War Games

So I was going to write a whole big thing about my conspiracy theory regarding Iran’s seizure of an oil field in southern Iraq, but then Michael Crowley wrote a post about how this isn’t really news and I breathed a sigh of relief, but THEN I thought, well, hell, why not put the idea out there anyway and play a little armchair strategist?

So imagine, hypothetically, that this was actually an unprecedented grab at valuable property by Iran. My theory was that the broader strategic goal was to drag the United States into an even more prolonged occupation of Iraq. I’m admittedly fuzzy on the strength of the Iraqi military, but something tells me that it probably couldn’t handle a conflict with Iran on its own, and Maliki would have incentive to ask Obama for a longer troop commitment. Of course, this comes right after we’ve already committed more troops to Afghanistan, so the American military would be overextended. And because Obama’s more measured than his predecessor, Tehran might feel more comfortable pushing his buttons like this.

What this would do for the Iranian regime, besides being a test of its status as a regional power, is help with the situation at home. What better pretense for cracking down on dissent and further militarizing the country?

Of course, this is all sort of moot now. But if I ever decide I want a career writing crappy political thrillers, I think I’ve got my first premise.

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