Biden has to deal with a second war he didn't want but has to contain it.

The US president, who faces a critical task following the deaths of three Americans, says he has made a decision over how to respond - Biden says he has decided how to respond to attack in Jordan - Israeli tanks ‘firing live ammunition’ in hospital complex, aid group says - Gazans eat grass and drink dirty water as famine looms - Israeli forces infiltrate Palestinian hospital in medical clothing and hijabs

Biden has to deal with a second war he didn't want but has to contain it.

US policy in the Middle East can no longer be described as an attempt to stop three Isreal-Gaza conflict  from triggering a bigger regional war. That hope died weeks ago.

The critical task now for President Joe Biden — as he think retaliation over the deaths of three Americans in an attack by suspected Iranian proxy forces in Jordan Sunday – is to prevent that region-wide war from tipping out of control.

The President to report on Tuesday that he had made a decision on how to respond to the attack and warned he held Tehran responsible “in the sense that they’re supplying the weapons to the people who did it.” But expressing the balancing act he faces in seeking to punish the perpetrators, downgrade their capabilities and restore deterrence, he added: “I don’t think we need a wider war in the Middle East. That’s not what I’m looking for.”

But it is indisputable that the United States is already embroiled in a war in the wider Middle East, less than three years after Biden officially decreed the end of a two-decade-long combat mission in Iraq that exhausted the US and caused deep political trauma.

It is also clear that the Biden administration’s effort to prevent an escalation is not working. US strikes against Iranian-backed militia throughout the region, which followed more than 160 attacks on American military facilities, did not deter Sunday’s drone strike. And missile and drone attacks against commercial shipping in the Red Sea haven’t stopped despite rolling US airstrikes against their launch sites and infrastructure in Yemen.

So Biden has now arrived at the unenviable position that presidents often face when all potential options before them are bad and the very task of seeking to slow a deepening crisis may end up exacerbating it.

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