Confronting Iran: The Trump Administration’s Strategy

| October 17, 2018

sec state pompeo

A very open and telling article by SecState Pompeo on the Trump doctrine, it’s objectives and differences from the previous administration’s policy of “leading from behind.”

The end of the Cold War forced new thinking among policymakers and analysts about the greatest challenges to U.S. national security. The emergence of al Qaeda, cybercriminals, and other dangerous entities affirmed the threat of nonstate actors. But equally daunting has been the resurgence of outlaw regimes—rogue states that defy international norms, fail to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, and act against the security of the American people, U.S. allies and partners, and the rest of the world.
Chief among these outlaw regimes are North Korea and Iran. Their transgressions against international peace are many, but both nations are most notorious for having spent decades pursuing nuclear weapons programs in violation of international prohibitions. Despite Washington’s best efforts at diplomacy, Pyongyang hoodwinked U.S. policymakers with a string of broken arms control agreements going back to the George H. W. Bush administration. North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs continued apace, to the point where after Donald Trump was elected, President Barack Obama told him that this would be his greatest national security challenge. With Iran, likewise, the deal that the Obama administration struck in 2015—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—failed to end the country’s nuclear ambitions. In fact, because Iran knew that the Obama administration would prioritize preserving the deal over everything else, the JCPOA created a sense of impunity on the part of the regime, allowing it to increase its support for malign activity. The deal has also given Tehran piles of money, which the supreme leader has used to sponsor all types of terrorism throughout the Middle East (with few consequences in response) and which have boosted the economic fortunes of a regime that remains bent on exporting its revolution abroad and imposing it at home.
That the threats from North Korea and Iran grew in the post–Iraq war era has further complicated the question of how best to counteract them; Americans are rightly skeptical of the costs of a protracted military commitment in the name of protection from weapons of mass destruction. With the difficulties of Iraq fresh in mind, and with previous agreements to restrain the threats from North Korea and Iran having proved impotent, stopping these recalcitrant regimes from doing harm demands new diplomatic paradigms.
Enter President Trump. For all of the Washington establishment’s fretting over his style of international engagement, his diplomacy is anchored in a deliberate approach that gives the United States an advantage in confronting outlaw regimes.

There is considerably more to the article- highly recommended reading at Foreign Affairs

Category: Foreign Policy, Iran, North Korea

Comments (5)

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  1. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    “Leading from behind”

    Thus we should call zer0 “Hindmost”.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      The correct version of that is ‘leading WITH his behind’.

      Just my view on it.

    • AW1Ed says:

      Pompeo takes Barry and his failed foreign policies to task in the article, from North Korea to Iran. He references Reagan and the end of the Cold War, and how if you look closely the Mad Mullahs are very much akin to what the Kleptocracy the Soviet Union devolved into, and how they too will be brought down.
      Yeah, it’s a long read, but I think worthwhile. It is especially telling about Trump’s use of the military might at his disposal, and how while he is unafraid to use it, he prefers diplomacy over conflict. But that his starting point is America First.

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    “…after Donald Trump was elected, President Barack Obama told him that this would be his greatest national security challenge.”

    It is, and always has been, that the ‘challenge’ only arose because of the pure incompetence of that slacker in a suit, bodaprez.

  3. Mark RM1 USN ret says:

    The Adults are now in charge. Thank heavens.