Quick Response to Suleimani Killing

Trump’s rash and stupidly whimsical escalation of tensions with Iran in the Middle East just went from bad to worse, by a wholly unnecessary and dangerous U.S. strike that killed Iranian Quds Force Commander Suleimani. A beloved figure with a cult-like following not just in Iran, but across the Shia region, his death will require a response – whether by the regime or by Shia followers.

When things like this happen, no one can tell the future. Sometimes things blow over, sometimes they don’t. This killing of a major figure in Shia, regional, and Iranian religious/military/political affairs is likely to have staying power. This is not a good path for the region and for an already escalating conflict that never needed to happen. This is much of Trump’s own making.


One thought on “Quick Response to Suleimani Killing

  1. I’ll present here what I think might be the perspective of those who conducted the strike.

    There is no doubt that Iran’s Quds force has been operating with greater boldness for many years across the region. Iran backs militias, giving weapons, supplies, money, drugs, and foreign fighters to fuel conflicts across in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and still Afghanistan. It’s all with the purpose of humiliating American forces in these theaters. Is Iran justified in doing so? It’s their backyard. They truly believe the US created ISIS as a justification for remaining in the area after initial invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    At the height of negotiations with the Taliban, neighboring countries such as Russia and Pakistan complied with the US’ wishes to decrease the enabling of violence in Afghanistan. Iran didn’t comply — they multiplied their efforts looking for a way to humiliate the US, believing there could be no reproach for their activities on Afghan soil, because US Presidents have been reluctant to authorize such operations for many years.

    Folks from certain units might look at the problem today and think — Iran has been getting bolder and bolder for many years with no one stopping them. Americans are getting killed by these rocket attacks, embassy storms, and suicide bombers. Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan might have ended many years ago if not for Iran’s heavy interference. Iran is devastating these countries and is delighted in doing so.

    Leadership from certain expeditionary units might look at the problem and say — we have the means to target Iranians and their proxies no matter where they are. Striking them in Iran carries heavy political risk. How would Iran react if we struck these targets while they were operating outside their borders?

    More importantly, what is the consequence of doing nothing? It’s what we’ve been effectively doing for the better part of a decade.

    From the perspective of those who conducted the strike — yes, there is tremendous political risk in this type of action, to strike the leader of Quds’ Force. But it sends a message to Iran that they have reached the hard limit of what the US will allow. Right or wrong, bold or stupid, I don’t know. But the military commanders in the region believed a hard line had to get drawn, and here is the strongest message yet. Don’t be surprised if more follows.


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