f indrt?cent memorandum addressing^oae ofpossible outcomes of theand their implications for .the..USthe
ear East/South Asia
APPROVED FOR RELEASE DATE:1
Possible Outcomes and implications of the Iran-Iraq War
Iraq is now is to pre Iraqis can do salvage much
npopular war most serious political and theeriodould ovcntua in Baghdad. |
Losing its war withfact, its main concern
vent an Iranian invasion. There seems littlelone or in combination with other Arabs, to from tho military situation. j
ussein's total identification with the costly and points toward an early challenge to his rule. The
threat is likely to come from among the current military leaders. Some of them may want to topple to preclude popular uprisings against the regime.
raqiwould be exploited by
Lly result in ar. islamic fundamentalist OjOmrBBRnt
address below four possible outcomes to the war, and their Im/jllcations for OS interests and for the reqionhole.][
Bordero Peace, But No Invasion
The most likely near term scenario in our judgment envisages Iraq being pushed out of Iran or withdrawing voluntarily; Saddamember of the leadership in power in Baghdad; and Iran refusing to negotiate peace, maintaining military pressure through border clashes and shelling of Iraq, engaging in subversion against Iraq, and refusing to allow reopening of the Shatt al Arab.
- Military Enters Iraq
On balance, we do not expect the Iranian military to move in force into Iraq, but the temptation will be great and the calllose one. Tehran could opt for any of three forms of direct military intervention to try to bring down Saddam Hussein:
Introductionliberation army" of Iraqi exiles, ex-POWs, and possibly Iranian volunteers.
Limited military incursions either for tactical reasons or to support local uprisings.
An all-out attack toeneral insurrection.
estimated years. ombined city and could be collapse, the borde
are providing military training to some of0 Iraqis expelled from Iraq during the past three hey could be introduced into Iraqi Kurdistan where, with local Kurdish rebels, they couldajorrovisional government. The same tactic used in Basrah, if Iraqi regular units in the south
The Iranian army would need to maintain pressureo prevent Baghdad from dispatching units to crush the liberation army. "
troops at the border already are withinilometers of Basrah, Iraq's second largest city and the most likely targetull-scale Iranian attack. Unless the Iraqi army totally collapses, however, we do not believe Tehran's forces are capable of taking Baghdad or Karbala because of^the. logistic problems involved. (See Order of Battle Table)
I.-pl ications for the OS
US interests generally would be adversely affected by Iran's carrying the fight to Iraq territory.
he US would be criticized by Arab moderates for not doing more to restrain Iran.
US refusal to help Iraq would be seen by moderate Arabs asidely-held suspicion that US policy is tied to Iran and that Israeli military deliveries to Tehran have US approval.
The Gulf Arabs might be more willing to accept US support in tho intelligence and security fields, but they also might ask for security guarantees.
cause th people.
We doubt that an Iranian Arab-Persian war. The Arabs movements and even some small support of Saddam in the hope Iranians. None of the modera military capability toighting; the groundmount to less than one-third scale commitment of Egyptian impact, but Cairo probably woest would have
make symbolic internaleployments to Iraq in
these might constrain the ab states except Egypt have the ificant contribution to the
Arab Gulf states combined raq's ground forces. ouldignificant ot risk heavy involvement in a
modest support from its
for the US
escalate the war
Active Arab intervention would present the most serious danger for US interests, with broad implications for the regionhole, Iranian responses to such moves could quickly
along the length of the Gulf.
Strait of Hormuz could be closed by Iran, ending the flow of oil from the Gulf,
oil targets on both sides of the Gulf wouldpen to attack.
Syrian involvement could not be precluded,
The moderate, pro-western Gulf states would turn to the US for direct assistance; the Iranians, Syrians and Libyans would turn to the Soviets. The Iraqis might look to both Washington and Moscow to see which would be more forthcoming.
US temporizing on help to Iraq would be viewed as abandonment of its Arab friends.
The war and the Region in Perspective
States will do whatever is
to help Saddam Hussein stay in power Iraqi forces have been discredited believe that only the present between them and the
Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf within their limited power
and check Iran. However much by the war, the Gulf states still
Baghdad regime, or one like it, stands
Arab (Syrian, Libyan, Palestinian
spread of Iranian and radical influence in the Gulf,
^^tfi If Iran stops its advance at the border and initiatesar'of attrition or protracted negotiations designed to undermine Saddam, the Gulf states will continue to provide logistic and financial support to prevent Iraq's position from deteriorating further. They also will encourage Jordan and probably Egypt to help bolster Baghdad in whatever way they can. At the same time, they might renew Gulf offers to Iran to help pay war damages in the hope of inducing Iran's leaders toompromise with Baghdad.
The Gulf states are unlikely to commit military forces to the fighting. They know this would have no impact on the outcome and only increase the risk of Iranian retaliation. Rather, were Iran to invade Iraq in force or to open supply lines to Shia and Kurdish rebels inside Iraq, the Saudis andlooking more anxiously to thewould cast about for some way to invorlyfi_fhe Arab League or even the UN to shore up Saddam Hussein.
Syrresident Assad is likely to continue his support for Iran if itimited invasion of Iraq. He probably would become increasingly uncomfortable, however, with larger Iranian military adventure. Assadhia fundamentalist regime in Baghdad that might increase Iraqi
tor Syrian Muslim secular Alawite-dominated
opposed to Assad's
Jordan's Kingan YarmoukIraq,
sent he would
be reluctant to send
units because that would weaken Jordanian defenses against Syria and Israel. Still, if he could convince Egypt and Saudi Arabia to send troops, he probably would feel obliged to ante up more Jordanian forces.
Jordan will increase its efforts to galvanize Arab support for Iraq as the possibility of an Iraqi defeat becomes more real. The King probably will encourage the US to become involved in trying to end the war.
Libya would continue to provide Iran with limited military and political support if Iran continued to keep economic and military pressure on Iraq. An Iranian invasion of Iraq, particularly one using Iraqi dissidents as surrogates, is unlikely to upset the Libyans. Qadhafi might, in fact, use Libyan influence to help stir the Kurds against the Saddam Hussein regime. At the same time,help his internationalbe interested in acting as an intermediary in peace negotiations^ in the event of an Iraqi withdrawaleasefire.
Egypt, although alarmed by the prospect of an Iranian military victory, is constrainedack of popular or military supportonfrontation with Tehran. To help contain Iran, Egypt'probably would continue arms sales to Baghdad and allow Iraq to recruit additional volunteers from the large Egyptian work force in Iraq. Cairo also could offer to send military advisers to the Gulf states and appeal to the US to increase its security assistance to these states. An Iranian military advance into Iraq that appeared to threaten Kuwait or Saudi Arabia might cause Cairo to send pilots to these states to bolster their air defenses, oroken force suchommando battalion. President Mubarak also probably would again ask the US to provide discreet aid to Iraq, or request that Washington give Egypt the means to increase its own military assistance effort. Egypt is unlikely to commit large numbers of ground forces to the fray, and in any case- lacks the capability rapidly toignificant force to Iraq.
The Oil Factor
The Iraqi oil industry would benefit the mosteasefire.
onths Iraq probably could resume crude exports from the Persian Gulf and withinonths exports could probably be restored to pre-war levels of more than 2
'million barrels per day. Most of the equipment needed to repair Iraq's offshore terminals is already stockpiled in Bahrain.
Damascus allowed Iraq to resume pumping oil through the Iraq-Syria pipeline system, Baghdad could immediately increase production from the current level ofarrels per dayillion barrels per day. This would be above Baghdad's OPEC production quotaillion barrels per day.
An Iraqi attempt to increase exportsillion barrels per day, however, would renew downward price pressures in the
world oil market. Defense ofPEC benchmark price would require the continuation of an effective OPEC production allocation scheme, with Saudi Arabia willing to continue to produce at relatively low levels. Iraq might be willing to phase in production more slowly than capacity would allow in exchangeontinuation of loans from other OPEC members. H
A ceasefire would havemall impact on Tehran's ability to produce and export crude. The war has not imposed any significant constraints on Iranian export capabilities. eduction in war-risk insurance on tankers calling at the Kharg
export terminal, however, would further improve the price competitiveness of Iranian oil and make it easier for Tehran to
An Iranian military move into southern Iraq would have no immediate effect on current Iraqi crude oil exports. All Iraqi crude oil production and processing now takes place in the north, with exports limited to the Iraq-Turkey pipeline. Military action in the south, however, could jeopardize oilfields containing over half of Iraq's productive capacity and threaten the largest refinery in the country.)
All of Iraq's major southerna total capacity ofillion barrels perwithin aboutilometers of the border,
The Basrah oilfor aboutercent of Iraqi refininglocated on the west bank of the
Shatt al Arab, aboutilometers from the border. It is not operating.
As long as the Iranians occupied the area, Baghdad wouldto produce or export crude oil from Its southernTehran might order the destruction or removal offrom occupied areas in retaliation for similarsignificantly reducing Baghdad's ability toits oil industry to pre-war conditions. Anyreaction would be unlikely unless there was evidencewar was expanding beyond Iraq and Iran.Original document.