At The National Interest, Ali Demirdas outlines a scary possible future for U.S./Iranian relations. Demirdas sees a “protracted and highly elaborate American Iranian proxy war that very well may transcend the Middle East.” He writes (abridged):
The assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani has shocked the world.
Qassim Suleimani was considered the second most prominent figure after Ali Khamanei, the current Supreme Leader of Iran.
Suleimani was so prominent that he shaped Iran’s foreign policy. He was known to have sent a message to Gen. David Petraeus, who was the commander of the US forces in the Middle East in 2008, “Dear General Petraeus, you should know that I, Qassem Suleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan.”
Having to show restraint to overt bombing of American bases will remain a sore spot for Trump’s self-esteem.
So, what should the next phase look like? It will be a protracted and highly elaborate American Iranian proxy war that very well may transcend the Middle East.
A network of major Shia militia organizations such as Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Kata’ib Hezbollah, and Badr Organization in Iraq, Hezbollah and the Amal Movement in Lebanon, the Houthi Movement in Yemen has provided the Iranian leadership unprecedented opportunity to project power beyond Iran’s borders.
It has yet to be known whether Trump is going to fulfill his campaign promise of ‘bringing our boys back home,’ which, if happens, suggests Washington’s reliance on its own proxy forces, notably the Kurdish YPG.
One thing is almost certain; neither Iran nor America and Israel would want the other’s total defeat It is the growing Iranian threat that has legitimatized Israel within the wider Muslim-Arab Middle East.
Ali Demirdas, Ph.D. in political science from the University of South Carolina, Fulbright scholar, professor of international affairs at the College of Charleston (2011–2018).
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