Trump Is Winning the Little Cold War With Iran

In my recent op-ed for The American Spectator, I argue that President Trump’s decision not to bomb Iran was the correct one and that the Washington foreign policy elite are wrong to undercut Trump on this issue while at the same time denying critical arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

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The Multipolar World: Partnering with Russia to Stop Iran

“While it might harm Washington’s ego to treat Moscow as an equal partner in world affairs, the only way to mollify the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program – without a major war against Iran (and absent another silver bullet to use on Iran, like the Stuxnet cyber-attack) – is to grant Russia the respect Putin believes he and his country deserve. Thanks to the restrictive sanctions regime that President Trump has imposed on Russia, the United States has leverage. By dangling the prospect of a grand bargain between Moscow and Washington over key disagreements, the United States would likely be able to get Russia to work with it on ending the threat posed by Iran.”

Israel and the Sunni Arab States Cannot Resist Iran Alone

“Time is not on Trump’s side. Unfortunately, neither Israel nor the Sunni Arab states appear capable of hanging on for too long without international support.”

Don’t Let Saudi Arabia Get Nukes

“In response to the horrific slaying of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, a bipartisan group of United States Senators have banded together to stop the potential trade between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Their goal is correct. Although their reasoning is flawed. No one should care about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. He was an Islamist who had malign intentions toward the United States. The real reason that one should be concerned about nuking up Saudi Arabia is that it’s ef-ing Saudi Arabia — home to 15 (of the 19) 9/11 hijackers as well as Bin Laden! Besides, the staying power of the pro-American regime in Riyadh is very much in doubt today.”

Make the Other Guy Die For His Country

“A balance of power paradigm that pits one group of foreign states mostly serving American interests against another, is the best way. Enough of over-committing U.S. forces to the field of battle at the outset of any potential conflict. Play all sides until the best deal can be reached.

The United States isn’t opposed to fighting. The country has been engaged in warfare of some kind for 222 out of its 239-year existence (that’s roughly 93 percent of American history). It’s not about being afraid to fight. The issue is when to fight and how (also, why, particularly in the case of the Middle East). 

American policymakers cannot formulate a cogent answer to those questions. At least, not until the wonderfully disruptive Age of Trump.”

Recognizing the Threat of Extremism in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran

“In effect, the real “Axis of Evil” was none other than Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran. And, it’s not even really an axis. One must also include Turkey, which has done everything in its power to become a rival to the United States and a friend to both Sunni extremists as well as Iran.”

Russia Derangement Syndrome: Syria Edition

“This is the endless treadmill that the civilised world is on: Libyans (and others like them) disturb the peace of the world. In turn, the West tries to kill those who would impose their will on others (because the others include us).

It is a recurrent police action and no more than that is needed; it is pointless to stay around to do some nation-building – the mistake of Afghanistan.”

War with Iran is Coming

“Further, I would anticipate spikes in the global price of oil for the foreseeable future (by the way, this undoubtedly would make Moscow happy, since Russia depends on higher-than-average oil prices to sustain its economy and military modernization program). Should these increases continue for the foreseeable future—and if Iran continued both with its illicit nuclear weapons program and regional expansion—the United States will be forced to intervene military.”

How to Lose Wars and Infuriate People

“Unless American leaders begin accepting limits on what pure military force can achieve (without becoming doves), and more fundamentally, inherent limitations on their power to conduct war, then a sound strategy will never be crafted in war. Rather, we will continue to “do stuff.” Action will be conflated with accomplishment. And, threats will never be mitigated. Instead, they will simply multiply–even as we increase our expenditures and commitments to the conflict.”