Stop Freaking Out, We Are Not Going to War

Though the U.S. Airstrike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani Angered Many, It Is Not Enough to Start a War


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Sources in CNN claims that the authorization to kill Soleimani were made months prior to the event, and according to Trump were strictly Preemptive.

Isaiah Prophet, Reporter

Whether you saw the memes on Tik Tok or read about the incident in the news, the U.S. airstrike that killed the Iranian General Soleimani has prompted plenty of controversy and raised many questions over the possibility of war. However, that does not mean you need to start panicking.

Tension between the U.S. and Iran have been tight due to a number factors, but the recent attack on Soleimani is one of the most controversial, in my opinion. The reasoning behind the attack, according to CNN was because of speculations that Soleimani and his troops were “responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.” They also speculated that during the Iraq War, he was supplying Iraqi insurgents with bombs that could penetrate armor which could prove to be dangerous to U.S. forces. Although Soleimani was seen as a major threat, according to The New York Times, the people of Iran regarded him as a hero. His reputation as a war-hero is due to the fact that he was a key component during the Iraq War and led many troops into battle, according to NBC News.

They loved him so much in fact that, according to CNBC, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said that “harsh revenge” awaited the “criminals,” a threat that has not happened and probably never will. In the same article, it states that analysts speculate that Tehran, the capital of Iran, does not want to provoke an actual war with the U.S. despite it calls for vengeance. This may sound confusing at first, but it makes sense when you consider the situation Iran is in. After all, it’s very difficult to enact revenge on a country without it being seen as an act of war. But, why go through all the trouble to avoid war in the first place?

Well, this may not come as much of a surprise to most, but waging war is extremely expensive. It costs a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of material, a lot of resources and most importantly, a lot of lives. Frankly, it’s a cost that I don’t think Iran can afford. The gross domestic product (GDP) is the estimated sum total of all goods and services produced by a country during one year; theoretically the more you produce, the higher that number gets and the richer the country becomes. So, when you compare the two countries based on this factor alone, it’s easy to see why Iran would want to avoid war. As of 2019, the United States has an estimated GDP of 64,767, according to a study conducted by the Global finance. In the same article, it also stated that Iran has a GDP of about 18,505.

However, whether or not a country goes to war is never determined by one factor alone. The other factors in this case are nuclear weapons. The U.S. has been stockpiling nuclear bombs since the cold War and have amassed a total of 6,185 atomic bombs since July of 2019, according to the Arms Control Association. Iran on the other hand has zero, but that may be changing because according to the Foreign Policy, after the assassination of Soleimani, Iran has stated that it will no longer abide by any sanctions on its nuclear program, or more specifically, the restrictions that the 2015 nuclear agreement had put in place, an agreement that was brought upon by the United States as well as the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany. The sanctions put in place restricted Iran from enriching uranium to levels that could be used to produce weapons of mass destruction. 

If Tehran is no longer abiding by these sanctions, they are now in the clear to begin enriching uranium. However, that does not mean you have to panic. Understand that nuclear bombs take time to grow and develop. So, even if Iran was planning on building a single nuclear bomb, it could take months or even years to complete. By then, the U.S. will most likely have known and taken action just like it did when the Pentagon sent an airstrike to kill Soleimani.  

We live in a very different age than our ancestors. Back then, war was really the only way to resolve conflict. But, as countries become richer and thus have more to lose, and the threat of nuclear bombs increases, the cons of war much outweigh the pros. We have finally figured out that for the most part, killing each other and spending large sums of money on conflict simply isn’t worth the trouble. Therefore, it is very unlikely that war between the U.S. and Iran will ever happen.