Diplomacy Alone Won't End the Iranian Threat

(National Review) Seth J. Frantzman - When dealing with adversaries, diplomacy has to be part of a more-holistic approach to work. Iran's leaders have had great success employing such an approach because they understand that the West is afraid of war and that it has largely abandoned the idea of using force as a means to its strategic ends. Iran is happy to play the diplomacy game when that is to its advantage, but it also deploys military advisors through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to countries such as Syria, where some 800 IRGC troops are now located. It funds Hizbullah and arms it with precision-guided munitions. It transfers missile and drone technology to Yemen, and its intelligence officials have infiltrated Iraq. It has fired rockets at Israel, attacked Saudi Arabia with cruise missiles, used drones against Israel, fired ballistic missiles at U.S. forces and used its militias to attack them in Iraq, and mined ships in the Gulf of Oman. All of this demands a response from the West that combines diplomacy with military force. One has to confront Iran on its own terms. If it fields diplomats and paramilitary proxies and sanctions missile attacks on U.S. troops, then the U.S. must field diplomats, rally its own allies on the ground, and invest in missile-defense capabilities. Iran sees itself involved in a total war with the U.S., a fact made clear by the constant statements from the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, calling the U.S. "satanic" and "evil." For Tehran's leaders, this is a religious-ideological struggle to the death.

2020-02-14 00:00:00

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