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    American Forces Must Strike Iran to Protect US Troops

    American Forces Must Strike Iran to Protect US Troops

    The opinions expressed in this op-ed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of .com. If you would like to submit your own commentary, please send your article to opinions@military.com for consideration.

    The recent Houthi strikes on commercial shipping vessels in the Red Sea represent an expansion by Iran on the scope of its attacks on American interests in the Middle East. Since the Israeli bombardment of began on Oct. 17, Iranian-backed Shia groups have attacked American forces in and Syria 76 times. These strikes injured more than 60 American troops.

    The U.S. has responded with four precision airstrikes, mainly targeting empty buildings and ammo bunkers in Syria, some of which killed a small number of militia fighters. Iran considers these buildings and low-level fighters dispensable, which partly explains their deployment in the uncontrolled regions of Syria instead of within Iran's borders.

    The disproportionate scale of Iranian attacks to American responses lays bare that Iran, not the U.S., holds deterrence in this imbalance. Should the U.S. continue to ignore attacks by Iran-aligned groups, a catastrophe may lie ahead. To restore American deterrence, the U.S. must strike targets Iran holds at value: its bases inside Iran.

    Iran does not seek war with the U.S. any more than the U.S. invites a direct war with Iran. A full-out war would place the survivability of the…

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