iran politics Trump

‘Iran Appears To Be Standing Down’: Trump Cancels World War III, A Postmortem

It could have been worse.

It could have been worse.
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11 comments on “‘Iran Appears To Be Standing Down’: Trump Cancels World War III, A Postmortem

  1. Nice post and summary (per usual). As much as anything, the events of the last 72 hours have revealed the Iranian regime to be a paper tiger and, for the moment at any rate, more interested in self-preservation than spreading the Iranian revolution throughout the region. Because I’m constitutionally incapable of giving Trump credit for anything, I’m going to say he got lucky this time. Would be nice — and a boon to his reelection chances — if he took this opportunity to sit down in earnest with the Iranian leadership and try to come to a win-win agreement. Forty years after the revolution, the Iranian people would like nothing more, the American people would like nothing more, and maybe even the mullahs are ready to deescalate.

    One thing we’ll never know, though, is whether the Putin signaled to Trump that he would be okay with a hit on Soleimani. After all, and as others have pointed out in this forum, the general was an obstacle to Russia’s larger ambitions in the region.

    • No he was not an obstacle. That makes no sense. I went over that in previous comments. It was Soleimani who brought Russia into the conflict in Syria.

      To suggest that Putin was complicit in this is wildly implausible. I’m not sure where you guys/gals are getting that, but it reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the dynamics.

      Here, read this:

      https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-01-07/trump-blew-up-putin-s-middle-east-master-plan

      • this is, of course, not to say that I have some kind of inside information on what goes on in the Kremlin, god knows anything is possible in these kinds of ordeals, but my point is that it doesn’t make any sense from the perspective of what regular people, operating with public information, who have followed the Syria conflict would surmise.

        • Anonymous

          However, Putin would know what effect the killing would have on Iraqs relation with the USA and is ready to step in to replace the US and its allies in training Iraqi military and fighting ISIS, as they have done in Syria. Qasem Soleimani was also a powerful and respected tactician who could teach the CIA how to run a proxy war, and wouldn’t allow Russia to manipulate him. Putin would, no doubt, prefer to deal with a more compliant partner as he extends his influence in the ME. On the other hand, I’ve probably read too many John Le Carre novels!

  2. Pertaining to this Putin/Soleimani debate experience teaches us all things are possible in world in which both these men were proficient. Whereas I agree with H….. that the dynamics do not indicate a Putin role in Suleimani’s demise but a more plausible reason is that there was a tremendous level of respect between the two men that transcends and thus negates that possibility…..Agreed , that is an intuitive assessment on my part !!!!

  3. If Trump finds a face-saving way to remove US forces from Iraq, that would be a public relations “win” for him, as well as a huge real victory for Iran. Iraq will become more closely aligned with Iran. Iran could sell oil through Iraq (assuming Trump doesn’t block Iraqi oil.) The long term consequences for MidEast stability are unclear.

  4. From a military perspective, the Iranian missiles appear somewhat accurate and effective. 10-12 (?) missiles launched, at least 5 hit targets with accuracy.

    https://www.npr.org/2020/01/08/794517031/satellite-photos-reveal-extent-of-damage-at-al-assad-air-base

    Unsure how well defended these bases were, they may not have had Patriot/CIWS defenses.

    I think Iran has proved their ballistic missiles can accurately strike targets within at least 500 miles. If launchers are in western Iran, that means they can strike Riyadh. If launchers are in western iraq, they can strike Israel.

  5. Sorry, more reading – reports that Patriots intercepted 3 missiles targeting Erbil airbase. Also, Iran has ballistic missiles with much longer range, but AFAIk they are not combat-proven yet.

  6. The world gets stranger by the minute. When does Iran announce it has made nukes?

  7. I would not be so sure that we have seen the end of this.
    Somehow it feels insufficient for Iran to bomb some barracks in the Iraqi desert without any casualties and call it even.
    After all, this was some sort of national hero (however twisted that might sound).
    It’s hard to imagine the populace, which has just now conveniently rallied behind the leadership, forgetting about the bloody protests just a couple weeks ago, is satisfied by some pro-forma bombing.
    Would be great, though, but kinda hard to believe.

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