New US-led patrols in the Persian Gulf raise the stakes with Iran (September 2, 2019). Meanwhile, Iran finds itself backed into a corner and ready for a possible conflict it had 30 years for which to prepare. It stands poised this week to further break the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, over a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord and imposed crippling sanctions on the country. “It is plausible to imagine a scenario where these forces stumble into some type of accidental escalation,” said Becca Wasser, a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corp. who studies the region. “While U.S. efforts are intended to deter, Iran may view increased U.S. maritime presence as offensive in nature or as preparation for a larger attack on Iran and respond accordingly.”
Trump’s Maximum pressure campaign will yield few results (6-5-19). Washington’s strategy towards Tehran seems to backlash and is not expected to lead to amendment of the nuclear deal nor to a substantive change in Iran’s regional policy.
Don’t believe the war hype on Iran (5-28-19). President Donald Trump’s maximum pressure campaign is in many ways a continuation of the status-quo policy—but it is more effectively backing Iran into a corner, which is likely to result in a crisis or war.
Trump is driving Iran into Russia’s arms (2019). US economic and military pressure on Iran is improving Russia-Iran relations.
A nuclear crisis with Iran (2019) – End of the article: Here’s my concern: Maximum pressure won’t topple the regime, strengthen moderate voices in Iran, or resolve any of the other differences Washington has with Tehran. Instead, it is more likely to encourage Iran to resume nuclear development and eventually restart a nuclear weapons program, which it is not—repeat, not—doing at present. Think about it: North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has his relatives and rivals murdered and runs a brutal police state, and he gets to have private meetings with Trump, who says the two of them “fell in love” (whatever the hell that means). Why does Kim get treated this way? Because North Korea has a growing nuclear weapons arsenal.
No Iran Threat
The Iranian missile threat (2019). Though Cordesman doesn’t draw any strong conclusions, there is a lot of evidence in here that tempers any Iran threat.
The Iran war crisis: Are we headed toward a Gulf of Tonkin incident? (2019). One can only hope that an isolated incident or an alleged attack does not spark a retaliation that could lead to a Vietnam-style conflict with Iran, one that could necessitate sending hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops to the Middle East. While President Trump has said he does not want to go to war with Iran, President Johnson likewise did not want to start a war with North Vietnam. But one cannot overlook National Security Advisor John Bolton, who recently said, “Any attack on America or its allies will be met with unrelenting force.”
An open letter to US President Donald Trump on war with Iran (2019). This letter from 100+ military leaders says a war with Iran could escalate and won’t solve anything.
The Iran war: Consequences for regional allies (2019). This article says a war with Iran will escalate to involve many countries and interests in the Middle East.
The Last War — and the Next (2019). This article reviews new research on Iraq and why the war failed. It then situates that discussion in the context of the current potential war in Iran, its likely failure, and its risk of escalation.
Iran could do some serious damage if attacked (2019). This article describes how Iran could escalate the war and the impacts an attack would cause.
Can Iran withstand US pressure? (5-30-19). This article says that Iran will try to wait out the Trump administration but that surviving sanctions will be tough.
Sanctions fail/Sanctions Bad
US sanctions on Iran are designed to kill (2019). US sanctions are killing ordinary Iranians by the thousands. Through its control over the world banking system, America’s sanctioning power flouts international human rights law and poses a threat to the world.
Beware of the Tides of War with Iran (5-20-19)
A path to war with Iran (5-20-19). In 2017, when I imagined various ways the United States might stumble into a conflict, I got some things right and some things wrong. What I certainly failed to anticipate was that two years further on, we would be relying on the instincts of Donald Trump to keep us out of war
Hawks divided (2019)
Iran is scaring its friends, too (2019)
What’s Trump’s Iran plan? Nobody knows (5-16-19)
Bolton in Wonderland (5-14-19)
Trump’s hired hands want a war with Iran (5-14-19)
Escalating US-Iran tensions (2019)
John Bolton’s Middle East War plans (5-9-19)
The art of a new Iran deal (5-9-19)
Rouhani’s warning to Trump (5-8-19)