Such platitudes and empty gestures are interpreted by Iran as a sign of weakness and invite further attacks. We learned that lesson again last week. As night follows day, the attacks have continued.
Last week, three suicide drones, manufactured in Iran, were flown into an American base in eastern Syria. Fortunately, there were no American casualties although there were injuries to our Syrian Free Army allies. Without doubt, the attack was carried out by one of Iran’s terrorist proxies in Syria. Right on cue, the same Army Col. Joe Buccino who told us last October that the president was determined to protect our troops issued another statement on Thursday declaring, “Attacks of this kind are unacceptable—they place our troops and our partner at risk and jeopardize the fight against ISIS.” Col. Buccino would have been better served by saying nothing at all rather than humiliating himself by saying something so vapid and meaningless.
The American people and U.S. service personnel should expect more such attacks, which will eventually lead to American casualties, until the U.S. retaliates against sites inside Iran. Here is the good news: Since drones were used in this recent attack, America has a clear target that does not require placing a single boot on the ground in Iran. We know where these drones are manufactured. A few cruise missiles launched from U.S. submarines or other American vessels against Iranian drone facilities should do the trick.
There is precedent for exactly this sort of action against Iran. In 1988, when Iran mined the Persian Gulf, almost sinking an American vessel, and Iran’s navy attacked American merchant ships, President Ronald Reagan ordered an attack on the Iranian navy. After having half his navy destroyed, the ayatollah surrendered. The attacks on American vessels ended and the mines in the Gulf were disarmed. Similarly, when President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the world’s leading terrorist, Iran began to rethink its attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq.
An attack on Iran today would deliver many additional benefits for the U.S., beyond persuading Iran to end its operations against our forces.
It will encourage Saudi Arabia to join the Abraham Accords and to lower oil prices. Saudi Arabia has been begging the Biden administration to pull out of JCPOA—the terrible Iran nuclear deal. The Saudis will take great comfort from any muscular American response to Iran and will use it as a cue to improve Saudi-American relations.
It will force China to think twice about invading Taiwan. China is emboldened when it sees American weakness. An American attack on Iran will go a long way (not the entire way) to removing the stain of Biden’s catastrophic surrender in Afghanistan.
Eric R. Levine is a founding member of the New York City law firm Eiseman Levine Lehrhaupt & Kakoyiannis, P.C. He is an essayist, political commentator and fundraiser for Republican candidates with an emphasis on the United States Senate.