Accession Number:

ADA516529

Title:

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps: An Open Source Analysis

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2008-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

8.0

Abstract:

In The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, President George W. Bush singled out the Islamic Republic of Iran as perhaps the greatest challenge facing the United States today. Iran is specifically identified as a direct obstacle to accomplishing a majority of the Nations strategic objectives. Among these are preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction WMD, promoting freedom by ending the rule of tyrannical regimes, denying terrorists state-sponsored support and sanctuary, and defusing regional conflicts. Despite, and in many instances because of, the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, perpetual conflicts on every continent, and the battle with terrorist organizations in every corner of the globe, the Iranian government has positioned itself to become the focus of the worlds collective attention. Translating the strategic objectives outlined by the President into effective operational plans requires carefully studying the enemy and determining his centers of gravity COG. The availability of accurate, relevant intelligence is a key element to correctly identifying a COG, which is a source of moral or physical strength, power, or resistance. Knowledge of the enemys culture, history, sociopolitical and economic infrastructures, and leadership is as important in COG determination as knowing his military capabilities and force disposition. After the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979, and the hostage crisis that lasted 444 days, access to information on the current political, military, and social structures within Iran has been severely limited, complicating the task of identifying COGs. By analyzing only open source material, official statements, press releases, interviews, Internet-published documents, testimonies from exiled dissident groups and defectors, it is evident that the key center of gravity in Iran is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps IRGC, or Sepah-e Pasdaran.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Intelligence
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE