President Donald Trump appears to have an inconsistent viewpoint when it comes to how his administration would respond to any attack from Iran, whether it would result in U.S. casualties or not.
Trump tweeted on Tuesday that an “attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force.” The statement by the president appears to be a “new red line,” as reporting from Axios described it.
“In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration,” Trump added in his social media postings.
….Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2019
Trump also made a point to end his tweets by differentiating himself from the previous administration. “No more John Kerry & [former President Barack] Obama!” Trump wrote, alluding to their efforts at creating peace between Washington and Tehran.
Trump’s remarks on Tuesday were a stark departure from what he wrote last week, after he announced that he had halted a planned military strike on several Iranian military targets. The strike was meant to be a response to allegations that Iran had shot down an unmanned drone over international waters.
Ten minutes before the strike was set to occur, Trump said, he asked how many casualties would result. Upon learning that around 150 could be killed in the pending attack, Trump claimed he called it off, as it would not be “proportionate” to the initial shooting down of the drone, the New York Times reported. Planes and ships were already positioned, on their way to their targets before Trump called them back.
It’s unclear if Trump’s harsher rhetoric this week means he will no longer consider whether attacks are proportional responses in his military calculations.
After not following through with the planned attack last week, Trump announced a series of sanctions against Tehran, to which that nation’s leaders responded by calling them “outrageous and idiotic,” the BBC reported.
It appears that those remarks, and others associated with them, are what drove Trump to tweet his threatening tweets on Tuesday.