Why Not Give ’em Nukes? We Gave ’em Tanks!

Badr Org M1 tankLadies and gentlemen, the Iranian (IRGC)-controlled, Iranian-led, Shi’a sectarian militia, the Badr organization:

Yes, that is an M1 Abrams tank they’ve got there. As you can see it’s flying the green flag of the Badr. Note the other flag has a picture of some bearded, probably illiterate imam on it. Images like this of human visages and the Shia practice of venerating great imams of old are viewed as haram (forbidden) or even shirk (polytheism or paganism, anathema to Moslems).

Fortunately, there are some modern 21st-Century values that both sides agree amount to the best of Islam, like slavery, beheading, wife-beating, honor killing, clitoridectomy, bacon, buggery and pedophilia.

We just slipped “bacon” in there to see if you were paying attention. All the other things really are sacraments of the bizarre and uncivilized cult that is Islam.

The next picture shows some Badr Org commanders posing with this M1, or with another. (Probably the same one, as it shows the same flags).

Badr Org M1 tank 2Yeah, that’s an AT-4 in the hands of the goon on the right.

The Badr boys, this month, are not the first militia claiming to have received M1s. That would be the charmingly named Hezbollah Brigades. They displayed M1s last month, although they may have been Iraqi government M1s merely cooperating with Hezbollah. The Hezbollah Brigades use a yellow flag as a distinctive marking.

M1 Hezbollah Brigades

The Hezbollah Brigades seem to comprise in part the survivors of former Iranian-sponsored terrorists who fought against US forces in Iraq, mostly with EFP-based IEDs.

Former mech heads, what’s the over/under on any of these tanks being serviceable on 1 January 2016? ’17? We’re guessing the number’s already in free fall.

Who are the Badrs? The Hezbollah Brigades? Both of these groups are subordinate, sort of, to the Popular Mobilization Committee in the shi’ite sectarian government of (rump) Iraq. The PMC falls under the command of Transportation Minister (?)  and is headed by one Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, a former Badr Org guy whose real name is Jamal Jaafar Mohammed and who is also a direct subordinate of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Qods Force, the external terrorist wing of the IRGC.

A simplified who's who of Shia ostensible friendlies.

A simplified who’s who of Shia ostensible friendlies.

The Iraq Army having melted away in the bug-out of all bug-outs, these Iranian-controlled militias are about all that’s really fighting for the Shia rump government against both ISIL and the Kurdish Regional Government.

And the US really has no call to get too upset about our Iraqi allies arming their Iranian-controlled allies with the tanks we gave them. After all, we just guaranteed the Iranians themselves nukes in 8 years, and even promised to defend them against the Israelis, hatred of whom is the common tie that binds the State Department and the IRGC.


  1. Roggio, Bill, and Weiss, Caleb. Badr Organization fighters pose with US M1 Abrams tank. Threat Matrix, a Blog of the Long War Journal. 12 July 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/07/badr-organization-fighters-pose-with-us-m1-abrams-tank.php
  2. Roggio, Bill, and Weiss, Caleb. Hezbollah Brigades flaunts US equipment in Anbar operation. Threat Matrix, a Blog of the Long War Journal. 25 June 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/06/hezbollah-brigades-flaunts-us-equipment-in-anbar-operation.php

24 thoughts on “Why Not Give ’em Nukes? We Gave ’em Tanks!

  1. Pericles

    I’ll assume they won’t be cleaning the air filters, which will lead to engine overheating and associated problems, and then suspension excessive wear. At the same time the electronic fire control (Thermal Image Sight), will probably go. If they lose hydraulic power in the turret, life get really hard.

    1. Y.

      Are Iranians as dumb as Arabs when it comes to machinery? Their country actually produces some mbts, might be they won’t let m1’s go unmaintained..

  2. Tom

    I remember watching the movie “2016” a few years ago and during the last few minutes of it (as he speculates about what a middle east without Team America World Police on the block) thinking “naw, that’s too depressing, that couldn’t happen”.
    After the Iranian nuclear deal and then this, it’s as if Disouza (sp?) was too optimistic!

    The iconic image of the American nadir might have once been the Huey helicopters being dumped off of Navy ships just off the coast of Saigon. One of these pictures of US military gear with a green flag on it should replace that image.

  3. Tom Kratman

    Well…maintenance is sort of impious, so there’s that going against the M1s. On the other hand, it was designed for easy replacement of components, so as long as money and parts flow…

    Doubt these are full up M1s, really. They’re more likely to be monkey models, more or less like what (so I understand) we gave/sold to Egypt or like what the Russkis used to send the Arabs for Israeli target practice.

  4. Y.

    FGM is more of a sunni thing. In Iran, more of a practice of Kurds and other religious minorities..

  5. Miles

    From what time I spent talking to the guys who wrenched the M1s at Knox, there’s lots to electronically go wrong. And if you can’t get replacement circuit cards, you have a big hunk of junk just sitting there.

    The second picture tells me that the version is probably an M1A1, at latest. The M2 for the commander is the M48″TT” version (no sights as it’s designed for remote firing from inside and yep, that goes all the way back to the cupola on the M48 tank) This changed to a standard sight and charging handle version for the M1A2SEP as some new gizmos for the commander took up too much room.

    The third picture is weird to me. Must either be some export version, or a bubbafied one as I never saw an M2 (and it’s a M48 version as well) set up for the loader.

      1. Miles

        Oh, you’re right now that I looked over that pdf.

        learn something new everyday

  6. Stacy0311

    If the Iranians do maintenance like the Arabs I knew at OBC, they’re already NMC.

    1. Y.

      Protip: don’t tell Iranians they are like Arabs. Best way to get in a fight with them.

      Afaik, they’re much closer to Europeans than any other middle-eastern nationality.

      1. Hognose Post author

        Actually, they’re Aryans (language group), a word that is forever tainted by its (technical) misuse by Nazis.

  7. JG

    1st pic, dude on the turret. Looks like he’s wearing a t-shirt that he got from a recruiter. How do you spell ARMY in Persian?

  8. jjak

    Iranians have some smart folks in their military-industrial complex, otherwise they’d never have kept their American planes flying or built their ballistic missiles. If they can a handful back to Iran they might keep them running for more “Death to America” parades. If they have a whole bunch–like all of the formerly Iraqi ones–they might manage to kludge together a downgraded M1-ish tank using systems pulled from their other tanks, like their M-48/M-60/T-72 hybrid, the Zulfiqar (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zulfiqar_(tank)).

    1. Kurt Akemann

      Indeed. Iran’s military does its maintenance, whenever its had the parts. It’s something they understand needs to be done and they attach a relatively proper priority to it.

      1. Hognose Post author

        They will point that out as a cultural difference between Persians and Arabs. Which pisses off the guys on the other side of the Gulf, but there’s an element of truth to it.

        Like other embargoed nations (apartheid South Africa, Israel, Taiwan) they have poured enormous resources into a defense industry, also.

  9. Raoul Duke

    Watch for some upcoming deals on Ebay: “L@@K BIG DISCOUNT REAL TANK ARMY M1 ABRAHAM, MINTY LNNB!!!!”

    Sold as is, where is, of course.

    1. Hognose Post author

      “No credit? Slow credit? No problem at Honest Abdul’s Sharia-Compliant Used AFV Lot. Buy here, pay here!”

      Endorser: “It’s true! I thought with my overdue alms payments I’d never get to participate in armored jihad, but Honest Abdul put me in the TC’s cupola!”

      “From my position, on the waaaayyy… insha’allah!

  10. Raoul Duke

    See, this will be an easy task to take care of. Just pinpoint the location of the guy who keeps searching auction sites for things like track jacks, turret ring hydraulic parts, and tow cables, and then shower his hut with JDAMS and SDB’s…

    Or target the guy who keeps asking noob questions on tankforumz.com, like “how come piece of shit turbine exhaust set goats on fire”…

  11. archy

    In my old days as an M48/M60A1 tank crewman [11Echo MOS= *11 Educated*!] we were happily informed that it took about 4 hours of maintenance for every hour of vehicle operation; since the M48/M60/M1 series tanks have a four-man crew, that works out real handily to an hour of crew maintenance per hour ofd operation, right up to the point that the TC [T/ank C/ommander]has to run off to officers call or a staff meeting, or one or more of the crewdawgs have to hit a dental/ human relations counseling/ other appointment [not too far off from the hadjis interrupting things with 5-times-a-day prayer sessions] and maintenance falls short if you really, REALLY don’t keep up with it. A week or two, no real worries, a couple of weeksw, and problems begin to appear, and after a couple of weeks the cannibalization of deadlined vehicles begins.

    The AGT1500 engine and its filters is a big maintenance point, one that killed around two dozen or more crewmen [air filter fires] at Knox until the procedures and situation became known. Neither will it help the Iranians that the AGT 1500 has been out of production since 1992 and that bits from conventional Diesel engines will not interchange- it may be that an eventual power pack replacement is fielded, but that’ll be during a later administration of political/military leadership, which may allow foreign military sales to Iran…and may not, depending on if they play nice with the nuke-building treaty.

    Best quick guess? The Iranians will likely experience Abrams maintenance problems similar to what the US treadheads suffered in the early days of fielding the M1 tank and the Bradley, the Brad taking most of the bad press. see: http://www.gao.gov/assets/220/215553.pdf

    But don’t forget that the Iranians can maintain their commercial airliners and refinery equipment to Western standards, and they’ve had a long and serious military tradition of soldiering- it’ll be if their political and religious leadership sticks its thumb in the pie that’ll ruin them quickest, much as it has with us. And it remains to be seen whether or not the Iranians will be conducting their Armor operations with air cover and effectyive forward air control.

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