A deadly opening attack. Nearly untraceable, ruthless proxies spreading chaos on multiple continents. Costly miscalculations. And thousands — perhaps hundreds of thousands — killed in a conflict that would dwarf the war in Iraq.
Welcome to the US-Iran war, which has the potential to be one of the worst conflicts in history.
Washington and Tehran remain locked in a months-long standoff with no end in sight. The US has imposed crushing sanctions on Iran’s economy over its support for terrorism and its growing missile program, among other things, after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal last year; Iran has fought back by violating parts of the nuclear agreement and downing an American military drone.
To hear President Donald Trump tell it, that last incident brought the US within 10 minutes of launching warplanes and dropping bombs on Iran. Had Trump gone through with the planned strike, it’s possible both nations would now be engaged in a much more violent, much bloodier struggle.
Importantly, both country’s leaders say they don’t want a war. But the possibility of one breaking out anyway shouldn’t be discounted, especially since an Iranian insult directed at Trump last month led him to threaten the Islamic Republic’s “obliteration” for an attack on “anything American.” In other words, Tehran doesn’t have to kill any US troops, diplomats, or citizens to warrant a military response — it just has to try. [Continue reading…]