Republican Senator and Committee Vice Chair Susan Collins recently asked Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin about a New York Times report that “Iranian-backed terrorists continue to attack U.S. forces in the region.” Here is the exchange:
COLLINS: Secretary Austin, as you indicated in your opening remarks, Iranian backed terrorist proxy groups in the region have launched numerous drone and rocket attacks against our forces, U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq. According to press reports, there have been at least 20 such attacks and 19 U.S. service members have been wounded. It’s imperative that Iran and its proxy groups understand that they cannot attack American forces with impunity. I know that last week, President Biden ordered two U.S. strikes against facilities in Syria used by Iranian proxies to threaten our troops. But The New York Times has reported over the weekend that Iranian backed terrorists continue to attack U.S. forces in the region even after these airstrikes, since these U.S. airstrikes apparently have not been sufficient to deter additional attacks on our troops by Iranian backed proxies. What else is the department doing to stop attacks against American troops?
AUSTIN: Thanks. Sure. First of all, let me emphasize that the protection, the safety of our troops and our civilians is of utmost importance to me and of utmost importance to the president as well. We’ve taken a number of steps to make sure that we increase our force protection posture. We’ve deployed a number of assets into the region as well. We’ve been clear. The president’s been clear-- and I have been clear right here-- that if this doesn’t stop, then we will respond. And so we maintain the right to respond. We have the capability to do that. And we will respond at a time and place of our choosing.
Well, that’s reassuring! After just 20 or so attacks, we’ve increased our “force protection posture!” Yay! That oughta show ‘em! And we’ve deployed a number of “assets” into the region. And, by golly, we maintain the right to respond! And we are capable of doing that, we’ll have you know! Moreover, if these incessant rocket attacks that have wounded so many of our troops don’t stop, we will respond! At a time and place of our choosing! Maybe even this year-- and in the Middle East somewhere and against Iranian-backed entities of some kind! Possibly militarily! So there!
Translation: don’t mess with Uncle Sam or we might misgender you-- or cut off sales of essential oils, perfumes, cosmetics, and toiletries to you! ($651,120 in 2022!)
the Biden administration have a bizarre case of Stockholm Syndrome?
Teddy Roosevelt admonished us to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” The Biden administration often yammers on loudly…but can’t even find its twig.