Monday, May 13, 2019

Trump will not invade Iran

I have no doubt that John Bolton is relentlessly pushing Trump to go to war with Iran. War with Iran is what Bolton has wanted for decades. I just don't think the Trump administration is competent enough to pull a war off.

Look at how the Bush administration got the U.S. to go to war in Iraq. They were trying to convince the American public to invade Iraq a year before the war started (the "Axis of Evil speech was delivered on January 29, 2002, 14 months before the U.S. invaded Iraq). The Congressional vote authorizing the war was passed in October 2002, five months before the shooting started. In the run-up to the Congressional vote and then the war itself, the Bush Administration was laser-focused on selling the war to the American public and its allies.

The Trump Administration has none of that focus. A confrontation with Iran has not been the top story. It is not even in the top five on most days. Trump doesn't seem to be building an international coalition to attack Iran (although there are several countries in the Middle East who would welcome a U.S. invasion). Plus, the Administration is also threatening to attack Venezuela.

Selling a war is harder than most people assume, even against a country as thoroughly demonized as Iran. I would not be surprised if Trump authorized an attack against Iran. But it is not going to invade and topple the government. No matter what Trump's inner circle might want, I don't think they are capable of pulling something like that off.