News Analysis |
In response to Iran’s action, President Donald Trump ordered his forces to strikes back but eventually backed down due to concerns raised by the Pentagon officials.
Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corp. shot down a US Navy’s surveillance done with a surface-to-air missile after it violated the Iranian airspace but the US officials have said that the drone was miles away from Iran and flying in international airspace. In a speech on Iranian state TV, IRGC commander-in-chief Maj-Gen Hossein Salami said the drone’s downing was a “clear message” to the US that Iran’s borders are “our red line”. As per the US defense sources, Iran had tried to shoot down the Predator Reaper Armed drone last week as well which eventually failed.
The world has turned into a multipolar tug of war with China emerging to rival and Russia also making a practical statement in geostrategic matters.
US President Donald Trump has said that Iran made a big mistake but at the same time gave the benefit of the doubt to Tehran as well. Trump said it was “documented” that the unmanned drone had been over international waters and not in Iranian airspace. “I think probably Iran made a mistake – I would imagine it was a general or somebody that made a mistake in shooting that drone down,” he said.
Iran made a very big mistake!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2019
“It could have been somebody who was loose and stupid,” he added.
Retaliatory Strikes had been Ordered
In response to the loss of a $130 million asset, President Donald Trump had authorized the retaliatory strikes on Iranian military targets. As per a New York Times report, the ships were already deployed and fighter jets were airborne to complete the mission, but the strikes were called out at the last moment. The cause of calling down the strikes is not yet confirmed but it is believed that Trump administration, top Pentagon officials and several congressmen convened at the White House to discuss the prospects of such as move.
As expected, the hawks in the administration, CIA Chief Gina Haspel, National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were of the opinion that Iran should be taught a lesson
We’ve imposed the toughest sanctions ever on the Iranian regime. Our pressure is working. We'll continue this line of effort to convince Iran not to move forward with their nuclear program, development of missiles, & the other malign activities they've been engaged in globally. pic.twitter.com/lRJZTzfAHy
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 19, 2019
But the Pentagon officials intervened saying that such an action could be detrimental to the safety of the US troops in the Gulf. It is an accurate assessment as in case of an escalation, the US forces will not only have to deal with conventional Iranian forces, but unconventional proxies of Iran scattered all over the Middle East. Eventually, the strikes were called off.
Times have Changed
There was a time when the United States of America jumped into the war with Iraq based on cooked intel, without even waiting for the security council to access the threat Saddam posed to international peace but now when a hundred million dollar asset is shot from the sky, the US is pushing for deliberations. US adventurism at the start of this century has had far-reaching consequences on many levels and it has made the world a worse place than it was, the rise of an all-out, apostasy Islamic State is one example.
The US administration tells that escalation will only be the desperate last resort when every other option expires, which is still a long way to go.
Other than that, back in those days, the United States was wholly and truly the sole superpower of the world as the unipolar global order after the fall of Soviet Union was still pragmatic. But now, the world has turned into a multipolar tug of war with China emerging to rival and Russia also making a practical statement in geostrategic matters.
As evident, the voices within the US government, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Pentagon themselves do not have an appetite for another adventure in the Middle East. Furthermore, the United States does not even have the support for military action against Iran from its traditional allies such as Britain and other European countries.
President @realDonaldTrump does not want war with Iran. We will continue to communicate that message, while doing the things that are necessary to protect American interests in the region. pic.twitter.com/0wseOPUbtu
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 19, 2019
Read more: Trump threatens to end Iran
By shooting down an unwanted aerial object in its airspace, or even beyond that which will be cleared in coming days, Iran has made the statement that it not going to compromise its security at any cost. And the response from the US administration tells that escalation will only be the desperate last resort when every other option expires, which is still a long way to go.