My feeling is that the US can not open another war front and to flock it ahead successfully while they are losing two other invasions (not wars) . But the US administration has not shown signs for of retiring from their efforts to hit at Iran.
But I am amazed at the (strong) Iranian responses, because they appeared so bold and it seems the Americans are backing off, a bit, even if they are verbally very aggressive. Afghanistan and Iraq are different cases IMHO. Iran has an active military, research and development programs. More than that, they have energy resources.
And I believe more than the military might, energy will play a key role, if this attack ever materialize. Because the rising Asian economies of India and China are fighting for big energy resources (and Indians are losing to Chinese companies recently) but the planned pipelines from Iran via arch rival Pakistan may help Indians to achieve their rising energy needs to a small extent. U.S.A itself is depending on other nations on their conventional energy needs. So, they can’t just come and say to stop all the dealings with the Iranians to other nations.
As each day progress, the East Asia is getting bigger in terms of economic might (but don’t confuse they are as big as the US, that will take decades, but one day they will be there), making it difficult for the US to bully on them.
Anyway the Chinese are too big for them to bully, but they can surely try it on Indians, but the opposition is strong in India and there is a strong opposition to the nuclear deal which everyone outside India thinks is a bargain for the Indians.
A summary at FPRI on Kaplan’s latest work on the new balance of power.
Kaplan feels that we tend to divide the world up artificially into old Cold War classifications of the Middle East, the South Asian Indian subcontinent, and the Pacific Rim of East Asia. These divisions were forced on the U.S. by the Cold War, in which the country had a whole world to patrol, in a way. And so Washington broke it up into academic specialties in order to get a better grip on things. But increasingly, as China, North Korea, Japan, and India do more and more trade with Iran and Syria, and the Indian and Chinese navies are increasingly in the Persian Gulf, these boundaries are breaking apart. A holistic map of Eurasia is reasserting itself. Any conflict with Iran would involve India and China in some way, because of all the trade they do there. The Persian Gulf is about to become much more clogged with oil supertankers than it ever was. That is because among a number of big phenomena going on in the world today, Kaplan said, one is the growth of the Chinese and Indian middle classes.
India has 1.5 billion people. Its middle class is growing from 200 million to a predicted 350 million. China has similar statistics. Middle classes are acquisitive, Kaplan observed. They buy things and consume a lot of energy. And so the growth of these middle classes means tremendous energy consumption, much of which is going to have to be solved by oil. Ninety percent of India’s energy requirements are going to be filled by oil in the Persian Gulf within a few years, as opposed to 65 percent today. China’s statistics are similar. We are about to see a major energy highway from the Persian Gulf across the Indian Ocean to the strait of Malacca to China and Japan and across the Persian Gulf to the west coast of India. Energy politics are going to tie China and India much more closely to the Arab and Persian world than they ever were before.
This is why the U.S. position now in the Middle East is untenable, Kaplan argued. The U.S. has to find a way gradually, with carrots and sticks, to open up Iran and have some sort of normalized relationship with that country. The rest of the world is not going to wait the U.S. out, but is moving closer to Iran and Russia, because crude oil petroleum prices are going to continue to go up over the long run because of the growth of middle classes around the world.