The Pentagon announced Monday it is sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East hours after Iran ramped up its enrichment of uranium, in violation of the 2015 nuclear agreement. The development also comes days after the U.S. accused the Islamic Republic of orchestrating an attack on oil tankers at the heart of a global shipping route, near the Strait of Hormuz.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the Trump administration does not want war with Iran, but at the same time, he added the U.S. is considering a "full range of options" to deal with the threat from Tehran.
I was away at Disney World over the weekend. We had promised the kids they could go when school got out and of course we took them on the iconic ride “It’s a Small World” at the Magic Kingdom.
I always loved it as a kid and it’s still as beautiful as ever. The dolls are dressed up in their costumes from all over the world, they’re smiling and the world seems like one big, awesome, incredibly happy place. What an aspirational idea.
Wholly unattainable, however.
And this latest conflict with Iran showcases that.
There are just too many self-interested actors in the world and they’re all willing to go to great lengths in an attempt to push their own agendas and get ahead. Whether they’re outright stealing from us (like China) or, in the case of Iran, attempting to drag us into a war, all in an attempt to reinstate a deal that was, economically speaking, good for them.
President Trump needs to be very careful right now and I’m sure he will be because he knows there are self-interested people everywhere, including here in America. There may be Americans whispering to the Iranians that, “they just need Trump out of the White House so the Democrats can reinstate their deal.”
Waiting for a new White House is just dumb on Iran’s part because: despite recent polling, I suspect Trump might get reelected. Even if he doesn’t, if the Iranians sit down at the table with Trump now and negotiate something new, the Democrats aren’t going to tear it up. Of course, that reelection thing is predicated upon a strong economy and peace, i.e. no World War III (i.e.no prolonged military conflict with Iran.)
But again there are politically motivated, self-interested people everywhere, including in America, that would like nothing more than to see us engaged in a war with Iran because they know war might very well spell the end of Trump in 2020.
And so Iran may actually be encouraged to be as bad an actor as it can be on the world stage, in a deliberate effort to provoke a U.S. military response.
We know Washington has become ungovernable thanks to the bitter partisanship and the self-interest running through the halls of Congress right now. Too many partisan actors are putting politics before country.
As a result, the Iran conflict will prove to be a real test for Donald Trump. He must follow his instincts and stay far away from the noise Iran is trying to make.
For now, he should resist military action and sanction, sanction and sanction some more.
Iran is quite deliberately trying to play its hand but it doesn’t actually have a hand to play.