The Middle East has long been a raging inferno of dusty division and ornery, warring factions, who seem ever more likely to wipe each other off the face of the planet with each passing day. This has been the case for time eternal, it seems, with any number of nations sharing the burden as undue aggressors.
The latest nation to take up the mantle as nemesis to the US is Iran, who squandered a fairly kind deal made between Tehran and Washington on the subject of nuclear weapons, forcing US President Donald Trump to renege on the negotiation. This reprimanding retort had the side-effect of reinstating a number of sanctions against Iran – forcing the Persian nation to lash out for attention.
So far, they’ve obliterated some Saudi Arabian oil fields, drone-bombed a pipeline, downed a US military drone, and caused damage to no less than 4 oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz.
Worse yet: It appears as though they are not done yet.
The deployment of 14,000 additional American troops to the Persian Gulf region since the spring has probably not dissuaded Iran from planning a major attack on the scale of the recent missile and drone assault on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, the commander of American forces in the Middle East says.
The officer, Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, the head of the military’s Central Command, said the additional troops, fighter jets and air defenses that the Pentagon has dispatched might have deterred Iran from attacking American targets — like Iran’s downing of an unmanned surveillance drone in June. But he said strikes against Gulf nations were another matter.
“My judgment is that it is very possible they will attack again,” General McKenzie said in an interview this past week ahead of an international security conference on Saturday.
“It’s the trajectory and the direction that they’re on,” he added in a second interview later in the week. “The attack on the oil fields in Saudi was stunning in the depth of its audaciousness,” he said of an assault in September that the United States and its European allies blame Iran for. “I wouldn’t rule that out going forward.”
President Trump was moments away from using military force against Iran after the aforementioned downing of a US drone by the nation’s Revolutionary Guard, but pulled back at the last moment citing too great a disparity in casualties between the initial act and the response.