Making America Rogue Again

Look backward, too. In any escalatory spiral, such as the one in which the United States and Iran are ensnared, the natural tendency is to focus on whatever is the most recent destructive act by the other side and to argue for another tit in response to the other side’s latest tat. Without the myopia, it is clear what caused the whole spiral in the first place: the Trump administration’s reneging in 2018 on the multilateral agreement that restricted Iran’s nuclear program — despite Iran’s full compliance with that agreement — and the administration’s escalation into unrestricted economic warfare against Iran. Before that departure, Iran was not attacking tankers and Saudi oil facilities, militias in Iraq were not engaging in clashes with U.S. forces, and there was no spiral.