Glenn Carle, American foreign policy and former CIA officer comprehensively laid out insight into the tensions spiking in the Middle East following Iran's "hard retaliation" in western Iraq. Noting Tehran's calculated response, Glenn Carle told Republic that through this move, US' arch-foe was seeking limits to the escalation and that IRGC's response was far different than 'using a proxy'.
On January 8, Iran fired a series of missiles at two Iraqi base hosting American troops, in retaliation to the US killing IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani on the directions of Donald Trump. Carle emphasized on how the current crisis was far different than what the US has dealt with in the recent years, and stated how this is almost the "first time after World War 2" that the country has engaged in direct aggression.
"Almost the first time since World War 2 that the United States has engaged in a direct crisis with significant belligerence. The Cold War was always conducted through proxies, the struggles in the Middle East in recent years have been militias attacking Americans and the Americans attacking terrorists and so on. In this instance, the United States killed the second most powerful person in Iran and now Iran has responded state to state. This is a different war crisis that those we have dealt in the world with recent years," the American foreign policy expert said.
He added, "I think it's important to know that Iran has taken a quite carefully defined step in its response. It has said we will respond as a state, the US has attacked our state official, and then the Iranian attack we've learned of is from the Iranian government openly against an American base and American targets. That's far different than using a proxy and actually is seeking through limits the expansion of the crisis. Nonetheless, it's hard to imagine that the United States or Donald Trump will not respond, so there is a great danger that this will continue to spiral downwards."
Asserting that Tehran has signaled for de-escalation, Carle also expressed his concerns over Trump's possible military reaction, which would only burgeon the tensions. He said, "They have clearly signaled their desire to limit these exchanges through their statements and missile strike. I'm not praising them for that, but it is a calculated response. Donald Trump has never understood, it's beyond him that in any negotiation, one always needs to leave an avenue forward if you corner the person, entity or country. You then give them no way out other than to respond with violence. What Trump said is largely from an alternate reality, from facts."
"I fear, that given Trump's personality and his rhetoric and the next steps at least would be military, which will then cause the Iranians to respond again. Iranians are proud and powerful, and they will respond. The next step is for the US, and Donald Trump and I am pessimistic given his psychological constitution. The pressure on Trump to withdraw American troops came from Trump creating the dynamic himself that he wants the troops removed. Iran is very influential, problematic for Iraqis yet indispensable, the same can be said for the United States. There is more likely that the United States will drawdown its presence," Glenn Carle added.
Iraq's Ain al-Asad housing US troops was hit by over a dozen rockets on Wednesday, amid the escalation between Washington and Tehran. In response to the attack, US President tweeted saying "all is well." “Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well-equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning" he tweeted.
Iraqi security officials told CNN that there were no casualties among Iraqi security forces following the attack in Anbar province and Erbil. Oil prices soared sharply by 5% after the Pentagon confirmed Iran's attack on the Iraqi airbases. The death of General Soleimani and Iraq's pro-Hezbollah Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis marks a significant watershed in the Middle Eastern policy and the Iran-US relations. In the past decade, under the leadership of Soleimani, Iran conducted proxy wars across the Middle East region in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and parts of Lebanon controlled by Hezbollah. He was instrumental in shaping Iran's influence in the region, which was threatened by arch-foes --the West, Saudi Arabia, and Israeli.