“From my distant vantage point in New England, tracking the daily fluctuations of the ongoing Iran war scare poses a challenge. It’s that old problem of distinguishing between signals and noise. These days there is noise aplenty emanating from Washington. That the prospect of yet another Gulf war competes for bandwidth with intensifying efforts to impeach President Trump makes it more difficult still to know what exactly is going on.
My bet is that an actual shooting war involving the United States and the Islamic Republic will not occur. Granted, we cannot exclude the possibility of inadvertent hostilities caused by one side misreading the intentions or actions of the other side. Nor should we ignore the possibility of bellicose subordinates exceeding their briefs and stumbling into a fight that authorities at the top may not have authorized. Posturing invites misunderstanding and miscalculation—and there has been more than a little posturing coming from both Washington and Tehran.
Yet even if armed conflict is averted, the Iran War Scare of 2019 will deserve recognition as a moment of genuine strategic significance. With the current dustup involving Iran, the likelihood of President Trump ending the “forever wars” is now gone for good. …
Yet the national security apparatus and members of his own administration have opposed him every step of the way. Trump wanted U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. They are still there. He wanted U.S. troops out of Syria. They are still there. So, too, are 5,000 more in neighboring Iraq—more than 16 years after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. …
Again, the precise numbers are almost beside the point. In effect, Trump has drawn his own line in the sand, one that says: “We ain’t leaving, no sir.” His decision—was it really his?—is in effect a capitulation. Trump has deferred to the institutions, interests, and individuals intent on perpetuating the forever wars. Devious and diabolical and brilliant, the war party, abetted by its foreign auxiliaries, has prevailed. Trump will now surely bequeath those wars to his successor—that’s the significance of the Iran war scare. “
I remember reading Andrew Bacevich’s book American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy while in college. It was a great book that shaped my views of foreign policy.
As far as I am concerned, Blompf has ceded immigration, foreign policy, infrastructure and political correctness ahead of the 2020 election – 4 out of the 5 top reasons that I voted for him in 2016. I also voted for him based on the theory that as a billionaire who was self financing his campaign that he would be independent of the influence and control of the donors.