May 17, 2019, 7:47 PM
News Code: 83317658
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Trump and second-strike puzzle

Tehran, May 17, IRNA - Donald Trump in the foreign policy has been seeking to create deterrence against countermeasures by rivals and partners, and has so far not received a major strike in this regard so that his ability to respond with the 'second- strike' to be tested.

The president of the United States in pursuit of deterrence has persistently prevented the leaders of Beijing and Tehran to pursue reciprocal measures through verbal attacks and exploitation of various tools and threats.

Trump on Monday, on the sidelines of a meeting with the President of the Republic of Hungary at the White House, responded to questions from journalists about how Washington will face Tehran, saying he would wait to see how things would go.

Trump, who launched an economic war with unprecedented sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, has also increased its military threats exponentially. Recently, Abraham Lincoln's aircraft carrier has come near the Persian Gulf, and American strategic bombers have joined the base in Qatar. In the past few days, the media have announced the release of a second US naval group to the region and the transfer of the Patriot missile defense system to the Middle East.

Washington officials, and even the most hardline ones, have stated that they do not intend to engage in war with Iran, and many analyses also reject the possibility of a military conflict, but Trump and his associates obviously are using the language of threaten against Tehran along with other means.

Trump stated that if Iran wanted to take action against the United States, it would make a huge mistake and suffer great difficulty. The significant point is that the same statements addressing Beijing leaders amid the US-China tariff war. While Trump last Friday amid the talks between the two countries had announced that he would implement his decision to increase the level of tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imported goods, warned the Chinese authorities two days ago in the Twitter.

He called on the leaders of Beijing not to retaliate against his recent action. The Chinese have previously said that if this decision is made, tens of billions of US dollars of goods will face more tariffs than before.

Trump told the Chinese to speed up to reach an agreement, because in his second term, they are going to face with harsher conditions.

The US Treasury Department has announced a new tariff of $ 300 billion for other Chinese goods to back Trump’s warnings.

A look at such positions is reminiscent of the frequent warnings that were repeatedly raised against the leaders of other countries by Trump to create a deterrence to prevent countermeasures.

After the last nuclear test by North Korea, which occurred in the end of the summer of 2017, Trump repeatedly targeted 'Kim Jong-un' of his verbal attacks and asked him to retreat from his position. He told China in November of that year that to covey this massage to Pyongyang not to test the US power.

Trump released similar to such sentences, in his Twitter on the summer of last year after President Hassan Rouhani's remarks.

On the last day of July 2018, Rouhani called the US confrontation with Iran as 'mother of wars' and “playing with lion’s tail', after saying that the flow of regional countries' oil from Strait of Hormoz would depend on the flow of Iranian oil. After that, Trump wrote in hostile tone on Twitter that he did not tolerate Iran's threat. He also asked Tehran not to test Washington's will.

The analysis of the content of Trump's stances addressed to various countries, especially those in the top of the list of enemies, shows that deterrence in these positions is of great importance to the US president.

Trump has largely succeeded in preventing a first strike to the United States through what some analysts regard as 'madman strategy' or 'unpredictability'.

This situation is reminiscent of the concepts and issues related to the 'second- strike' theory, which was raised at the height of the US nuclear rivalries with the Soviet Union.

According to this theory, in the event of a nuclear attack, the ability to reciprocate by the power that is attacked is the most important deterrence. In other words, when one power in the case of being attacked can protect its infrastructure and its capabilities for responding or at least convinces the opposite enjoys the ability for second strike, has created a serious obstacle to a possible attack.

A very important point in the course of verbal, diplomatic, commercial, economic, and ... conflicts with other countries is that so far this deterrence has not been substantially and definitively challenged. In the end of this month, South Korean media announced that the northern neighbor was conducting a short-range missile test. The media wrote that the North Korean leader had personally monitored this test.

The announcement of Pyongyang's unexplored nuclear weapons test has followed by this analysis that the North Korean leader is going to push Washington to take concession after Kim sat at the negotiating table with Trump.

While some observers were expecting a thunderous and threatening reaction by Trump, he wrote in a peaceful manner that there was an adequate understanding between the leaders of the two countries and that Kim would not violate the agreement between them and disrupt the negotiation process.

What is clear is that North Korea has not entered the phase of striking Trump by halting missile and nuclear tests, and basically recent tests cannot be considered a strike to the United States, but the best explanation for this move is a fillip to the US president.

Given all these conditions, the strong speculation on Trump's foreign policy is that an economic, commercial, political or military strike would be unlikely, at least during his first term, in the presidency.

However, the assumption of unpredictable and uncontrolled incidents is not impossible. A number of analysts say that the president of the United States has no alternative in the event of such incidents, as Trump and his associates have repeatedly said, they do not know what will happen in the course of the conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran and where does the conflict go?


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