UPDATE (06/13/19): After two oil tankers were attacked off the coast of Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly claimed Iran was responsible, escalating tensions in the region.
In April of 2018, Trump appointed John Bolton, a known Iran hawk who served in the Bush White House, as his National Security Advisor. Bolton’s position that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction prompted the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq. One month after Bolton’s appointment, the Trump administration announced the United States would withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal, a diplomatic agreement reached in 2015 to ensure Iran does not develop nuclear weapons. The highly criticized decision began a downward spiral in US-Iran relations.
Over the last few months, the Trump administration has escalated its hawkish rhetoric about Iran, prompting concerns that the White House is now trying to push Iran into war.
In early May, Bolton inexplicably announced he was deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to send Iran a “clear and unmistakable message.”
Saudi Arabia - who is already engaged in a US-subsidized proxy war with Iran in Yemen - announced two of their oil tankers had been sabotaged, raising tensions in the region.
The US ordered all of its “non-emergency U.S. government employees” from Iraq, citing heightened threats in the Middle East.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has developed a plan with Bolton to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East, a deployment nearly the size of the American force that invaded Iraq in 2003.
In late May, Trump ordered an additional 1500 troops to the Middle East for what he called “mostly protective” purposes.
We must not stumble into another costly, tragic and endless war in the Middle East. Congress must step up and speak out against any invasion of Iran and assert their constitutional war power authority.