Hostilities Between America and Iran Continue to Intensify
Iran-led provocations in the Red Sea are halting shipping and creating problems for many nations. After America tried to take measures to resolve the problem, on January 28, Iran lashed out: Iran-backed Islamic Resistance in Iraq launched a drone strike on an American facility in Jordan that killed three American troops and injured at least 34 more.
America publicly blamed Iran, but when it retaliated last Friday, five days later, it avoided Iranian soil and instead hit 85 facilities located in Syria and Iraq. Then on Saturday, American and British forces struck 36 Houthi targets in Yemen.
America’s leaders are averse to direct war with Iran; they already face resistance to existing military commitments to Ukraine and Israel.
After years of working to help Iran, the Obama and Biden foreign-policy team are finding that the Islamic Republic has actually grown more belligerent—as have their proxies such as Hamas and the Houthis.
The United States certainly has the power to act against Iran. Still, its fear of a wider war, especially during the current election year, has led the administration to lack “confidence in attaining its objectives.” Put simply, a White House whose electoral prospects are already shaky perceives that it cannot afford to risk launching another war in the Middle East.
—Dov Zakheim, National Interest, February 5
Iran could continue to push in a way that truly tests and exposes America’s weakness of will. This volatile situation has truly explosive potential.