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President Trump Restrains the Dogs of War

Sept. 21, 2019 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump made several statements, yesterday, indicating that he still prefers non-military means (sanctions, in other words) for dealing with Iran. “I think the sanctions work,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “The military would work. That’s a very severe form of winning.” He rejected the rush-to-war approach advocated by others in defending restraint. “I think the strong person’s approach and the thing that does show strength would be showing a little bit of restraint,” Trump said. “Much easier to do it the other way and Iran knows that if they misbehave they are on borrowed time.” At the same time, President Trump left the door open for future military action, saying people thought he’d attack Iran “within two seconds,” but, he said, he has “plenty of time.” Trump’s announcement of his administration’s imposition of new sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran are an indication of his preference for non-military measures against Iran.

After his meeting with Morrison, Trump went into a White House meeting with State and Defense officials on Iran, a meeting in which, according to earlier news reports, the Pentagon would be presenting military options for Trump to consider, including air strikes, but that he would also be warned that military action against the Islamic Republic could escalate into war.

After the White House meeting, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford appeared in the Pentagon press briefing room to announce that the decision had been made to send additional U.S. military assets to the region primarily focused on air and missile defense capabilities. Esper said that there were three purposes to sending additional “defensive” support to Saudi Arabia. “First, to send a clear message that the United States supports our partners in the region,” he said. “Second, to ensure the free flow of resources necessary to support the global economy. And third, to demonstrate our commitment to upholding the international rules-based order that we have long called on Iran to obey.” The details of the deployment will not be released until sometime next week, but Dunford indicated that it would be “moderate” and not be in the thousands of troops.

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