Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear on Monday that the Obama administration’s policy of détente toward Iran is dead.
Now that President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal, the United States’ is finished offering the Iranian government carrots, according to the former CIA director. Instead, It’s time to bring out the stick.
“We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world and we will crush them,” Pompeo said at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington, his first public remarks since assuming the role of the country’s top dip “Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East.”
“And I’d remind the leadership in Iran what President Trump said: If they restart their nuclear program, it will mean bigger problems – bigger problems than they’d ever had before,” Pompeo said.
Trump has ordered the U.S. government to create an international coalition to pressure Iran to abandon its support for terrorist groups and its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, a State Department official told Task & Purpose.
In contrast to the State Department’s tough talk, the Pentagon is taking a more nuanced approach by stressing that the entire U.S. government is part of the new Iran strategy and not just the U.S. military.
But that didn’t stop reporters from repeatedly asked Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning when Operation Persian Freedom will kick off.
“As far as specific actions that we’re going to take, I’m not going to get into those,” Manning said at a Monday Pentagon press gaggle. “Iran remains a destabilizing force in the region and we’re going to do everything we can to avert that.”
Reporters pressed on, asking Manning what new actions the U.S. military will take against Iran.
“We are going to take all necessary steps to confront and address Iran’s malign influence in the region,” Manning said. “If that means doubling down on steps and actions that are currently being taken now; or, as a planning organization – obviously, I’m not going to talk about future operations – that could possibly entail new actions as well.”
The gaggle of reporters latched onto the words “new actions” as an indication that the Pentagon might actually do something that it hasn’t done before to deter Iran, but Manning clarified that the Defense Department is “still assessing” what to do.
The war will have to wait — at least for this news cycle.
An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagle that made an emergency landing on Wednesday ditched its entire arsenal of live air-to-air missiles before touching down at Portland International Airport, The War Zone reports.
President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.
The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.
"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."
It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.
Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.
The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.