Sen. Tom Cotton said Tuesday the U.S. could win a war with Iran in only “two strikes” amid simmering tensions between the two countries.
When asked if the United States could emerge successful from a conflict with the Middle Eastern state, Mr. Cotton said, “Yes, two strikes. The first strike and the last strike.”
“If Iran struck out militarily against us or against our allies in the region, then I would certainly expect a devastating response against Iran,” the Arkansas Republican said in an interview on PBS’ “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover” show.
“I don’t advocate military action against Iran. I’m simply delivering the message that if Iran were to attack the United States it would be a grave miscalculation on their part and there would be a furious response,” he said.
Mr. Cotton, who served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, added he supports military intervention to help Iran “govern themselves.”
“We don’t want to rule 80 million Iranians. We want 80 million Iranians to be able to govern themselves,” he said, adding he wants the regime to “rejoin the civilized world and stop supporting terrorism and trying to overthrow the governments of so many of its neighbors.”
“War is never inevitable. War is always the product of human choices,” the senator said.
Mr. Cotton’s statements follow a New York Times report Monday night that the Trump’s administration is planning to send 120,000 troops to the region.
President Trump denied planning for it right now, but he said a land invasion would require him to “send a hell of a lot more troops than” 120,000.