Admiral Alan West (shown, red sash) — who was First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy from 2002 to 2006 — told Britain’s Daily Star Online on May 20 that the United States would need at least one million troops to successfully invade Iran, which would require not only defeating Iran militarily, but gaining sufficient control over the country to prevent a regime even worse than the present one from taking over the nation.
West told the online version of the British tabloid:
I think Donald Trump himself doesn’t want there to be a conflict — but there are powerful factions in Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US who believe an attack would be a good thing.
This includes John Bolton. They think they would destroy the Iranian armed forces, there would be regime change, and all the garden would be rosy.
The only problem with that is — they would be completely wrong.
West said of those such as Bolton who have been pushing for an attack against Iran: “They don’t want to invade Iran, they want there to be a nice fold over into a new regime.
“And if you don’t get that, then you get this hostile regime causing mayhem in the region with terrorist proxies and missiles.”
“Invading Iran, taking it over, and then coercing [it] into becoming a different sort of country, you would need a million men.”
West said it wasn’t sufficient for the United States and Britain to think that they can subdue Iran merely by shooting down their planes and sinking their ships because, at that point, “you haven’t finish[ed] winning the war.”
“That's what the real problem is and that’s what these idiots who are saying let's go to war with Iran don’t understand.
“I don’t think they are clever enough to understand. They know nothing about wars.”
The interventionists (mostly members of the Council on Foreign Relations such as John Bolton) certainly know something about getting the United States involved in wars, which they have done since the start of the Korean War in 1950 until the latest military adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, what they have not managed to accomplish is winning those wars.
West predicted that even should the United States win a military victory in Iran, it would turn out much like Iraq. Even though the U.S. military virtually rolled over Iraq in a little more than a month, the “victory” was followed by eight years of violent unrest.
“The U.S. said they were handling it, but we all know they didn’t have a bloody clue what was happening. Iraq’s in a bloody mess,” West said.
In a May 14 report, Britain’s Forces Network cited West’s statement before the House of Lords, during which he said that said those who think attacking Iran would be a good idea are “wrong,” and predicting it would be “an absolute catastrophe.”
West also said there would be “outbreaks of terrorist attacks throughout the region,” along with the threat of missile strikes and disruption to shipping in the strategically-important Strait of Hormuz, the opening to the Persian Gulf.