Iran And Afghanistan In The Last Days Of The Trump Administration

Reported in The Week in its issue of 28 November 2020 is this

President Trump’s foreign policy doctrine — a mixture of isolationism and occasional violent interventions — has never made much sense, said Max Boot in The Washington Post. And it’s becoming no more coherent in the dying days of his administration. Last week, Trump reportedly asked senior advisers about options for attacking Iran’s main nuclear site at Natanz. Yet at the same time, he also ordered the return of more than half the US troops in Afghanistan, reducing their number from 4,500 to 2,500. The order left analysts “mystified”, said Frog Kaplan on Slate.

President Trump’s behaviour is not ‘mystifying’ if you link Iran and Afghanistan by their geography. If the US were to hit Iran’s nuclear facilities, then what about the thousands of US troops in Afghanistan, a country that is right next door on the eastern border of Iran? So which way does the wind blow?

It would make a lot of sense to get those troops out of Afghanistan before attacking Iran. Of course, if there was a cloud of radioactivity that spread, he would have to put up with international complaints about injuries to the innocent civilian population in Iran and Afghanistan. With troops safe, he could argue that he saved the world from a greater threat of a nuclear Iran. But to add injury to American troops to that mix would seal his fate.