- Denis Balibouse/Reuters
- The Trump administration asked the Pentagon for military options to strike Iran last fall, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.
- The request alarmed Pentagon and State Department employees, current and former US officials reportedly told the Journal.
- The well-known hawk John Bolton has headed Trump’s National Security Council since April. Bolton has emphasized a more aggressive approach to Iran.
The White House reportedly asked the Pentagon for military options to strike Iran last fall after an attack by militants in Baghdad’s diplomatic quarter, where the US embassy is, though the attack caused no harm, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.
One former senior US administration official described the Trump administration’s attitude about the prospect of striking Iraq as “cavalier” and “mind-boggling,” the Journal reported.
Current and former US officials reportedly told the Journal that the request also prompted broader worries at the Pentagon and State Department, though the Pentagon did develop the military options as requested, according to the report.
President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, which advises the president on national security and foreign policy, has been headed by the well-known hawk John Bolton- who previously served in the George W. Bush administration – since April.
His appointment rattled many in the national-security establishment, as Business Insider has previously reported. Concerning statements include past comments made attacking the US’ Iran strategy and his suggestion that the US might preemptively attack North Korea.
Notably, since Bolton took office, he has emphasized a more aggressive approach to Iran.
The administration’s September interest in military options to strike Iran was first reported by the Journal.
The White House made threatening public statements that month about holding Iran accountable for any injury to US personnel or government facilities. Bolton also told CNN that month that the US would hold Iran responsible for the actions of militias in Iraq, Iran’s close ally.
The White House also asked last fall for military options to strike Iraq and Syria after a second September attack hit “relatively close” to the American consulate, causing no serious damage, according to the Journal report.