Summary of What a War With Iran Would Look Like

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

What a War With Iran Would Look Like summary

Editorial Rating

8

Recommendation

Iran-hawk John Bolton may no longer be President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, but the risk of war between the United States and Iran remains. Former US official and Iran expert Ilan Goldenberg explains how a series of misunderstandings, show of force posturings and face-saving measures could lead to a war nobody wants. Weighing the costs and thinking through the worst-case scenarios of an all-out war with Iran is an important first step in taking measures to prevent it. Goldenberg’s analysis provides a sobering starting point.

About the Author

Ilan Goldenberg is Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He previously served as Iran Team Chief in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Summary

Tensions between the US and Iran are high – and the risk of the two stumbling into an all-out war is growing.

The Trump administration has ratcheted up tensions with Iran by withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement, imposing a new set of harsh economic sanctions on Iran, and reinforcing US military capabilities in the region. In addition, the US has publicly accused Iran of orchestrating recent attacks on foreign oil tankers. Although neither Iran nor the US seem eager to go to war, the risk for these tit-for-tat provocations to result in a larger military conflagration is real. Iran, for example, may take its provocations a step too far and may no longer be able to credibly deny its involvement in a proxy attack against US targets or US allies. Such a proxy attack could provoke a one-time US retaliation to “reestablish deterrence.” Depending on Iran’s reaction to such a retaliatory strike, the situation has the potential to escalate fast. Iran may decide to use its proxy forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria or Yemen...


Comment on this summary

More on this topic

America’s Great Satan
8
The Unwanted Wars
7
Reckless in Riyadh
2
America’s War for the Greater Middle East
9
Bytes, Bombs and Spies
7
Dawn of the Code War
8

Related Channels