United States, Iran, Congress discussed on MSNBC Rachel Maddow (audio)
Us. Just got a response from house speaker. Nancy Pelosi to this action shen tonight by the trump administration the US Department of Defense saying that it was a US military strike that killed the leader of the coulds force in Iraq. Customs Sumani Pelosi statement not only response to that announcement from the trump administration. It also answers a key question that a lot of us have been trying to report on tonight right which is a question of whether or not the. US Congress was notified ahead of this strike given its import cases like this. You might or might not expect the entire Congress to know that something like this was going to happen in advance but you would into normal circumstances. Expect the so-called gang avait to be notified. That's the top leadership of the House and the Senate and the intelligence committees. You'd expect notification there. Nancy Pelosi making clear in the statement. Tonight that hasn't happened. Quote American leaders highest priority is to protect American lives and interests but we cannot put the lives of American servicemembers diplomats and others further at risk by engaging and provocative and disproportionate. Actions Tonight's airstrike. Risks Provoking further dangerous escalation of violence. America in the world cannot afford to have tensions escalate. To the the point of no return the administration has conducted tonight strikes in Iraq targeting high level Romanian military officials and killing Iranian coulds force commander Customs Sulejmani without an authorization for use of military force against Iran further. This action was taken without the consultation of Congress that answering a question that many of us had tonight. Pelosi concludes quote the full. Congress must be immediately briefed on this serious situation and on the next steps under consideration by the administration including the significant thicken esscalation of the deployment of additional troops to the region again after there were demonstrations and an attack and some fire set at the. US Embassy complex in Baghdad earlier this week the US military announced that one hundred Marines one hundred additional marines would be sent to the Baghdad embassy complex to protect it and that seven hundred. I'm fifty troops. From the eighty second airborne would be sent to Kuwait to nearby Kuwait essentially to function as a rapid reaction force in case they were needed in in Iraq Speaker Pelosi noting that the administration made these strikes against Iranian military officials without authorization from Congress is a confirmation of something. The thing we figured was true her saying that Congress was not notified. Presumably means that includes the gang of Eight. which would include herself? That would be a departure from past practice. Joining us now is treated policy is the executive vice. President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible. Statecraft treat is a founder of the National Iranian American Council all. He's written several books on America's relationship with Iran. His latest is losing an enemy Obama Iran and the triumph of diplomacy Mr Parsley. Thank you so much for being with US tonight. I appreciate making time driving. Let me just ask you an open question about your reaction to this news tonight. I know you've been following this news. Says we have as it's come in. Well it's somewhat similar to some of your previous guests in the sense that it's really difficult not to see this. As an act of awards is really difficult not to see how this will escalate further. It's really difficult to see how the US government has any idea of of how it will be able to prevent that escalation. The Pentagon statement said. This was aimed at deterring further attacks but so was the previous US attack and the previous ones before that in each and every case we have seen that these measures actually have led to further escalation. Rather within the Esscalation I don't think the. US government expected that the attack on the Iraqi militia that killed fifty would lead to the attack on the embassy yet. It did and now we have this attack against disaster nation of what your previous guests said was the number two person in Iran. What escalation does the? US government expect it. Come from this. What preparation do they have? And what are they actually doing to be able to deescalate it to ensure that it doesn't lead to something as big as a full-scale scale war as it very well may do so. There's a lot of question marks as to whether the trump administration has thought through. It has nothing to do whether Soleil money he is a good guy or a bad guy or anything like that. It has to do what happens next. And that's the part. I'm most worried about that. I don't think the US government is truly ready for it if this was an active war if we should see ourselves as in a state of war as we heard from Brett mcgurk moments ago which you just referenced What do you think Americans should expect about what a war between Iran and the United States is like what will Iran consider among its range range of possibilities in terms of how to respond next what they will consider to be proportionate or whether they will in fact seek a disproportionate response as revenge judge? I think we'll sit earlier is probably quite correct that I don't think the Iranians are like GonNa Russia's I think they're going to be consulting with the Russians and the Chinese to try to gauge their reaction to what a response Iran may be considering. I think they will likely do something that will surprise us in the sense John Stott. I was part of those who are trying to figure out what the Iranians are going to do towards In reaction to the trump administration trying to push down their oil exports to zero zero. I did not expect that type of attack on Saudi facilities that have been attributed to Iran by the US government. So I think they may very very well surprise. But I think if this leads to a full-scale war I think the calculation on the Iranian side is going to be that their ability to be able to it. Come out of that. War is inflict as much damage as possible on the United States in a short period of time in order to break the American will and if you have vist Aarp which award is taking place did not get approval from Congress may end up not being particularly popular with the American public than that strategy may have some the prospect of success but it would mean that a lot of people are going to die on both sides and that's not something that has happened to the US. Since the Vietnam War. Because I I think we're talking about casualty levels much beyond we've seen in Iraq and Afghanistan you would see. US FORCES ABROAD FORCES IN IRAQ US forces in Afghanistan as the initial targets for those kinds of attacks or do you think that Iran's reach and their ambitions in that kind of a worst case scenario would extend geographically further even to the US is homeland. I've not seen any evidence that they have the capacity to do so but I'm not privy to the intelligence that would be able to assess as to whether they do or not art from the US side. But I do wonder if that would be a step to the Ranas would be cautious about because if they were to do anything on. US soil then. I think they would change. The nature of this conflict from one in which a lot of Americans would start seeing this as a defensive war and that's a completely different ballgame. I think that would be a step. That they probably recognize would backfire on them if they did but at the same time. I don't think they had the expectation that Sulejmani would would be assassinated i. I'm sure that they knew that he was a target. But I'm sure they also understood on numerous occasions. The probably did have the capacity to assassinate. SONATE him chose not to do so precisely because the US didn't want to escalate and they didn't expect that now. The trump administration actually did want escalate. Thanks Dr Treated the Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute author of losing an Enemy Obama Iran and the triumph of diplomacy Dr Parsley. Thank you so much for being with US tonight. I really appreciate it. Thank you all right ahead. Some more new reporting on on what the US military is doing tonight now that they have confirmed this strike. Live report there when we come back. Stay with us since the news first broke tonight on Iraqi television of all places that Iran's uh-huh top military commander had been killed in Baghdad a household name in Iran the leader of Iran's militia and covert operations around the world. Since that news first broke tonight we have been counting on Cordy Kuby National Security Pentagon correspondent for NBC News for Leading Edge reporting as this continues to develop particularly now that the Defense Department has has put out a statement acknowledging responsibility for this strike. Courtney thanks for being with us. I know it's been a very very busy night. It has what's the latest in terms of the US military response. We've certainly heard the Defense Department statement claiming responsibility for this. Do we know anything else about how the military is potentially Ashley preparing for retaliation. So they're obviously shoring up their installations and locations all over the region but specifically in Baghdad. What they're doing right now is looking at the possible threat streams so what specific threats there are two? US military and diplomats to Americans in Iraq and in the region. And also. Don't don't forget there's a over six hundred Americans in Syria right now. It's a much smaller footprint than what the US had there not only several months ago. So they're looking at any potential Henschel vulnerabilities and how they could potentially shore them you mentioned earlier in the show that the US sent these roughly seven hundred soldiers from the eighty second airborne. These are the quick quick response to the Global Response Force soldiers to Kuwait to be there and ready. Should they need them. It wouldn't be surprising. If we see additional deployments to the region for for additional quick reaction and Response Forces. Should they be needed but right now in Baghdad. They're looking at what. The potential vulnerabilities are for us. Troops and diplomats Matt's in the country and trying to figure out how they can address them immediately and coordinate. Is there any sign that the US obviously this is a US military action and so the US military. We knew they were going to do it. Even if Congress didn't and the the other side didn't is there any indication that that the US military took steps to harden targets forgets to up our force protection levels or to pre position assets in advance of this strike anticipating that there would be a quick need to take care of US forces around the region in response to the killing. So that's actually some this exact question that I've been asking since we got all this confirmed tonight because it hasn't made sense to me why they sent the the battalion of the eighty second airborne to Kuwait in the first place after Benghazi you'll remember that the US military established what the Marines call a special a special purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Special Purpose Mag Taff specifically for what the what we saw happening in Baghdad. where an embassy was this was under threat? It's called crisis response. And you know after Benghazi. They have these marines that are stationed throughout the region in in Europe mainly Finley. That are quick reaction if there is an embassy threat it made sense to send the MAG taff guys in the one hundred marines for the embassy. But why did they send the seven hundred hundred additional and I've been asking that question all over was it because they knew this was coming the US military the circle of people who knew that these strikes were coming against Gaza Solo on Lien..