The WSJ's Dion Nissenbaum reporting today that John Bolton's Mustache indeed plans to go to war with Iran, and military strike options were drawn up in September of last year to throw us into direct conflict with Tehran.
President Trump’s National Security Council asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran last year, generating concern at the Pentagon and State Department, current and former U.S. officials said.
The request, which hasn’t been previously reported, came after militants fired three mortars into Baghdad’s sprawling diplomatic quarter, home to the U.S. Embassy, on a warm night in early September. The shells—launched by a group aligned with Iran—landed in an open lot and harmed no one.
But they triggered unusual alarm in Washington, where Mr. Trump’s national security team led by John Bolton conducted a series of meetings to discuss a forceful American response, including what many saw as the unusual request for options to strike Iran.
“It definitely rattled people,” a former senior U.S. administration official said of the request. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”
The Pentagon complied with the National Security Council’s request to develop options for striking Iran, the officials said. But it isn’t clear if the proposals were provided to the White House, whether Mr. Trump knew of the request or whether serious plans for a U.S. strike against Iran took shape at that time.
Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said the body “coordinates policy and provides the president with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats.”
“We continue to review the status of our personnel following attempted attacks on our embassy in Baghdad and our Basra consulate, and we will consider a full range of options to preserve their safety and our interests,” he said.
Mr. Bolton’s request reflects the administration’s more confrontational approach toward Tehran, one that he has pushed since taking up the post last April.
As national security adviser, Mr. Bolton is charged with providing a range of diplomatic, military and economic advice to the president.
Former U.S. officials said it was unnerving that the National Security Council asked for far-reaching military options to strike Iran in response to attacks that caused little damage and no injuries.
Trump hasn't authorized military strikes against Iran so far, but it's easy to imagine such a move would be made in order to distract the country from Mueller and his report. It would most likely be successful, too, because we'd immediately have much larger problems on our hands than Trump's perfidy with a possible nuclear conflict in the Middle East.
No doubt Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, facing a massive bribery scandal and possible indictment himself, would welcome such a development. Ironically it's Putin's control of Trump that has probably prevented such a strike from going forward so far.