Iran: The case for regime change
After 40 years of Irans incessant attacks, both indirect and direct, on U.S. interests in the Middle East, it should be clear by now that the Mullahs in charge of Iran are never going to "modify" their behavior. The United States will always be Irans "Great Satan," until and unless the Mullahs are overthrown by the rank-and-file people of Iran.
This is a lesson the U.S. should have learned during the Vietnam War. President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Ivy-League, egghead advisers he retained from the Kennedy Administration, thought the behavior of North Vietnamese leader, Ho Chi Minh, could be "modified" by the gradual application of U.S. airstrikes on carefully selected targets inside North Vietnam. The airstrikes, so the theory went, would cause Ho Chi Minh to "desist" in Hos aggression toward South Vietnam.
While the Johnson White House was trying to get the North Vietnamese to "desist," the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff thought our objective was to "defeat" the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army. The conflict between the eggheads "desist" objective and the militarys "defeat" objective was never resolved.
To succeed, the "defeat" objective would have required a ground invasion of North Vietnam, an act that might well have brought Red Chinese and Soviet forces onto the battlefield. Therefore, the "defeat" objective was never allocated the forces it would need to succeed.
President Johnsons repeated statements that the U.S. did not seek regime change in North Vietnam encouraged Ho Chi Minh to continue his aggression toward South Vietnam until the time when the American public was no longer willing to sacrifice its young men and women on the altar of communist containment in Southeast Asia.
Surely, President Trump does not mean it when he says we do not seek regime change in Iran. The people of Iran need to be told via every means possible that the United States supports them in their efforts to replace the Mullah-led theocracy with a government that is willing to rejoin the community of peaceful nations.
There is no longer any justification for the U.S. to be in the middle of warfare between Arabs and Persians, between Shia and Sunni, or any combination thereof. Let them duke it out.
But the people of Iran should not mistake any reductions of U.S. troops in the Middle East as a sign of our abandonment of the region. While the U.S. is no longer dependent on anyone for oil and gas, we still have strategic interests in the preservation of Israel, the prevention of a nuclear-armed Iran, and in the peaceful flow of commerce in and out of the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and the Suez Canal. And, of course, we must always defend our diplomatic missions around the world. Benghazi and Baghdad come to mind.
Fortunately, the U.S. has naval, special-operations, and air assets capable of defending our interests without very many American boots on the ground in the Middle East. Thanks to our new-found energy independence, our military assets can be better applied to addressing Red Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea and to Russian underwater adventurism in the Arctic and in the North Atlantic.
©2020. William Hamilton.
William Hamilton is a laureate of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. Ten-percent of the royalties from Dr. Hamiltons Formula for Failure in Vietnam: The Folly of Limited Warfare go to the Blue Angels Foundation. To order, call toll free: (800) 253-2187. Or, go to Amazon.com.