Jan 28 2020

Iran Strike — the Turing Point of Military Law

On January third, President Trump directed an action that shocks the world. A drone strike killed the spymaster of Iran, Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi politician and military commander Jamal Ja’far Muhammad Ali Al Ibrahim. Right after this action, people made predictions about Iran’s reaction. However, there are even comments of it is the initial of the third World War which I think is ridiculous. The reason is not only Iran does not have matched military force to start a global war, but also this assassination will become a substitute for war in the future.

First of all

The first interesting figure I found is as Trump’s assassination is totally an outburst, most people cannot actually make a profit from it. Historically, War was always one of the best ways for a country to make a profit. In contemporary, the country cannot make a profit by spoiling another country, but there are plenty of business chances in the war, stock market for instance. The shares of big arms merchants skyrocket right after the assassination.

Lockheed Martin Corporation is the biggest arms company in the world that contracts  40% of U.S. national defense development.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is also one of the biggest arms companies in the world; B2 Bombers are made by this company.

Even such companies could boom after the attack; other related companies would definitely make a great amount of money. Not to mention the prosper of related businesses like transportation companies across countries.


There are two political powers are going to react. The first is the Iran government’s reaction. In my personal opinion, the Iran government has to revenge. Despite the international relationship, the Iran government has to fight back in order to keep their domination in the nation as so many people and national political power are supporting Soleimani. Indeed, that is what they did, to attack the military base. However, as a government, they will restrain their reaction to mainly political ways like applying sanctions from the U.N. and asking other country’s help.

The second power is the Shiites militias and the military power that supported Soleimani. Those powers are hard to control and predict. The militias are the fuses of this assassination as they attacked the embassy. However, it is hard to predict when revenge will happen, which is the toughest point; the U.S. cannot always be prepared for the attack but the militias have time to hide and wait.


International law

This assassination will be a revolution of international law and military law. If the goal of violence is a common rule of all the executors, it will become a police action. However, if there is not a common rule between the executors, then the violence will become an act of war.

There are two technical limitations of the “common rule” of police action: Zero death of soldiers and zero accidentally injury of civilians. Imagine that, if U.N. judges a terrorist as a sinner and decides to execute him; then a drone shoots a missile and kills that terrorist with no one else died; isn’t it just like what the police do in the nation? In 2003, the U.S. Army tried to implement this police action by assassinating Saddam Hussein; the U.S. tried to declare war on Saddam himself but failed as the military accidentally injured many citizens. However, in 2020, nobody actually condemns the U.S. military shooting a missile in other nations but to condemn the military kills such an important person suddenly.

Nevertheless, after the act of war becomes the police action, the policemen in the nation have to switch their actions into a war act. As in order to achieve a military goal does not require large-scale war, the enemy can preserve their power well. For instance, the U.S. army can achieve their goal by shooting a missile, but the militias can create more terrorist acts in the U.S. Therefore, there will be more pressure on Homeland Security.

Inner the U.S.

To the common people, maybe they will support Trump’s action; however, for the U.S. government, the assassination will also become a revolution. As Trump directed this police action personal by himself, isn’t this a exceed power president? As there will be more police action in the future, who should take this power? Who should limit this power?

There are some opinions about Trump has a bad start that maybe another country will also depend on the assassination to hurt the interest of the U.S.; however, the technology of “police action” is still controlled by Americans as the global satellite and the drone. Therefore, the U.S. can achieve its goal, especially to smaller nations easily. Still, who and how to limit this power?

International politics

The difference from all the military action before, in 2020, Trump did not choose any allies and decided to kill Soleimani by himself using a new way of war. Nonetheless, the basic logic of “police action” is there is a common rule between all executors but apparently, none of the “executors” in the world were ready for stepping into a new era. By owning such a great advance, if Trump does not handle this international relationship issue well, the U.S. may step further in isolationism.

Hu’s thinking:

There was a stampede that happened in the funeral ceremony of Soleimani which reveals there are many Iranians loved him. It is definitely reasonable for the U.S. to identify this person as a terrorist, but still, Soleimani was beloved by eighty million people. Not only worried by revenge, but we should also consider more human factors when judging such an important person.

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  • xf514

    Good thoughts!Keep ongoing!

    November 5, 2020 at 2:25 pm

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