Larry C Johnson, formerly of CIA analytical org fame, posted today a good review of how Trump is owned by war-mongers he surrounded himself with. Larry gives the spread on four possible scenarios for escalation, but that is not what catches the eye in his excellent piece. This is what we should consider strongly:
If you listen to the neo-con crowd that are certain we can bomb Iran into submission. That is a fantasy and is based on a lie. From what I am hearing from knowledgeable sources no one on the Joint Chiefs of Staff at DOD are advising caution. We are in an old fashioned dick measuring contest. Pride is supplanting reason. This is a dangerous time and the future of Trump's Presidency and possibly that of America hang in the balance in my view.
I totally get it why JCS wouldn't caution Trump on the possible war with Iran. As was noted before, both Bolton and Pompeo treat Pentagon as own fiefdom and it is only natural to assume that any voices of dissent would and are being suppressed. Plus, let's be honest, look at the list of wars Pentagon flushed down the toilet and one may get the idea why US would want to strike Iran. It is more than just pride, albeit this is also a major factor, but it is general America's obsession with nations which refuse to bow to US pressure and foundation of that is not just pride but exceptionalism and, in Iran's particular case, Israeli and Saudi influences--both are terrified by Iran's emergence as regional superpower.
Larry also makes a good point, which I also make for a number of years now:
There is a dangerous delusion within the Trump National Security team. They believe we are so dominant that Iran will not dare fight us. I prefer to rely on the sage counsel of Colonel Patrick Lang--the Iranians are not afraid to fight us and, if backed into a corner, will do so.
There is one mistake though in this statement--it is not just Trump National Security team. This American ailment of thinking itself as a preeminent military power in history (recall, Obama's "the finest fighting force in history") is rooted in WW II and a gross misconception about real driving forces behind demolition of Wehrmacht (a real finest fighting force) at the peak of its might. Patton's Syndrome, reinforced by Hollywood, is a very dangerous thing, it is also very American thing. That is what Atkinson wrote:
As Rick Atkinson admitted in 1995, he could see in Patton: "the creeping arrogance, the hubris, which would costs the American Army so dearly in Vietnam. Summing up the achievements of his troops in crushing the German counterattack of December 1944, Patton with pardonable pride claims to have "moved farther and faster and engaged more divisions in less time than any other army in the history of the United States--possibly in the history of the world... No country can stand against such an Army."
When this kind of things are at play--it is not a pride but ignorance which drives the war. Ignorance and huge insecurity against the background of the "impressive" list of lost wars. And then, of course, the question--WHO in Pentagon? As Andrew Bacevich put it bluntly in his symptomatically titled piece The Decline of Our Nation’s Generals:
So, Mr. MAGA, or, rather, MIGA is free to follow the advice of his "team". He may get, in the end, his own Vietnam, or something even worse than that, and this, as we all know, is not conducive for the second term, as LBJ, should he be alive today, would testify to. That is, of course, if the United States will continue to exist as it exists today after Iran's "adventure". Considering utter inability of US political and military class to learn simplest things in geopolitics and war, one then, will be forced to ask what really have Trump conquered once missiles start to fly.