Out of 150 missile attacks so far on US bases in the Middle East, this is the first time the militants broke through Pentagon’s defence shield killing military personnel….writes T. N. Ashok
Republicans in Congress are pressuring President Joe Biden to “strike back” at Iran to retaliate against the drone attack on Tower 22 in Jordan in which three US troops were killed and over 34 personnel injured.
Out of 150 missile attacks so far on US bases in the Middle East, this is the first time the militants broke through Pentagon’s defence shield killing military personnel.
The Republican response comes a day after the front running 2024 GOP candidate former President Donald Trump criticised Biden’s “foreign policy of weakness and surrender” to Iran, citing the unfreezing of $6 billion of oil revenues of the Islamic state last year as one of the instances.
Trump alleged the funds were being misused for military purposes while Biden asserted there were checks and balances against that.
Even as President Biden and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed to hit back at a time and place of their choosing, an inevitable US response to the attack has raised the spectre of the middle east war escalating further.
Tensions in the region are already growing as the Israel-Hamas war prolongs without any solution to achieving a ceasefire or return of the remaining hostages.
Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday vowed action during an appearance at the Pentagon before a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
“The president and I will not tolerate attacks on US forces and we will take all necessary actions to defend the U.S. and our troops,” Austin was quoted by the media as saying.
President Biden has also pledged to respond. But GOP lawmakers are sure to be critical of the president as a rematch of Biden and former President Donald Trump appears imminent in the 2024 election. And nothing less than a direct strike on Iran would appease some Republicans in Congress, says report from US News and World Report.
Republican House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said that the “tragedy was avoidable.”
“For years now Biden has emboldened Iran – sending them billions & tolerating their aggression against our troops,” he posted on social media.
“America must show strength,” Scalise said.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was more direct, mocking Biden: “I am calling on the Biden Administration to strike targets of significance inside Iran, not only as reprisal for the killing of our forces, but as deterrence against future aggression.”
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas talked in a similar vein. “The only answer to these attacks must be devastating military retaliation against Iran’s terrorist forces, both in Iran and across the Middle East,” Cotton said. “Anything less will confirm Joe Biden as a coward unworthy of being commander-in-chief.”
Senator John Cornyn of Texas originally posted: “Target Tehran” before clarifying that he was not calling on the Biden administration to bomb Iranian civilians.