“The US state department has ordered the departure of ‘non-emergency employees’ from Iraq, amid rising tensions between the US and Iraq’s neighbour Iran.” But has anything on the ground there (or anywhere) really changed enough to account for the rising tensions? US allies are skeptical. The United States meant to isolate Iran. It looks increasingly isolated itself.

+ “If you pull back and look objectively at the assets the United States is putting into the region—one carrier that was kind of supposed to be going there anyway, one Patriot missile battery after we moved four out, four bombers—the U.S. is not going to war with Iran with that. But it’s all the hype around it, and the Bolton statement is really what set this off.” The Atlantic: The Knowns and Unknowns of What’s Happening With Iran.