As of now, war with Iran does not look like it is on the short-term horizon. However, with a rather impulsive President like President Trump, we need to be prepared for that eventuality at any time. There are a few things that are clear that President Trump will not stand for. First off, he will not be bullied – certainly not by a much smaller regime like Iran. Secondly, he will not hesitate to use all of the power at his disposal if he deems it necessary to safeguard the interests of the United States.
No Protracted Battles
There is no question that President Trump, like so many Americans, was profoundly impacted by the long protracted War in Vietnam. He probably believes like many other Americans that the war was either a defeat, or managed poorly, or both. Tens of thousands of American soldiers were not worth the containment of Communism that was reached in the Vietnamese theatre. It seems clear that President Trump would have preferred a much quicker and more ruthless carpet-bombing strategy than the strategy that the body bag strategy that the US Generals employed. Yes, the Communist threat needed to be contained, but not at any cost. The cost was way too high, and the United States Military had other means at it’s disposal.
The Gulf War as a Successful Model of a War
In 1991, the United States, under the leadership of George H. Bush, brought in massive amount of soldiers into the Middle East. He built up a coalition of Armies – from England, Australia, and wherever Secretary of State, James Baker, could bring soldiers from – into Saudi Arabia. This was in order to fend off aggression from Saddam Hussein into Kuwait that then threatened Saudi Arabia. In a nutshell, Saddam Hussein threatened the oil prices of most of the Western World. Anti-war demonstrations focused on the term, “No War for Oil. But, in truth, most of the United States was squarely behind a short – and not too costly war – if it would fend off an economic catastrophe.
This is probably what President Trump is telling his military leadership. He is probably asking them for options for a quick battle that will make it clear to any rogue regime that the United States is not going to be pushed around. This is a welcome change after the appeasement policies of Barack Obama.
But the key question must always be asked – for what reason are we going to war? The answers must satisfy the cost in lives – even if they are minimal like they were in the Persian Gulf War of 1991.