(There, got that done. As to the politics…)
I've been thinking over how the USA might best respond, if de-escalation is the goal. These are first thoughts based on very little research:
- To begin with, stand our ground. The Iraqi Sunnis do not want to be part of Iran in all but name. I wonder if most of the Iraqi Shia do.
- Iran is not likely to attack Israel with missiles; they know the Israelis will respond with overwhelming force. Hezbollah might undertake terrorist acts. I don't know if Iran is willing to target Dubai.
- If a counterattack is to be mounted, it would be best to target the Iranian missile bases, but it must be a well-planned one; no bases can be left functional.
Do I think Donald Trump is likely to do the sensible thing? Nah. I think he will either escalate, or cower.
And a long loud series of raspberryish croaks to all the armchair warriors who were certain Iran would not respond, and another one to all the US politicians who didn’t grasp that Trump’s assassination of Soleimani was a de facto declaration of war.