Is this the Middle East escalation we’ve been fearing?

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Mark Episkopos

“Growing risks to American service members and concerns that these continued exchanges could trigger a direct military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran have spurred new perspectives on the costs and benefits of the continued military presence in the Middle East. The 2,500 and 900 troops in Iraq and Syria, respectively, are ostensibly there to prevent the resurgence of the Islamic State, but the rationale behind this presence has come under scrutiny. … American troops have reportedly been attacked a staggering four times within less than a day of Sunday’s airstrike, sending the clearest signal yet that retaliatory strikes have not had their intended deterring effect. As the Gaza crisis roils on, the dangers confronting U.S. troops — and, with them, calls to reconsider the tools and goals of American power projection in the Middle East — will likely intensify.” (11/14/23)