What’s the Buzz About Checkmate?:

An article in the Sept. 23 The Sunday Times of London extends an unnecessary air of mystery about the Air Force’s revival of its Checkmate group, linking it to supposed secretive US military contingency planning for “a possible attack on Iran.” The newspaper states that Checkmate “was quietly reestablished” in June. Now really, if the Air Force had wanted to be quiet, it wouldn’t have issued a news release on the matter. That said, the Times reporter Sarah Baxter apparently talked with former Gulf War I Checkmate honcho, now retired Col. John Warden, who said that he believes that Checkmate now is supposed to be ready with expert data “if somebody says Iran, it says: Here’s what you need to think about. Here are the objectives, here are the risks, here is what it will cost, here are the numbers of planes we will lose, here is how the war will end, and here is what the peace will look like.” Nothing nefarious there; rather it sounds like what contingency planning is all about.