The United States and Iran are balancing on the edge of a fully-fledged open military conflict, with many claiming that President Donald Trump had to respond militarily to the Iranian retaliatory missile strike on US military bases in Iraq. However, they have forgotten that in 2002 the Pentagon already ran a colossal wargame designed to simulate a war with Iran – and the US lost heavily.
Millennium Challenge 2002 was a $235 million USD military exercise that involved elements of all the U.S. armed forces, with over 13,500 personnel engaging in the most realistic wargames held up until that time. Almost immediately following the invasion of Afghanistan and ahead of the 2003 launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the exercise was clearly meant to test the Pentagon’s new vision of waging war against a Middle Eastern enemy. The enemy that the OPFOR (opposition force) was modeled after was in fact the nation of Iran.
The commander picked to develop the strategy of the OPFOR, or “Red Team”, and lead them in battle was retired USMC Lt. General Paul Van Riper. General Van Riper is a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War, who held many important commands over his 41 years of military service. At the time of Millennium Challenge, he was working with the Marine Corps Combat Development Command. He proceeded to do what everyone in the DOD command structure thought was impossible, defeat the U.S. military with a technologically inferior yet highly motivated and adaptive force.
Van Riper knew that perhaps the greatest advantage enjoyed by the U.S. forces, their high-tech advantage in command and control and surveillance, was also a potential weakness. The U.S. military’s overreliance on technology was exploited as its Achilles heel. The retired USMC general forbid his forces from communicating via radio communications, relying on motorcycle couriers and runners. He also conducted cyphered communication embedded in the Muslim call to prayer conducted throughout each day. The Blue Force had very little idea of what the Red Force was planning in the days leading up to the simulated amphibious assault.
The Bush Administration had just recently announced the pre-emptive strike doctrine that included the use of pre-emptive war against an immediate or perceived future threat to U.S. national security. Since then, Washington has been actively using these perceived future threats to justify its own actions all around the world. (The claim that the assassination of the Iranian national hero, General Qassem Suleimani, in Baghdad on January 3 was required to prevent a war is an example of such a justification.) Therefore, with full knowledge of the preemptive war doctrine, the Red Force commander knew that an attack was imminent.
As soon as the Blue Force deployed in range for a strike on the simulated Iran, the Red team went on the offensive. Van Riper’s forces decimated the U.S. naval and amphibious assault within approximately fifteen minutes. Nineteen warships, including an aircraft carrier, and five amphibious ships, were sunk, and an estimated 20,000 sailors and marines were lost. The Red Force used barrages of hundreds of land-based missiles coupled with swarms of small, explosive laden suicide boats to defeat a combined aircraft carrier strike group and amphibious ready group.
Those overseeing the exercise decided to ignore the opening failure of the Blue Team and reset the chess board. Not only did they erase what should have been a monumental lesson to everyone involved, they decided to add several constraints upon Van Riper which did not give him full flexibility in conducting his defense. The Red Force was not allowed to respond to an airborne drop conducted by the 82nd Airborne by hitting the landing zone with chemical weapons, which it possessed under the exercise script. His forces were not allowed to keep their positions hidden. For example, the Red Force had to position its air defense assets out in the open where they became an easy target for the Blue Force. On top of that, the Blue forces were able to leverage technologies that were not actually in service at the time but were inserted into the exercise anyway. Even with the odds artificially stacked in the Blue team’s favor, the result was not what the Pentagon had hoped. Although in the end the U.S. invasion resulted in the defeat of the opposition, it did not result in total capitulation, but a strong guerilla war.
Van Riper had obviously learned a great deal about warfare in his years of combat in Vietnam, and deployments to the Middle East as well. He knew that technological advantage can never overcome an enemy that is calculating, ruthless and has the will to fight above all else. Reliance on technology is as much a weakness on the battlefield as a lack or logistical support or an unwillingness to embrace freedom of action. As a result of Millennium Challenge 2002, the U.S. military leadership should have learned this lesson as well. They did not.
Van Riper did his nation a great service by acting like a true soldier. He did what was needed to win and proved that his nation’s armed forces were not prepared for the war they aimed to fight. He was hamstrung, undermined and ignored. Van Riper would go on the record and speak out against the conduct of the exercise. He would later join a group of retired officers who called for the resignation of then acting Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Fast forward eighteen years. The United States has escalated tensions with Iran with the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3rd. With the prospects of open conflict between the U.S. and Iran increasingly probable, it would behoove President Trump and his national security advisors to revisit the lessons learned from Millennium Challenge 2002.
Military operations of the 2020s differ significantly from all possible contingency planning variants of the 2000s. The current US military doctrine assigns the prior employment of mobile interoperable forces, unmanned and robotized systems, as well as massive strikes with high precision weapons in conjunction with the maximum usage of electronic warfare and information warfare. Therefore, the scenario of a possible conflict will differ from those simulated in the Millennium Challenge 2002. Large-scale landing operations are unlikely. Apparently, the US military strike’s main targets will be infrastructure objects and the objects of political and military command centers of Iran.
Despite this, any war with Iran will not be a walk in the park. Iran will respond asymmetrically, and in ways that the U.S. military establishment may not be able to predict. The lesson taught by General Van Riper may end up being learned the hard way.
who else is hungry for more SF news
Mega lols if my ass were not on the line
It is not the first time that a general in an exercise skillfully thwarts the expected outcome of the designers of the exercise. In the eighties there was an exercise of the warsaw pact simulating an amphibious attack at a shoreline by the soviet navy and airforce. If I remember it was at the baltic sea. The defending force (in warsaw pact exercises , the blue team ) , was given to the Army of the RDA , the NVA. The german general refused to defend the direct shoreline , let the red army to pour onto the ground , counterattacked from the sides and produced a modern “Cannae” for the red Army. Proving that way the designers of the soviet amphibious assault strategy to be wrong. But as usual , the general was sacked for this outcome accused for not playing “by the book”.
don’t think the US has anyone left near the capability of Van Riper.
Actually they have plenty of them, only no one listens to them anymore!
wow, I had a post blocked. I think I hit pay dirt. :)
That’s satisfying in itself.
Basically, trying it again, Joint Chief is going to put a lid on this and President Trump. If you notice, nobody is standing out front and beating their chest from the actual US military. The politicians are causing a mess but, they will get corralled.
That is the short version. somebody flagged me. I think I brought something out.
What about Captain Kirk and Rambo ?
They are tough dudes.
glossy-leaflet bullshit… if the ZioCons were able to fight Iran, they would have already done it.. but…..
Years ago in US Army during early years of Viet conflict during a training exercize at FT. Bragg, I was role playing as part of the guerrilla forces of SE Asian Nation against US military elite Airborne troop invaders and got firsthand observation of why US Generals always won.
For three weeks we disrupted a Brigades field position, stole their meals, ammo and vehicles, successfully ambushed multiple patrols, snuck into their encampment and beef of tear gas grenades, and boogy trapped the woods for two miles around them, captured two COs and buried them at edge of clearing ofbencampment, our losses, 1 man tripped running from predawn gas attack with a twisted ankle and was captured.
Sunday before exercise was to end top brass visited our camps and told US at dawn next morn we were to blow bugles and charge across a 3/4 open field attacking their camp.
Despite numerous bit,,,s by men who had been advisors in Nam who said Charlie was not that f’n dumb, come next morn we blew bugles, charged across field and Generals declared all US dirty unshaven rebels all dead, they won.
Bro in Navy submarines tells of several times his sub, during war games, sunk carriers each ti.e Navy Brass said no and to talk of it was breaking secrecy rules.
So in dark they snuck up on carrier, sent their on board UDT team and painted UDT on both sides of carrier, snuck away with never a word spoken by them or submarine crews.
A very close associate tells of leading Military Naval Contractors Laser defense research and Developement to shoot .issues and aircraft from skies.
First r times they missed, even knowing exact speed and route of plane, so on 5th try they usedlowest damn plane navy had and did not destroy but taggednit, Navy said good work and his company got contract.
A certain powerfull Mid West Congressman’s that sat on Military oversight convressional appropriations wife held seat on Company’s board of directors and thousands of shares, but that had nothing to do with contract awarding.
My statebcongress woman was found guilty of being bribed by Boeing for overturning US contract to Airbus , a way lower cost bidder,, andbBoeing got contract and she is still my State senior Senator.
Three months later Boeing moved over half of its Workers in Washington back East at new facilities.
Of such corruption wars are won and lost, men die on both sides, and those who play at war become wealthy Patriotic Americans all.
Now Boeing seems to be going down the tubes lmao
I was on the USS Midway in 1984 when we were doing ASW simulations between the US and Japan. One of the dinosaur Japanese subs came up between us and our ASW escorting destroyer… 1 carrier splashed…
lmao …….. oh yeah.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY (comments of some US presidents and personalities )
It’s OK to kill someone today if there is reason to believe they may do something wrong in the future: Senator Lindsey Graham January 3, 2020.
“This was not an act of revenge for what he had done in the past. This was a preemptive, defensive strike planned to take out the organizer of attacks yet to come.” Apparently only the US has this right.
Assassinating foreign leaders is OK and does not constitute an act of war. Trump, Graham, Ben Shapiro, and too many neocons to count.
Declared wars, who needs em? Bush, Obama, Hillary, Trump. Rand Paul Mocks the idea October 15, 2019.
It will be a short war: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld November 2002
Keeping US troops in Iraq will only cost $3.9 billion: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld 2003
It’s OK for the US to fight everyone else’s war: Bush, Cheney, Obama, Hillary, Trump, and every neocon, too many to name.
Crippling economic sanctions are not an act of war. Who cares how many starve to death? Too many neocons to count.
“We Came, We Saw, He Died!”: Hillary Clinton joked in 2011 when told of news reports of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi death at US hands. Libya is now a Jihadist wonderland led by ISIS and Al Qaueda.
Iran’s retaliation in response to Trump’s Assassination of a foreign leader was an “Act of War” but the assassination was not: Senator Lindsey Graham, January 7, 2020.
“In order to get elected, Barrack Obama will start a war with Iran”: Donald Trump November 29, 2011.
Fake video..it was in Syria!… we dont see any plane burning and falling
Funny that Sputnik and many others have fallen for that one.
At work, can’t watch it now, so this is a U.S. produced 2002 simulation? I’m already scared at how delusional the military buffoons they have showing up on FOX / CNN are, they are the some ones who predicted that Iran wouldn’t dare launch a conventional strike at the U.S. ever because they are so outclassed. They also laughed at the ‘minimal damage’.
Iran was able to target specific buildings hundreds of miles away and completely avoid our vaunted anti-missile defenses. I do not believe that it is SOP to not intercept missiles just because the troops are bunkered, that would be very risky as we do not know what type of payload are in the missiles.
So now we know that Iran has good missiles. Can we take them all out? No, Iran’s missile inventory is spread out and mobile. For years we have been hearing the FDD lie that Iran was increasing their missile range to hit Paris and New York to justify aggression against them but those type of missiles are too large, easy to spot, hard to maintain, and immobile. Iran has concentrated on small / medium range, tactically efficient missiles for self defense and deterrence.
Maybe the liars have started to believe their own lies. This is what happens when you change your focus from intel gathering to information warfare. You become dimwitted.
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image of corruptible man…”
Yes they have built entire cities just for their missiles
Well yeah, but what happens above will determine the fate don’t you think?
nothing will happen above
Reminds me of Billy Mitchell before WWII.
MAJOR: WE COULD HAVE ELIMINATED 5000 U.S SOLDIERS -IRAN ANNOUNCES CONTINUATION OF RETALIATION CAMPAIGN
“We were not seeking to kill anyone in the operation, however, tens of people were killed and some were injured, which its statistics will be known,”
Von Riper was a a true General in the best Marine traditions who did his job with wiley and cunning regardless of the prevailing political whims.
His actions despite being wiped was noted by certain forces withing the “Elite” and are probably the reason why Iran hasnt already been attacked – he has provided a great service to the world in this regard.
One thing is war game simulation and another is real war.
In real war America always win because we are a winner nation of winners, which they are not!
An American can take out 1000 enemies EACH and at the same time give juicy fruit to local children and win heart among the civilians. That means 1000 Americans can take out 1 million terrorists.
Trump should not be such a sissy and receive slap in Americas face and dance cheek to cheek with Iranians because our freedom values are NOT for sale!
If me and Bolton have been sitting in our Presidents Office with the keyboard, America would have been on the border of China now and we would have peace. Easily man. Easily!
how about mothers? the number of porn movies says a lot..
If you and Bolton were in the same office with your mentality you both would be playing with each other,and if Trump joined you it would be a threesome.!!!
Good stuff Tommy, keep the comedy coming, we need it.
“An American can take out 1000 enemies EACH and at the same time give juicy fruit to local children”
When are they going to begin?? Didn’t happen in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq I, Iraq II, Libya or Syria.
Goodness me! So they can hand out Juicy Fruit (for the cameras at least) !
By the looks of the barrow, the girl came in search of something more useful however, something freely available to her family before the marauders arrived.
So true. It is us who will have to change the US insanity.
oh, the interent is strange indeed!
Then face Dr. Manhattan and see who wins! We won again.
I think I can appreciate the incessant efforts by this and many other sites to send a message to the broader public which contradicts the official propaganda in the U.S., one intended to tamp down the public support for a war by making one seem hopeless. Ostensibly this is done to make a war less likely, which is appreciated since nobody here in the U.S. wants one.
That said, all that is demonstrated in the scenario shown in the video is that a frontal assault on Iran won’t work… which isn’t news if you know the history of that persian peninsula its a natural fortress. None of these scenarios i have seen discussed here or anywhere else take into consideration that Iran isn’t the only side that can act asymmetrically, and wont be, even though the U.S has the resources to defeat Iran symmetrically, it will use other means. This is particularly concerning, as all that is needed to cone up with clever asymmetrical approaches is imagination and money, something the U.S. has no shortage of. Modern siege tactics basically. Encircle Iran and cut them off, then cut loose drone bees carrying plague into their military bases. Etc and so forth.
All of these analyses assume our goal would be to “Win”. Nobody but the Iranians want Iran. Our goal, ZOGs goal, would be to keep israel safe. To do that, we only need to destroy Iran. We have all the advantage in accomplishing that, and the natural isolation of fortress Iran, could be used to contain the fallout from a scorched earth tactic like a biological attack.
You all are kidding yourselves if you think it cant be done or that we arent capable of doing it. I never would if it was up to me, but I have zero control over ZOG, and they hate me as much as they hate you. Believe me they are capable.
I don’t want war. I just want our troops home safe, or safe over there til they finish stealing oil or whatever. Most of those guys are just guys like me from Midwest, and didn’t sign up to be oil pirates. I won’t support or condone anybody hurting them. I would support disproportionate responses against anybody who did, like the dead hero general guy.
I don’t care about Iran. Only the Iranians do. I have nothing to gain by sticking my neck out try to stop ZOG from taking this to new dark places. Iranians will hate me one way or another because Im not a muslim.
US exercises, are frequently referred to as …… Dog and Pony show by the troops.
Let’s assume that this war will never happen, because the Iranian people have suffered enough.
I can stop this war in a moment. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1826b334441772d569d726d3eac449b4f6ec85775866570d3bcbafca43baad2a.jpg
I don’t think that Van Ripper’s exercise is particularly analogous to today’s reality. Maybe as a plan B, but not as a plan A.
Iran is a technologically superior, not inferior, force in key areas. As the recent strike clearly demonstrates. I read some quotes from some people in the Iranian media, that’s currently blocked here in the US. And that I had to access by going around the block to read it first hand. But it was from people in the Iranian government.
I’m not going to try to find them to repost them here. But essentially what they said was if the US responds, Iran will escalate to full scale war. And the first strike will result in the immediate deaths of 3,000 to 5,000 American military personnel within a few hours. And the destruction of quite a bit of the US military equipment and infrastructure in the immediate area. And the death and destruction will escalate from there.
And that this was communicated to the US. And I’m assuming the blood sucking Jew pedophile cultists in occupied Palestine also. And that’s why Trump backed down.
This is what the Zionists have done to the US Constitution. The US needs to be dejudified.
Guess what “Iranian” “news” site can be reached.
the farcical comments made by 7 yr olds here–racists, fascists, etc amuse… the amerikans lose all wars—they will never directly confront Iran…the advice received from a fake US general that was humiliated in Vietnam may impress an amerikan meth addict that resides in a trailer park…nobody else
Alot has changed in the way the US conducts it’s war gaming since 2002. Lots of lessons learned tactical and technology changes. Wonder what it would look like today? Not so sure this loss is a fair assessment of what the US forces could do against the OPFOR today.