Is America Deterred by Jihadism?

Does the American experience with Jihadism in Iraq and Afghanistan deter the United States on Iran? The answer is probably yes, in addition to Iran’s own very effective international mass terror deterrence, potentially with chemical, biological and radiological weapons of mass destruction. Jihadist Iran certainly deters America in particular and the international community in general. While America shifts focus from the misnamed “War on Terror” (a euphemism for war on armed Qutbism worldwide) to great power rivalry – is the cold war with Jihadism and Islamism far from over and continues to impact American national interests throughout Islamdom.  

The strategic situation whereby international Jihadism, including particularly Jihadist Iran deters America and the world is however a strategic challenge that needs to be strategically overcome. This situation is literally intolerable and strategically quite unsustainable. The situation should be the opposite, the world should deter Iran from its malign activities but alas international Jihadism has succeeded in breaking the will of the world whose posture towards international Jihadism is purely densive without any global strategy for defeating Jihadism worldwide and discrediting the underlying Islamist totalitaritarian ideology among Muslims around the world.

Israel can strategically degrade Iran’s nuclear weapons program on its own and therefore are other nations fearful of assisting Israel due to concerns of Iranian mass terrorist retribution, potentially with chemical, biological and radiological weapons of mass destruction. We need therefore look at the regional situation after Israel’s strategic degradation of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Will there be a regional offensive to break up the Khomeinist empire or will the Iranian global deterrence remain in force? 

America in particular finds itself in a very dangerous situation where it is deterred by international Jihadism. This could embolden Iran to mount a 9/11 style mass terrorist attack on American territory, potentially with chemical, biological and radiological weapons of mass destruction. How would the United States respond? Tactically probably with massive air strikes against Iran but nothing more. The likely strategic response will most probably be further military withdrawals from the Middle East.

Iran considers itself a power on the ascendancy but are they? This is up to how the international community responds to Iranian regional aggression and does not let itself be deterred by Iranian terror and weapons of mass destruction. Appeasement by passivity, as rhetorically bordering on submissiveness will only aggravate the Iranian threat by tactically emboldening the Khomeinist regime in Tehran. 

Iran is trying to achieve deterrence vis-a-vis Israel, the last country that Iran does not deter. Israeli strategy therefore must focus on destroying the very psychology of Iranian global deterrence, this must become a strategic and diplomatic goal in the period following Israel’s upcoming strategic degradation of the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Members of the international community and in particular the United States must be persuaded that being strategically deterred by international Jihadism is an intolerable strategic situation and that even absorbing mass terrorist attacks is preferable to Iran achieving hegemony in Islamdom. 

The fundamental weakness of the so-called “international community” is that narrow national considerations (in this case national security) tend to trump wider international interests. This is certainly the case here where fear of Iranian mass terrorism (potentially with chemical, biological and radiological weapons of mass destruction) trumps the need to not only reign in Iran (including particularly its nuclear weapons program) but furthermore to strategically dissolve and implode the Khomeinist empire both outside and inside Iran’s internationally recognized borders. 

While Israel has the strategic capacity to strategically degrade Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Israel does not have the power to on its own to implode Iran. This therefore must be done in international/regional partnership and America’s participation is essential indeed. It is very dangerous for America to seem weak to Iran for that tactically invites an Iranian mass attack on the American mainland. While the Sunni Jihadist threat against America’s mainland may be under control, the Shia Jihadist threat against America’s mainland is spiraling out of control. 

America has very few options when it comes to responding to an Iranian mass attack on American soil. This is a threat which is on the ascendancy and America would be particularly well-advised to overcome its current effective lethargy on the Iranian threat and move towards a proactive policy of strategically dissolving/imploding the Khomeinist empire. America did not see the 9/11 attacks coming and was therefore woefully unprepared for the subsequent calamity. Now America finds itself in a similar situation, this time not with Sunni Jihadism, but with Twelver Shia Jihadism. There is an increasingly imminent threat and America responds by letting itself be deterred, just like the rest of the so-called “international community” with the sole exception of Israel. By its unintentional weakness is America inviting an unprovoked 9/11-style Iranian mass terror attack on US soil, potentially with chemical, biological and radiological weapons of mass destruction.

As there can be no doubt anymore that Iran has strategically decided not to return to the JCPOA but rather to accelerate its nuclear weapons program and economically align with China is it essential that the United States government forms a new offensive strategy with its Middle Eastern allies as based upon ultimately ending the Iranian threat by imploding and dissolving the Khomeinist empire in its entirety. A proactive policy will furthermore critically educate the Iranian regime about the dangers of attacking the American mainland and potentially create tools for American deterrence inside Iran itself.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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