Targeting Soleimani Was Justified, Legally and Strategically

(The Hill) Andrew C. McCarthy - When there are forcible threats to the U.S., the president has not merely the power but the obligation to repel them. Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of the Iranian-backed PMF in Iraq, were in the act of making war on the U.S. In late 2019, Muhandis' Hezbollah Brigades, backed by Soleimani, carried out repeated attacks on U.S. coalition forces in Iraq. There were 11 attacks on bases housing U.S. military personnel in the last two months. The inconvenient fact is that the revolutionary jihadist regime in Iran has considered itself at war with the U.S. for 40 years. Soleimani was not "assassinated." He was an enemy combatant commander who became a combat casualty because of a righteous responsive strike, conducted while he was in the act of levying war by directing his forces. The strategies of Trump's predecessors were to hope that a committed jihadist enemy would come to its senses, hope that it would realize its purported interest in regional stability, and hope that by bribing it with billions of dollars in sanctions relief, ransom, and an industrial-strength nuclear program, we could de-escalate the conflict. The U.S. has demonstrated to the mullahs what can happen when resolve backs our exponentially superior capabilities. Peace through strength is the better plan. The writer, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

2020-01-06 00:00:00

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