Wednesday, March 28, 2007

MOD admits Iraniains crossed 3.1 kilometers to kidnapp British service people

So how did they get so close to the boarder and not be detected or stopped on the way in or out ?

This is the elephant in the room here ! The MOD quotes nautical miles at 1.7 (just had a BBC news flash - will confirm distance latter ) - perhaps in the hope of minimising the distance in peoples minds (most of us have forgotten that a nautical mile is longer than a mile - hence the 3.1 kilometre's ).

So the Iranians had to travel 6.2 km stopping mid way to carry out the kidnap.

This is a spectacular embarrassment for the Navy and Britain's NuLabour government.

Update: BBC web page now up - they quote the 1.7nm, interesting to see if they convert it to km as the day goes forward.

Further update: EU Referendum gets what I'm talking about here - as does Ann Winterton.


billy said...

I'm confused. I do not understand what point you are making.
AFAIK a nautical mile is 240 yards longer than a statute mile. Why the conversion to kms?

Man in a shed said...

Because I suspect there is an underlying issue that our forces have not been properly protected with the correct capability to defend themselves. The Iranians were able to muster localised superiority, undetected in the very area where the main artery of Iraq's oil exports flow through.

Whilst there is some navigational logic in using nautical miles, it also has the added benefit of minimising in the public's mind the actual distances. (Normally all distances would be reported in units the public understand, and these days that should be kilometres. The use of different units may indicate a desire to minimise certain aspects of the kidnapping and attack. )

There has been very little discussion of how the Iranians managed to carry out this attack.

Its not like they don't have worrying form as suggested here or the motive. Note the cold blooded execution of American personnel in what looks like an Iranian operation.

My concern is that out forces are under strength and exposed.

Man in a shed said...

See also some of the comments of Robert Fox in today's "The First Post"

billy said...

There is some discussion in The Times today of how the Iranians carried out the attack.
They arrived as the marines were returning to their RIB's in bigger, better armed craft. What could be done? You cannot expect the marines to take on a better equipped force. The helicopter was no longer on station, and if it had been what could it do? You can hardly blow the Iranian boats out of the water, and that would possibly have ended with the deaths of the marines and sailors anyway.
The problem is that Iran does not behave as a normal state. It hasn't done since the return of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Our government should have expected something like this to happen and been better prepared, but it is not a surprise that they weren't.

Man in a shed said...

The Iranians appear to have been well organised. They were able to concentrate superior force within Iraqi waters. A eventuality the Royal Navy were there there to prevent.

Would you expect this to happen twice? How were they able to muster these forces unseen in such a critical area ? Especially when such a move should have been anticipated.

The answer is that resources appear to have been too thin. The responsibility for this lies with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

There is now a mob calling for the British service people to be hanged. This is how the government looks after our people.

Man in a shed said...

Billy - take a look at Richard North's post in EU Referendum here.

billy said...

Of course they were well organised it obviously wasn't a chance encounter. They concentrated the forces in their own waters and then crossed into Iraqi waters, allegedly.
As for Iranian mobs calling for hanging; well, they will do until they are told to call for something else. It means nothing.
Personally, I hope for a safe release of the hostages/prisoners and then for the Israelis to bomb the hell out of the Iranian nuclear facility. We surely haven't got the balls, or aeroplanes, to do the job.
It is about time the borders of the Middle eastern countries were realigned, again, to suit current Western interests.