Ali authors warning of Iran's asymmetric threat capabilities

June 28, 2019

With tensions on the rise between the United States and Iran, experts predict that the period of conflict will not have a swift conclusion. Among those voicing their perspectives is Towsley Policymaker in Residence Javed Ali, along with his colleague, Josh Kirshner, in an opinion column in The Hill published on June 27, 2019.

In “Responding to Iran’s asymmetric threat” Ali and Kirshner warn “The closed and opaque nature of Iran’s security apparatus make Iran’s tripwires difficult to forecast. And when combined with President Trump’s unpredictable decision-making, it is a recipe for miscalculation.”

The authors go on to enumerate the ways Iran may fight back, including a cyberattack or proxy attack, and note how the U.S. would likely respond to each potential action.

They conclude by urging U.S. policymakers to make plans in anticipation of such threats, writing “Given the range of tools Iran could utilize against the United States, now is the time for policymakers to work through these scenarios to ensure that attempts at deterrence do not lead to escalation.”

Read the column on 

Javed Ali is a Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Policymaker in Residence at the Ford School returning for the fall 2019 semester and a former Senior Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council (NSC). He has over twenty years of professional experience in national security and intelligence issues in Washington, D.C., and began his federal government career in 2002.