Local political expert weighs in on rising tensions in the Middle East
SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Local political expert Jack Colwell was live in ABC57's studio on Wednesday to give his thoughts on the rising tensions in the Middle East, less than a day after an Iraqi military base that houses United States troops was targeted by more than a dozen Iranian missiles.
There were no reports of U.S. casualties in the incident.
“That was intentional, it had to be. Iran wanted to send a message but they didn’t want to send a message of actually killing a lot of Americans. If they had intended to, with those rockets, they could have inflicted serious causalities,” Colwell said. “They did not want this to be a big slaughter.”
Iran’s missile attack comes just as the country buries Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed last week in an American drone strike in Iraq.
“It’s such a dangerous situation,” Colwell said. “What if Iran misfired and killed a dozen American troops? There’s such a danger with miscalculation.”
President Donald Trump on Twitter late Tuesday said that he would make a statement the following morning in regards to the missile strike.
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2020
“The ball is in President Trump’s court. I think he will respond with some restraint. Of course, it’s President Trump and we don’t know what he will do. Will he just send out tweets?” Colwell said.
Colwell said that the current impeachment proceedings could play a big part in how Trump responds to the missile strike.
“He is viewing everything with that [impeachment] in mind. How he responds very well might be aimed with how his base wants him to respond,” Colwell said.
Locally, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been outspoken about the tensions in the Middle East and Colwell said it might set him apart from the large field of Democratic presidential hopefuls.
“He is establishing some credentials in foreign affairs where, presumably, he was weak as the mayor of South Bend,” Colwell said. “I think in the debate next Tuesday that will be a big, big topic.”