Today’s retaliation by Iran may come as a surprise to many, but it shouldn’t. The Middle East has been an area of increasing tension over the past few years, and President Trump’s actions by assassinating Qasem Soleimani was always going to spark violence.
The Iranian attack comes in response to the US killing of Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani. The funeral for Soleimani took place earlier today, after 3 days of national mourning.
Iran targeted two airbases, one on the Ain Asad airbase and the second at Erbil in Northern Iraq. The initial battle damage is still being assessed by America and other agencies, but it is looking like there are no immediate casualties.
The response of America is now crucial. It will determine the nature of this conflict for possibly years to come. America could choose not to respond at all. Yes, this may lead to some scrutiny, but I believe it will limit the violence. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, has already stated that the actions of Iran today were not to escalate war but to defend themselves from any aggression. Trump can choose not to respond and alleviate the possibility of war.
Trump also has an option for a narrow proportionate response which could end the conflict. I will never encourage actions of war, however; in this circumstance, I can’t see Trump not doing anything. Thus, this is my only hope of a response which doesn’t turn Iran into a global combat zone.
If Trump decides to retaliate in a manner that’s disproportionate and wider, then the Iranians would feel the need to respond back. This could then cause an escalatory cycle to occur, which would be almost impossible to break out of. This would signal the beginning of a war, and due to allies and other foreign relationships, the possibility of a larger war looms likely.
I ended my previous article, (https://thelevinelowdown.com/2020/01/04/america-vs-iran/), stating that the ball was now in Iran’s court. Well, now it is back in the hands of America. I can’t see Iran deciding to stop retaliating, so it is down to President Trump. He must choose a path of peace, a path leading to a stable future. If he doesn’t choose this path, we are about to enter a deadly period of history in the Middle East, resulting in increasing violence and detrimental consequences.
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