We Don’t Know

In his Wall Street Journal column for today William Galston asks three questions about the situation with respect to Iran:

  • Will the president’s action lead the Iraqis to rescind authorization for the presence of U.S. troops in their country?
  • Will Iraq’s Shiite militias declare open season on American forces?
  • Will the threat of all-out war deter the Iranian government from massive retaliation against American forces and allies?

The answer to each, of course, is that there are a lot of moving parts and we just don’t know.

If you want to send a message, use Western Union. If at this point we need to demonstrate how tough we are or that we are willing to use force, further lessons are futile. They simply won’t be learned.

3 comments… add one
  • Guarneri Link

    “If at this point we need to demonstrate how tough we are or that we are willing to use force, further lessons are futile.”

    The sports-like “tough” commentary bothers me. This is deadly serious blood sport. They have been killing people for decades. We have simply adopted appeasement as the easy way, and tolerated a relatively low level of US and ME citizen casualties. I find that completely immoral.

    There are no more posturing lessons to be given. Its simply, you kill us and we will destroy your military and economy. And de facto, your egime.

    I heard a tape this morning of testimony before Congress made by military / intelligence types. To paraphrase, a guy made your point, and then concluded, “they only understand concrete action. Nothing else. So we need to kill someone. We should find Soleimani and kill him. Right now. Period.”

    The tape was from 2011. How has appeasement and worries about making them mad been working out?

  • jan Link

    I’ve read and heard a multitude of assessments regarding the merits of being a strong deterrent to a hostile enemy, versus playing nice and attempting peace through appeasement. The latter usually is a short term remedy, and will actually encourage an advancement of bullying, whether it’s a country doing it or simply a schoolyard kid. Standing up and drawing lines for what kind of encroachments one will tolerate sets a tone of cautious tension for crossing said line. IMO, this has been the big difference between the Obama and Trump presidencies.

  • Greyshambler Link

    Well normally you don’t want to back an adversary into a corner if all you want is deterrence. You should leave them a face saving option to war. Think Idi Amin. Wonder if the Iranian Mullahs have as much lucre stashed as him or Arafat.

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