I think war between Iran and Israel is inevitable and is likely to occur before our election in November. The following memo was published today at the blog, TIKUN, and merits your consideration. Mysteriously obtained by Richard Silverstein, who runs the blog, the memo certainly has the ring of authenticity:

The Israeli attack will open with a coordinated strike, including an unprecedented cyber-attack which will totally paralyze the Iranian regime and its ability to know what is happening within its borders. The internet, telephones, radio and television, communications satellites, and fiber optic cables leading to and from critical installations—including underground missile bases at Khorramabad and Isfahan—will be taken out of action. The electrical grid throughout Iran will be paralyzed and transformer stations will absorb severe damage from carbon fiber munitions which are finer than a human hair, causing electrical short circuits whose repair requires their complete removal. This would be a Sisyphean task in light of cluster munitions which would be dropped, some time-delayed and some remote-activated through the use of a satellite signal.

A barrage of tens of ballistic missiles would be launched from Israel toward Iran. 300km ballistic missiles would be launched from Israeli submarines in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf. The missiles would not be armed with unconventional warheads [WMD], but rather with high-explosive ordnance equipped with reinforced tips designed specially to penetrate hardened targets.

The missiles will strike their targets—some exploding above ground like those striking the nuclear reactor at Arak–which is intended to produce plutonium and tritium—and the nearby heavy water production facility; the nuclear fuel production facilities at Isfahan and facilities for enriching uranium-hexaflouride. Others would explode under-ground, as at the Fordo facility.

A barrage of hundreds of cruise missiles will pound command and control systems, research and development facilities, and the residences of senior personnel in the nuclear and missile development apparatus. Intelligence gathered over years will be utilized to completely decapitate Iran’s professional and command ranks in these fields.

After the first wave of attacks, which will be timed to the second, the “Blue and White” radar satellite, whose systems enable us to perform an evaluation of the level of damage done to the various targets, will pass over Iran. Only after rapidly decrypting the satellite’s data, will the information be transferred directly to war planes making their way covertly toward Iran. These IAF planes will be armed with electronic warfare gear previously unknown to the wider public, not even revealed to our U.S. ally. This equipment will render Israeli aircraft invisible. Those Israeli war planes which participate in the attack will damage a short-list of targets which require further assault.

Among the targets approved for attack—Shihab 3 and Sejil ballistic missile silos, storage tanks for chemical components of rocket fuel, industrial facilities for producing missile control systems, centrifuge production plants and more.

Like all war plans, there is a dramatic divergence between what planners “hope” will happen and what actually unfolds on the ground. The drumbeat for war is as intense as anything we have heard over the past two years. Israel’s Ambassador was on Bret Baier’s show tonight and, in typical diplomatic style, was ringing the alarm bell:

This, to the horror of Obama’s re-election team, is moving forward. Obama does not want to face the electorate with a messy war underway. But he will have little choice. What will be interesting is whether Bibi chooses to give Mitt Romney a heads up. Both campaigns will be tested when it comes time to respond to Israel’s action.

The most worrisome scenario entails Israel failing to accomplish its key objectives and the loss of several pilots, who wind up in the hands of the Revolutionary Guard. That could unleash enormous pressure on Obama to intervene. Failure to do so will reinforce an image of weakness (just the opposite of what he is trying to cultivate with his Osama Bin Laden victory lap).

Once Israel launches strikes, Iran will take the gloves off and move to hurt us and our allies in the Gulf. At that point, the potential for the situation to spin out of control increases significantly.

This is not the kind of blow a struggling global economy needs. I’m hoping Israel is engaged in an aggressive psyops campaign rather than actually prepping for an imminent strike. But I think the actual strike is in the cards and will happen before November 6. Let’s hope I’m wrong on this.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.