• Pandemic or Not: Did President Threaten Military Force Against a Menacing Iran — or Didn’t He?

    Surge Summary: As Iran is reportedly engaging in provocative actions against U.S. vessels in the Persian Gulf, President Trump threatens a forcible response against any more such activity.

    by Gary Bauer

    Lost in all the pandemic news lately was a shocking report that nearly a dozen Iranian gunboats recently harassed U.S. vessels in the Persian Gulf.  The Iranian boats came within 10 yards of one of our ships.  They repeatedly refused to respond to radio calls and blasts from the ships’ horns.

    [Wednesday] morning, President Trump responded to the provocation, tweeting, “I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.”

    This latest flareup comes as the Iranian regime announced [Wednesday] that it successfully launched a military satellite into orbit.  This is a disturbing development because the technology used to launch satellites into space is very similar to the technology used to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.

    [Update: NBC News reports Thursday morning:

    Three U.S. defense officials told NBC News they were caught off guard by the tweet because the president had not ordered a change in the policy or rules of engagement. One official compared it to his 2017 tweets announcing a surprise ban on transgender people openly serving in the military.

    At a press briefing a few hours after the president’s announcement, Defense Department officials characterized it as more of a warning to Iran than a shift in policy.

    “What he was emphasizing is all of our ships retain the right of self-defense, and people need to be very careful in their interactions to understand the inherent right of self-defense,” said deputy defense secretary David Norquist.

    “It was a very useful thing he put out,” Norquist added.]

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge.

    Originally posted here.

    Image: Screen Shot: https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2020/04/22/trump-tweets-that-hes-instructed-the-navy-to-destroy-any-iranian-gunboats-that-harass-us-warships/

    Gary Lee Bauer is an American politician and activist, who served in the Reagan administration. He later became president of the Family Research Council and a senior vice president of Focus on the Family. In 2000, he participated in the Republican presidential contest.

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