Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels on Monday. (Olivier Hoslet/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

I am not a supporter of the Islamic republic of Iran or its malign acts in the Middle East. Still, I was troubled by the May 14 front-page article “Pompeo crashes E.U. meeting, changes few minds,” regarding Secretary of State Mike Pompeo banging the drums of war in Europe as part of President Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

This talk of war against Iran is reminiscent of U.S. warmongering against Vietnam and Iraq, where we wasted billions of dollars and many thousands of American lives while causing terrible suffering and death, leaving devastation in our wake — and for what? We seem unable to learn from our military disasters, continuing to believe falsely that our wealth and capacity to unleash “shock and awe” military attacks will cause other nations to cower in fear. But Iran is a master in asymmetric warfare.

We should not allow ourselves to become surrogate belligerents for other radical regimes in that region that have their own perverse priorities. Iran complied with the nuclear treaty, and it reasonably resents our overt victimization of the country and its oil from the early 1950s until the Islamic Revolution beginning in 1978. Better to recognize Iran as a formidable regional power and negotiate firmly but respectfully. Unfortunately, that is unlikely from Mr. Pompeo, a diplomat devoid of diplomacy, or Mr. Trump. They are of questionable fitness to lead us into any war.

David Banks, Rockville