The US administration recently warned the government of Iran against taking any action to block the Straight of Hormuz that would threaten the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf. At the same time our military is readying for a possible naval clash.
The conflict over Iran's stated intention to close the Straight of Hormuz to international traffic, comes as tensions mount over the Iranian regime's pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Any further progress on that front raises the very real prospect of an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear infrastructure.
Recent targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists may provoke Iran to retaliate or to engage in a 'first strike' against an American or Israeli target. The consequences of which would be a shooting war.
The only real justification for a shooting war would be to put an end to Iran's nuclear weapon ambitions once and for all.
As long as Iran threatens the destruction of the Jewish state, Israel will act in its own self-interest with or without the blessings of an US administration that cannot come up with a reasonable plan to halt Iran's nuclear ambitions.
The influence of internal politics in the US, Israel and Iran should not be underestimated. Relations between the US and Israeli chief executives are strained at best, and the development of nuclear weapons in Iran has become increasingly a matter of national pride. All of which could result in a shooting war.
The American people await their elected representatives to exercise their role to check executive war powers, but hold out little hope that any of our elected representatives would want to be seen as weak in an election year.
This would not be the first time that war started because of poor judgement.
And, as tensions continue to mount errors of judgement or accidents could propel us into a war with no clear objectives, no firm war plan, and of course without those two ingredients, no one will know when to stop fighting.