Pressure on Iran
The Iranian regime still clings to hope that the Trump administration will become as malleable as Team Obama, but the USS Reality has set afloat to remind them of the sea change once more.
The U.S. is deploying forces to the Middle East in response to what Trump admin officials say are threats of a possible attack by Iran or allied fighters on American troops in the region. Struggling to contain his raging war boner, National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a statement last night that the the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force are headed to the U.S. Central Command region, which of course includes the Middle East.
Bolton said the move was in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” He didn’t provide details, but said the U.S. wants to send a “clear and unmistakable” message to Iran that “unrelenting force” would meet any attack on U.S. interests or those of its allies.
“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces,” he said.
Pentagon correspondents for several outlets say we’ve detected “a number of preparations for possible attack” on U.S. forces at sea and on land.
“There is more than one avenue of attack or possible attack that we’re tracking,” one Pentagon official said. “We’ve seen indications for a number of days but they were coming together in the last several days. … This has been moving pretty fast today (Sunday).”
This could mean a number of things, but we’ll narrow it down to the likeliest few. Bear in mind that it’s very possible more than one of these options are true.
Option 1: U.S. intel has collected signals intelligence (SIGINT [intercepted communications]) that suggests an attack is being prepared on U.S. forces in the region, likely via one of Iran’s many terror group proxies.
Option 2: We have SIGINT or other intel that Iran is planning to make moves within Syria to help Hamas (an Iranian proxy) attack Israel following the recent skirmishes in Gaza.
Option 3: Trump is sending a show of force as a follow-up to his recent expansion of oil sanctions against the regime, especially to monitor the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the world’s oil flows. Iran has the power to shut down the strait, which would cause a fair amount of global economic heartache. The reason we’re concerned about this right now is the Iranian populace is showing signs of restlessness, and if Iran thinks they have to play hardball to get sanctions lifted and thus quell the people in their streets, now is a time they’d do it.
In my personal opinion, the smart money is on a mixture of 1 and 3. Bolton and Pompeo have both strongly implied that there is underlying intel behind this move, but it’s also true that a show of force was inevitable with the increasing pressure campaign against Tehran. Option 2 cannot be dismissed, however, as the recent barrage of missiles sent into Israel were Iranian-funded and their firers Iranian-trained. Iran is making themselves at home in Syria, nurturing their proxies any way they can while their economy teeters on the brink of collapse. A great set of priorities, those mullahs.
As a reminder, last month, PDT announced the U.S. would no longer exempt any countries from U.S. sanctions if they continue to buy Iranian oil, a decision that primarily affects the five remaining major importers: China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey. It was a gut punch meant to effectively end Iranian oil exports.
Since then, there have been reports of “chatter” about Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq attacking Americans. There are 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq. Our intel analysts say the mullahs are debating amongst themselves whether the issue of oil sanctions can be resolved through diplomacy, with the hardliners calling for blood.
A strike group at one’s front door has a way of shaping that sort of calculus.
Let’s be clear, it’s nothing new for the U.S. to flex muscle in the region, especially since PDT was elected. The days of Iranian speedboats taunting our ships and taking our sailors hostage are over. The day PDT announced that the next speedboat to approach our guys at full speed would be blown out of the water, the Revolutionary Guard changed their standard operating procedure.
But things are a little more dangerous than usual these days, because Iran is an increasingly cornered animal. They may be having fun launching missiles from Gaza but Trump administration sanctions have put a real hurting on them. Thus, it’s important to let those hardliners within their regime know that blood-letting isn’t the way out of this bind, because we’re ready to far outpace them in that regard.
Many of you are hesitant to flex any sort of muscle, especially in that area of the world. We’re sick of it. After all, how much money have we spent spinning our wheels in a region that will never see eye to eye with the West? While that critique is well-founded and understood, the fact remains that Iran can’t be ignored. Their leadership bases its existence on the return of that elusive 12th Imam, the one that will usher in Islamic rule the world over. And the revolutionary holdovers who are still in charge of their arsenal believe the path to that glorious day is to annihilate Israel and her ally America off the map. They believe the 12th Imam will return on the back of a nuclear holocaust initiated for his approval. That’s just the way it is.
Obama paid them off to pretty please hold off on their nuke program. Trump is trying to crush the program before it gets going. We can’t afford to take the North Korea route here. An Islamist regime can’t be ignored for the sake of comfort.
We’d better solve this now before the stakes get much higher.
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