NBC News reports that national security adviser John Bolton has reportedly requested that administration officials draw up plans to send 120,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East to counter Iran, sending shockwaves through Washington. Bolton, a key architect of the disastrous invasion of Iraq, has long gunned for war with Iran and seems intent on escalating tensions regardless of Tehran’s policies.

At first glance, the plans — a deployment on a scale with the force sent to Kuwait prior to the war in Iraq — suggest that Iran’s decision to respond to Donald Trump’s violations of the Iran deal by restarting elements of its nuclear program has backfired spectacularly.