The question of war with Iran is now settled. With President Donald Trump’s decision to authorize the U.S. military to execute Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iranian forces throughout the Middle East, the United States is at war with Iran, whether the White House acknowledges it or not. It’s the equivalent of Iran killing the commander of U.S. Central Command.
Without a doubt, Iran will respond to the execution of Soleimani with deadly force. The question will be where and when?
The Iran-sponsored attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the military attack that killed Soleimani are acts of war that make the nature of the relationship no longer an issue. This war is not — and is unlikely to be in the future — a conventional war as American political and military authorities would prefer. It will continue to be internationally political, unconventional and asymmetric.