President Donald Trump’s advisers seem to be trying to force him into a war with Iran. Men like John Bolton want to see the US finally destroy Iran and its fundamentalist government. However, in my opinion, they aren’t taking into consideration the geography of Iran that would make it difficult to attack, the fervor of the Iranian people, or how overstretched the US military already is. Luckily, tensions are cooling somewhat so war probably won’t happen.
After seeing tensions with Iran flare, I decided to do some research into the situation. While doing that, I found a very interesting article called, “Iraq is not an Iranian Vassal State.” It was published in Foreign Policy Magazine and was written by Aaron Magid.
In this article, Mr. Magid breaks down one of the main points that many people bring up about Iran. Many people say that it wields huge influence over Iraq to the point of almost completely controlling it. As the article hints at, those people seem to think that Iraq is an Iranian vassal. It is not, according to Mr. Magid.
Mr. Magid begins by describing the influence that Iran does have over Iraq. It is Iraq’s third biggest trading partner. It controls Shia militias inside Iraq. And there are Iranian loyalists in Iraq’s parliament; their political party is one of the largest.
However, Iran does not reign supreme in Iraq. The example Mr. Magid gives is the controversy over the few thousand US troops still in Iraq. The Iranians want them gone and are constantly pressuring Iraq’s government to make them leave. But the government recongizes the valuable role those troops play in limiting Iran and fighting terrorists, so almost no one in the Iraqi Parliament other than the pro-Iran party has supported making US troops leave. In fact, many Iraqi politicians have met with former-military US politicians and thanked them for their service. Iraqis aren’t a vassal of Iran and many support a US presence in their country.
Additionally, Iraq has been building closer ties with Saudi Arabia. Those closer ties should let it stave off Iran, the arch nemesis of Saudi Arabia, and build itself up economically. Those ties, the presence of US troops, and the hatred many Iraqi citizens feel towards Iran mean that Iran won’t dominate Iraq anytime soon. That threat is hugely overblown by the more hawkish members of the Trump Administration, but they should read this article to understand the limits of Iran’s power.
I liked this article because of how well it showed the limits of Iran’s power in Iraq. Yes, Iran could pose a threat to US troops in the region. And yes, it does exert a great amount of power in Iraq. But that doesn’t mean that it controls Iraq or has undue influence in the region. It is simply another regional power trying to influence the actions of a weaker nation. Any student of political philosophy or military history would recognize the similarities between it and many other powers.
I don’t like Iran. I think it is a nation ruled by evil Islamic fundamentalists. But, that distaste for their political system doesn’t mean that war is necessary. Instead, we should help Saudi Arabia and Iraq liberalize and build up their economies and armed forces. Then war will be averted because of a regional balance of power, and the Iranian people might pressure the government to change if they see how better off the Saudi Arabians and Iraqis are economically.
Bolton, Trump, and others in the administration should read this article to get a better understanding of the limits of Iran’s influence.
Read this article if you’re interested in military history, political philosophy, or the Middle East. It is very interesting and will give you a better understanding of the current relationship between Iraq and Iran, what they positions of those countries are, how they interact with the US and Saudi Arabia, and what the future might hold for all of those nations. It is an interesting article and one that is definitely worth reading for all those interested in learning about the limits of Iran’s influence in the region and Iraq.
Check out this funny meme about America’s involvement in the Middle East: https://genzconservative.com/democracy-in-the-middle-east-meme/
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