US President Joe Biden is briefed by members of the national security team in the Situation Room on Monday Jan 29, 2024 on the latest developments regarding the attack on US service members in northeastern Jordan on Saturday night Jan 27, 2024.

World Watches For US Response To Iran

Tuesday, 01/30/2024

The Biden administration on Monday grappled with the idea of retaliation against Iran and its proxies without escalation of the conflict in the Middle East.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that President Biden would authorize military action in the Middle East early Tuesday local time. But no US strikes were recorded, further angering those in Washington who have been calling on Biden to ‘toughen up’ on Iran for many months –and who believe loss of American life must be avenged.

That is something the administration has promised, of course.

“The president and I will not tolerate attacks on US forces and we will take all necessary actions to defend the US and our troops,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Monday, reiterating that “all necessary actions” will be taken.

But “necessary actions” often come with consequences. And it’s those potential consequences, it seems, that the Biden administration finds unpalatable.

“We want to avoid broader escalation,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, betraying the prevailing perception within the US government that a substantive attack against Iran would lead to a full-scale war in a region that’s “incredibly volatile” already.

“I would argue that we’ve not seen a situation as dangerous as the one we’re facing now across the region at least since 1973, and arguably even before that,” Blinken said, warning at the same time that the US will respond “strongly” to anyone who attempts to use the crisis to attack American personnel.

Observers noted that just last September, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had said that the Middle Eat is "quieter today than it's been in two decades," highlighting what they believe is the administration's lack of a coherent Middle East policy.

For critics, Iran seems to be impervious to warnings from the Biden administration for that reason. After all, the original warning, “don’t, don’t, don’t” was never backed up by action. And later statements, such as “the message has been delivered to Iran” with the airstrikes against Houthis in Yemen turned out to be more of an expression of wish than a pronouncement of fact.

Still, many experts believe that a consequential strike is inevitable this time.

With all his worries about regional “peace and stability”, with all his aversion to an oil price hike that would hit American consumers, President Biden may find it all but impossible to enter a presidential race am image of weakness in foreign policy.

Biden’s potential rival in the 2024 elections Nikkie Haley lambasted the incumbent in a Fox News interview Monday, calling for “hitting Iran smart” and “taking away their capabilities” so that no more American soldiers are hurt.

“Joe Biden has been appeasing Iran for too long,” Haley posted on X. “Dictators and thugs only respond to strength.”

More than 40 US troops have been injured in last weekend’s attack, including five with traumatic brain injury. Since October, at least 160 attacks have been recorded against American soldiers in Iraq and Syria since October. Less than ten percent of those attacks have been reciprocated. And it’s precisely due to this imbalance in aggression, Biden critics say, that three soldiers have lost their lives.

“Real leadership requires real action,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, in a statement. “Attacks on our servicemembers, allies, and interests will continue until this president shows strong leadership and strikes fear in our enemies.”

President Biden has vowed a strong response to the attacks that he has laid at the door of the regime in Iran. The response, according to secretary Blinken, “could be multi-levelled, come in stages, and be sustained over time.”

Experts have predicted –or suggested– a range of possible retaliatory actions: from Soleimani-style killing of military men to cyber attacks on IRGC command and control, from CIA operations to airstrikes against Iran’s navy or even oil production facilities inside Iran.

Having sensed the danger, perhaps, Iranian officials have disowned last weekend’s attack on the US base in Jordan, claiming that the array of armed groups that the Islamic Republic funds, trains, equips, and calls “Resistance”, act independently and based on their specific agendas and contingencies.

According to ‘hit Iran’ advocates, these groups cannot function –or will drastically diminish– without Iran’s support. And Iran would withdraw its support only if it’s forced to, the argument goes.

More News

News Summary - DC
Hat Trick
IITV News (44) - DC via PCR1
News at a Glance

The Truth is in Your Voice

Send your Videos and Photos to us