Skip to content

Murrett Discusses Tensions in the Middle East With Defense One, The Hill, Newsweek and VOA News

February 5, 2024

Defense One,Newsweek,The Hill,VOA News

Robert B. Murrett

Robert B. Murrett

More than 160 attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and Jordan, clashes in the Red Sea with the Houthis, and a drone strike on an American military facility in Jordan that killed three personnel and injured dozens. America’s mounting proxy battle with Iran over the past three months is spurring questions about whether the countries are at war. 

“It is already a larger conflict. It’s a question of degrees,” Vice Adm. Robert Murrett (Ret.), professor of practice of public administration and international affairs, tells The Hill. But he says the fighting is “not out of control yet.” 

“Calling it a war is probably overstating things,” says Murrett. “But the tensions, the hostilities that exist between Iran and [the U.S.] are at the highest level they’ve been for some time.” 

In the Defense One article, “After drone attack on U.S. forces in Jordan, Pentagon sees ‘escalation’ but not ‘widening’ of war," Murrett says, “​​Difficult choices will be required in the days and weeks ahead as military operations continue a policy of strong deterrence without seeking widespread escalation that could harm our interests and those of our allies.”

Murrett was also quoted in the Newsweek article, “Rogue Iran General in Last Ditch Effort to 'Stop Military Escalation': ISW,” and the VOA News article, “Biden Sanctions Violent West Bank Settlers.”

Communications and Media Relations Office
500 Maxwell Hall