Military Officials, Experts Slam Biden’s Response To Iranian-Backed Attacks
President Joe Biden was criticized by former U.S. Military officials and foreign policy experts on Friday for his decision to authorize a series of strikes against Iranian-backed terrorist groups in the Middle East in retaliation for three U.S. soldiers who got killed in an attack in Jordan last weekend.
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In a statement detailing the retaliatory attack, U.S. Central Command revealed that U.S. military forces launched long-range bombers and struck over 85 targets including rockets, missiles and drone storage facilities and command and control centers as well as logistics and munition supply chain facilities.
But retired Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg is “not impressed at all” by the president’s move.
Pointing out that the U.S. military put together various target options for the Biden administration to consider, Kellogg criticized Biden for taking so long to make a decision on what target package to put forward. He also said that the president made the error of warning the target that an attack from the U.S. was coming.
True to Kellogg’s remarks, the Biden administration repeatedly exposed its plans to Iran before the attack. Having slipped general details about the likely timing of the strikes, the locations where it would occur and the targets.
By the time U.S. forces launched the attack, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders were able to escape.
Highlighting Iran’s advantage over Iran, Kellogg stated, “Iran doesn’t [want the U.S. to escalate] because Iran knows what we could do to them if we really went after them full scope militarily. Fordow, their military facility that’s enriching uranium, that could be gone, there’s key leadership could be gone. The Iranian Navy gone, refineries gone, we can reduce Iran to a second and third level country, if we wanted to. They know that. And you have to make that threat from us, after they start the fight, credible.”
He went further, explaining, “And I think what they’re saying right now, is the Americans are afraid of escalation, they are risk averse to escalation, they’ve got leadership and advisors that are adverse to escalation. Instead of just the opposite, instead of them going, I’m going 40 levels deep in a bunker because I know the Americans are coming after me. And the only way you’re going to establish some credibility is to establish a deterrence model that they stop doing this. And it’s going to be hard.”
Rebeccah Heinrichs, senior fellow at Hudson Institute and the director of its Keystone Defense Initiative was another person that found Biden’s response shocking.
“The number of strikes — 85 targets — looks high and significant. But this was shockingly backwards,” she said, pointing out that the Biden administration gave Iran officials enough time to move its valued IRGC commanders and weapons.
Jonathan Schanzer, Senior Vice President of Research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies also took issue with the U.S. military’s response, as he said that “hitting Iran-backed targets in Syria is a response on the cheap.”
For him, attacking Iran-backed targets in Iraq itself would have sent a clearer message that the U.S. is not to be trifled with.