It is 2006, with two years remaining in the George W. Bush administration. The war in Iraq has drained the treasury as has Republican's policy to give wealthy American's ill-advised tax breaks. A clear and present danger then was Iran.
The war in Afghanistan had been on since 2001 with no end in sight.
There is no money for that, and no one in the world wants yet another war in that part of the world.
Meanwhile, Iran was saber rattling and had an aggressive nuclear program. Iran appeared intent on developing nuclear weapons.
"Is War with Iran Inevitable?
Ivo H. DaalderFriday, April 21, 2006
There appears to be an emerging consensus in Washington and around the world, that war with Iran is just a matter of time. But is this consensus right? There are good reasons to believe that the Bush administration, while convinced that an Iran capable of producing nuclear weapons represents a major threat to international security, will conclude that military force does not offer a desirable answer. The reason is not that the threat would not warrant the use of military force, but that the military, political, and international context for making such a decision militates against it.
The Iranian nuclear threat is no doubt more real than the Iraqi nuclear threat in 2003. Whereas the “evidence” of an Iraqi nuclear program hinged on disputed information about yellowcake purchases in Niger and the acquisition of aluminum tubes, Tehran has been quite open about its desire to master the technical process of enriching uranium (which constitutes the most critical step in producing a bomb). This reality has led many people to conclude that if President Bush decided to go to war on the basis of flimsy evidence of an Iraqi nuclear program in 2003, then surely he will go to war on the basis of much more substantial evidence of an Iranian program this time around."
We know what happened. Russia and China would have no tolerance for Americans attacking Iran. Obama's approach was to negotiate containment of the Iran nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions.
"Some may still think that bombing Iran will prove easy — but the administration will surely know that successfully preempting Iran’s nuclear program requires the kind of intelligence about target locations that we simply do not have. Iraq, moreover, has demonstrated that counting on an easy aftermath is sheer folly. Iran can retaliate in multiple ways, from making life in Iraq and Afghanistan exceedingly unpleasant to attacking oil shipping in the Gulf and the Straights of Hormuz and even launching terrorist strikes against American forces, American interests, and even against its people at home. Attacking Iran’s nuclear program would be no more a cakewalk than was the liberation of Iraq."
Today, American military professionals know that war with Iran would be catastrophic on many levels. It would be a human tragedy from which Americans may never recover, economically nor politically.
President Trump and his inner circle appear hell-bent to provoke a war with Iran.
"On Wednesday, the White House put out a statement from National Security Advisor Michael Flynn criticizing Iran’s recent ballistic missile test as well as a number of attacks in recent months by Iranian-supported Houthi militias against American, Saudi, and Emirati ships off the coast of Yemen. The statement then criticizes the Iran nuclear deal and the Obama administration, before concluding that “we are officially putting Iran on notice.”
Image from Foreign Policy article