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By Dr. Jeffrey Fowler
Faculty Member, School of Security and Global Studies, American Military University
With the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the U.S., the Obama administration and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) sent a clear message that Israelis, Saudis, and others opposed to Iran were largely on their own. The deal increased tensions in an already war-torn region and could provoke a nuclear arms race.
Iran Seeks to Dominate Middle East
With the surety of a nuclear-armed Shi’ite Iran looming, the Saudis and their allies will probably start a nuclear enrichment program (if they have not already done so) to counter Iran. In the “realpolitik” arena, Saudis and their allies have no other choice unless they wish to be politically overshadowed by Iran.
It is an “open secret” that Israel has nuclear weapons. The U.S. projection of weakness and political correctness sends a clear message to our enemies that now is a good time to push their own agendas. The Obama administration presented the argument that only two options existed – war with Iran or allowing Iran to produce nuclear materials.
However, the U.S. could have continued its policy of freezing Iranian assets and squeezing the Iranian economy. This strategy was based on historical principles and produced positive results.
History Proves Need for Strong Nations
History amply demonstrates that great powers do not survive unless they project strength and not weakness on the world’s political stage. Rival nation-states respect firm, decisive and swift action in response to threats.
Prior to the outbreak of World War II, for example, politicians attempted isolationism and the appeasement of hostile regimes. However, history shows that these policies backfired. They simply encouraged regimes to push their limits and led to the destruction of millions of people.
US Strength Constantly Tested
In this decade, U.S. enemies push the limits of what they can achieve. Iranian gunboat crews frequently taunt U.S. Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf and Russian Federation forces fly over U.S. ships.
US Foreign Policy Needs Stronger Appearance
A rising world population, dwindling natural resources and climate change are creating a highly volatile mix worldwide. Nuclear proliferation is also underway in many countries and weapons-grade fissionable materials and weapons technology are becoming more available, even to unstable regimes like North Korea.
How will all of these disparate forces interact? It may be only a question of when, not if, a limited nuclear exchange takes place.
Acting as the world’s policeman depletes our resources and more importantly, the lives of our brightest young people. Keeping focused on decisive action and creating a viable and constant U.S. defense strategy is imperative if the U.S. wants to maintain our position as the world’s premier power.
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Fowler is an assistant professor in the School of Security and Global Studies at American Military University. He holds a B.A. in law enforcement from Marshall University, an M.A. in military history from Vermont College of Norwich University and a Ph.D. in business administration and criminal justice from Northcentral University. Jeffrey is also a published author, a former New York deputy sheriff and a retired Army captain, having served 20 years in the U.S. Army.