The U.S. Air Force has a secret planning group that is devising tactics for possible air attacks on Iran.
Called Project Checkmate, it is a successor to the group that planned the air campaign for the 1991 Gulf War, and was quietly reestablished at the Pentagon in June, according to the Times of London.
The group consists of more than 20 top Air Force officers and defense experts with access to the White House, the CIA and other agencies.
With Iran continuing its nuclear program despite United Nations sanctions, the U.S. central command – Centcom – has been planning for a strike on Iran for more than two years.
Checkmate’s job “is to add a dash of brilliance to Air Force thinking by countering the military’s tendency to ‘fight the last war’ and by providing innovative strategies for war fighting and assessing future needs for air, space and cyberwarfare,” the Time reports.
Checkmate was set up in the 1970s to deal with Soviet threats, and was revived under Colonel John Warden to prepare for the Gulf War.
“When Saddam invaded Kuwait, we had access to unlimited numbers of people with expertise, including all the intelligence agencies, and were able to be significantly more agile than Centcom,” Warden told the Times.
This time, he believes Checkmate’s role is to develop strategic planning so that “if somebody says Iran, it says: ‘Here is what you need to think about. Here are the objectives, here are the risks, here is what it will cost, here are the numbers of planes we will lose, here is how the war I going to end and here is what the peace will look like.”
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