The establishment of a military force to go abroad and overthrow governments does not appear anywhere in the Constitution of the United States, nor does calling for destruction of countries that do not themselves threaten America appear anywhere in Article 2, which describes the responsibilities of the President. Indeed, both Presidents George Washington and John Quincy Adams warned against the danger represented by foreign entanglements, with Adams specifically addressing what we now call democracy promotion, warning that the United States “should not go abroad to slay dragons.”
Since the end of the Second World War, the United States has proven to be particularly prone to attacking other countries that have only limited capability to strike back. North Korea was the exception that proved the rule when the Chinese intervened to support its ally in 1950 to drive back and nearly destroy advancing U.S. forces. Otherwise, it has been a succession of Granada, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Serbia, and Libya, none of which had the capability to hit back against the United States and the American people.
Iran just might prove to be a harder nut to crack. There has been a considerable escalation in tension between Washington and Tehran since the White House withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May. The JCPOA was intended to monitor Iran’s nuclear program to ensure that it would not be producing a nuclear weapon. Since that time, the U.S. and Israel have been threatening the Iranians and accusing them of both having a secret nuclear program and engaging in widespread regional aggression. In the latest incident, President Donald Trump tweeted in response to comments made on July 21st by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who had told a meeting of Iranian diplomats that war between America and Iran would be a misfortune for everyone, saying
“Mr. Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail, this would only lead to regret. America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”