US President Trump on Wednesday (January 8, 2020) did not threaten a military counterattack against Iran in response to Iranian missile attacks on US military bases. He also proposed that the international community work together to negotiate a new agreement with the Tehran authorities to make the world safer and more peaceful. Some U.S. defense experts say that one reason the Trump administration does not want to escalate the conflict with Iran is to allow the US military to focus on implementing the national defense strategy, that is, to focus on competing with China and Russia.
Iran fired more than 10 ballistic missiles at U.S. military bases in Iraq on Tuesday. Subsequently, President Trump tweeted that he would make a television speech to the country the next morning in response to a military operation in Iran.
Surrounded by Secretary of Defense and senior U.S. military generals, Trump vows in a speech Wednesday that Iran will not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons. However, when commenting directly on Iranian missile attacks on U.S. military bases, he said that U.S. forces were not injured in the attack. He said the U.S. would impose new economic sanctions on Iran, but did not mention any new military strikes against Iran ’s missile attacks.
Trump said that the U.S. military is unprecedentedly powerful and equipped, but the United States does not want to use force. He also hopes that the permanent members of the United Nations, including China, and Germany will work together to negotiate a new agreement with the Tehran authorities on the Iranian nuclear issue to make the world safer and more peaceful.
Some U.S. defense experts worry that if the U.S.-Iran conflict escalates, it will affect the ability of the U.S. military to respond to China's threat in the Indo-Pacific region.
Bryan Clark, a Washington think tank strategic and budget assessment defense expert and former U.S. Naval Warfare U.S.-Navy exchange program coordinator, told VOA after Trump spoke that easing conflict with Iran will help U.S. military focus Asia-Pacific.
Clark: "I think the U.S. military is currently capable of meeting these two challenges at the same time, but if Iran or the United States decides to escalate the conflict, it will distract and affect the United States in achieving its goals in the Asia-Pacific region." Mixer_Static Mixer_Pipeline Filter-- Gret Petrochemical Equipment Factory
Acting US Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said in early December that how to deal with the threat from China was a top priority during his tenure, but feared that the conflict with Iran would distract US forces.
Secretary of Defense Esper also said two weeks ago that he hopes to recall troops from the Middle East and other regions in order to focus on the challenges of China and Russia and put more military power in the Indo-Pacific region.
After U.S. military airstrikes killed senior Iranian general Suleimani on January 3, Tehran officials claimed that they would patiently choose and attack US targets in a variety of ways.
Defense expert Clarke believes that Iran ’s constant provocations have forced U.S. forces from withdrawing completely from the Middle East, but the Tehran authorities actually want the U.S. forces to withdraw from the area in order to expand their influence in the area.
Clark: "Iran doesn't want to oppose the United States too much to prevent the United States from increasing its military deployment in the region. What Iran wants is not more US troops deployed in the region. They want the United States to abandon sanctions against Iran." Trump orders killing Suleimani as "dangerous and incompetent"
President Trump said in a speech on Wednesday that strong sanctions against Iran will continue until Iran stops supporting terrorism and abandons the development of nuclear weapons.