Last week, President Trump was mulling over “options” with advisers to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. The president was advised not to do so by his advisers in the hopes of avoiding a large-scale all-out conflict with one of the main powers in the Middle East.
Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, spoke with the president against taking such action against Iran, an action that could put a stain on the Trump presidency. Considering that Pence’s closest aides are already prepping possibilities for the vice-president to run in the 2024 election, it makes sense for Pence to deter Trump from taking drastic actions in the final weeks of the administration.
The talks come after reports indicated that Iran was increasing its stockpile of explosive materials. The death of one of Iran’s most important security asset, Qasem Soleimani, and the response by Iran probably made Mr. Trump look at the option of attacking again. Whether the president assesses that Iran will not respond in strong force as it did with the death of Mr. Soleimani is a matter that can only be pondered upon with no answer. Surely, destroying Iran’s nuclear assets will not make them sit idly by this time around.
President Trump wants to go out with a bang, something that will solidify his administration. Usually, a president’s final year is aptly defined as the year of the sitting duck president. In this case, Trump losing the election caught everyone by surprise, sending the president on a quest to end the term with a lot of noise.
An attack on Iran will send reverberations across the Middle East which there will be no turning back from. Consequences that are not just specific to the Middle East, but on an international level as well. Trump’s advisers know this very well and, therefore, want to focus his attention to transitioning power to the new incoming administration.
An obvious consequence of an attack on Iran would also leave the incoming one ready for war. Biden, as president, will now lead a nation set on going to another endless war. Biden, like Nixon, will technically carry the full blame even though, like Nixon, it was his predecessor that started the conflict.
Thankfully (and hopefully we’ll never have to write such a headline), the discussion seemed to power off the president’s “options”…for now.