Paul R. Pillar
Security, Middle East
The Trump administration is undermining the objective of counterterrorism by placing, for the first time ever, a governmental entity on a list that never was designed for that purpose.
The Corruption of the Terrorist Group List
The ineffectiveness of the Trump administration’s latest move in its anti-Iran campaign—its designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO)—are readily apparent and have been ably analyzed by other commentators. The designation does not put any additional economic pressure on an already heavily sanctioned Iran and, among other drawbacks, only makes it harder for Iranian critics of the IRGC to speak up lest they be seen as stooges of the United States.
The Trump administration is running out of ways to demonstrate its unremitting hostility toward Iran. As it strives to contrive new ways, it compromises and undermines other U.S. interests and objectives. The latest move undermines the objective of counterterrorism by placing, for the first time ever, a governmental entity on a list that never was designed for that purpose.