U.S. blames Iran for tanker attacks

(Reuters) U.S. deploys more troops to Middle East, blames Iran for tanker attacks. Quoting,

[Rear Admiral Gilday] “The attack against the shipping in Fujairah, we attribute it to the IRGC,” Gilday said, explaining that the Pentagon attributed limpet mines used in the attack directly to the IRGC.

This was foreshadowed on 5/13, in Iran Fires the First Shot in New Tanker War. Quoting,

For a possible solution, we must reach back to the U.S. Civil War, when the modern self-propelled “torpedo” did not yet exist. The spar torpedo was an explosive charge on the end of a stick.  It was rammed into the target ship, and exploded not instantly, but shortly after the attackers got away. Just before World War II, the Brits invented the limpet mine, which holds fast to the target with a magnet.

These are examples of weapons which leave behind little in the form of traceable scrap metal. Both are historically associated with midget (or littoral) submarines such as the Ghadir.

The hypothesis of execution directly by the IRGC  was initially contradicted  by the “proxy hypothesis”, while the limpets were challenged (5/18, Insurer says Iran’s Guards likely to have organized tanker attacks) by underwater drones.

Underwater drones  had/has the attraction of support from forensic analysis, which may have been faulty. The proxy hypothesis seemed weak. Where would they shove off from? Quoting,

The nearest port, Al Mukalia, is 2160 miles, but it’s under UAE control….The Houthis don’t need a port to mount the attacks. They could have shoved off from a beach, and slowly motored their way 1600 miles. But the choice to label the IRGC as the enabler, as opposed to the attacker, appears to be an unsupported complication.

If the proxies were based in Iran, armed with Iranian weapons, and guided by Iranian radar, are they proxies in any sense of the word? How would their nationality be known, by other than HUMINT, which can be very unreliable?

Now we’re back to limpets, while the proxy hypothesis appears to be fading a little. Further forensic examination may not have supported the drone hypothesis, which requires more foreign debris than limpets. Execution by proxies may have been challenged  by additional intelligence that cannot be revealed.

While Occam’s Razor is never a fact, it fosters reexamination of complexities. Sometimes a simplification pops out of the jumble.

On the other hand, this could be Groundhog Day.

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