Trump’s Counterpunching as Grand Strategy

By Brandon J. Weichert:

The president is leaving Iran, Iraq, and Syria to their own self-destructive devices while he empowers U.S. allies in the region and focuses on defending actual American interests.

President Donald Trump likely has averted a major regional war. With the recent escalation of hostilities between Iran and the United States, many—on the Trump-hating Left and the “Blame America First” Right—have insisted the world is headed into a major conflict, maybe even a third world war. Certainly, we appear to be closer to a major conflict today than we have been in years.

Thankfully, though, Trump is holding to the mantra, “Not today!”

Yes, the United States escalated a tense situation with Iran with the killing of Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. It is possible, though, that Trump’s escalation was actually meant to de-escalate the larger problem with Iran. Trump’s moves may simply be about covering the exits while U.S. forces draw down from the area in an orderly fashion to more defensible positions in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Going back to the fall of 2019, President Trump had been working assiduously to remove U.S. forces from Syria to bases in Iraq. The Iraqi government, though, is ruled by pro-Iranian Shiites and beholden to their co-religionists in Tehran. It was only a matter of time before the U.S. military’s position in Iraq became untenable.

Now Iraq’s Shia-majority parliament voted overwhelmingly to kick the U.S. military out of Iraq. This is fine, considering ISIS has been beaten down and Syria will never be an American protectorate (no matter how hard the neocons may wish for it to be).

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Image credit: The White House.