It may take a certain tolerance for paradox, but signs suggest that the US-Iran war that will never happen has already begun:
The Iranian government is training and equipping much of the Shiite insurgency in Iraq, a senior U.S. general said Wednesday, drawing one of the most direct links by the Pentagon.
[…] “I think it’s irrefutable that Iran is responsible for training, funding and equipping some of these (Shiite) extremist groups and also providing advanced IED technology to them,” Barbero said. “IED” refers to the improvised explosive devices _ roadside bombs _ that have caused much death and destruction in Iraq.
Barbero, deputy director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it would be inappropriate to specify when, where and how many Iranians have been training Iraqi insurgents.
Maybe this is psyops or disinformation and maybe it is stone-cold accurate. Basically it doesn’t matter, since we already knew that the dominant Shiite factions have intimate ties with Iran which will only grow as our influence diminishes. It also remains mostly irrelevant since the anti-American insurgency remains largely Sunni. If the shiites chose to expel the US they would hardly need Iran’s help to quickly make out stay in Iraq untenable. We only stay at the behest of Iraq’s Shiites and when their goodwill ends the Iranian help will only serve to make the pullout that much more painful.
Rather, the real factor here is probably Iran training/equipping the Shiite factions in preparation for the coming partition and civil war. Sunnis inherited the better part of Saddam’s army and Mukabarat and they have shown themselves as more than capable of making a modern army miserable out of proportion to their actual numbers. No doubt Iran doesn’t mind if their trainees pick off the random American, but from a strategic perspective we’re already gone. We simply cannot sustain our current numbers for much longer (the IRR callup demonstrates that), which itself means little when the balance of our forces spend their time hunkered in FOBs to minimize casualties. In the end I think that Gen. Barbero has an inflated sense of our own importance.