During the COVID-19 crisis, one would have thought the United States and Iran would find ways to reduce tensions. Instead the Trump administration refuses to relax sanctions in the midst of a pandemic, and Iranian-supported Shia militias in Iraq continue to target U.S. forces. If this shadow war is going to continue, the United States needs to find more effective ways to protect its interests and counter Iran’s surrogates and proxies while avoiding an all-out war.
Previous presidents — from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama — have been hesitant to respond at all for fear of starting a larger conflict. The Trump administration’s strike on Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani represents the opposite — an unnecessarily provocative approach that almost led to uncontrolled escalation.
Read the full article in Defense News.
More from CNAS
CommentarySharper: Global Coronavirus Response
As regions across the United States enforce states of emergency and a growing list of countries restrict travel, close schools, and quarantine citizens, the economic and human...
By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens
ReportsCountering Iran in the Gray Zone
American freedom of action to strike Iranian targets in the gray zone may be greater than previously assessed, if U.S. policymakers are willing and able to replicate at least ...
By Ilan Goldenberg, Nicholas Heras, Kaleigh Thomas & Jennie Matuschak
CommentaryThe American Public Wants a Sustainable Middle East Policy
After the U.S. strike on Qasem Soleimani, Americans feared the United States was on the brink of war with Iran. “World War III draft” memes circulated around the internet, and...
By Kaleigh Thomas & Emma Moore
CommentaryThe Iranian Missile Strike Did Far More Damage Than Trump Admits
Over 100 American soldiers have been treated for traumatic brain injuries following Iran’s missile strike on Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq. The strike came in retaliation f...
By Loren DeJonge Schulman & Paul Scharre