Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Trump Trashes Diplomacy, Opens Path To War With Iran

 

Lobelog

 

President Trump’s decision to violate and withdraw from the Iran anti-nuclear deal is one of the most dangerous foreign policy blunders in recent memory, setting the stage for a war that one analyst has noted could “make the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts look like a walk in the park.”

The decision to go back on a U.S. commitment to a deal that even U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Joseph Votel and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have acknowledged was working is the ultimate unforced error, and the potential consequences could not be more dire. Donald Trump is crowing about keeping his promise to scuttle the deal, but this is one promise that should never have been made.

The results of yesterday’s decision could include a greater chance that Iran will decide to acquire a nuclear weapon, along with a real possibility that uber-hawks like John “Bomb Iran” Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will use it as a stepping stone towards war, if not now then sometime in the near future. The claims of Bolton and his allies in and out of government that tough talk or support for poorly organized and widely unpopular opponents of the Iranian regime like the Mujahedeen Khalq (MEK) will be enough to drive the current government from power are a fantasy. For President Trump’s closest advisors, the true choice is diplomacy or war. And unlike the fiasco in Iraq, when the Bush administration managed to bring a few allies along for the ride, in a war against Iran the U.S. would be going it alone. A war with Iran is not likely to play well with the American public at large or even with Trump’s base, the majority of whom believed him when he said he wouldn’t repeat the mistake of launching yet another Mideast war.

Donald Trump’s claims that he is open to negotiating a “better deal” down the road ring hollow considering the effectiveness of the deal he has just thrown away. The Iran deal was working. The product of painstaking negotiations among Iran, the U.S., France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, and China, the Iran anti-nuclear deal reduced that nation’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium by 98%, destroyed a major plutonium production facility, and subjected that nation’s nuclear program to rigorous inspections. By eliminating bomb-making materials and keeping Iran from developing new ones without being detected, the deal blocked any pathway to a nuclear weapon that Iran would otherwise have had. By contrast, the Trump administration has no viable diplomatic plan, and certainly not one that can bring other nations on board.

It remains to be seen whether the other parties to the deal can salvage it in some form in the wake of Trump’s withdrawal. But one thing is clear: it is the United States, not Iran, that has decided to trash the deal, over the strong objections of its European allies.

The chances of “success” in a Trump administration military strike on Iran—whether “success” means ending its nuclear program or provoking a change to a U.S.-friendly regime—are close to zero. A U.S. attack will likely encourage Iran to resume and accelerate its nuclear weapons program. And regime change could require a massive bombing campaign or perhaps even a ground invasion. And keep in mind that this is all coming from a president who has repeatedly called the equally ill-advised U.S. invasion of Iraq a “disaster.”

The imperative now is to head off any Trump administration efforts to prepare the ground for war against Iran and to remind the American public that reneging on the Iran deal is a reckless and unnecessary move that undermines the best chance of ensuring a nuclear-free Iran. The administration should be made to pay a high political price for this deeply counterproductive decision.

William D. Hartung is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the more effective U.S. lobbying outfits, aims to ensure that the United States backs Israel regardless of the policies Israel pursues.


Erik Prince, former CEO of the mercenary group Blackwater, continues to sell security services around the world as controversies over his work—including in China and the Middle East, and his alleged involvement in collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia—grow.


Gina Haspel is the first woman to hold the position of director of the CIA, winning her confirmation despite her history of involvement in torture during the Iraq War.


Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) is a pressure group founded in early 2019 that serves as a watchdog and enforcer of Israel’s reputation in the Democratic Party.


Richard Grenell is the U.S. ambassador to Germany for the Donald Trump administration, known for his brusque and confrontational style.


Zalmay Khalilzad is Donald Trump’s special representative to the Afghan peace process, having previously served as ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq under George W. Bush.


Robert Joseph played a key role in manipulating U.S. intelligence to support the invasion of Iraq and today is a lobbyist for the MEK.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

The Senate on Wednesday passed a measure mandating the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Saudi/UAE-led war against Houthi rebels in Yemen. The vote marks the first time since the War Powers Act of 1973 became law that both chambers of Congress have directed the president to withdraw American forces from a conflict.


The Trump administration’s failed “maximum pressure” approach to Iran and North Korea begs the question what the US president’s true objectives are and what options he is left with should the policy ultimately fail.


In the United States, it’s possible to debate any and every policy, domestic and foreign, except for unquestioning support for Israel. That, apparently, is Ilhan Omar’s chief sin.


While Michael Cohen mesmerized the House of Representatives and President Trump resumed his love affair with North Korea’s Kim Jong, one of the most dangerous state-to-state confrontations, centering in Kashmir, began to spiral out of control.


The Trump administration’s irresponsible withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear agreement undermined Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and emboldened hardliners who accused him of having been deceived by Washington while negotiating the agreement. However, the Iranian government could use the shock of Zarif’s resignation to push back against hardliners and take charge of both the domestic and foreign affairs of the country while Iran’s foreign opponents should consider the risks of destabilizing the government under the current critical situation.


Europe can play an important role in rebuilding confidence in the non-proliferation regime in the wake of the demise of the INF treaty, including by making it clear to the Trump administration that it wants the United States to refrain from deploying INF-banned missiles in Europe and to consider a NATO-Russian joint declaration on non-first deployment.


The decline in Israel’s appeal to Democrats is directly related to the wider awareness of the country’s increasingly authoritarian nature, its treatment of Palestinians, and its reluctance to take substantive steps toward peace. Pro-Israel liberals face a fundamental paradox trying to reconcile Israel’s illiberalism with their political values.


RightWeb
share