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London Economist Complains That ‘America Is Unwilling To Strike Iran Itself’

In a nonchalant Feb. 6 article The Economist, discussing the difficulties of getting Southwest Asia under control, headlined “Why Iran Is Hard To Intimidate,” comes close to calling for the U.S. to just go ahead and bomb Iran directly.

“In practice, though, Iran has proved devilishly difficult to deter. It is hard to put off insurgents and militias through air campaigns; their goals are attrition and survival, not well-ordered governance, and they are willing to sustain casualties. Full-scale invasion is the only real way to deter them and the history of such interventions is salutary… Mr. Biden’s hawkish critics think they know why: American threats are not credible because America is unwilling to strike Iran itself.”

One of the problems, the article comments, is that Iran “has a powerful network of proxies and some degree of support from both Russia and China. A round of American strikes might make it even more inclined to use those proxies—and, perhaps, to dash for a nuclear bomb as insurance against future attacks.” The U.S. base at al-Tanf in Syria isn’t much help either: “In practice, though, it mostly serves as a bull’s eye for Iranian-backed groups whenever they want to lash out at America.”

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