Deterring War with Iran

(Forbes) Lt.-Gen. (ret.) David Deptula, USAF - The U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone strike that eliminated top Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani on Jan. 3 was a measured, timely, and appropriate combat action. It occurred after 18 months of U.S. restraint in the face of a series of increasingly provocative Iranian violations of international law, including 11 Hezbollah Brigade attacks on facilities occupied by U.S. personnel who were conducting security training for Iraq's military. What comes next? To deter Iran, its leaders need to believe the U.S. will use its power. This is akin to pushing back on a bully. At some point, a counteroffensive is required, or the abuse will continue. Some on the national stage are pandering fear of potential Iranian reaction to Soleimani's death. The fear of possible consequences should not outweigh the logic that forceful action is sometimes necessary to defend U.S. and allied personnel and to shore up the value of deterrence. The reality is that taking no action would have increased the odds for further Iranian aggression. Peace through strength is key to deterring open conflict with Iran - projecting fear or appeasement is not. The writer, Dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, was the principal attack planner for the 1991 Operation Desert Storm air campaign.

2020-01-10 00:00:00

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