Foreign Policy

Report: Trump Sought to Start a War Last Week

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Between the amount of time Trump has spent golfing or complaining about the results of the presidential election over the past two weeks, you may get the idea that he hasn't had time for anything else, but that is apparently not the case.

The New York Times reported last night that Trump asked his staff for options for attacking Iran as recently as five days ago on Thursday, November 12th.

It appears it took an entire team of people to talk him out of it.

WASHINGTON — President Trump asked senior advisers in an Oval Office meeting on Thursday whether he had options to take action against Iran’s main nuclear site in the coming weeks. The meeting occurred a day after international inspectors reported a significant increase in the country’s stockpile of nuclear material, four current and former U.S. officials said on Monday.

A range of senior advisers dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike. The advisers — including Vice President Mike Pence; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Christopher C. Miller, the acting defense secretary; and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — warned that a strike against Iran’s facilities could easily escalate into a broader conflict in the last weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

It immediately struck me that this is one consequence of Republicans entertaining Trump's fantasies of remaining in office of otherwise being cheated out of what's his. The consequence is him still operating as if he's going to be there in two months.

It's a minor miracle that Trump never managed to start a new war during his four years in office, but I don't believe that's because he's a "dove" as most of his actions have proven otherwise. I believe Trump's lack of new wars can be attributed to his own personal vanities; mainly his desire to closely align himself with dictators rather than confront them. Trump looks at rogue regimes and leaders with dollar signs in his eyes. Starting a war with them would have ruined his chances of opening a golf club in their home countries.

I won't look a gift horse in the mouth, but we're undoubtedly going to see some people try to rewrite history in the coming years. They're going to frame Trump as a peacemaker even though he abandoned our allies, launched more drone strikes than President Obama did, ordered the assassination of a highly ranked Iranian general, escalated tensions with China, enabled Saudi Arabia's genocide in Yemen, and actually improved North Korea's standing in the world. And those are just the things that immediately come to mind.

  • muselet

    To the extent that Donald Trump plans anything, my guess is that he wanted to start a war with Iran for Joe Biden to deal with. Just like denying the incoming administration access to intelligence and public-health information during the transition, this was meant to make it as difficult as possible for the Biden administration to accomplish anything.

    If Trump were convinced the repercussions wouldn’t occur until after noon on January 20, he’d have ordered airstrikes regardless (and he might circle back to this idea later).

    –alopecia

  • katanahamon

    It’s not just other countries. Websites and blogs that were previously fairly apolitical are now getting militant about their states, saying they don’t like liberal Democrats moving there and telling them what to do, spouting outright lies they heard on Fox. We’ve allowed the R’s with their Fox and propaganda and outright lies to set American vs American. Meanwhile, they profit from this conflict as a divided ppl don’t have the same resources to go after a corrupt political party.