The Old Foreign-Policy Rulebook Shielded Bad Actors

(JNS) Jonathan S. Tobin - Qasem Soleimani was the mastermind of the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. No matter how much mayhem he spread, he believed that he was untouchable. And three American administrations run by both Democrats and Republicans validated that belief, forgoing opportunities to kill the man who had the blood of many Americans and countless Syrians, Lebanese, Israelis and others on his hands. But following the orchestration of attacks on American forces in Iraq and an assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Soleimani's get-out-of-jail free card given by the international community expired. What happened was more than a settling of scores. It proclaimed that the old rules by which Iran had been able to do its worst against the U.S., Israel and the West - never to face any consequences - were no longer valid. The foreign-policy rulebook that had restrained America in the past wound up shielding bad actors like Soleimani. Killing Soleimani won't start a war; Iran has been waging a hot war against America and its allies for years. The Soleimani operation makes it clear to Iran's leaders, perhaps for the first time, that the costs of their provocations are now going to be borne by them, and not only their foes. Playing by rules that served the interests of a rogue regime is what endangered American lives and interests by making Iran stronger and feeling less constrained about employing its brutal tactics. A world in which the world's leading state sponsor of terror is afraid of the U.S. can't be much worse than one in which the ayatollahs have nothing but contempt for Washington's resolve to defend American interests.

2020-01-06 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive