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Analyzing Biden’s Possible Military Courses of Action Against Iran

What Biden’s Military Options Against Iran Look Like

President Joe Biden has pledged to respond following the loss of three U.S. personnel in a drone strike on a Jordanian border post with Syria. This incident marked the first fatalities in a months-long campaign by Iran-backed militias protesting Israel’s ongoing offensive in Gaza.

As U.S. officials consider retaliation plans, retired U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, formerly head of U.S. Central Command, suggests that analysis may focus on militia-associated targets and even direct Iranian ones, such as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) leaders and logistics.

Analyzing Biden's Possible Military Courses of Action Against Iran

Analyzing Biden’s Possible Military Courses of Action Against Iran (Credits: Newsweek)

Votel, now a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, acknowledges the significance of striking Iran but suggests a broad range of options being considered. Notably, he emphasizes the importance of conveying an unambiguous message to Iran about its responsibility for the attack while avoiding a full-scale war.

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, weighing in on potential responses, proposes starting with strikes on IRGC personnel and sites in Iraq and Syria. However, he underscores the need for a balanced approach that includes diplomacy with regional and international partners.

Retired U.S. Army Major General Paul Eaton, who led efforts to train Iraqi troops for the invasion, warns against direct strikes on Iran, emphasizing the potential for escalation and the necessity of diplomacy to prevent a broader regional conflict. Eaton stresses the importance of managing escalatory potential to avoid worsening the volatile situation in the Middle East.

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