Enough is Enough

Enough is Enough

Interventionist policy is dragging us to the brink of war

In recent years, the relationship between the United States and Iran has grown increasingly hostile and icy, with both countries painting the other as uncooperative and throwing a large number of insults and threats at each other in the process. These relations, while never truly friendly, has gotten worse since the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and placed greater sanctions on the Iranian government. This is despite the fact the Iranian government was complying with the deal according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to the New York Times. Since then, however, Iran has begun taking several major steps away from the deal, further adding to tensions globally, said Business Insider. With tension getting worse and worse, it becomes increasingly likely that a war could break out. This cannot happen.

The most recent example of growing conflict between the U.S. and Iran came after an attack on Saudi Arabian oil fields, attacks alleged to have occurred because of Iranian actions, according to BBC. After this attack and alleged guilt by Iran, the U.S. State Department accused Iran of ordering the attacks, said Newsweek. The U.S. sent troops, and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia to prevent further assaults on Saudi Oil which further incensed Iran. When asked for comment, Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said that any strikes on Iran by the U.S. would lead to all-out war, according to Politico. The consequences of all-out war would be disastrous for the world economy as Iran controls the Strait of Hormuz, from which thirty percent of all global oil trade flows through, said Reuters. Open conflict with Iran would mean a dramatic rise in oil prices not only for the U.S. but also for the world as crude oil trading would suffer across the board, bringing an already slowing global economy closer to stagnation, according to CBS.

Despite the U.S.’s immense military strength, a war with Iran would be utterly disastrous; Iran has a population of about 82 million people, more than twice Iraq’s current population of about 42 million. Iran also has an estimated 523 thousand active service members and 250 thousand reserve personnel; it is the 14th strongest military in the world, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The U.S. would undoubtedly win a war with Iran, but the consequences of said victory would be beyond anything we have suffered in Iraq. Should we occupy Iran, we would be responsible for preventing insurgencies from forming from one of the most powerful militaries in the region, establishing a government to replace the previous one and protecting a populace more than twice what we were responsible for in Iraq.

When America invaded Iraq a decade ago, the Iraqi population was even smaller, 25 million and yet, we were completely unable to establish a long term government and the nation has been a shadow of its former self ever since. I would be remiss if I did not also point out that Iran has a massive network of proxy groups they are supporting throughout the Middle East. These groups killed 608 American troops between 2003 and 2011, according to Newsweek. Now imagine if the U.S. were to invade Iran today, facing off against these groups, Iran’s half a million active service members, a quarter-million reservists all the while trying to occupy a larger country with a population comparable to Germany’s population of 83 million, said Reuters. Does anyone honestly believe this is going to end well? Russia and China are also allies of Iran, making this an even more impractical and arduous task.

Look, I am no fan of the Iranian government; I would sooner shake hands with Donald Trump than shake hands with any official from Iran, but I will not and cannot abide by the impetus of the chickenhawks of this administration to send America’s honored soldiers into a war that will get us nowhere. We have lost far too much and gained far too little in the last 18 years of bloody war and I am frankly, sick of it. Neither Secretary Pompeo nor Former Ambassador John Bolton ever served in the U.S. military, they have never suffered the consequences of war. Yet, they are some of the biggest hawks in American politics. Pompeo still is. They have no idea what they are sending people to endure on a human level.

We are the United States for God sake. We are the second-largest democracy in the world, the third most populous nation and the largest economy, according to CEOWorld. We can do with a pen what some countries cannot do with entire armies and yet, this myopic militarism remains within the public mind, completely negating the possibility of diplomacy and long term planning, preventing any room for negotiation. As I write, there are reports that Iran may release one of the tankers it ceased from the British, indicating a possible opening for cooler heads to prevail, but we can only benefit from it if we take action to cease that opportunity, said Reuters. I am all for aggressive and firm positions if it helps save American lives, but the moment we put American men and women on the line for little to no gain, I have to put my foot down. Enough is enough.

Sources:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUBg6Qp_N98
  2. https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-iran-near-brink-of-a-war-that-would-likely-devastate-both-sides-2019-5
  3. https://www.businessinsider.com/iran-nuclear-deal-explained
  4. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-oil-emirates-tanker/factbox-strait-of-hormuz-the-worlds-most-important-oil-artery-idUSKCN1SJ0PS
  5. https://www.businessinsider.com/iran-nuclear-deal-explained
  6. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/world/middleeast/iran-sanctions-lifted-nuclear-deal.html
  7. https://www.newsweek.com/saudi-measures-iran-respond-middle-east-1460536
  8. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-49782693
  9. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/oecd-economic-forecast-2020-the-global-economy-may-weaken-to-its-worst-pace-since-the-financial-crisis/
  10. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/21/iran-foreign-affairs-minister-saudi-arabia-1507267
  11. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-iran-tanker/iran-may-release-british-flagged-tanker-within-hours-swedish-owner-says-idUSKBN1W70D8
  12. https://www.businessinsider.com/iran-taking-big-step-allows-faster-development-of-nuclear-weapons-2019-9
  13. https://www.cfr.org/article/demographics-us-military
  14. https://www.newsweek.com/iran-us-iraq-war-troops-killed-efps-shiite-militias-1385990
  15. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-population/migration-pushes-german-population-to-record-high-of-83-million-idUSKCN1PJ0PA
  16. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/print_iz.html
  17. https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/07/25/moscow-and-beijing-have-tehrans-back/
  18. https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2017/10/20/the-worlds-7-largest-democracies-where-do-america-and-india-fit/
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Conor Kelly

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Conor Kelly is a staff writer for The Lorian.

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