Deadly Iran-backed Attack Requires Response Against Iranian Regime Targets

An Iran-backed group conducted a drone attack on January 28 that killed three U.S. service members and injured at least 34 in Jordan. This was the first known Iran-backed attack against U.S. forces in Jordan and, more significantly, the first time, since Hamas’s October 7 invasion of Israel, that U.S. troops have been killed.

The Biden administration has previously only used limited and reluctant force to respond to at-tacks on U.S. forces. Indeed, it responded more regularly and strongly to attacks on commercial shipping (10 U.S. strikes in response to at least 46 attacks) than it has to those on U.S. forces (10 strikes in response to at least 165 attacks). The United States can no longer afford to be so hesitant. The killing of U.S. troops is a red line that demands a strong response. Failing to do so will result in more American casualties. To stop Iran-linked attacks, the United States will need to use force directly against Iranian regime targets as well as surge air defense assets to the Middle East that can better protect U.S. personnel and regional partners.