The U.S. Needs to Learn the Lessons of the Past and Make the Iranians and their Clients Pay a Price for their Aggression

(The Hill) Dennis Ross - The Iranians find the Houthis in Yemen a useful instrument to exert real pressure on Saudi Arabia as they strike Saudi civilian targets, including the capital Riyadh, and oil facilities throughout the country. The Houthis get their missiles, drones, training, and help in drone production from Iran's Quds Force and Hizbullah. This past week the Houthis attacked Dubai international airport as well as the airport in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Had the very busy Dubai airport been hit, many civilians, including many Americans, could have been killed. That should tell us that, regardless of the outcome of the talks in Vienna on Iran's nuclear program, Iranian behavior in the region must be countered if it cannot be deterred. After the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, we did very little in response as Iran ratcheted up their aggressive acts throughout the region. Now, we need to learn the lessons of the past and make the Iranians and their clients or proxies pay a price. The Houthis need to see that they will pay a price for these attacks, and that we will act to bolster the defenses of those they attack. Moreover, from Vladimir Putin to Xi Jinping to Ali Khamenei, it is essential to counteract their perception of our risk-aversion and demonstrate that their actions are making us more risk-ready. Deterrence demands nothing less. The writer, who served in senior national security positions for four presidents, is counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2022-01-27 00:00:00

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