloons ready for flight… o_O

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:28 PM

why not attack a U.S. ship in the Gulf and guarantee it?

Really Allah? “Guarantee”? What? A ‘sternly worded memo’?

GarandFan on November 8, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Petraeus betrayed the land and the dead in Benghazi.

Petraeus contributed to the charlatanry in the news, in many regards.

He can go straight to Hades. May all be revealed and may he retired in disgrace, never to be seen again in public.

Schadenfreude on November 8, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Or maybe they did.

farsighted on November 8, 2012 at 9:16 PM

No, they didn’t. The Su-25 wasn’t designed to be a counter-air fighter and the Iranians don’t use the airframe that way. Their front-line fighter aircraft are the Chinese F-7s and the US-made F-4s, old as the latter are.

Su-25 pilots aren’t your guys for coordinating a fighter-pair attack on an aircraft in flight. But from Iran’s perspective, the old Su-25s they got from Saddam in 1991 — when he sent them to Iran to survive Desert Storm, and Iran took possession of them — are more expendable than their fighters. (Iran got more Su-25s from Russia in 2006.) Looks to me like the Iranians hoped to get lucky without having to risk too much.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 9:30 PM

It c/b that it was arranged, so that Obama could attack some stupid ship in the Hormuz, and declare himself another ‘hero’.

The Benghazi and storm news impeded his plans.

Schadenfreude on November 8, 2012 at 9:32 PM

A non-transparent thug is still president.

Schadenfreude on November 8, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Preezy Obysmal was just being tested and teased to see how flexible he is planning to be.

Between this news blackout and the story of the Russian sub off our East coast, I wonder why we even have the need for the media these days.

Has anyone else read that Jarrett is doing some covert “negotiating” with Iran?

onlineanalyst on November 8, 2012 at 9:33 PM

It c/b that it was arranged, so that Obama could attack some stupid ship in the Hormuz, and declare himself another ‘hero’.

The Benghazi and storm news impeded his plans.

Schadenfreude on November 8, 2012 at 9:32 PM

It really is sick that we have to look at every event through how it will affect obambi but we do. sick government we have.

VegasRick on November 8, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Has anyone else read that Jarrett is doing some covert “negotiating” with Iran?

onlineanalyst on November 8, 2012 at 9:33 PM

comrade, spilling state secrets can get you sent to a gulag… Just a word to the wise here… o_O

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM

I notice that US spokesman always say Arabian Gulf instead of Persian Gulf. This is intended to be an insult to Iran, isn’t it?

Mark1971 on November 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

comrade, spilling state secrets can get you sent to a gulag… Just a word to the wise here… o_O

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM

It’s the FEMA camps.

VegasRick on November 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Top speed for a Predator is 135 mph. How’d they miss?

Because muslims can’t fight worth a damn. Check with Israel, they’ll say the same thing. Our ROE’s level the playing field to give them a fighting chance.

Iran is photo shopping missile launches to show how awesome they are.

How competent can they be?

Hog Wild on November 8, 2012 at 9:37 PM

ROTFLMAO… True, but damn it, it take sooo long to get those hot Air balloons ready for flight… o_O

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Yeah, there’s that. Seriously, though, Iran has fighters that have a hope of shooting down a Predator. But she didn’t send those aircraft for this mission. She didn’t even send fighters; she send two Su-25s, whose primary counter-air tactic is to shriek “HELP!!!!!!!”

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM

I notice that US spokesman always say Arabian Gulf instead of Persian Gulf. This is intended to be an insult to Iran, isn’t it?

Mark1971 on November 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Is Goat F$#@ing Gulf too much?

VegasRick on November 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM

It’s the FEMA camps.

VegasRick on November 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Good God, a gulag would probably be safer, one of my buddies showed me a jpeg from a FEMA office today… It said, “This FEMA Office closed due to weather”…

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM

There must be a film producer to blame for Iran’s actions..

Surely

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM

VegasRick on November 8, 2012 at 9:34 PM

I said often that in Oct. he’ll either bomb a suburb in Benghazi (risky, due to innocents, children) or a couple of ships in the Hormuz.

The fiasco in Benghazi and then the storm impeded his plan.

Schadenfreude on November 8, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Good God, a gulag would probably be safer, one of my buddies showed me a jpeg from a FEMA office today… It said, “This FEMA Office closed due to weather”…

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM

“come back when it’s sunny”

VegasRick on November 8, 2012 at 9:40 PM

There must be a film producer to blame for Iran’s actions..

Surely

Electrongod on November 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM

And a cell in Obama’s dungeon waiting for him.

predator on November 8, 2012 at 9:40 PM

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Yeah, there’s that. Seriously, though, Iran has fighters that have a hope of shooting down a Predator. But she didn’t send those aircraft for this mission. She didn’t even send fighters; she send two Su-25s, whose primary counter-air tactic is to shriek “HELP!!!!!!!

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 9:38 PM

ROTFLMAO… aint that the truth, Iran’s top of the line fighter’s have what a 35 second window after radar contact before a F18 blows them out of the sky?

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Who knew that being politically manipulated could feel so warm and fuzzy?

BettyRuth on November 8, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Pentagon: Oh, by the way, Iran fired at a U.S. drone in the Persian Gulf seven days ago

headline by Allahpundit

.
.
No biggie, as you were.

Carry on . . . . .

listens2glenn on November 8, 2012 at 9:43 PM

The SU-25′s gun is angled downward because it is designed for use in ground attacks.

So that’s why they were missing low. Their gun really isn’t designed at all for what they were doing. Dunno why they used it.

Spade on November 8, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Rational Thought on November 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM

I think that you are on to a good idea.

onlineanalyst on November 8, 2012 at 9:44 PM

I notice that US spokesman always say Arabian Gulf instead of Persian Gulf. This is intended to be an insult to Iran, isn’t it?

Mark1971 on November 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

That’s one of those things that go back and forth. The military switched from “Arabian Gulf” to “Persian Gulf” when we pulled US forces out of Saudi Arabia in 2003. Now it looks like we’re back to “Arabian Gulf.”

It was “Persian Gulf,” of course, up to 1979. Before then, the US was friends with both Iran and Saudi Arabia. Since ’79, our commitment to not recognizing the Persian Gulf as an Iranian lake has waxed and waned. Referring to the “Arabian Gulf” is one of those cheap rhetorical things the Obama administration sets so much store by, in its annoying way.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 9:45 PM

The SU-25′s gun is angled downward because it is designed for use in ground attacks.

So that’s why they were missing low. Their gun really isn’t designed at all for what they were doing. Dunno why they used it.

Spade on November 8, 2012 at 9:43 PM

It was a political media propaganda ploy. If the US had shot it down, they would have claimed the Su-25 was legally and lawfully protecting Iranian Air Space and the Fifth Column Treasonous Media would have 100 percent agreed with them.

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:46 PM

comrade, spilling state secrets can get you sent to a gulag… Just a word to the wise here… o_O

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Unless you are Biden or the Oaf in Chief.

Schadenfreude on November 8, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Looks to me like the Iranians hoped to get lucky without having to risk too much.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Yeah, my comment was a bit tongue in cheek.

Question is, all that considered, why bother?

Did they really want to see if the Obama admin would say something about it before the election, because apparently that is all they learned from this exercise.

farsighted on November 8, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Question is, all that considered, why bother?

farsighted on November 8, 2012 at 9:49 PM

For the exact same reason that Palestinians put perfectly health people on stretchers and cover them with blood while claiming that Israel is murdering their innocent civilians. It’s a political propaganda war.

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:51 PM

One can kind of understand the military sitting on this, if they were so ordered. However this needs to be recorded as example # 78456 of why the Journo-List 2.0 media needs to be formally recognized as the Ministry of Truth, so no one will accidentally identify them as reporters.

If it came out that after a Republican president was re-elected it was revealed that a foreign nation had attacked one of our drones in international airspace and the attack had been concealed till after the election …. dogs in Tibet would be howling from the high pitched screaming of the press.

I do wonder how Israel feels, hearing about this. Secure, I’m sure.

Subotai Bahadur

Subotai Bahadur on November 8, 2012 at 9:52 PM

comrade, spilling state secrets can get you sent to a gulag… Just a word to the wise here… o_O

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM

It’s the FEMA camps.

VegasRick on November 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Do you think that I will be “lucky” enough to be a cell-mate of the inflammatory video producer? (I may have some unpaid parking tickets that deserve the full extent of the law.)

onlineanalyst on November 8, 2012 at 9:53 PM

ROTFLMAO… aint that the truth, Iran’s top of the line fighter’s have what a 35 second window after radar contact before a F18 blows them out of the sky?

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Oh, any Iranian aircraft is toast versus the F/A-18. WaPo had a map showing where the Predator was flying; looks to me like Patriot could have taken the Iranian Su-25s out as well.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 9:55 PM

comrade, spilling state secrets can get you sent to a gulag… Just a word to the wise here… o_O

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM

It’s the FEMA camps.

VegasRick on November 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Do you think that I will be “lucky” enough to be a cell-mate of the inflammatory video producer? (I may have some unpaid parking tickets that deserve the full extent of the law.)

onlineanalyst on November 8, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Owwwww, I don’t know Comrade, spilling State Secrets is one thing… Failing to provide the State with the required revenue is a far more serious charge…

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Dry run.

Do any of our drones have air-to-air missiles?

TexasDan on November 8, 2012 at 9:57 PM

O/T but “The People’s Cube” noted that yesterday (November 7) was a significant day in the history of Marxist domination.
http://www.thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/october-revolution-this-time-we-can-make-it-work-t9969.html

Ironic, huh?

onlineanalyst on November 8, 2012 at 9:58 PM

The Iranian jets missed because they were Su-25 ground-attack jets — not fighters — carrying, at most, former-Soviet air-to-air missiles with 35-year-old technology.

The Iranians didn’t send out their best counter-air fighters for this attempt.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 9:14 PM

.
Did I hear the Pentagon spokesman say the drone was fired upon with guns?
Where does this discussion about missiles fit?

News2Use on November 8, 2012 at 10:00 PM

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Oh, any Iranian aircraft is toast versus the F/A-18. WaPo had a map showing where the Predator was flying; looks to me like Patriot could have taken the Iranian Su-25s out as well.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Hmmm, ya almost need to do a cost analysis on that projection.

1) what was the cost of the Predator
2) what is the cost of a Patriot
3) what is the value of shooting down a Iranian Su-25

Using a Patriot seems like a bit of overkill if ya ask me.

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Spade on November 8, 2012 at 9:43 PM

I think they call it ‘Rope-A-Dope’: send up the Su-25; we make the token response but it’s the next-gen MiG waiting for our boys…

affenhauer on November 8, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Using a Patriot seems like a bit of overkill if ya ask me.

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Also, what is the cost of letting Iran have free shots until they manage to figure out how to start shooting our drones down?

If the mullah’s weren’t crazy, you’d say the cost of a Patriot is cheap insurance to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. Not a guarantee with these clowns.

TexasDan on November 8, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Did they really want to see if the Obama admin would say something about it before the election, because apparently that is all they learned from this exercise.

farsighted on November 8, 2012 at 9:49 PM

They may have simply wanted to know what we would do: what our tactical as well as national-policy reaction would be.

Our tactical reaction was to send the Predator back to base rather than finish the mission. Of course, we don’t know what will be done about resuming Predator flights in this area.

It’s really a bigger issue than this one Keystone Kops episode with Iran.

If you’ve got a drone mission track you want to use over and over, do you dispatch USAF alert fighters from Qatar (or northern Gulf CAP; not sure what we maintain at the moment) to protect the drone when it’s menaced? Is that a good — or even doctrinal — use of the relevant assets?

If you don’t protect the drone, you’ll probably just lose the mission track covering the geography where you want collection. Maybe you’ll have to use manned collection assets and ensure they have fighter protection on call. It’s not like we don’t know how to do that. We’ve been doing it for over 70 years.

But beyond the operational question about platform use, there’s the political question of how hard we take it when someone menaces our drone, and how much we simply give up on because “it’s only a drone.” It’s the point of drones that they’re not manned, but if the operating environment is non-permissive, that point has, if you will, no geopolitical home. There’s nothing conventional that we do about this stuff.

Exit question: if we flee and lodge a protest when Iran shoots at our drone, what will we do if China menaces our satellite? It’s unmanned, after all. It’just a bunch of inanimate material flung into space.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Spade on November 8, 2012 at 9:43 PM

I think they call it ‘Rope-A-Dope’: send up the Su-25; we make the token response but it’s the next-gen MiG waiting for our boys…

affenhauer on November 8, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Don’t kid yourself, Iran doesn’t have anything that would last more than 1 minuet in the sky against any American fighter.

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Okay, here is the dope on Jarrett, who while born in Iran is not herself Iranian (I believe):
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4301368,00.html

Is this a credible source?

onlineanalyst on November 8, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Don’t kid yourself, Iran doesn’t have anything that would last more than 1 minuet in the sky against any American fighter.
SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

You’re sure..? I’m not…

affenhauer on November 8, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Did I hear the Pentagon spokesman say the drone was fired upon with guns?
Where does this discussion about missiles fit?

News2Use on November 8, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Guns are more likely. My point was that, at most, the Iranian Su-25s could have had the old FSU air-to-air missiles. The Su-25 has a 30mm cannon and if the Pentagon guy said “guns,” that’s what the Frogfoot would have fired.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Exit question: if we flee and lodge a protest when Iran shoots at our drone, what will we do if China menaces our satellite? It’s unmanned, after all. It’just a bunch of inanimate material flung into space.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Precisely why, I think, we shuttered down on this incident. However, we are dealing with a military/diplomatic matrix with this WH that would take Houdini or, perhaps, Rainman, to divine.

TXUS on November 8, 2012 at 10:18 PM

But beyond the operational question about platform use, there’s the political question of how hard we take it when someone menaces our drone, and how much we simply give up on because “it’s only a drone.” It’s the point of drones that they’re not manned, but if the operating environment is non-permissive, that point has, if you will, no geopolitical home. There’s nothing conventional that we do about this stuff.

Exit question: if we flee and lodge a protest when Iran shoots at our drone, what will we do if China menaces our satellite? It’s unmanned, after all. It’just a bunch of inanimate material flung into space.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

And the biggest problem we have right now, is that their is nobody in the Obama Administration capable of grasping the tactical implications of exactly what you are describing. If we cease drone overflights for the mission track covering the geography in question, Iran has then strategically outmaneuvered us and created an denial of information zone.

In surrendering that tactical advantage to Iran it sends a signal to china that they can also employ similar tactics in their theaters of operation. From a strategic and tactical point of view that is a very dangerous situation to find ourselves in.

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 10:18 PM

TXUS on November 8, 2012 at 10:18 PM

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Yep. If Obama rolls over for this, Iran has actually gotten a big bang for her bottom dollar. Iran risked as little as she could get away with. If the endstate is “US changes operating profile,” that’s some of the cheapest, most significant information ever established for those who hate truth, justice, and the American way.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 10:25 PM

By the end of Obama’s second term we won’t even have spitballs to throw.

Tip o’ the hat to Zell Miller.

fogw on November 8, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Yep. If Obama rolls over for this, Iran has actually gotten a big bang for her bottom dollar. Iran risked as little as she could get away with. If the endstate is “US changes operating profile,” that’s some of the cheapest, most significant information ever established for those who hate truth, justice, and the American way.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 10:25 PM

God help us, cause it really doesn’t look like anyone in the Obamanation Administration has the slight idea what strategy or tactics are, that is providing that they aren’t actual Manchurian candidates.

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Here’s the real question: Why’d Iran fire on it?

They also didn’t intend to hit it. Why give Obama any chance to actually shoot down an Iranian plan and act tough just before the election.

They simply tested Obama to confirm their hypothesis that he is weak and impotent.

If Obama says before the election that Iran fired on a US drone, and admits that nothing was done to retaliate, they get the bonus of humiliating a US president without too much of a risk of him losing the election.
> They can anticipate that the chances that Obama would get reelected by by the useful idiots who are liberals in this country exceeded the chance of Romney getting elected. (What would Romney do if he was elected anyway? Nothing… he wouldn’t be able to address anything until after he was inaugurated… & by then it would be old news.)

If Obama hides the fact that Iran fired on a US drone until after the election, this gives Iran more flexibility to be provocative, without worrying as much about retaliation… and that the US media would kiss Obama’s ass to cover it up… just like Benghazi.

Iran wins either way. They know that they have the ability to poke at the US, which to them is now only a paper tiger – who else is saying this? Al Qaida.

If US intervention is simply now defined as a harsh statement of disapproval vs some bombing at its worst (e.g. Libya). Seeing that the US Ambassador to Libya was so easily killed, and that resulted in absolutely NO retaliation, and left good men fighting alone to die without support.

Iran is quite comfortable pushing the limits with Hezbollah & the occasional missile fired at a drone or patrolling US plane. Remember, Obama did nothing during the Iranian Green Revolution, and currently is doing nothing in Syria – where Iran actually has troops.

Regarding Afghanistan, as the “Commander-in-Chief” of US armed forces, he is allowing troops on the ground to be murdered by the Afghans they trained – again without retaliation. The “Pussy-in Chief” was even so stupid as to telegraph when US troops would be out of Afghanistan, so there would be no US retaliation from their far eastern flank. So why should they worry?

Danny on November 8, 2012 at 10:43 PM

God help us, cause it really doesn’t look like anyone in the Obamanation Administration has the slight idea what strategy or tactics are, that is providing that they aren’t actual Manchurian candidates.

SWalker on November 8, 2012 at 10:32 PM

At some point, if it goes as I fear it will vis a vis Iran, and the ultimate cratering of our non-nuke “policy”, the operational flag officers may well crack down on the political ones and Obama himself. And, you know what, if it gets to that, I don’t have a problem with it.
Our military, the real military, is the only thing left standing anymore between tyranny and liberty. It was such from the beginning, and it is today.

TXUS on November 8, 2012 at 10:54 PM

But beyond the operational question about platform use, there’s the political question of how hard we take it when someone menaces our drone, and how much we simply give up on because “it’s only a drone.” It’s the point of drones that they’re not manned, but if the operating environment is non-permissive, that point has, if you will, no geopolitical home. There’s nothing conventional that we do about this stuff.

Exit question: if we flee and lodge a protest when Iran shoots at our drone, what will we do if China menaces our satellite? It’s unmanned, after all. It’just a bunch of inanimate material flung into space.

J.E. Dyer on November 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

It’s an interesting question that has to be sorted out as part of our evolution to unmanned ‘stuff’. Eventually we will have B-2 comparable unmanned bombers and unmanned submarines. Is destroying one less an act of war because it’s unmanned?

slickwillie2001 on November 8, 2012 at 11:00 PM

You also have to wonder if this isn’t the first fruit of America’s response to Benghazi. If jihadis are allowed unhindered to roast our ambassador on a spit, there are obviously new limits to be explored. It doesn’t matter anymore if Obama eventually checks a few new names off his death list; it’s his inaction during the chaos that telegraphs “power vacuum” to every thug on the planet.

TexasDan on November 8, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Seriously, listen to you guys. You scream lie, lie, lie at Obama and government regarding Libya (and rightly so), but here you are taking this as the gospel truth.

Your government lies to you constantly. Why do you believe this? Is it because you want to believe it?

Dante on November 8, 2012 at 11:19 PM

I feel sorry for those who live in our metropolitan areas. Can you feel a target on your back? Can you imagine where the next terrorist attack will hit? It won’t hit my little town of 200.

cptacek on November 8, 2012 at 11:45 PM

This was undoubtedly caused by a video posted on YouTube that was disrespectful to the prophet of islam.
Whoever is responsible for the video will be prosecuted and punished.

Solaratov on November 8, 2012 at 11:46 PM

I visualize guys right now frantically cobbing together the hardware to give a very bad surprise to the next Iranian fighter to fire on a UAV of ours.

I’m thinking targeting radar and a Sidewinder missile or two. Wouldn’t it be sweet. I visualize headlines… “US Drone Fired On, Blasts Two Iranian Fighters From Sky” I visualize a Predator with two silouettes of Iranian fighters painted on its nose. So sweet.

As they say, it is easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission, especially with That Person in the White House.

etaoinshrdlu on November 9, 2012 at 1:01 AM

The Iranian jets pursued the drone for a short period before giving up…

If true then Israel should get every plane in their nation in the air towards Iran right now; F16′s, Mysteres, Hornets, Piper Cubs, Biplanes, those rubber-band powered prop toys, balsa gliders, everything.

Bishop on November 8, 2012 at 9:03 PM

rOFLMAO :)

jimver on November 9, 2012 at 1:21 AM

Your government lies to you constantly. Why do you believe this? Is it because you want to believe it?

Dante on November 8, 2012 at 11:19 PM

To spite you? ;)…

jimver on November 9, 2012 at 1:22 AM

My first thought on hearing this was that the Iranians wanted to boost Mr Romney’s chances of winning.

My reason for thinking this is my long-held hypothesis that the Iranians are trying to provoke an attack on themselves because such an attack will give them victim status that will greatly facilitate their long-term goal of acquiring nuclear weapons.

My guess, therefore, is that the Iranians expect Mr Obama and his colleagues to be more passive than Mr Romney and his colleagues.

YiZhangZhe on November 9, 2012 at 4:33 AM

Your government lies to you constantly. Why do you believe this? Is it because you want to believe it?

Dante on November 8, 2012 at 11:19 PM

It is a fair question.

Personally I find the report credible because

(1) there are other radar operators in the region (Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and possibly Qatar) who could confirm or refute the alleged locations of the Iranian aircraft.

(2) Similarly, 16 km off the coast of Kuwait, there would potentially be boats at sea that would hear (or not hear) gunfire.

(3) I can’t think of a scenario that would make such a deceit worthwhile given the ease with which bits of it could be refuted or argued about.

(4) It fits with the hypothesis I outlined in my 4:33 AM post, above.

YiZhangZhe on November 9, 2012 at 4:40 AM

The electorate doesn’t care about foreign policy, national security, or truth telling. They just want freebies.

clnurnberg on November 9, 2012 at 4:55 AM

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