What implications does the way the Ukraine war is going have on a possible Iran/ US war ?
The most important difference is that the US doesn't give a shit about the Ukraine... Ukrainian people are just Russians that can be manipulated to kill Russians.
Israelis on the other hand are precious to those with power and money in the US... and if Iran started blowing up civilian targets in Israel... which is tiny in comparison to the Ukraine in area and in number of people... that things would be rather different.
The US thought it could defeat Iran because they did not respect their air defence (they had F-22s and F-35s that could fly through enemy airspace without problems and bomb all air defence systems till anything could fly into enemy territory with little risk).
The US and her allies are air power oriented and so the threat of air defences on their own is not enough to put them off... but Iran has more than that... they have ballistic weapons and cruise missiles and long range drones that can attack US and allied forces in other countries which Saddam really couldn't.
Saddams Scuds didn't have the accuracy to make its small warhead effective... Iranian missiles do have the accuracy to make their warheads effective...
The point is that Iran or Russia don't have to defeat tens of thousands of western planes or tanks to make the west not interested in a scrap... a few dozen planes all at once will likely make them run for cover.
The thought has been that Iran has all these missiles and drones and if the US set off a war , Iran would hit all these places with missiles and it would be a disaster for the US and the whole region. So it will never happen.
That is probably correct, but now Iran is getting Su-35s the danger to US aircraft has dramatically increased, and their SAMs look rather good as well as their ballistic missiles the US don't seem to be able to deal with at all.
I just don't see how this thinking really works anymore. We can see with the war in Ukraine , that it takes a hell of a lot of missiles to make a difference.
If we transplant the conflict in the Ukraine to the Middle East, where are you going to put the Ukraine... normally it is assumed to be Saudi Arabia they would be fighting Iran from, but not now.
If we make it Israel... well Israel has a more powerful, more professional armed force but it is tiny... and the country is tiny too.... where is the US going to base its forces? All in Israel.... not enough room... too much risk of sabotage from the unhappy locals wanting Israelis out.
How long would a large US air group last in close proximity to Iran?
Well China might want to give Iran tips on using ballistic missiles against large ships for instance...
And if the US had border access from a country around Iran , it could just keep bringing arms from the outside into the conflict.
The difference is that Russia went in to the Ukraine to save the Russian oriented Ukrainians... a country on Irans border helping the US attack Iran is fair game and no care should be taken to preserve the government of that country or the people of that country if they don't help Iran fight the Americans on their soil.
Russia destroyed most of the indigenous arms industry in Ukraine in 2022. Iran could destroy a lot of Israeli military assets in the region with its missiles. But replacements will just show up as fast as they can destroy the previous stuff.
In the case of Israel there are a lot of unhappy locals... give them arms and launch long range missiles to take out important parts of the Israeli military and Israel would really be in trouble... they have given the Palestinians no reason to help them against Iran, and in fact given them every reason to rise up against them and their evil actions towards them.
And Iran doesn't have near the capacity as Russia to mfg missiles.
Israel is tiny and a long way away...
I just don't see how Iran holds this conventional deterrence trump card anymore.
They have several trump cards.
They have good long range (in the region) ballistic and cruise missiles and drones, they have a reasonable airforce which is about to get modern fighter aircraft, they have good air defence missiles as well as good MANPADS and good ATGMs... they make Igla missiles under licence AFAIK and also Kornet under licence AFAIK.
So that is three obvious trump cards to make US forces bleed.
They also have the current situation where the US is engaged in sapping its own military potential helping a lost cause in Kiev, and also seems super keen on starting something similar in Asia against China... they couldn't fight Iran if they wanted to... though they will likely not remain a lot longer in Syria... how hard will it be to destroy their main reason for being there... stealing Syrian oil... blow up the oil trucks... they did it before... why did they stop?
Probably a secret deal with the US... we wont bother you and you leave us to steal Syrian oil, which probably suited Russia at the time... but no longer.
And honestly, Iran's weapons production capabilities are far superior to that of Ukraine.
And likely good enough for use against America... there is no way the US would have accepted taking the sort of losses the Ukrainians have taken... just too many bodies...