"The United States has more than 5,000 troops stationed in Iraq, which has a State Department waiver from sanctions allowing it to keep purchasing electricity from Iran. U.S. forces are also based in Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Iraq has a number of Shiite militia groups, backed and trained by Iran, that have criticized the U.S. designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp, an elite branch of Iran’s military, as a terrorist organization.

The Persian Gulf includes critical sea lanes for oil shipments, particularly at the Strait of Hormuz. As U.S. sanctions have dried up many markets for Iran’s oil, Tehran has threatened to close the strait. When Bahrain objected, an Iranian official responded: “Mind your small size and do not threaten someone bigger than yourself.”

The White House announced Sunday that the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and its escort ships are in the Mediterranean and have been en route to the Persian Gulf region since early April.



I am told that the Israelis have told the neocon claque (Bolton, Pompeo, etc.) that the Iranians are preparing to attack the large number of US personnel in Iraq.  This may or may not be true, but, if it is, it would provide a predicate (popular word these days) for the US war against Iran that Israel very much wants.   There might even be a whiff of gas in the air.  Who knows?

So, Pompey the Great is off to Baghdad to tell them wogs to behave and be prepared to be supported as an independent and sovereign country.  Understand?

A problem with this is the existence of a lot of Shia militias in Iraq who don't want US personnel to be in Iraq at all and who would react to any aggressive action against Iran with dire ferocity.

Trump is AWOL on this except in the sense that he is a more or less silent partner, but, IMO a war of choice against Iran would kill his chances of re-election.  pl