Iran has just attacked U.S. bases in Iraq in response to the U.S. assassination of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani (CNN, Military.com, The Hill). The U.S. president seems to be taking it in stride (“all is well…So far, so good!”). Just as the U.S. did after its attack, Iran has claimed that it doesn’t want war and recommended that the U.S. not retaliate for Iran’s attack (Reuters). This actually sounds pretty smart to me. The U.S. can pass some sanctions or whatnot and gracefully back out with a win at this point. They will have gotten away with a very reckless gambit if they do. Meanwhile, Iran can buddy up to North Korea with wads of cash and find out what they know about building nuclear weapons (now that their nuclear deal is a fond memory).
It will be pretty horrible if Trump does the only thing he knows how to do and escalates the situation to appease his base. Now that he’s sending thousands of more troops to the area, the Iranians will have even more targets to choose from (WP, Military.com). What will that do to oil prices and the economy (CNN), let alone the poor troops being sent off on another fools’ errand?