President Donald Trump appears to have personally scratched a plan to strike Iran on Thursday night, in response to the nation’s destruction of an American drone aircraft. The President had ordered the operation earlier in the day.
The development comes as tensions approach all-time highs between the United States and the Shia Islamist Republic. Leading hawks within the White House such as National Security Advisor John Bolton were said to have sought a forceful response in reaction to the earlier incident, which saw a U.S Navy drone shot down over the Persian Gulf. It’s unclear if the drone was in international waters.
A cancellation of a potentially provocative and complicated operation signals a victory for the restrained foreign policy the President became known for championing as a candidate. Earlier Thursday the President expressed his opinion that Iran “made a mistake” by destroying the unmanned aircraft in a White House briefing.
If his instincts prove correct, a retaliatory attack on Iran would have been significantly out of proportion to Iran’s actions. Few Americans or national security experts are exactly pining to see the United States execute a full-fledged and dangerous attack on Iranian assets in response to the destruction of a robot.
A planned U.S military operation in response to the drone incident involved several Navy vessels and aircraft, and quite possibly would have targeted the Iranian navy and armed forces in a escalatory manner far outweighing a mistaken destruction an unmanned American drone.
There’s cause to believe the operation, that was shelved at the last second, was significantly more complex than the U.S Navy’s 2017 bombardment of Syrian government infrastructure after an alleged chemical weapons strike on Islamist-aligned rebels in that country.
With a major military operation against the Islamic Republic of Iran placed on the shelf, it remains to be seen if administration hawks John Bolton and Mike Pompeo will try to orchestrate another military confrontation with the Middle Eastern regional power.
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