Last night’s display of missile strength was predictable, given that Iran’s conventional military power lies almost solely in its expansive missile arsenal, which as of late, as pointed out by Benham Taleblu of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Iran has strived to inject with some qualitative edge. In other words, Iran’s missile superiority in the past has been a result of sheer number.
But we didn’t really see that ambition on display last night. As Bret Baier pointed out yesterday evening following the missile strikes, Iran did not target the largest base in which American forces were housed, nor did it attempt to attack the base closest to Iran. Yesterday’s performance seemed more an act to save face and to appease the media cries for retaliation than a bid to enter into war with the United States. The Iranian regime may be proud, but they are not stupid.
It’s likely the regime will remain sensitive regarding whether the attack amounted to a sufficient show of strength or not. According to the New York Times, some Iranian outlets on Wednesday morning were reporting dozens of deaths of U.S. soldiers, citing information obtained from the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). As we know, this death toll is entirely fabricated, but it hints at the regime’s desire to exude strength rather than genuinely wield it and face the full brunt of the U.S. military.