Thursday, September 26, 2019

Why Trump Is Winning on Iran

Photo: Amr Nabil/Associated Press
The U.S. should focus on sanctions while letting the Saudis cope with any nasty local spillovers.
Delicacy forbids resorting to the suggestion that comes to mind in response to an Arab academic declaiming in the pages of the New York Times against Donald Trump ’s restraint with respect to Iran’s military provocations. “Trump, in his response to Iran, is even worse than Obama,’’ Abdulkhaleq Abdulla told the paper, which described him as “a prominent political scientist in the United Arab Emirates.”
He went on: “Now an Arab Gulf strategic partner has been massively attacked by Iran—which was provoked by Trump, not by us—and we hear Americans saying to us, you need to defend yourselves! It is an utter failure and utter disappointment in this administration.”
The Trump sanctions are having their desired effect, weakening the Iranian regime and indicating why its regional machinations are ultimately leading toward a dead end. This is already serving Arab interests incidentally. If there is some regional blowback, such as the drone and cruise-missile attack on a Saudi oil facility, in the spirit of burden-sharing let the Saudis take the steps necessary to repay or repel such attacks if they wish.
Our policy is working. Only when and if it serves our interest do we need to respond militarily (though it might be useful to strengthen the effect of sanctions by attacking under-the-table Iranian oil exports). It does not need to be done, as Arab and other critics suggest, to validate the 40-year U.S. policy of preventing any rival power from dominating the gulf and its oil resources.
We don’t have to prove that commitment at the drop of every hat. One of the many benefits of the U.S. domestic oil resurgence is that we don’t have to overreact to lesser disruptions of the oil flow from every regional spat or upset. The world economy remains adequately supplied. If prices go up a bit, the U.S. now benefits as a major producer, offsetting some of the damage on the consumer side.
Read the rest from Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. HERE.

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1 comment:

First Amendment said...

Exactly how does the $400 billion China/Iran oil deal fit in with idea of "winning." And how are Saudis supposed to "reple such attacks if they wish," when they spent multiple billions on a Pentagon system that proved to be a total failure?