On Monday, June 24, 2019, President Donald Trump announced that America does not need to protect other countries’ commerce in foreign water passages like the Strait of Hormuz.
Trump is not particularly concerned about Iranian activity in the region so long as they don’t develop a nuclear weapon.
Trump made it clear that America should not be the world’s police.
He went on Twitter to call on countries like China and Japan—countries that get most of their oil shipped through the Strait of Hormuz—to defend their own vessels.
“So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation. All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been a dangerous journey,” Trump tweeted.
“We don’t even need to be there in that the U.S. has just become (by far) the largest producer of Energy anywhere in the world!” Trump added. “The U.S. request for Iran is very simple — No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror!”
Trump’s tweet coincided with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meeting with leaders in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to discuss ways to contain Iran’s influence in the Middle East.
On Twitter, Pompeo declared that he had a “productive” meeting with the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, where they talked about “heightened tensions in the region and the need to promote maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz. Freedom of navigation is paramount.”
In the last week, the U.S. blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers off the Gulf of Oman and also blamed the Islamic Republic for shooting down a drone in international waters.
Despite massive pressure to react with military force, President Trump called off a military strike that would have killed 150 Iranians.
On Monday, June 24, 2019, the Trump administration announced that it placed more sanctions on Iran.
Although Trump should be commended for showing military restrain, his actions to continue sanctioning Iran are troubling.
Sanctions are a form of economic warfare and often embolden the regimes being targeted.
Trump should take a completely separate course that emphasizes diplomacy and starts removing troops from the Middle East—a region where instability has been the norm in the past thousand years.
The U.S. can no longer afford to be the world police.