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President Trump may well have chosen to order the killing of Iran's international military commander on Thursday, sharply escalating near-boiling tensions with Tehran because, as the Pentagon said, he wanted to "protect U.S. personnel abroad" by "deterring future attack plans" by Iran and its proxies, but his twitter feed suggests that's not the lens through which he views military strikes against Iran.
When Trump was tweeting his prediction that then-President Barack Obama was gearing up to "attack Iran in order to get re-elected," Obama was actually secretly working on a deal with Iran, China, Russia, and European allies to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, actively de-escalating tensions with Tehran. Trump has decimated that deal, which he called terrible, paving the path toward today's U.S.-Iran antagonism.
Trump's decision to order the assassination of Quds Force commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani does not mean that he is trying to rally America around the flag as he faces an impeachment trial in the Senate, an emboldened and aggressive nuclear-armed North Korea, his stubborn trade war, and other issues in the middle of his own tough re-election battle. But it's interesting to consider he would see his actions that way.
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