Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signed a law last week labeling U.S. military forces in the Middle East a terrorist organization. This step follows the U.S. designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization. For some, setting aside the irony of Tehran’s declaration, this may confirm fears that the designation of the IRGC would spark a dangerous escalation. In reality, history suggests that calling adversaries and terrorists by name is not the primary danger. The real danger is leaving them with the impression that they can target Americans and get away with it.
Colonel (retired) Frank Sobchak (@AbuJeshua) served in various Special Forces assignments during his 26-year military career; his final assignment was a director of the Operation Iraqi Freedom Study Group and co-editor of “The U.S. Army in the Iraq War.” He has taught at West Point and is currently a PhD candidate in international relations at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Bradley Bowman is former Senate staffer who served as an Army officer and taught at West Point and who now serves as senior director for the Center on Military and Political Power (@FDD_CMPP) with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (@FDD).