(Defense News) The attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities on Sept. 14 served as a reality check for countries struggling to define the level of the threat posed by drone swarms and low-altitude cruise missiles.
- "Lebanon, Hezbollah and Iran’s Emerging Client State," Tony Badran and Jonathan Schanzer, The Wall Street Journal
- "U.S.-Iran next moves — Déjà vu of Obama administration mistakes?" Jacob Nagel, The Hill
Michael Rubin writes: Military action against Iran seems increasingly likely as intelligence and forensic evidence collected in the wake of the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations suggests Iranian responsibility. While diplomats, intelligence analysts, and politicians can debate the wisdom of military strikes, if the United States (or Saudi) government makes such a decision, what might be the primary targets? Here are five. – Washington Examiner
by Samuel Tadros via The Caravan
In the introduction to his book, Power, Faith and Fantasy, the Middle East historian turned diplomat turned Israeli politician, Michael Oren, reflected on the chosen title. These three themes had guided the American adventure in the region power or “the pursuit of American interests,” faith or “the impact of religion in the shaping of American attitudes and policies,” and finally fantasy, “the idea of the Middle East has always enchanted Americans.” To be fair to America, it was hardly unique in its fantasies. In his magnum opus, The Chatham House Version, Elie Kedourie had aptly diagnosed the British fantasy “all those episodes show successive and cumulative manifestations of illusion, misjudgment, and failure.” Nowhere has this been truer than in the Holy Land.
By CONRAD BLACK, Special to the Sun | September 19, 2019
The Jerusalem Post
September 15, 2019
From Stratfor Worldview: “Given the facilities' geographic location, the Saudi air defense focus on Yemen, the angles of impact, the overflight reports over Kuwait and debris recovered from a failed cruise missile, it is quite likely that the attacks came from Iraqi or Iranian territory — or both."
Tom Rogan writes: But short of Saudi military action, it makes sense for President Trump to pledge, as he did on Wednesday, to “substantially increase sanctions” on Tehran. Absent this new pain, Iran will see its attack as a stunning success: as proof that it can escalate against America’s international order without consequence and thus as a reason to risk more aggressive attacks in the future, including against America. – Washington Examiner
Ilan Berman writes: The stakes are exceptionally high. A cogent, hard-hitting response to the Saudi attacks could go a long way toward reassuring America’s Middle Eastern partners that it remains committed to repelling Iranian aggression and safeguarding their security. A lackluster U.S. reply, on the other hand, would inevitably result in a massive loss of confidence in the Trump administration among the countries of the region. That, in turn, raises the risks of a wider conflict, as the Saudis (and perhaps others) are prompted to take matters into their own hands. – The Hill
by Bruce Thornton via Front Page Magazine
We're stuck in fossilized paradigms while our enemies grow stronger.