Is there a real threat to the United States from Iran? Could a rogue regime succeed in bringing the United States to it’s knees via an attack on the electric grid that would take months to recover from? Yes, it is doubtful. However, if there is anything we should learn from recent history, we should never take the most preposterous threats from dictators lightly. Just like Hitler meant what he said and Stalin perpetrated heinous crimes in the most heartless manner on his own people, the Iranian leadership needs to be treated with the same level of concern. If they say they want to destroy the Western way of life, they indeed mean it.
In today’s day and age, the United States has one major advantage over the rest of the world – economic prowess. The most important aspect of containment of world threats is via major economic pressure. The operative word is major. Rogue countries like Iran and North Korea do indeed have horrible plans for their enemies. But, they can be starved into submission. The key element that needs to be understood is that any form of negotiation with them is just a part of major economic pressure. No form of appeasement will be effective. These countries are led by powerful dictators who are used to demanding and getting whatever they want. But, if they demand of their scientists and military leaders to expand their capabilities and they are et with a worried look that basically says, “We can’t afford that,” then things begin to unravel. The goal of the West has to be to lead to the economic unraveling of the rogue regimes. And even if the regimes don’t unravel, but they are severely weakened, that will probably accomplish the main goal of containing the threat.
Whomever takes over for President Trump in 2020 or 2024 needs to learn from the economic containment measures of the Trump presidency. It is still too early to make a judgement on the measures vs. North Korea and Iran. But initial indications are positive. Whatever we do we must treat threats seriously.