Iran is surrounded by US Allies.
One major complaint about the Iraq war is that Iraq was not in the terrorism business. RUBBISH! But of course it was not the main player. Which nation is pretty much the source of terrorism? There are two but the big one is Iran.
Looking at an atlas one sees Iran's neighbors of Iraq, Afghanistan, the GCC nations, Pakistan, the Old Russian Caucus nations, Turkmenistan and Turkey.
Most of those nations are at least neutral if not openly friendly and helpful to the USA. Some of the GCC nations have been abused by Iran (e.g. the Abu Mousa incident with the UAE) and have pre-positioned gear and airbases which the US can use. Iran finds itself in a bind here; their only out which they are reaching for is Syria.
Syria now finds itself more openly criticized by the USA after the recent assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Now mind you there have been no verbal accusations that Syria was behind the assassination but recent diplomatic activity all but does that.
There is little doubt amongst the more astute bloggers (The Belmost Club & The New Sisyphus) that Syria and Iran are essentially warring against the US in Iraq and what we are seeing now is a more visible and coordinated Iranian-Syrian axis forming. We are also witnessing the "I don't hit first" prelude to a larger fight.
First off we need to consolidate Iraq, Afghanistan is pretty much ready. But Iraq is surrounded by Iran and Syria. With the election it seems Iraq is stabilizing and should be ready soon.
If we start building up numbers of troops in Iraq again then I am confident we will see something happen. The John McCains and the various Democrats may applaud the increase in the number of troops (ala their complaints about there not being enough troops in Iraq) but it will be in prelude to something bigger.
The "I don't hit first" dance is already on. In our history our Government has been pretty good at the game (The Civil War counts here so we can not say our nation). Lincoln managed to goad and maneuver the Confederacy into the first large scale attack in the war and in WWII Roosevelt's government managed to put Japan into a situation where it had to resort to the first shot.