Trump Doctrine on display Tuesday evening as he contemplates response to Iranian missiles

While the funeral for General Soleimani proceeds in Kerman, Iran, the military, with the blessing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, fired 15 ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq.  The bases in Erbil in the north and Al-Assad in the west were targeted, while other bases with greater numbers of American soldiers and far closer to the Iranian border were avoided.  To some, this might appear curious since as of this writing there are no American casualties.  This would appear to be a significantly minimal attack, possibly a face-saving threat necessary in the belligerent Middle East.  Possibly, four missiles did not even reach their targets.

Ballistic missiles tend to be quite accurate (at least ours are), but Iranian missiles tend to be questionable.  Perhaps the Iranians used these weapons since they are not so accurate, or because they felt that the risk of hitting people was low.  They were fired at large bases that are well protected, at areas less likely to have soldiers.  The bases are Iraqi and not American, though our soldiers were housed there for the purpose of helping Iraqis combat ISIS.

So far, the American response under Trump has been to wait and determine what action to undertake.  The (W.) Bush administration hoped to effect change in the region by overthrowing Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, who was funding terrorism mostly affecting Israel.  He did not initially attempt to nation-build but got caught in the effort.  It led to his failure in this regard, since a sectarian nation not ready for modern democratic institutions became prey to regional powers such as Iran and ISIS.

President Obama thought vacating Iraq and negotiating with Iran through money payments (which have financed further terrorism) might change the situation.  But Obama failed to understand that the mullahs of Shiite Iran sought domination of Sunni nations throughout the region.  Qassem Soleimani was the charismatic leader of the military wing of these militant Shia.  He was not about to cede nuclear production efforts and missile manufacture.  Surreptitious research is hard to monitor in a secretive country.

Trump will likely take a measured response.  He is unlikely to use boots on the ground.  Sites he might consider include the missile locations initiating yesterday’s attack.  He could also hit some nuclear manufacturing sites, as Iran withdrew from the international nuclear agreement this weekend.  Additionally, Trump could attack oil processing sites, further crippling the Iranian economy.  Trump is likely to de-escalate and would do minimal damage during this round.  Further attacks by Iran (from Iran’s soil) might invite greater response.  This would be an off-ramp for negotiations.

Donald Trump campaigned against endless wars in the Middle East, which he felt robbed our wealth and manpower.  Much of official Washington is predicated upon military activity.  While Democratic presidential campaigners rail against Trump and oppose his strike upon Soleimani, most have participated in the swamp’s support of military action in the Middle East.  Liberal hatred of Trump overpowers any good he might accomplish.

Iran possesses about 2,000 ballistic missiles.  Their military potential is dangerous but not a threat to the USA.  The movement of American aircraft carriers and B-52s to the area with F35 fighters and about 4,000 troops indicates readiness for more aggressive action.  A full-scale war might harm Trump’s re-election.  However, it is doubtful that Trump is primarily concerned with this issue.  He appears to favor policies that put America first. 

The Trump Doctrine is one that encourages flexibility that allows actions that will further American benefits.  This is true in military action and financial activity.  Trump is not going to commit our country to remake any nation in the Middle East.  It is up to the people of Iran to reject the mullahs.  The death of Soleimani might be a catalyst.  In the short run, the extreme forces within Iran will dominate, but long-term, it is likely that the resistance will regroup and take to the streets.  President Trump will support this opposition, something Obama refused to do.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

While the funeral for General Soleimani proceeds in Kerman, Iran, the military, with the blessing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, fired 15 ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq.  The bases in Erbil in the north and Al-Assad in the west were targeted, while other bases with greater numbers of American soldiers and far closer to the Iranian border were avoided.  To some, this might appear curious since as of this writing there are no American casualties.  This would appear to be a significantly minimal attack, possibly a face-saving threat necessary in the belligerent Middle East.  Possibly, four missiles did not even reach their targets.

Ballistic missiles tend to be quite accurate (at least ours are), but Iranian missiles tend to be questionable.  Perhaps the Iranians used these weapons since they are not so accurate, or because they felt that the risk of hitting people was low.  They were fired at large bases that are well protected, at areas less likely to have soldiers.  The bases are Iraqi and not American, though our soldiers were housed there for the purpose of helping Iraqis combat ISIS.

So far, the American response under Trump has been to wait and determine what action to undertake.  The (W.) Bush administration hoped to effect change in the region by overthrowing Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, who was funding terrorism mostly affecting Israel.  He did not initially attempt to nation-build but got caught in the effort.  It led to his failure in this regard, since a sectarian nation not ready for modern democratic institutions became prey to regional powers such as Iran and ISIS.

President Obama thought vacating Iraq and negotiating with Iran through money payments (which have financed further terrorism) might change the situation.  But Obama failed to understand that the mullahs of Shiite Iran sought domination of Sunni nations throughout the region.  Qassem Soleimani was the charismatic leader of the military wing of these militant Shia.  He was not about to cede nuclear production efforts and missile manufacture.  Surreptitious research is hard to monitor in a secretive country.

Trump will likely take a measured response.  He is unlikely to use boots on the ground.  Sites he might consider include the missile locations initiating yesterday’s attack.  He could also hit some nuclear manufacturing sites, as Iran withdrew from the international nuclear agreement this weekend.  Additionally, Trump could attack oil processing sites, further crippling the Iranian economy.  Trump is likely to de-escalate and would do minimal damage during this round.  Further attacks by Iran (from Iran’s soil) might invite greater response.  This would be an off-ramp for negotiations.

Donald Trump campaigned against endless wars in the Middle East, which he felt robbed our wealth and manpower.  Much of official Washington is predicated upon military activity.  While Democratic presidential campaigners rail against Trump and oppose his strike upon Soleimani, most have participated in the swamp’s support of military action in the Middle East.  Liberal hatred of Trump overpowers any good he might accomplish.

Iran possesses about 2,000 ballistic missiles.  Their military potential is dangerous but not a threat to the USA.  The movement of American aircraft carriers and B-52s to the area with F35 fighters and about 4,000 troops indicates readiness for more aggressive action.  A full-scale war might harm Trump’s re-election.  However, it is doubtful that Trump is primarily concerned with this issue.  He appears to favor policies that put America first. 

The Trump Doctrine is one that encourages flexibility that allows actions that will further American benefits.  This is true in military action and financial activity.  Trump is not going to commit our country to remake any nation in the Middle East.  It is up to the people of Iran to reject the mullahs.  The death of Soleimani might be a catalyst.  In the short run, the extreme forces within Iran will dominate, but long-term, it is likely that the resistance will regroup and take to the streets.  President Trump will support this opposition, something Obama refused to do.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.