FNC's Tucker Carlson talks with retired Army Colonel Douglas MacGregor about the push in the Trump White House for a war with Iran:
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: More than anything in the world, National Security adviser, John Bolton would love to have a war with Iran. It would be like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and his birthday wrapped into one.
Well, mercifully, John Bolton doesn't command the military. President Trump does. The question is how influential is Bolton in the White House?
Just last week, Bolton announced a Carrier Strike Force was being sent to the Persian Gulf to check Iran. Now the "New York Times" reports that the President has been presented with a plan to deploy 120,000 American troops to the Middle East. The President says that report is untrue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you planning to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East in response to Iran?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: I think it's fake news, okay. Now would I do that? Absolutely. But we not planned for that. Hopefully, we're not going to have to plan for that, and if we did that, we would send a hell of a lot more troops than that.
CARLSON: Okay, so obviously, this is fluid, but the larger question remains unanswered. How is a war with Iran in America's interest in any way?
It's time to start asking answering that question. Douglas MacGregor is a retired Army Colonel, author of the tremendous book, "A Margin of Victory," and a frequent guest in the show. He joins us today. Colonel, thanks very much for coming on.
COLONEL DOUGLAS MACGREGOR, RET.,U.S. ARMY: Sure.
CARLSON: So what does it mean to have a Carrier Group in the Persian Gulf?
MACGREGOR: Well, Tucker, we've got a manufactured crisis. There's nothing new in this intelligence. We've been operating in this area for several years now, the Iranians and we, we were both interested in destroying the same target, ISIS.
MACGREGOR: And we always knew there was friction and hostility there. We've managed to avoid any problems. The Iranians have avoided any problems. So it's hard to buy the notion that we now have to have a Carrier Battle Group in the Persian Gulf, along with hundreds of aircraft flying in from all over the world in order to deter Iran from attacking us.
There's no evidence that Iran wants to attack us. Quite the contrary, I think they'd like very much to avoid any conflict with us under any and all circumstances.
CARLSON: So why would we -- why are we doing this? And what are the potential consequences of doing it?
MACGREGOR: Well, I think the people that were behind this that persuaded the President to take these actions are hoping, frankly, that if you put large numbers of forces from the United States in close proximity to Iran in a small area like the Persian Gulf -- the Gulf is only 220 miles wide -- that something will happen, that something will go wrong.
It sort of looks like a Gulf of Tonkin incident with missiles in the making. Now, do we benefit? It's hard to see how. I mean, the first question you should always ask before any action is taken, measure what you might gain by what you might lose. What do we gain? Is this supposed to persuade the Iranians that they should not keep some additional enriched uranium? Is this designed to make them capitulate to the series of demands that Mr. Pompeo put in front of them?
If so, I think that's ludicrous. I don't see any evidence of that happening. Is this designed to drive a wedge between Russia and China? On the opposite, I think you're going to forced cohesion on all of the great continental powers against us. They're going to look at any action we might take against Iran as a precursor to future action we may take against them.
So I don't see the President gaining from this, but I see that he loses. I don't see how he gets reelected. I don't see how he achieves anything in the Gulf that is positive whatsoever for the United States and the American people.
CARLSON: But there in our foreign policy establishment, it is a fairly large group, relatively speaking, a large group of people who are intent on a war with Iran.
MACGREGOR: Yes, well, unfortunately, in the case of General McKenzie, who spoke not long ago in front of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, he described himself as a man with a bias for action. I'd much rather have a four-star with a bias for thinking. And right now, he should be very concerned about the secondary effects of anything we do in the Gulf.
The Russians are not idle. They are watching this very carefully. If we take action, and we get into a killing spree with the Iranians, they will come in, and we will find ourselves without a backdoor to get out easily.
The Chinese will also ship what they can, and by the way, the Turks who have no love for the Iranians may view this as something positive that they should participate in. This is not a good thing for the United States.
CARLSON: And the people agitating for it right now -- MSNBC, CNN, Max Boot, Bill Kristol -- the usual suspects, none of whom have the country's interests at heart, I would argue. I mean, it's chilling.