The Trump administration has sent another message to the despotic Iranian regime this week, flying two huge B-52H Stratofortress bombers over parts of the Middle East. That was the second time such flights had taken place in the last month, the Associated Press reported, as U.S. bombers conducted a similar mission in late November.
According to Associated Press, a military official said the bombers planned to fly across Europe, the Arabian Peninsula and then fly down the Persian Gulf, staying near Qatar but avoiding Iran’s coastline.
Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East, stated, “The ability to fly strategic bombers halfway across the world in a non-stop mission and to rapidly integrate them with multiple regional partners demonstrates our close working relationships and our shared commitment to regional security and stability.”
“We do not seek conflict but we must remain postured and committed to respond to any contingency or in opposition to any aggression,” the general added.
“A senior military official, who spoke to a small group of reporters on the condition of anonymity to provide details of the mission, said the administration believes that the risk of an Iranian attack on U.S. or allied interests in the region is a bit higher than normal now, and the Pentagon wants to ensure that Tehran thinks twice before doing anything,” AP reported.
In contrast to the Trump administration, former Vice President Joe Biden reportedly intends to reduce the global influence of the U.S. military, according to an Axios report in late November, which stated:
The Biden team wants to elevate diplomacy and de-emphasize the military as an instrument of national power. “So having DoD rollout front-and-center sends one message,” said a source close to Biden. “Not doing so sends another message. There has always been the intent to signal from Day One that this is not an administration that is going to put the Pentagon at the center of things.”
In a late-November editorial, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board warned about the potential of Biden reversing the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign against Iran and returning to the Iran nuclear deal. The Trump sanctions have “succeeded in weakening the rogue regime,” the editorial board explained. “Today Tehran exports about a quarter of the 2.5 million barrels of oil a day it shipped when the U.S. was still in the deal. This deprives the government of $50 billion in annual revenue. The economy has shrunk, while the Iranian rial has lost 80% of its value against the dollar.”
“The original nuclear deal makes it easy for Iran to break out as its provisions sunset over the next decade,” the Journal noted. “Meanwhile, it provided cash for Iran to expand its regional influence and terrorism. After signing the 2015 deal, Iran increased its military budget more than 30% between 2016 and 2018, and its proxies in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen benefited.”