The Killing of Soleimani May Restrain Tehran's Aggression

(Wall Street Journal) Eric S. Edelman and Franklin C. Miller - With the killing of Maj.-Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Washington has sent Tehran an unambiguous message that it can no longer attack Americans with impunity. Until now, the Iranian leadership has suffered no losses to its own valued assets as a result of killing Americans. Soleimani was a state actor, carrying out a national policy of terrorism to murder Americans. U.S. recognition that it has been and remains engaged in a war with Iran and its proxies is long overdue. Some say the Soleimani strike will encourage Iran to hit soft targets in the American homeland. But that risk already exists. The sole previous direct American response against Iranian state assets - the 1988 naval rout, in which the U.S. sank two Iranian ships and destroyed a Persian Gulf oil platform being used to harass Western shipping - caused Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to agree to a cessation of hostilities. Deterrence works, but only if the threats are credible. Mr. Edelman was U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, 2005-09, and is counselor at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Mr. Miller served as senior director for defense policy and arms control on the U.S. National Security Council staff, 2001-05.

2020-01-10 00:00:00

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