Biden His Time While Americans Die | Steve Berman

Since October 17, there have been about 165 attacks on U.S. and coalition forces, according to CNN. The United States maintains troops in around 750 bases worldwide, Al-Jazeera reported in 2021 after our last boots left the ground in Afghanistan. In the Middle East, we have approximately 45,400 American military deployed as of the end of last October, according to Axios, including 2,936 in Jordan. It should be obvious to anyone with a map and operating in intellectual honesty that we cannot protect all these troops in all these places, all the time.

In a place somewhere in western Jordan named “Tower 22”, three soldiers were killed by a drone strike the Pentagon claims was carried out by Iranian-backed militias. We, apparently, launch and recover our own drones from Tower 22, and a lot of other remote places around the Middle East. Observing when our drones depart and return, our enemy simply launched theirs to coincide with an expected arrival of ours, counting on us to mistake their offensive flight for our returning drone. It worked, and Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria, all based in Georgia, were killed.

These deaths were inevitable. Our response, or rather, lack of one, should not be inevitable, but sadly, seems to be.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a sort of foreign legion maintained by the Iranian regime to train and equip militants in its sphere of influence. The Council on Foreign Relations estimates about a dozen groups varying in size from 3,000 to 45,000 are under IGRC’s wing. The total number of militants numbers at least 125,000 and could be as many as 300,000. They operate in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq (among other places), which surround Jordan. Our troops in that region are severely outnumbered.

As if none of this could be foreseen, the Biden administration is pursuing its normal policy of not expanding any conflict, which means a minimal response, if any. To the intentional act of war against our military, the White House’s response is:

The three American service members we lost were patriots in the highest sense. And their ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten by our nation. Together, we will keep the sacred obligation we bear to their families. We will strive to be worthy of their honor and valor. We will carry on their commitment to fight terrorism. And have no doubt — we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing. 

At “a time and in a manner our choosing” (sic) is weak tea. Basically Biden is saying here that the United States is willing to accept casualties among our troops, which are spread out dangerously thin and outnumbered in the region, and we will at some point surely lob some Tomahawks into a building or weapons store in the middle of a desert. Militants may die, but nobody of consequence. It won’t really hurt the enemy, lest they decide to expand the war. Biden’s words project timidity.

Can I be honest? In a weird way, I sort of miss the bat guano crazy times where one moment Donald Trump was buddy-buddy with Kim Jong-un, and the next he’s threatening Armageddon. Trump wasn’t scared to tick off our allies, and also not scared of killing Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of IRGC-QF, the Quds Force, or Iran’s foreign operations, as he peacefully drove down a paved highway to the Baghdad airport. It was an assassination, pure and simple. The DOD’s lawyers strained credulity through a fine sieve to come up with a legal justification, but settled on a version of “he needed killin’.” It was also an act of war against Iran.

This kind of play wasn’t just a Trump thing: President Obama ordered the unconstitutional and extra-legal elimination of a United States citizen, government lawyers claiming that the president has unchecked authority to kill Americans outside of combat zones, because they are deemed a threat. I wondered where Trump’s lawyers got the notion that a president could order Seal Team Six to kill a political rival and face no legal consequences, and I think I found it.

We don’t have to worry about extra-legal assassinations, provocations, or strikes against our own citizens with Biden at the helm. The only people who seem to be at risk on Biden’s watch are the ones wearing U.S. military uniforms, who are open-season for our enemies to take pot-shots.

President Biden’s guiding principle is that he’s never seen a war he was willing to risk widening, and the best way to not widen a war is to pretend to damage the enemy while they keep attacking us. Ask the Houthis how this works.

Biden spreads American muscle laced with timid words all over the globe.

American policy in Ukraine is to supply just enough munitions and weapons systems to keep them in the fight against Putin, but not enough to actually win, because that would widen the war. Our policy with Iran is containment, but not enough to discourage them enough from greenlighting Hamas’ October 7 barbaric pogrom. Our policy with a bold China is to declare complete support for Taiwan but with the same lips assure China that we won’t get too much in the way should the PLA decide to take it. 

President Xi has all but annexed the East China Sea, and controls Asia’s major shipping lanes, engaging in dangerous fly-bys of U.S. Navy ships and aircraft. They troll us and we “de-escalate.”

I am no war hawk. I don’t advocate starting wars (they do tend to start themselves). But when we place our troops all over the world, and our enemies feel free to kill them, knowing our dedication to “not widening” wars outweighs any penalty they might be made to pay, we are actually working against our own goals.

The U.S. has 45,400 military personnel in and around Iran’s back yard, but not really in any formation to challenge their military domination of the region. I’d much rather we get those troops out of small, exposed places like Tower 22 and into more defensible locations. Then I hear myself say that out loud and think about Vietnam and fire bases, and how that worked out for us.

It’s very simple: when Iranian militants kill American troops spread out across the Middle East in pockets ripe for attack, the time of our choosing is now, and the manner of our choosing is to go after the enemy in a way that actually harms them. Yes, that might risk a “wider war.” But our enemies should fear taking that risk with us. Right now, they don’t.

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevengberman.

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