moon on ain al-arad

By Following Trump’s Policies Biden’s ‘Deterrence’ Predictably Fails
Moon of Alabama, Mar 3 2021

A launch vehicle used in today’s attack

US politicians and military love to claim that they are acting to restore deterrence:

When the president illegally ordered the assassination of Soleimani in January of this year, administration officials eventually lined up behind the excuse that it was intended to “restore deterrence” against rocket attacks from Iranian-backed Iraqi militias. Even though these attacks have continued throughout the year much the same as before, we are back to the same old tired issuing of threats of military action in response to attacks that would not be happening if it were not for the president’s own reckless actions. Were it not for the president’s “maximum pressure” campaign, US forces in Iraq would face far fewer risks than they do today, and conflict between our governments would be much less likely. Had it not been for the president’s decision to order the illegal and provocative attack that killed Soleimani and an Iraqi militia leader, tensions between the US and Iran would not be as great as they are now. Trump’s approach to Iran for the last two and a half years has been to pick a fight and then blame the other side for responding to his provocations. Far from deterring attacks from Iranian-backed militias and the Iranian military itself, the Trump administration has been provoking and inviting them.

Biden and his administration continue, without any change, the Trump administration’s policies towards Syria, Iraq and Iran. Just like Trump Biden has claimed that last week’s airstrike on Iraqi security forces at the Iraqi-Syrian border was designed to deter from further missile strikes on US forces in Iraq:

Biden said Friday that Iran should view his decision to authorize US airstrikes in Syria as a warning that it can expect consequences for its support of militia groups that threaten US interests or personnel. “You can’t act with impunity. Be careful,” Biden said when a reporter asked what message he had intended to send with the airstrikes, which the Pentagon said destroyed several buildings in eastern Syria but were not intended to eradicate the militia groups that used them to facilitate attacks inside Iraq. At the Pentagon, Kirby said the operation was “a defensive strike” on a waystation used by militants to move weapons and materials for attacks into Iraq. But he noted that while it sent a message of deterrence and eroded their ability to strike from that compound, the militias have other sites and capabilities.

It is quite obvious that such “messaging” by airstrikes is nonsense that only guarantees that the cycle of violence escalates. As we noted after the recent strike:

The Biden administration has yet to learn the lesson the Trump learned when he tired to provoke Iran and its allies. It is the resistance that has escalation dominance in the Middle East. It can control the pace of further steps up the escalation ladder. It is willing to step up higher than the U.S. It knows how to use that ability.

Today the US received proof that the “message” it sent did not have the desired effect:

An air base hosting US, Iraqi and coalition forces in Iraq was targeted on Wednesday by at least 10 rockets, US coalition officials said. The Al-Asad air base was struck by grad missiles, Iraqi officials said earlier Wednesday. There are no reports of casualties or damage, and no group immediately claimed responsibility. The rocket launcher was found in the al-Bayader agricultural area near the town of al-Baghdadi, about 180 kilometers northwest of Baghdad, military sources told CNN. Sabereen news, a pro-Shia militia group, published images on its Telegram page claiming to show the launcher that attacked the base.

Additional news from Iraq says that a US contractor at the base died of a heart attack during the missile strike.A launch vehicle used in today’s attack. The previous strike on the US base in Erbil was done with three missiles. Today’s attack, coming after the US ‘deterrence strike’ on the unrelated target at the Syrian border, used at least 13 missiles of which ten hit their targets. The base is defended with C-RAM Systems but today’s strike proves that mass attacks can easily overwhelm these. Should the US insist on further escalation the next strike will again use more missiles. Interestingly all US news outlets fail to mention the constant attacks on US logistic convoys in Iraq. The latest one happened earlier today in south Iraq. While these attacks rarely cause more than material damage they are a constant reminder that plenty of Iraqis want the US to leave their country. The groups who commit these attacks do not depend on Iran and do not follow its wishes. They are local Iraqis who take revenge for the assassination by the Trump administration of two of their heroes. After the murder of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis a majority in the Iraqi parliament voted for a resolution that demands all foreign forces to leave. The Iranian government announced that the US, as punishment, would have to leave the Middle East. Neither the Iraqi groups nor Iran can be deterred from attempts to achieve those aims. The only way to change that is to fight, defeat and conquer Iran. But the US and Israel are not willing to pay the price for that. They have been outfoxed by Iran. It’s abilities are a real deterrence that is actually working. The Biden administration ignores the demands to leave Iraq and the Middle East at its own peril.

One Comment

  1. lobro
    Posted March 5, 2021 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    US contractor at the base died of a heart attack during the missile strike.

    is there an LGBT section of Arlington cemetery?

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