>>33833>How about the Taliban? Though they aren't as strong, they were dealing with a much harsher environment and they were conquered fairly quickly and switched to insurgency.
Taliban had no real state nor united army, it was bunch of local armies hardened in constant war, joined in some kind of confederation. And that is why in first "real" fight with proper army they failed and moved straight to insurgency phase (some of them were just bought).
Iran has army, militia, large and relatively civilized population, proper economic and state. They even have military industry, maybe not best, but it isn't last industry in the world. They couldn't be easily crushed by limited bombing and fast troop strike. Of course USA will win long conventional war, but there will be casualties from US side, much more that in first phases of Iraq or Afghanistan war. Then war will go into insurgency stage, so it will be like Afghan, but on larger scale.
Good example is Serbia. In reality Serbs weren't finished by air phase of war (even most of their tanks survived), and they surrendered only because of political reasons (they also didn't want casualties). If Serbs were more stubborn and ideologically prepared, NATO would need to start land phase, and no one in NATO really wanted it (because casualties would be much bigger). It is easy to bomb someone in remote land with 100 soldiers dead, but would modern European country accept 10000 soldier deaths, especially when they are dying for unknown purpose? That is why most of modern conflicts are done with local proxy infantry, even Turks in Syria don't use own troops freely. And Iran is much stronger than Serbia in 1999.
Who will do land invasion into Iran? Saudis are only country that may want it, but they couldn't even beat some bearded guys in Yemen. Jews from Israel are too smart for this anyway, so they wouldn't. Maybe in future, when Iran collapses under some crisis and internal turmoil it would be easier, but now they are too big to be conquered by small expedition force.>Right now Iran has a bunch of proxies in Iraq and in Lebanon, and the USA is blaming them for smashing up their embassy.
I guess everything will be limited to bombing proxy forces (by US) and terror acts (by proxies). Iraq will suffer anyway, they are in the middle.
By the way, there are conspiracy theories already, like Iranian government desided to remove Suleimani because he is dangerous for current leadership, and used Americans help in exchange of something, like new nuclear deal that will happen after current escalation.