Statement of Retired Major General Paul D. Eaton, Former Iraq War Commander, on Rumors of Iran War Planning

WASHINGTON, DC – Following reports last evening that the White House has begun planning potential military operations against Iran, including sending 120,000 troops to the region, former Iraq War commander, and senior adviser to VoteVets, Paul D. Eaton, released the following statement:

“Any operations of real consequence will require many more troops than 120,000.  The administration must be completely open, honest and transparent with people – and with Congress, which must authorize any operations.  Please note the absence of warriors in the Trump administration. None of the top decision makers in the Trump administration have suffered war. Any shows of force, or ‘bloody nose strikes’ may set off full-fledged sectarian war in the region, at which point the United States would have to commit a significant majority of our Armed Forces, at far greater risk than committed in either Iraq venture. The Iranians have demonstrated in previous wars a far greater tolerance for pain than any Arab state. 

The power vacuums that would be left during such a war would be a breeding ground for the next generation of terror groups.  Like ISIS arose because of our invasion of Iraq, the next terror organization may form out of war with Iran, putting American civilian lives in great peril.  From the east coast, to the heartland, to the Pacific, every American would be at risk.  Make no mistake, Iran will fight. 

None of this would be happening, if the Donald Trump hadn’t violated the Iran Nuclear Deal, and remained a part of constructive dialogue that took years to establish.  That deal opened up potential to settle other differences in the region, peacefully. With the United States in violation, and with the same neocons who led us into Iraq, now in charge of Donald Trump’s foreign policy, we’re hurtling towards a war with Iran that may very likely result in many more lives lost, for no good reason.

Death at home and abroad, and regional chaos, are all things that John Bolton and the neocons in the administration may see as acceptable costs.  Donald Trump may see these as acceptable costs.  If so, let them go to Congress to allow the people’s representatives to debate and vote on it, as the Constitution requires. If they do not, we can only surmise that, like with so many other issues, Donald Trump is afraid of real Congressional oversight.”

Major General (Ret.) Paul Eaton served more than 30 years in the United States Army, including combat and post-combat assignments in Iraq, Bosnia and Somalia. As a major general he was assigned to Iraq from 2003 to 2004 as Commanding General of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team (CMATT), where he designed, manned, trained, and equipped the Iraqi armed forces for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the security forces for the Interior Ministry.