American wars will not end with Afghanistan or ISIS where wars are presently underway. The next American war will likely be a continuation of the clashes with Taliban in Afghanistan and ISIS possibly eventually followed by clashes with Iran or some sort of struggle with Russia (possibly over Ukraine or Russian interference in U.S. elections).
The possibility of "oil wars" involving the U.S. seemed possible several years ago but the threat has eased because of the discovery and development of huge shale formation deposits of oil and natural gas in the U.S., ( although President Trump has raised the possibility of taking over the oil reserves of troubled countries, i.e, Iraq.)
Likely American war possibilities, with ISIS, Syria, Iran, and North Korea - will be examined. Potential clashes with Russia, Mexico, and China (South China Sea) will also be examined.
Although the Afghanistan War and Isis War are not over, an alert citizen senses that the next conflict (after Afghanistan and ISIS) involving the United States, or our close U.S. ally in the Mideast, Israel, could begin some time in the near future.
Possibilities for a war involving the US and/or Israel include a a missile or air force attack on the nuclear facilities of Iran. A quick-hitting, land-based, commando attack on Iranian nuclear facilities is not out of the question, although this is a less likely scenario since Iran, vis-a-vis - Hezbollah - has showed it can fight and that it has good weapons to fight with .
Iran would defend itself against localized attacks but is unlikely to attempt massive counterattacks over such limited forays. A full-scale war that might bring other combatants into the clash would thus likely be prevented. I also project, at this time, that major military actions against Iran would be performed solely by the U.S. U.S. action would be more acceptable to the world community in general and Israeli involvement might bring other Muslim countries into the fray. Also, since the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel War in Lebanon which has shown that they are no longer invincible, Israel needs to be selective who they tangle with.
A possible full-scale war directly involving the US could occur with Iran. However, Iran is big and tough as the Hezbollah - Israel war of 2006 showed. In regards to Syria, America is already involved in the civil war there (as is Russia) and these two countries will try to avoid Syrian war with the war in Afghanistan far from finished. Additionally, a bloody civil war is going on in Syria with many parties fighting each other but, fortunately, the civil war appears to, mercifully, about to end.
I'm usually against all wars but the present active U.S. war against ISIS is one war I am enthusiastic about. ISIS consists of a cast of vicious characters that have to be stopped.
Until the U.S. military got reinvolved, ISIS was invincible in Iraq. Iraq is fighting much better, now and ISIS doesn't appear nearly as invincible as they once did.
Venezuela. Venezuela has lots and lots of oil. Even if you discount Venezuela's difficult-to-recover tar sand deposits, there is lots of oil in that country. And the gargantuan tar sand deposits themselves may some day be a tempting target. All the research and development work underway on the somewhat similar oil-sand deposits in Canada would be useful.
In addition to oil, Venezuela also had a leftist president - Hugo Chavez until he recently died. Chavez had a big mouth. He had constantly smart-mouthed the U.S. over the past few years.
But Chavez is dead now and the Energy Crisis is not nearly as serious. The U.S. is not going to attack Venezuela to seize their oil! However, the new Venezuelan government has all sorts of problems and may be headed for bankruptcy. Just as things got tough in Venezuela, trump threatened to invade them but was apparently talked out of such senseless action.
Cuba. There are reports that Cuba has found a huge offshore oil deposit (5 billion barrels or more of valuable light oil). I can just see the eyes of the American oil men glisten at the very thought of getting their hands on that size of light oil deposit close to the U.S. There are reports that China might help Cuba develop the deposit. If the tale of the oil deposit is true, it should be interesting to watch the U.S., Cuba, and China maneuver around each other. But we can probably be confident that no serious war between the involved countries will occur! The energy crisis is over!
Things did not go well for the Bush Administration in Latin America. Although democracy has spread and free-market economies are now the rule, the democratic governments the people of various countries have elected are not what the Bush people would have wanted. Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Ecuador have all freely elected left-leaning or left of center governments. ! In addition, graft has reached new highs in many of these countries
All of these countries have weak militaries which would be easy meat for the U.S.
The Latin American countries are not in any great danger of attack from the U.S. at this time; Public opinion in this country would be too much against it!
Mexico is a special case because they are located next door. And they have allowed drug gangs to become large and dangerous. Plus, Mexico has allowed their substantial petroleum industry to deteriorate due largely to graft. And don't forget the border problem. Plenty of opportunity for President Trump who recently asked the Mexican President if they need "help" with their crime problem. Mexico, beware of "Greeks bearing gifts"!
Syria does not have the military strength to challenge the U.S., however, Syria has a mutual defense pact with Iran. This could,conceivably, draw Syria into an unplanned war if Israel and/or the U.S. decide to attack Iran.
The U.S. immediate concern with Iran is over the nuclear enrichment program that Iran was recently developing and could easily restart. The fear is that Iran might use the enriched uranium to develop nuclear weapons. A major concern is that Iran might turn a bomb over to terrorists. ( I do not think that Iran would ever take such action!)
If war breaks out, Iran won't be an easy US target though!
When Iran fought Iraq back in the eighties, the Iranian military was not in good shape. The Ayatollah Khomeini had taken over Iran and purged the military, slaughtering anyone he thought might be a threat to his regime. Practically the entire officer corps was wiped out. This included the Iran's well-trained air force pilots. (Iran's air force was one of the best in the world and had been trained and equipped by the U.S.) So the air force practically ceased to exist.
Against Iraq, the Iranians resorted to letting religious leaders lead the military. The results were crude human wave attacks wherein tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of Iranian youths were slaughtered. Still, even with all their problems, the Iranians held their own against an Iraqi military that was large but also incompetent. The U.S. and many oil-rich Arab countries poured billions of dollars and aid into Iraq to bolster them.
Iran is unlikely to fight so stupidly again!
Iran's conventional forces are no match for the U.S. in a war but they are improving their conventional forces as time goes by. They have a significant rocket and missile force that they are enlarging and this would pose a threat to Israel in the highly unlikely event that Israel would, alone, attack Iran. The rocket and missile force could also pose a threat to U.S. naval ships in the land-locked Persian Gulf, and, in the event of a future major war, could enable the Iranians to shut down oil shipments from the Persian Gulf. This could create a Persian Gulf oil disaster. The resulting world oil shortage would put a tremendous amount of pressure on the U.S.
The relatively large Iranian economy (heavily based on oil exports) is also a problem for either the U.S. or Israel. Although the present sanctions are definitely a problem, Iran probably has sufficient funds to continue improving their military and, several years from now, an attack on them may be even more dangerous than at present. The Iranians have not rushed pell-mell into buying foreign weapons although they have purchased a substantial amount. Instead, they have been more intent on building up a stronger weapons production industry within Iran. This defense industry infrastructure was not present during their long war with Iraq and they are trying to remedy that wreakness.
Geography is less favorable for an quick American invasion and conquest of Iran than it was for the Iraq invasion. The capital city, Tehran, is located far inland. Unlike the Iraqi campaign where Baghdad lay fairly close to the border, a U.S. invasion force would not be in Tehran in two weeks and probably not for months. Such a long campaign would entail many more casualties than the U.S. suffered in the Iraqi campaign.
It should also be noted that Iran closely watched the next-door war in Iraq and has, no doubt, planned accordingly if their turn comes. They will not go down easily in a future war with the U.S!
Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Of course, the elected former president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, did not help matters with the U.S. and Israel by publicly stating that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth. He also repeatedly insulted the U.S. Was he asking for war or what?
Ahmadinejad was an educated leader (civil engineer) and, with Iran's massive natural resources and relatively large population, could easily have helped lead Iran into the upper ranks of the developed nations of the earth. But he couldn"t do that by adopting the concepts of the extreme Islamic movements. Hopefully, he was just placating these extremist groups while he got the country up and running. And then again, maybe I am just giving him the benefit of the doubt which he may not deserve. In any event, in the recent election, Ahmadinejad was replaced by a more moderate president.
Of course, the major reason that a U.S. - Iran war is unlikely is the agreement we signed with them stopping their nuclear arms development. In my opinion, the agreement was good for both Iran and the U.S. President Trump, egged on by some his right-wing supporters, has recently withdrawn from the agreement and has begun attacking Iran verbally.
Although Hezbollah is an unofficial Iranian terrorist organization, it needs to be carefully noted that their terrorism appears to be directed solely towards Israel....and not towards the U.S. Hezbollah is a well-led organization with a multitude of well-armed fighters based largely in Lebanon.
A U.S.-North Korea war is always possible, but because of North Korea's large conventional army and nuclear capability, the U.S. is acting with great restraint with North Korea. If war does break out, the North Korean army would probably occupy South Korea quickly, forcing the small "trip-wire" force of Americans there to withdraw. A long campaign with huge American casualties, would be necessary to reoccupy South Korea. No wonder the U.S. moves delicately with North Korea.
An American - China conflict over Taiwan is possible but very unlikely. China is very possessive about Taiwan but doesn't want a confrontation with the U.S. and the U.S. certainly does not want a war with China, a strong nuclear power. If China does decide to occupy Taiwan, it will probably be with the U.S.'s reluctant OK - U.S. tough-talk to the contrary.
Taiwan, you are probably on your own! At some point, you may want to make a deal with China for a peaceful-type merger!
An American -
Other possible wars of the future that are just now being hinted at include Cyber Wars which might be massive Pearl Harbor-cyber attacks on U.S. computer systems.
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The Next American War will be against ISIS and Afghanistan (both wars already underway) but, after that, future wars with Iran, Syria, or Mexico are possible. Other possible US wars could be against North Korea or, much less likely, against China or Russia. America appears likely to be periodically engaged in some sort of war or undeclared armed clash for the foreseeable future.
Last Updated: 08/23/18