"The size of the force involved has shocked some who have been briefed on [the plan]," the NYT stated, adding "120,000 troops would approach the size of the U.S. force that invaded Iraq in 2003."
The Shanahan plan does not expect a direct invasion to Iran, however. So far, Washington's design seems to be a deterrent measure framed by President Donald Trump's rhetorical threats of escalation.
“We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it will be a very bad mistake,” said the U.S. head of state Monday and added that “if they do anything they will suffer greatly.”
The acting secretary's plan came to light just days after Bolton announced his government will send a fleet of military ships led by the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf.
Iraq war was a total exorbitant cost disaster for US. Iran war will be twice as big a disaster as Iraq war was for US. Looks like Trump is getting sucked into it. pic.twitter.com/mK5WESK15S
— ���� ��������Dan Popescu ������������ (@PopescuCo)
May 14, 2019
It was one year ago that the Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) multilateral nuclear agreement and reinstated sanctions against Iran that began in the late 1970s aimed at preventing the Persian nation's oil exports.
Last month, Trump also ended U.S. exemptions to eight nations enabling them, including China and India, to continue buying Iranian crude. The move was made to try to force Tehran into a broader arms control agreement.
In response to the new White House agressions, Iranian authorities say they may block the Hormuz strait, an internationally strategic oil transport route and last week Tehran said it will end some of its nuclear deal commitments.
Anticipating an increase of tensions, the EU Foreign Policy High Representative Federica Mogherini asked U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo Monday for "maximum containment and to avoid any (military) escalation" with Iran.