“I have two groups of people,” President Trump told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “I have doves, and I have hawks.”
News of a planned foray against Iran, which Trump canceled at T-minus 10 minutes, suggests that he is torn between some advisers who recommend restraint and others who advocate aggression. His next move should be a defensive armed action that promises the benefits of these two approaches.
President Trump should stage a flamboyant, Teddy Roosevelt-style show of force. Specifically, he should organize an American-led naval convoy to escort ships through the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman. This would provide a deterrent military response to Tehran’s destruction of a $130 million U.S. RQ-4A Global Hawk drone over international waters and its suspected attacks against four cargo vessels on May 12 and two more on June 13 — all in the Gulf of Oman. Such a naval convoy would display U.S. power without actually drawing blood. This would be akin to a police department deploying squad cars in a tough neighborhood, but without cops opening fire, which could kill innocents and needlessly prompt criminals to retaliate.
“So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation,” Trump wondered via Twitter on Monday. “All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been a dangerous journey. We don’t even need to be there in that the U.S. has just become (by far) the largest producer of Energy anywhere in the world!”
Trump is right. The United States should not bear this burden alone. However, as leader of the West and the industrialized world, America should recruit a multinational naval force to help calm the waters that Iran has roiled.