The Hill 
January 17, 2012
The likelihood of military conflict between the United States and Iran is higher now than at any time in more than two decades, military analysts say, as tensions continue to escalate over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and blustery rhetoric.
While full-blown war might not be on the immediate horizon, the conditions for military skirmishes are as ripe as they’ve been since 1988, when Iran laid mines against U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf and the United States destroyed Iranian oil platforms in response.
“The probability of armed conflict between the United States and Iran is higher now than at any point since 1988, and the risk will only increase over the coming year as Iran’s nuclear program continues to develop,” said Matthew Kroenig, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
The recent incidents between Iran and the West provide a new backdrop for U.S. policy as Congress returns to the Capitol Tuesday and the 2012 presidential election season heats up.