Iran’s international behavior hasn’t changed much in the last 40-years, although its strategies have become more sophisticated. In some regards that makes Iran easier to deal with, as we understand their political will to control the region, and we know the tactics most often employed to do so. It’s a game of covert attacks using proxy terrorists, then complete denial – always pushing the limits.
When Iran makes headway towards their political objective at hand and we acquiesce, we are rewarding their behavior. Is it no wonder we see more of the same furthering similar objectives around the region. Basic common sense dictates that you will always get more of what you reward – in Iran’s case it is bad behavior. We’ve seen this pattern repeat so many times in the last four decades, it’s not hard to see why soft diplomacy isn’t working.
Tough Talk Isn’t Enough
Based on foreign policy analysis at FDD the U.S. needs to ratchet up sanctions and take a firmer stance on Iran after the oil tanker attacks. The most recent attack of a U.S. surveillance drone demonstrates Iran’s military prowess and bolsters its ability to protect its borders and shut down the Straits of Hormuz stopping oil flow from the region. However, if Iran did, President Trump said, ‘it wouldn’t be for long,” according to reports from the Associated Press.
So, what should be the response to Iran’s most recent actions; the covert attacks on the oil tankers and denial, then retreating to its own shores and posturing; “You better not try to attack us.” Well, David Adesnik of Fox News believes it’s time to get tough on Iran, as it is all the Iranian regime really understands. Past incidents throughout the Middle East have shown that when we stand our ground or take action Iran retreats, then waits, only to emerge again with a similar tactic elsewhere in the region.
UPI News argues that a full-court press must be maintained keeping maximum pressure on Iran, and that is the only policy that will bring Iran to the negotiating table with a legitimate deal it intends to ultimately comply with. Indeed, the Iranian problem is a moving target with incidents, attacks, and escalations happening in real-time.
Ultimate Goal in Iranian Crisis
Most military and geopolitical experts agree that keeping nuclear weapons from Iran is paramount. Iran is known for funding terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East and supplying them with advisors and weaponry. No one wants an Iranian proxy terrorist group with a nuclear weapon. Likewise, Iran has been creating chaos throughout the Middle East for decades, which needs to stop.
Okay, but why does the U.S. need to be involved?
Unfortunately, whether we like it or not we are already involved. National security and foreign policy research think tanks are working diligently to help bring a sense of stability to the region. Iran is a key player and has a powerful influence in the Middle East. The Iranian military is strong and offers a balance, but Iran’s international behavior left unchecked will only reward more of the same – an enduring crisis. As the Iranian crisis and other global uncertainty continue it’s hard to stay up-to-date on geopolitical matters. Nevertheless, it’s important to stay informed and understand the issues, because it’s all connected, and we all live on this same pale blue dot.
The U.S. should understand and our leadership should remain fully informed on the reoccurring pattern of Iran’s international behavior and act accordingly with what is known to work. That means getting tough and avoiding further appeasement. Re-living the definition of insanity by expecting different results is a dead end. We need to be thinking here.