The report urged such U.S. preparations as exercises and war
simulations, Middle East Newsline reported. Rand said the Air Force should train to fight under nuclear
threat as well as targeting Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,
responsible for strategic weapons programs.
"Design exercises and war games to support different policy choices,"
Rand said. "Exercise objectives for bombers could aim not only to
demonstrate to Iran that investment in nuclear capabilities could possibly
be destroyed but also to influence the internal Iranian debate over nuclear
The simulations would be based on the escalation of conflict between
Iran and the United States. Rand said the wargames would test the air
force's ability to deter Iran with and without U.S. nuclear weapons.
"Provide ways to manage escalation in conflict with Iran," the report
said. "Investigate concepts of operations to manage escalation in U.S.-Iran
conflict, e.g., reinforce political communication that signals limited U.S.
objectives; focus on immediate threat by directly targeting Iran's
regime-supporting paramilitary forces; and withhold targeting of Iran's
Rand said Iran could be expected to act rationally and would demonstrate
caution in any conflict with the United States. The report said Teheran,
despite its anti-Israel rhetoric, regards Washington as the chief threat and
could resist U.S. military pressure.
"The Iranian government is aware of the United States' overwhelming
nuclear capability, including the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles
and sea-launched ballistic missiles," the report said. Greater psychological
effect on Iranian political and military decisionmakers could possibly be
achieved by U.S. movements and exercises of its nuclear-capable bombers and
dual-capable fighter aircraft in the region to signal to Iran the potential
costs of nuclear weaponization."
The U.S. military was expected to face Iran's conventional forces as
well as IRGC. The report envisioned such Iranian responses as massive
missile strikes on Gulf Cooperation Council states and Israel as well as
blocking the Strait of Hormuz, the passage for 30 percent of crude oil
"In addition, more advanced missiles, such as the Shihab-3 and Sejil,
may provide it with the opportunity to target parts of Europe and Russia,"
the report said.