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The new year began with a sudden change in direction for the Trump administration’s foreign policy.
In response to accelerating attacks by Iranian forces on U.S. interests and the ships of our allies, President Trump reversed his previous policy of restraint, and ordered the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to launch five attacks on Iran’s terrorist proxies along the Iraq-Syria border, killing close to 25 fighters.
(1) This attack on the U.S. embassy (an act that is uniformly accepted by governments around the world as an act of war) was fomented by Iran’s government.
(2) General Qassim Soleimani — the notorious leader of Iran’s Quds Force, the foreign arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which consists of an army of an estimated 10,000-15,000 well-trained soldiers, was responsible for leading this attack, and innumerable other attacks on American soldiers and interests over the past 20 years — was soon to be on the ground in Iraq.
(3) Soleimani was scheduled to arrive at a specific location at a specific time, and there was a window within which he could be hit. The ideal target location to hit Soleimani, President Trump was told, was on the road on which terrorists trained and armed by his Quds Force had murdered hundreds of U.S. soldiers, primarily via Iran-produced (a) roadside bombs, and (b) explosive-formed projectiles (EFPs), which cut through even heavy armor.
(4) Soleimani was plotting massive new attacks on U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq.
President Trump authorized a military attack on Soleimani, at the recommended location.
On January 4, Soleimani and several of his associates, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a top commander of the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq, which (along with the Quds Force) allegedly organized the attack on the U.S. embassy, were killed in a U.S. drone strike. Here is the raw footage from the immediate aftermath, of what was left of the SUV in which Soleimani was traveling:
Here is a deeper analysis by Cliff May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Andrew McCarthy, former U.S. federal prosecutor, who asserts assassinating Soleimani was completely within the boundaries of the laws of warfare, and investigative journalist Lee Smith:
President Trump has now gone on record with a vow to retaliate strongly, and possibly “disproportionately,” against any further attack on American forces or facilities. Iran has vowed to seek revenge for Soleimani’s killing, and announced that it will no longer comply with the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA), which it never signed in any case.
On the evening of January 7, Iran unleashed a volley of a reported 15 ballistic missiles against Iraqi installations that house U.S. and coalition military personnel, but apparently did not cause any human casualties:
Several key questions:
(1) Why now?
(2) What’s next?
(3) How will it end?
My speculation as to the answers to these questions:
(1) Why now? Answer: With U.S. sanctions on Iran ratcheting up, and the terrorist regime’s GDP falling 5% annually, Iran probably thought it was a good time to go on the offense, particularly with Israeli elections coming up in March, and America’s elections coming up in November, thereby theoretically reducing the flexibility of these nations’ leaders. Iran likely also calculated that rising Middle East turmoil could hurt the real-election prospects of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump, the only two world leaders that it is afraid of.
(2) What’s next? Answer: It is very difficult to forecast accurately, but look for: (a) Numerous Iranian cyber-attacks; (b) An increased rush to produce or buy nuclear weapons; (c) More embassy attacks; (d) Local kidnappings; (e) Attacks on oil tankers; (f) Drone attacks against Saudi Arabia; and g) terror attacks against soft American targets in Africa, Latin America, and the U.S. itself. Iran’s key goal would be to hurt President Trump’s chances of re-election (through either endless war or fruitless negotiations), as insincere opposition from the Democrat opposition increases.
(3) How will it end? Answer: Iran runs the #1 terror organization in the world, divided into 3 separate forces: its physical, narco, and cultural terror arms, numbering several hundred thousand operatives worldwide. As Iran’s finances implode, these three terror arms will shrink, and popular protests from dissenters both within Iran, and neighboring Iraq (against Iran’s brutal influence there) will increase. The regime will probably collapse within 1-2 years, or faster, likely aided by if the USAF destroys Iran’s nuclear sites, possibly in collaboration with Israel, and friendly Arab air forces. The history of evil is that it only gives up after it is badly beaten, then destroyed.. After this corrupt regime collapses, look for good relations between the Iranian and American people, as we are natural allies, not natural enemies.
I believe good news is coming, but only after a challenging 1-2 year period of time.
Fasten your seat belts.