Military and Political Power
Iranian regime’s ‘gray-zone’ war tactics are the new norm
President Trump striking back at those attacking U.S. does not put us on “the brink” of war
By Clifford D. May – – Tuesday, January 21, 2020
You heard it last week from smart people on both the left and right. President Trump’s droning of Gen. Qassem Soleimani put America “on the brink of another war,” wrote Martin Indyk, a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Echoed Fox News’ Tucker Carlson: “It looked like we were on the brink there!”
Let’s think about that, shall we? Soleimani was the commander of the Quds Force, an army that operates beyond Iran’s borders, hunting and killing anyone and everyone Iran’s rulers deem enemies.
He commanded both uniformed Iranian soldiers and militias comprised of Afghans, Pakistanis, Uzbeks and other Shiites of the violent extremist persuasion. He facilitated the killing of more than 600 Americans and hundreds of thousands of others. Can we agree that when he flew to Baghdad on Jan. 3 it probably wasn’t to grab dinner and a movie with a friend?
In response to the general’s unexpected demise, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei launched missiles at Iraqi bases hosting American troops who had been warned to take cover. Ayatollah Khamenei then promptly announced he was finished — at least for now.
So, on this basis, is it more logical to conclude that President Trump (1) put us “on the brink” of war, or (2) that he began to re-establish the deterrence the United States has lost after years of being slapped by Iran’s rulers and then turning the other cheek?
Perhaps you say, OK. But what if the ayatollah had decided to climb the escalation ladder? Wouldn’t American boots have been in downtown Tehran by Valentine’s Day? No. Mr. Trump would have considered a range of “off-shore” options, from sinking the ayatollah’s navy in port, to wiping out his combat aircraft on the ground, to destroying facilities designed for the illicit development of nuclear weapons.
That brings us to the second and even more consequential misconception implied by the “brink of war” theory: That until Jan. 3 we were at peace
The Washington Times
The article expresses the author’s point of view.