Iranian saber-rattling continues to cast unrest in the Middle East. This could have serious consequences for America’s military in the months and years ahead.

The age-old conflict between the Sunnis and the Shiite rages on. After 18 years of continuous combat operations in Iraq, the United States could be on the brink of being dragged into yet another Middle Eastern conflict, and continued military escalation carries with it potentially devastating consequences.

The Iranian regime already possesses intercontinental ballistic missiles. These will be enhanced by importing advanced targeting systems if current sanctions on Tehran are removed. Iran continues to build its nuclear weapons program and is constructing laboratories and centrifuges deep underground that would be unaffected by even the most powerful munitions of the United States.

Iran’s dangerous proxies, which are led by the Quds Force, are spread across the world. Iran has already demonstrated the willingness to employ unconventional combat tactics, committing large-scale acts of terrorism against both American soldiers and civilians and those of other countries.

The fact that the next potential conflict in the Middle East is likely to involve Iran is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the region for the last decade. But over the last year or so, as the sands have shifted in the region, the United States has begun engaging in newfound military alliances. In fact, some of these alliances would have been unthinkable even a few years ago.

As the ancient proverb goes, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” For the Gulf States, this has certainly proven to be the case. The Abraham Accords, the U.S.-brokered peace agreement in 2020 between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), broke ground that many thought was not ready to give.

And it was quickly followed by further deals between Israel and Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco. The Abraham Accords fundamentally changed the strategic calculus in the region, rejiggering longtime Middle East alliances and loyalties and producing groundbreaking strategic opportunities.

Israel’s peace agreement with the U.A.E. has been hailed as a warm peace. There are myriad reasons for this friendship to blossom. But just below the surface, there is one fundamental and unspoken driver: Iran’s current status as an enemy shared by both nations.