Trump is blowing off military and diplomatic experts to do what he wants.
Despite warnings from key military officials that it could endanger American soldiers, Trump has decided to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.
It is the first time in American history that part of an official foreign government has received such a designation. Past administrations declined to make the same move out of concerns for military safety.
According to reports, Trump has done so at the urging of national security adviser John Bolton, a former Fox News talking head who has pushed for dangerous military confrontations across the world. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a yes man for Trump, was reportedly part of the team pushing the designation.
"American commanders are concerned that the designation may prompt Iran to retaliate against U.S. forces in the region, and those commanders plan to warn U.S. troops remaining in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere of that possibility, according to a third U.S. official," Military Times reported on Monday.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, opposed the decision "out of concern for a backlash against U.S. forces in the region." Other Pentagon officials also oppose the idea.
Daniel Coats, director of national intelligence, has also opposed the designation, raising concerns about a backlash for American military.
Ahead of the news, Iran said it would retaliate against Trump's action by designating the United States military a terrorist organization. Iranian politician Seyed Jawad Sadatinejad told Iran's state-run news that Iran would feel free to treat American soldiers in the region the same way they treat terrorists like Al Qaeda and ISIS.
"If the Americans do such stupidity and put our national security at risk, the U.S. Army and security forces in the West Asia region will not enjoy today’s peace," said Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of the IRGC.
The announcement was made a day before elections in Israel, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking reelection. Netanyahu is a close ally of Trump and has requested the IRGC designation in the past.
Trump's track record often shows his short-sighted and ill-considered decisions negatively impacting soldiers deployed in the field.
Early in his administration he gave the green light for a doomed mission in Niger that lead to the murder of four American soldiers, despite military warnings that they needed more support.
More recently, his obsession with his racist border wall led to what commandant of the Marine Corps. Gen. Robert Neller called an "unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency." Instead of training troops and funding other military projects, Trump has been wasting money by deploying troops to the border.
Now in the Middle East, despite warnings from senior military officials and caution from previous presidents, Trump has again gone his own way, thanks in part to his team of "yes" men and sycophants.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.