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SUBSCRIBER+REPORTING – In the wake of Sunday’s strike that killed three Americans and injured dozens more at a small U.S. base in Jordan – the first deadly attack against American troops since the war in Gaza began – the immediate questions involve the nature and scope of the U.S. response. As The Cipher Brief reported on Monday, the Biden Administration is walking a tightrope between a strong retaliation and a desire to avoid a wider war – what one analyst called a “Goldilocks”- style answer (as in, “not too hot” and “not too cold”). On Tuesday, President Biden stated that he had made a decision regarding how to respond. However, he did not reveal any details.
Another decision is looming regarding the presence of over 3,000 U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Syria. This was an issue before Sunday’s deadly attack at the Tower 22 base, given that more than 150 strikes have been aimed at American forces since mid-October, injuring more than 50 Americans, including at least two dozen who suffered traumatic brain injuries.
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