When General Soleimani was assassinated by the US, we know now that he was on his way to meet with the Iraqi Prime Minister, carrying a diplomatic message in the effort to further peace efforts between Iran and Iraq.
It would be naive and foolish to think that the public murder of one man, no matter how prestiged that man was, would stop the efforts at peace by two countries. Considering the US also attacked the PMU, a part of the Iraqi military and did all of this on sovereign Iraqi soil, followed by threats against both countries with crushing sanctions, the continuation of those peace efforts has been set, not in concrete but in solid titanium.
Any attempt to oppose the unification of the countries in the Middle East at this point is doomed to failure. At this point, we are facing opposition politically, economically and militarily which our threats have no possibility of overcoming. Take into consideration the following influences-
Ongoing talks. From this point forward I fully expect the government officials of Iran and Iraq to be holding frequent discussions regarding peaceful coordination between them and methods of fending off terrorist groups. The assassination of Soleimani will only serve to drive the level of these talks to higher officials and increase the velocity of those talks to near light speed. Basically, you can consider them finished, with only small details to be worked out.
Trade defiance. We can also expect Iraq to be drawn into the Iran/Russia/China/Syria defense alliance, most likely with China buying most or all of the oil produced by Syria, Iran and Iraq in direct opposition to US sanctions. This would benefit all countries involved financially. I would expect a dramatic increase in the volume of trade in other goods as well.
Military technology. Iran has military technology which rivals or defeats US military technology on many fronts. Note that in their recent missile attack on US bases, we did not hear of any missiles which did not reach the targets. Compare to US Patriot missiles fired on Syria in 2017 and 2018, 70% of which never reached the targets with no air defense raised against them. Iran has also shot down several US drones while flying in stealth mode. If those three countries begin sharing military technological advances, or merely selling military equipment to one another, US military tech will be left far behind.
Military tactics. While the US military likes to claim to have the most advanced tactics of all military organizations, the evidence proves otherwise. Our forces have been in Afghanistan for 18 years and, as we know from the report by the Washington Post, are still being defeated. Afghanistan is roughly the size of Texas and has only 34 million people. Our forces have been in Iraq 16 years, at least half of which has been allegedly fighting terrorists. They were losing to the terrorists until Iran mobilized in Iraq. In Syria we have had active forces and propping up proxies for 6 years and were losing until Iran and Russia stepped in. Iraq is roughly equal in size to Afghanistan while Iran is MUCH larger. If the tactics and capabilities of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and China are combined in an area about 4 times the size of Texas, our military would stand no chance if we confronted them.
Environment. The countries we are facing have existed as cohesive cultures in some form for thousands of years longer than America has existed. Languages across the region are closely related enough that communication barriers can be resolved easily, where there is a wide gulf of difference between their languages and our own. In addition, the fighters of these countries have lived in the harsh environment since birth. They are accustomed to the heat, the arid climate, the rough terrain, the flora and fauna of the region. US forces imported into the region can take weeks or months to become acclimated, if they ever do. For US service members coming from colder northern states that adjustment can be difficult to impossible.
Logistics. Up to now, our forces have fought in regions where supply lines were fairly simplified affairs. Now consider the challenges and cost of supplying forces across such a vast region as mentioned above. Just supplying food and water across these areas would be formidable and more costly than anything in military history. Supplying weapons and equipment would be far more difficult. Our forces would not have a front line unless they attempted to invade from Saudi Arabia or the Arabian Sea. Their ability to platform from Turkey is now a constant question. However, no matter what direction the US would attempt to approach from would leave them vulnerable to having supply chains cut off once in the country.
Aerial opposition. Opposing all of these nations at once is not something which could be done entirely by air power. The fact is, we have not come up against adversarial air power since the initial Iraq invasion in 2003. Now imagine our air forces encountering hostile aerial opposition from Iraq, Iran, Syria and possibly Russia and China as well. Not only in the air but surface to air defense and electronic warfare from technologically competent enemies.
Monetary defiance. Again, look at a map. Iran stopped using the US dollar 2–3 years ago. Because of US offenses against them, Pakistan stopped using the US dollar over one year ago. Syria stopped using the US dollar a number of years ago for obvious reasons. China and Russia are depleting their holdings of US Securities. If things continue the way they are going, Iraq will drop the US dollar in short order. These countries have growing options available to them which bypass the dollar completely. As they do, this causes growing economic and political pressure on other Eastern countries to also ditch the dollar. With each oil producing country that does so, the petrodollar grows weaker.
NATO can only offer limited assistance. Remember what the alleged role of NATO was supposed to be? To defend Europe from invasion. That means if they abandoned their posts to invade the entire ME in a modern Crusade, they would reveal the entire purpose of their existence for the last 29 years to be a hoax. They would leave Europe completely open an an invasion. Once that would likely not happen at all, making them look as foolish as they are. Remember in 2016 there was a NATO-wide military exercise? It was tragically hilarious. Troops not prepared or properly trained, equipment which was non-functional, in many cases, not even mobile, cannons unable to fire. Europeans do not have the appetite for war in general that the US does. They still live with the visible scars of two World Wars across their continent and have no desire to revisit that horror.
What all of this means is that the US has backed ourselves into a corner. There is absolutely no reason for ME countries to trust the US regarding any form of treaty or agreement. They are fully justified in their belief that allowing the US to remain will cause only more war, more bloodshed, more pain, more conflict, more destruction.
Yet be absolutely clear on this point- They are NOT announcing any form of offensive against the US. Yet. That can change, depending on what our government does from this point forward. They are defending their nations, their continent the only way they can. They have lived with the atrocities forced upon them for two decades and want it to end. They want us out, they want terrorist groups defeated, they are reaching across ancient lines and resolving differences.
There are only two countries that oppose withdrawing our forces at this point- the US and Israel. Like it or not, we do not owe Israel anything at all. Unless we offer a stage for genuine peace talks between Israel and their opponents, who have offered many times and been lied to or ignored. Right now there is a bill in CONgress to give Israel another $3.3 BILLION a year in foreign aid. That would bring US aid to Israel to $7.1 BILLION a year, every year. With absolutely no requirement at peace efforts.
These peace talks will continue. These peace talks will advance. These peace talks will expand to country after country after country. At this point, nearly every nation on the planet is calling for peace.. except the US and Israel. It is time for us to stand aside, to allow peace to happen if we will not help it along. Bring our service members home. Stop spending our money on bombs. Stop causing death, start supporting life. Stop destroying, start building.
Because this is absolutely our last chance.