Way back in the beginnings of our country, our Founding Fathers fought the British for eight long years. Our involvement in World War I was less than two years. We were involved covertly an overtly for five plus years for World War II.
The Vietnam War was the first shooting war that lasted longer than the American Revolution. The first combat death occurred on July 8th, 1959 and the last on April 29th, 1975 making it a 16 year war.
Several pundits claim our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq which began in 2001 and continues to this day is, at 18+ years, our longest war. However, those who say it is the longest shooting war are wrong, by a long shot. It is simply a theater in a much longer war that began when our embassy was taken in on November 4th, 1979. Sometimes our conflict with Iran has come out in the open, most of the time it is covert. By my math, that’s 31 years and covers the terms of seven presidents – Carter Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump.
What we saw earlier in the year was just the latest flare-up in what has been a series of political crisis and outright combat. The Iranians jab at the country they call the Great Satan pushing right up to the brink of a major conflict. Mostly they prefer to use proxies, i.e. Hezbollah and its terrorist organizations such as Islamic Jihad to strike at the U.S. and its allies.
Several times, the U.S. has slapped the Iranian’s hand and the Ayatollahs pull back, rethink their strategy and then jab at us again. Here’s a brief and incomplete summary:
1979 – Embassy seized, U.S. citizens held for 444 day and released on January 20th, 1981.
1982 – 1988 – U.S. provides diplomatic and intelligence support to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. We also covertly provided weapons through third parties to Iran.
1983 – Terrorist organizations supported by Iran bomb the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, kidnaps and kills a senior CIA officer, blows up the Marine Barracks bombing. Over 320 Americans are killed, hundreds are injured.
1984 – Second bombing of the U.S. Beirut embassy.
1987 – U.S. seizes and seize several oil platforms used by Iran to support attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf.
1988 – On April 12th, the U.S.S. Samuel B. Roberts is severely damaged by an Iranian mine. The U.S. destroys two Iranian frigates.
2008 – Islamic Jihad, a terrorist arm of Hezbollah attacks the U.S. Embassy in Yemen
2003 – the present day – Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Quds Force continue to actively support attacks on U.S. servicemen and facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and the five other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council states – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the U.A.E. Since 1983, the most accepted estimate is that Iranian tactics, leaders and advisors have caused about 17% of the U.S. casualties.
2020 – Militants incited and supported by the IRGC/Quds Force attack the U.S. Embassy in Bagdad. Two days later, the U.S. kills General Qasem Suliemani who was sanctioned as a terrorist by the European Union, the United Nations, the U.S. and Israel.
The point is that the U.S./Iran conflict is not over and will not end until the Iranian’s change their behavior. They are, by far and away, the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.