Can Washington afford war against Tehran?

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/15 19:38:40

The New York Times reported May 13 that acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented a plan that would deploy 120,000 US soldiers to the Middle East if Iran attacks US forces in the region or accelerates work on nuclear weapons. The size would approach the number of US troops when the US invaded Iraq in 2003.

Is the US planning a war against Iran? Even if Washington was just trying to frighten Tehran by releasing such news, it has had a big effect. The announcement reveals once the US-Iran clash intensifies to a certain level, for the US it is an option to send ground forces to invade Iran, because airstrikes alone don't need so many troops.

Washington has disturbed the originally peaceful world. Beijing and Washington are engaged in the largest-ever trade war. Two governments seem to coexist in Venezuela and the US military may get involved. The state in Iran has moved from a stable nuclear deal to the US planning military attacks or even an invasion.

Washington is now too arrogant and may revel in the illusion that US power is omnipotent. In fact, the Middle East has taught sufficient lessons to the US after the Cold War. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq cost US huge national strength, but failed to leave anything valuable to US elites and ordinary people.

Many people believe the US would really be dragged down into decline if it launches a war against Iran.

Washington would not easily move to attack Tehran. Although Iran is way weaker than the US, it would strike much harder than the US as the associated conflict would be a matter of life and death. Furthermore, after the Cold War, none of the nations the US has invaded are stronger than Iraq. Iran is now the most difficult nation for the US to deal with.

In spite of many drawbacks, Washington still warned Iran in this way. Being tough may be considered by current US government the lifeblood of US foreign policy. Washington may want to use maximum pressure to address all problems.

It is embarrassing to the US that this maximum pressure scheme has not resolved any problems, from North Korea, Venezuela to Iran. In the past week, trade negotiations between China and the US, expected to reach an agreement, were hit hard by US maximum pressure. 

All nations across the world need to be wary of the America First policy. Washington is shaking the world and believes the US has gained few benefits from a stable and peaceful world. It is attempting to redefine the rules of interest distribution by messing up the world situation and coercing countries one after another. 

However, the US overestimates its capability to control risk and underestimates other countries' determination to defend their core interests. Washington will see itself mired in conflicts one by one. In the end, Washington may find there is no extra benefit doing so, but it may lose many benefits of cooperating with the world.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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