A new study released by the US Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), explored just such a nightmare scenario, noting that it could lead to the death of between 16- 28 million Iranian civilians, and 200-800 thousand Israelis.
Due to the lack of verified knowledge in some areas - specifically in terms of Israel's nuclear capability -the document paints various scenarios and attempts to predict the strategies of regional powers, as well as the US.
The report itself can be downloaded from the CSIS site, it is a 77 page report.
A new study compiled by the US Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), headed by former Pentagon analyst Anthony H. Cordesman, explored just such a nightmare scenario, noting that it could lead to the death of between 16- 28 million Iranian civilians, and 200-800 thousand Israelis.
Theoretically that is.
It is called Iran, Israel and Nuclear War, sub title, Acquire, Deploy, Fight, Impact:
Future "What If" Options.
Page #4 is titled "Key Actors in 2010-2020", which lists Iran, Israel, U.S., Gulf, Syria and Non Actor with a question mark after "Loose Nuke" as well the capability of each country in this hypothetical.
The Introductory Cautions" state:
•Rational actors do not fight nuclear wars, but history is not
written about rational actors behaving in a rational manner.
•Scenarios that follow are designed to test possible
contingencies in warfighting, not create predictions or test the politics that could lead to war.
•Data are very nominal. Dealing with forces that may exist, of
•Nuclear and weapons effects data are extremely uncertain.
Extrapolated from very limited and outdated examples.
•Direct killing effects are far better estimated than impact on
long-term death rate and indirect casualty, political, and
It isn't until you get to page #31 that they deal with the hypothetical and theoretical Iranian-Israeli Exchange.
They take preemption, which is a topic they discuss at length before page #31, off the table as not an option.
On the Iranian side, they determine that there would be a low fission yield, less accurate force into cluster targeting on Israel’s two largest urban complexes, there would be a volley strike with all assets, they would have to seek to saturate or bypass Arrow and Israeli defenses, and target to maximize casualties, clear attention to fall out, lasting effects and would most likely strike Haifa and Ashdod-Tel Aviv-Yafoaxis.
(Note: Haifa is the largest city in Northern Israel and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of about 267,800.)
The publication also states that any Nuclear war between Israel and Iran would last approximately three weeks.
On the Israeli side, they determine that there are higher yields, more accurate force allow to strike all major Iranian cities, they would launch on a confirmed warning from satellites, they would reserve striking capabilities to first make sure that no one else was going to capitalize on Iran's strike on them and they too would target to maximize casualties, clear attention to fall out, lasting effects.
Long term effects could not be calculated but they have calculated the immediate effects of such a three week nuclear war scenario.
The Iranian strike against Israel would inflict 200,000 to 800,000 prompt to 21-day dead.
An Israeli strike against Iran would inflict 16,000,000 to 28,000,000 prompt to 21-day dead.
Iranian recovery not possible in normal sense of term.
Israeli recovery theoretically possible in population and economic terms.
The publication also goes into detail about the possibility of Syria and/or Egypt joined the fray.
The report cites Israel's Arrow missile defense system as an obstacle facing a possible Iranian strike and says that it could shoot down most of the missiles. Israel, on the other hand, would be capable of hitting most of the Iranian cities with pinpoint accuracy due to the high resolution satellite imagery systems at its disposal.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) seeks to advance global security and prosperity in an era of economic and political transformation by providing strategic insights and practical policy solutions to decision makers. CSIS serves as a strategic planning partner for the government by conducting research and analysis and developing policy initiatives that look into the future and anticipate change.
Founded in 1962 by David M. Abshire and Admiral Arleigh Burke, CSIS is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with more than 220 full-time staff and a large network of affiliated experts. Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn became chairman of the CSIS Board of Trustees in 1999, and John J. Hamre has led CSIS as its president and chief executive officer since April 2000.
CSIS was launched at the height of the Cold War, dedicated to the simple but urgent goal of finding ways for America to survive as a nation and prosper as a people. During the following four decades, CSIS has grown to become one of the nation’s and the world’s preeminent public policy institutions on U.S. and international security.
From its beginning, CSIS has been committed to bipartisan problem solving. While partisan competition advances ideas, America prospers when policy leaders develop a consensus across the political spectrum. CSIS actively unites leaders from both parties to join in shared problem solving.