Sometimes the only way to prevent a war is to step right up to the brink of it with weapons pointed in the right direction. It happened with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Some would argue it happened when Alexander Haig lied to the world about being “in control” of the White House following an assassination attempt on President Reagan. It’s a perpetual state of existence for Israel. And today, we may be seeing the United States backing down Iran after receiving intelligence that they intended to attack.
I’ve speculated about the seemingly conspicuous chain of events that have put a nation-pounding level of a U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and throughout the Centcom AOR. The defection of Brigadier General Ali Nasiri from Iran’s intelligence branch brought a treasure trove of military intelligence our way, prompting me to believe Israel was considering taking out Iran’s nuclear program while the U.S. military acted as cover against the inevitable counterstrike.
That may still be the case, but it’s also possible they believe their window of opportunity has closed since Iran has certainly beefed up defenses around their facilities and moved what they could to new locations following Nasiri’s defection. Then again, perhaps that was never on the table and we can take at face value that the intelligence told us Iran was planning attacks through their proxies.
But other pieces of information, such as rumors that the U.S. was considering sending over 100,000 troops to the region and the attacks allegedly prompted by Iran against Saudi pipelines and oil tankers, makes it seem likely the United States knows Iran’s plans and are sending a clear message: “Don’t even think about it.”
This is where National Security Adviser John Bolton comes in handy. It’s why his name has been plastered all over news reports across the globe. It’s why he was the one who sent out the initial release about sending the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to the Persian Gulf in the first place. He’s been calling for the United States to attack Iran for the better part of two decades. If you’re going to carry a big stick against Iran, Bolton’s the guy you want holding it if you want the message delivered.
Some historians have speculated Secretary of State Alexander Haig intentionally misled the world about his “control” of the White House to send a clear message to the Soviet Union. It’s known that after Reagan was shot, Soviet military leadership met to consider a preemptive strike. In the confusion of the U.S. Commander in Chief being shot, it may have been possible for the Soviets to take down their enemy once and for all without mutually assured destruction, at least that’s what they considered as a possibility.
Haig was a retired four-star general and former NATO Supreme Commander where he built a reputation of being a hawk against the Warsaw Pact nations. If there was anyone America needed to go on worldwide television and declare he was in charge, it was Haig. The Soviets wouldn’t doubt his resolve if he had temporary control over American nuclear capabilities.
All of this is rumor and speculation. If it’s true, that’s the sort of information that would never be revealed. If it’s not true, then it was a blessing nonetheless.
Bolton could be the modern day version of Haig. If Iran (and apparently the rest of the world) believes President Trump is taking Bolton’s advice, they would have reason for concern. There is no doubt any attacks, even by their proxies, would lead to a massive counterstrike by the United States directly against Iran’s military. With the firepower that’s currently deployed to Iran, we could cripple their military in a matter of weeks without sending in a single ground troop. Bombers, five ships loaded with cruise missiles, and an aircraft carrier could devastate a nation the size of Iran.
By no means should we not be worried. As with everything surrounding Iranian-American tensions these days, all we have access to is speculation and saber rattling. War may very well be on the near horizon. We cannot let our guard down for an instance.
John Bolton may just be the perfect guy to scare Iran into backing down on whatever plans we learned of from their defector. I pray this is the case. If either nation is really planning on waging war, God help us all.