America’s murky, no-exit mission in Iraq has created crisis conditions with Iran, writes Danny Sjursen in Anti War.
“The ill-advised and illegal 2003 US military invasion caused most of the current madness; Trump’s “maximum pressure” sanctions and saber-rattling predictably and demonstrably backfired; Iran’s offensive military capacity is actually rather limited and wildly exaggerated,” Sjursen argues. “Yet the one weapon it does have – as do the militias Tehran may or may not have sway over – are several variants of ballistic and cruise missiles.” Now, “it’s the muddled US military mission and ongoing troop presence itself that creates nearly all the conditions for current crisis.”
Thus, America’s strategy in Iraq plays right into Iran’s hand, not only by strengthening the position of hardliners, but also by “turning our ever-adulated soldiers into little more than bewildered rocket-magnets.”
Yet, there is a bigger picture: continued military presence in Iraq feeds the false-binary narrative that Iran is the supreme enemy. This supervillain narrative doesn’t serve American foreign policy interests, but it certainly serves defense contractors. “Iranophobia and Tehran-alarmism are gifts that keep on giving – if mostly to the likes of Lockheed and Raytheon – in Washington. Only there’s hardly any basis to the threat,” writes Sjursen. “ The whole thing’s political theater, a false binary blame game meant for domestic consumption and signal-sending to America’s Israeli and Gulf Monarchy mates. Thing is, real people die behind such drama.”
As the human cost of America’s failures in Iraq continues to mount, one thing is clear: its all risk, and no reward.
Read the full article here.