Iran's proxy attack on U.S. troops in Jordan marks a crossing of the Rubicon for Biden

The lethal drone attack on U.S. troops in Jordan on January 29, 2023, marks a significant escalation in Iran's ongoing de facto war against the United States. This attack, conducted by Iran's proxies, killed three American soldiers and was a clear signal of Iran's increasing confidence and willingness to confront the Biden administration directly.

The Biden administration's risk-averse approach and reluctance to engage in direct, large-scale kinetic confrontation with Iran has only encouraged further aggression from the regime. In the past 100 days, the number of attacks by Iranian militias targeting U.S. military personnel has reached 165, with 34 Americans injured. Yet, President Biden and other administration officials have consistently relayed the message that the White House's primary goal is to avoid escalation and wider conflict.

Iran's calculation is that its new status as a de facto nuclear power, with the capability to build six nuclear weapons in just one month, significantly deters the Biden administration from launching a mass retaliatory strike on Iran. Furthermore, Iran likely drew conclusions about the Biden administration's lack of support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, implying that Tehran's partnership with Moscow will further influence Washington's decision-making.

Iran's missile and drone arsenal pose a significant risk to U.S. forces in the region, targeting some 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq, 900 in Syria, and even the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Iran's arsenal includes short- and medium-range ballistic missiles that can reach targets across the Middle East, including Israel and Europe.

Nuclear expert David Albright's assessment that Iran could develop its first nuclear weapon in as little as one week further underscores the urgency of the situation. Once Iran achieves the capability to deliver a nuclear strike on Israel and Europe, it will be nearly impossible to reinstall deterrence without accepting the risk of a broader war.

The time for President Biden to invoke the Reagan Doctrine against Iran is now. Rebekah Koffler is a strategic military intelligence analyst and the author of Putin's Playbook. She is Managing Editor of an e-mail newsletter for independent thinkers,

Follow her on Twitter @Rebekah0132.

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