How the Soleimani Strike Hurt U.S. Interests in Iraq

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In January 2020, just days after the United States assassinated Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iran responded with a missile attack that wounded over 100 American soldiers, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech titled “The Restoration of Deterrence: The Iranian Example.” Pompeo then claimed that the assassination “re-establish[ed] deterrence” with Iran, but as the dramatic increase in attacks by Iranian-backed militias against U.S. interests has revealed, Pompeo’s contention is even weaker almost two years later. One need not mourn the death of a terrible man to recognize that the decision to assassinate Soleimani was a reckless abuse of executive power that led to major blowback against the United States.

The Militias After the Strike

In light of the exponential increase in militia attacks on U.S. bases since January 2020, the argument that the strike…

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