Trump & Iran: presage to permanent emnity

The mess team Trump inherited equals what was bequeathed to Obama economically.  My guess is that team Trump has the fortitude to look at the world realistically and venture what’s possible.  First step Iran.

The May 21st approach laid out by Secretary of State Pompeo at the Heritage Foundation was significant, it was a rebuke to previous administrations who refused to identify the moral status of regimes.  Having articulated a 12 step program for Iran, it qualified how best to measure any workable format between the two nations.

Better yet, no one in Trump’s cabinet can guess what the President’s bottom line on Iran is.  This resembles a Reaganite grasp of moving geopolitical components that aren’t grasped by intellectuals at State.  The President himself may not know in advance his own negotiating position.  For those aping for policy clarity, they need to acknowledge the supremacy of adjudicating while moving forward.

Not even a repose articulating Trump’s evisceration of the neoconservative legacy provides policy clarity going forward.  My view is that skepticism is the foundation of team Trump’s governing instincts.  The optimism that shaped previous Presidents has been tempered by Mesopotamia.

So, where do we stand today with Iran.

Trump is likely to govern his applied policy practically not ideologically.  Why is this a superior posture?

Statesman must anticipate the impact of their framework and approach while simultaeneouly adjusting the shape of public policy.  Yes, Iran is very vulnerable, but U.S. exploits can strengthen the regime in a way that mutes US efforts.  That means addressing Iran’s core interests deep in its periphery.  It means preventing Iran from escalating its nuclear ambitions while possibly driving destabilization efforts against US regional allies.

Where should Team Trump begin?

Yemen, Syria, and Iraq!

Raising the price for any movement by Tehran is phase one.  Additional phases would optimally seek the collapse of the regime.  This policy gamble will upset Moscow because it cannot have any destabilizing trends in its southern tier.  This too can be used to our advantage.

The medium and long term policy is clear:  a strong posture enveloping multiple regional allies exhausting every adventure Tehran seeks abroad.


About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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