This is a serious situation -- and this kind of assassination is the sort that could lead to an unexpected cascade of events that could draw the US and other powers into a consequential conflagration in the Middle East.If Iran was willing to countenance... Let's put this in plain words: Steve Clemons is saying that the United States ought to muster "a significant strategic response" -- presumably involving direct action by intelligence agencies or military force -- to the apparent revelation that a regional power on the other side of the globe might even consider aggressive action against U.S. and allied interests.
If Iran was indeed willing to attack a Saudi Ambassador and close confidante of the Saudi King on US soil and countenance the death of 100-150 Americans, then the US has reached a point where it must take action.
The President's National Security Council and intelligence teams led by Thomas Donilon must construct a response that is "more than reactive." This is time for a significant strategic response to the Iran challenge in the Middle East and globally -- and if the US does not take action, then the Saudis will most likely retaliate in ways that will escalate the stakes and tensions with Iran throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.
No wonder we need a $700 billion defense budget: some of us are planning strike operations at the hint of an anti-American plan.