Small Wars Journal

There’s No Compelling Reason for the US to Go to War with Iran – Yet

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 2:17am

There’s No Compelling Reason for the US to Go to War with Iran – Yet by Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky – Los Angeles Times

… A compelling case could be made for the use of U.S. military force if Iran posed an immediate threat to vital American interests. But as harmful as Iran’s activities in the region may be to the United States and its friends and clients, the inconvenient reality, particularly for Iranian hawks in the U.S., is that Tehran poses no imminent threat to America’s three core interests — preventing terrorism against Americans abroad or against the homeland, preserving the uninterrupted flow of oil from the Persian Gulf, and preventing Iranian acquisition of a nuclear weapon.

Iran is a state sponsor of terror, but it has not attacked U.S. civilians in years and actually shares a common interest with Washington in fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, through which 30% of all seaborne-traded oil flows. But it has not carried out those threats. Over the last year, Iranian naval units have ceased to harass U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf and have not interfered with freedom of navigation on international waters. And despite its threats, Iran has not ramped up its enrichment of uranium for nuclear weapons.

In short, there’s no compelling justification for war, and nothing yet that approximates past triggers for U.S. military action, such as Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attack on the U.S., and the Trump administration’s 2017 and 2018 military retaliation for Syria’s use of chemical weapons…

Read on.