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By ending the Iran deal, Trump has put America on the path to war | The Guardian - Opinion |

However, if we are genuinely concerned about these Iranian policies, as I am, this is the worst possible course. It will make addressing all of these other issues harder. Unfortunately, we heard no strategy from Trump when he announced his decision, just the usual bluster.

Bluster and Iran-bashing will not get us to a better future. We need to continue to try to talk with Iran's government, seek a better relationship with the Iranian people, and a more constructive role for Iran in the region. Trump's approach makes achieving those goals more difficult. It has already emboldened the regime's hardliners, who are much more comfortable dealing with a hostile America than with a reasonable, peace-seeking one.

After 17 years of war in Afghanistan and 15 years of war in Iraq, the American people do not want to be engaged in never-ending wars in the Middle East. They do not want to drawn into a Sunni-Shia, Saudi Arabia-Iran regional conflict. But I am deeply concerned that that is exactly where President Trump is taking us. If anyone were inclined to dismiss those concerns, I would remind them that Trump's newly installed national security adviser, John Bolton, wrote an article a few years ago entitled "To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran". By withdrawing from the nuclear agreement, and making clear their goal of escalation, Trump and his administration seem to be creating their own excuse for doing exactly that.

We should remember that the road to the Iraq war did not simply begin in 2003. It was laid down brick by brick over a number of years with policy decisions that might have seemed relatively small at the time, but that ultimately led us to the worst foreign policy blunder in our history. The Iraq war had enormous unintended consequences that we are still dealing with today, and will be for many years to come. Indeed, one of those unintended consequences was the empowering of Iran in Iraq and elsewhere around the region.

It is folly to imagine that, having unleashed these problems through the misuse of military force, we can solve them in the same way. Yet President Trump's bellicose speech last week clearly seemed to shift American policy toward the same goal of regime change that underlay the Iraq war. Real American leadership, and real American power, is not shown by our ability to blow things up, but by our ability to bring parties together, to forge international consensus around shared problems, and then to mobilize that consensus to address those problems.

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by Oui on Thu May 17th, 2018 at 08:01:15 PM EST

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