The Increasing Tension Between the U.S. and Iran

The Increasing Tension Between the U.S. and Iran

June 24, 20191 min read

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman and an unmanned drone was shot down in the last two weeks, escalating tensions between the United States and Iran. After a last-minute bailout of a retaliatory airstrike, President Donald Trump announced additional sanctions against Iran on June 24.

Lowell Gustafson, PhD, a political science professor, taught American foreign policy and a course titled "Theories of War and Peace" for several years. He says with the talk of airstrikes and President Trump claiming there will be "obliteration like you've never seen before," Congress needs to step in. 

"Congress should immediately hold hearings and vote on exactly what conditions would need to be met before such an order was given. Before Congress makes an initial authorization to use force against Iran, the military should not follow any order to do so by the President. Our founders gave Congress the power to declare war since a single executive, whether monarch or president, should not have the authority to make such a weighty decision unilaterally."

Dr. Gustafson noted that so far, sanctions have proven counterproductive and a "unilateral presidential decision to use force undermines American constitutional democracy." He said the president's failure to think systematically about this issue leaves us moving from tactic to tactic.

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  • Lowell Gustafson, PhD
    Lowell Gustafson, PhD Professor of Political Science | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Lowell Gustafson, PhD, is an expert in the politics, political structure and cultural heritage of Latin America.

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