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…

 

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

Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

The tragic end of Jamal Khashoggi should serve as a reminder that it’s time for the United States to move on and leave the motley crew of undesirable Middle Eastern partners, from Israel to Saudi Arabia, to their collective fate. They deserve each other.


Jobs should not be an excuse to arm a murderous regime that not only appears to be behind the assassination of a U.S. resident and respected commentator but is also responsible for thousands of civilian casualties in Yemen—the majority killed with U.S-supplied bombs, combat aircraft, and tactical assistance.


The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


RightWeb
share