January 12, 2008

PKVR and the 2002 War Game

What a sick, twisted world it is in which Abu Muqawama lives when a war game can be considered "legendary." But that's what the 2002 war game -- in which Lt.Gen. Paul K. Van Riper soundly defeated the U.S. Navy "Blue Force" in a virtual Persian Gulf -- is considered to be in unconventional warfare circles. The New York Times has a nice article on the war game in today's newspaper:

WASHINGTON — There is a reason American military officers express grim concern over the tactics used by Iranian sailors last weekend: a classified, $250 million war game in which small, agile speedboats swarmed a naval convoy to inflict devastating damage on more powerful warships.

In the days since the encounter with five Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz, American officers have acknowledged that they have been studying anew the lessons from a startling simulation conducted in August 2002. In that war game, the Blue Team navy, representing the United States, lost 16 major warships — an aircraft carrier, cruisers and amphibious vessels — when they were sunk to the bottom of the Persian Gulf in an attack that included swarming tactics by enemy speedboats.

“The sheer numbers involved overloaded their ability, both mentally and electronically, to handle the attack,” said Lt. Gen. Paul K. Van Riper, a retired Marine Corps officer who served in the war game as commander of a Red Team force representing an unnamed Persian Gulf military. “The whole thing was over in 5, maybe 10 minutes.”

The good news about all this is that Lt.Gen. Van Riper does not actually command the Iranian Navy. As far as we know. Who knows what he's doing in retirement, actually, and Iranian Lord of the Seas might be a good gig.