About that Counter-Iran Coalition…

The Trump administration called for help, but Washington's friends have shrugged and calculated it is safer to stay away from "maximum pressure." There is a better way.

What if the United States threw a party and no one came? It is finding out in the Persian Gulf, where Trump administration’s calls to unite to counter Iranian aggression are being met with caution, circumspection and shrugs.

The reason is not fear of the Iranians. Instead, it is a calculus by Washington’s allies and partners that they may be safer staying far away from whatever the United States really intends and what they might be drawn into.

The Iranian government seems to be pursuing a policy that keeps tensions in the Gulf simmering but not boiling. The goal is to create a crisis but not a war. Iran is trying to force the world to engage with it and seeking to thumb its nose at the U.S.“maximum pressure” campaign that threatens any multinational that does business with the Islamic Republic.

This article was originally published on Defense One.


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Jon Alterman
Senior Vice President, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and Director, Middle East Program