Update: What I’m Reading on Suleimani

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what I’m reading. Over the years, these pundits, professors, and professionals have demonstrated that they offer sound analysis, timely interpretations, and wise insight into events with a backdrop or historical, cultural, and additional relevance.

Also, for context, I am not suggesting there will be an Iranian missile attack or an American ground invasion of Iran. Not impossible, but highly improbable. But this raises the already likely specter of confrontation to even more dangerous levels. And, lest we forget, these type of things can easily get loose from the grasp of control and spiral even more downhill quickly. There has already been a war by proxy with Iran for years, and an indirect confrontation by covert, economic, and cyber means. This is likely to increase, potentially into a semi-hot conflict that doesn’t bode well for the region or America.

Iran is a nefarious nemesis that needs our attention. But we need to reconstitute diplomacy, not tear up binding and working international agreements (JCPOA). We need to use our economic, cyber, covert, and alliance advantages, not rely on stupid and rash targeted assassinations against a state actor. We need to stop the chest-thumping saber ratting that gets us into war messes like Iraq 2003. We need to coordinate with an experienced government bureaucracy and national security establishment, not have a President that is surrounded by “yes” men inexperienced with the region and military/state peculiarities.

Here’s a good list so far:

Daniel Byman here. David Sanger here. Peter Bergen here. Andy Exum here. Robin Wright here. The Economist here. On our failed Middle East strategy…again. On US and Iran under Trump. Foreign Policy’s view. On Suleimani’s history and power. Wash Post article. On how his death is celebrated among many (of course he was a bad dude too). Slavin at the Atlantic Council. Always following David Ignatius, Vali Nasr, and pods like Lawfare, Rational Security, and Bombshell. Stay tuned…

3 thoughts on “Update: What I’m Reading on Suleimani

  1. Don’t think that, because tensions seem to be deescalating between the U.S. and Iran, that it means that we’re out of the woods. On the contrary, I believe that this action will still have lasting effects. Iran, now back to experiencing protests after its horrible downing of a civilian airliner, has turmoil. While U.S. officials applaud protestors, have they forgotten so quickly that not having a plan for what comes next when a government is removed from office leads to a worse situation than before? That’s unlikely to happen in this case, but one gets the sense that if it did, Americans would be ecstatic, forgetting that the aftermath of revolution is usually bloody and may not work. And if Iran survives the protests, as it most reasonably will, the U.S.-Iran tensions are now in a worse state because of Trump’s reckless escalation. Secondly, we violated Iraqi sovereignty and they have asked us to leave the country, which we have now refused to do, setting a strong precedent for American illegal occupation of an unwilling country. What once was an ally is now a violated participant moving closer to Iran. Thirdly, our allies in the region and globally have more reason to distrust the U.S., for rashly killing a foreign government official without a clear plan or strategy, causing more turmoil in an already tumultuous region. Overall, a small battlefield victory will only create more regional problems for the United States. Was it worth it? The answer seems to be most assuredly no.


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