The Trump Administration's Will to Assume Iran China and Russia – at least in economic and diplomatic fields – raise the question of whether even low-intensity conflict can ultimately lead to a crisis. The apparent abolition of war in our globalized world has been replaced by what Austin Bay called in his book Cocktails from Hell "a dangerous form of peace". The danger is that such conflicts can boil over. The first flash point can be Iran.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard shot down an American drone on Thursday in the midst of elevated tensions between Tehran and Washington over the collapsing nuclear deal with world powers …
Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, commander of US Air Forces Central Command, told reporters at the Pentagon that Iranian reports that the drone was being shot down over Iran "is categorically false." He said the drone is flying in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and Oman Bay near the area of the recent tanker attacks when it was shot down. He claimed that the guard fired a superficial missile at the drone from a place near Goruk, Iran.
The shooting that occurred near the Gulf of Hormuz, close to where a number of tankers were recently attacked, comes on the heels of rising US economic sanctions against Iran. It is Tehran's main attack on US military assets since killing 600+ US troops in Iraq. The most natural historical parallel is the mining of the frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts in 1
Iran's raw exports have fallen sharply in May to around 400,000 barrels per month. Day (bpd), Tanker data showed and two industrial sources said, after the United States tightened the screws on Tehran's main source of income.
The United States reimposed sanctions against Iran in November after withdrawing from a nuclear agreement between Tehran in 2015 and six world powers. In order to reduce Iran's sales to zero, Washington ended sanctions this month for importers of Iranian oil.
They can't win unless they try something new. The upper limit of Iranian escalation has traditionally been defined as Tehran, which closes the Strait of Hormuz. "Rising tensions between Iran and the United States have given rise to a military collision in a waterway that is essential to worldwide oil supplies. Close to one-fifth of the world's crude oil is supplied by golfing nations dependent on unrestricted travel through the Strait of Hormuz, which is twenty-one kilometers wide at its narrowest point and adjacent to southern Iran to gain access to world oil markets. "The problem is usually faced with US difficulties in keeping it open. "Securing shipping in a region as large and important as the Persian Gulf is not easy to do. How does the US do it, especially if Iran is determined to harass tankers?"
But it ignores the fact that Iran only wins by raising strains in the strait, opening the price of oil. But actually closing the strait would be political if not national suicide. The majority of the oil passing through Hormuz (approximately 11/17) is tied to the Malacca route en route to China, Japan and Korea. If Tehran actually closed the alleys by reminding it, for example, they would essentially block China.
Iran seems to have a toll booth, not an absolute closure, so it can avoid the individual position to block potential allies. The Chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Alireza Tangsiri, described their intentions in this Reuters report.
"We can secure the security of the Persian Gulf, and there is no need for the presence of foreigners such as the United States and the countries whose homes are not in here," he said in his quote, which appeared in English translation at Tasnim.
He added: "All airlines and military and non-military ships will be controlled and there is full control over the Persian Gulf. Our presence in the region is physical and constant and night and day."
Interestingly, Trump willing to let the Iranian threat serve as a goad for international action. "President Donald Trump said on Friday that if Iran were to block the Strait of Hormuz," it will not be shut down for too long " but he did not elaborate on whether the United States had a duty to maintain the international cargo gateway critical to the oil industry . "(Highlight min). With the United States almost a net exporter of oil is actually pressed on Asia to keep Hormuz open. Nikkei Asian Review wrote:
United States. President Donald Trump … has indicated that he will not necessarily step in to protect international oil supplies from the Middle East if threatened by the Islamic Republic.
The position, formulated by Trump in an interview with Time magazine on June 17, should not come as a surprise. As Trump spelled out in the interview, the US is no longer dependent on oil from the Middle East as it was thanks to growing domestic production. …
The argument that the Gulf of Oman, where six oil tankers were attacked in a month in May and June, is not as strategic for the United States as it is for Asian countries, cannot reject it. US crude import volumes, including those from the Middle East, have declined since its shale renaissance sent domestic production jets from around 2012.
Meanwhile, China, India, Japan, and South Korea's four largest oil consumers have secured up to half of their crude needs from the Middle East. If seaborne oil transfers from that region – most of which pass through the narrow Hormuz border bordering on Iran – are disturbed, it would be nothing less than catastrophic for these countries.
U.S. Energy independence has given Washington a much more powerful opportunity than simply rendering an updated version of Preying Mantis. From a self-sufficiency position, Trump can use the prospect of oil disruption to organize "international convoys" among the dependent energy as a kind of FONOPS in the Gulf. Or it could take advantage of the Asian giants' fear of adding teeth to its sanction system against Iran. Any outcome would be both devastating for Tehran yet nonkinetic.
As someone noted on Twitter "our calculation changed by closing the strait, not only because of the domestic fracking production, but because China is now using large amounts of ME oil. strains hurt in our Asian allies. Now it hurts our rival. "
The answer to the question of whether even low intensity conflicts can eventually lead to a crisis seems to be a resounding" yes. " What was underappreciated, except perhaps by US strategists, was that the crisis could be manifested as economic rather than military.
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