As a matter of policy the US does not preemptively attack its enemies. It resorts to violence only after being provoked by antagonists that threaten America and its allies. The behavior of Iran during the course of the last year does in fact justify a military response.
Military action can take many forms ranging from an outright invasion to limited strikes against strategic targets. It could also mean establishing embargoes and conducting cyber warfare that disrupts the enemy’s economy and infrastructure.
After President Trump abrogated an inane and highly ineffective nuclear arrangement with the Iranians (designed by President Obama), Iran began to ramp up its nuclear development. Much of this relates to enriching uranium for creating weapons of mass destruction. The country is moving ahead with its plans to build a deliverable bomb.
Iran is participating in a number of horrific adventures throughout the Middle East, that includes arming terrorists in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Syria. This has resulted in a huge number of casualties and refugees, along with famine and disease.
The ayatollahs have also sanctioned action against oil tankers operating in international waters. And most recently, Iran launched cruise missiles that destroyed critical oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are mortal enemies of the Iranians. Together they have created a very dangerous standoff that pits Sunnis against Shiites, the two major Islamic sects.
President Trump has been restrained in his reactions to Iranian aggression, which has emboldened the rogue state and the religions zealots that govern Iran’s theocracy.
Trump’s restraint is interpreted as weakness in some circles. Does the American leader have the courage to do what’s necessary to control Iran? Constant US threats that are not supported by action could lead to another situation similar to Syria, where Obama drew a line in the sand relating to genocide conducted by Assad. The Syrian leader stepped across the line and Obama did nothing. Inaction led to Syrian cooperation with Russia and Iran.
What actions by Iran justify military action? If Iran maliciously kills one American or attacks any locations occupied by Americans, deadly force would be in order. After 9/11 the US responded by launching military attacks against Afghanistan.
The destruction of US property by Iran (such as the US drones that Iran shot down) would justify retaliation, but in a much less severe manner. This could be the destruction of Iranian military equipment and long-range armaments that were used in an attack.
If Iran assaults our allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel being the obvious choices, the US must be prepared to respond in kind. The recent attack on Saudi oil fields falls into this category. An aggressive US response is called for, and the president is making a mistake by not responding to it.
Massive attacks that endanger innocents must be avoided at almost all costs. But Iran’s armies, missile launch sites, radar equipment, artillery batteries and command and control centers should be priority targets.
A confrontation with Iran is inevitable unless sanctions bring down the current regime. Trump may be depending upon this outcome. It would be a misstep to do so. The US should be preparing to attack this enemy with or without concurrence of other nations. The peril the world faces by waiting any longer is unacceptable.