Today, America's role in the world is motivated more by presidential ego rather than by sound security strategy. As the U.S.'s approach to two would-be nuclear states shows, that's stupid, and it's dangerous.
First, Iran. President Trump inherited a deeply imperfect deal, the JCPOA, designed to box in Tehran's nuclear ambitions. We railed against that agreement — but understand, in the clear light of day, that it is better to have some controls in place to constrain a hostile state's nuclear ambitions than to have none.
Despite no evidence of Tehran having breached its obligations, Trump kissed the JCPOA goodbye with no alternative in place. Now, the U.S. inches toward outright hostilities with one of the Middle East's leading military powers in the name of halting the acquisition of nukes which could have been far more effectively prevented by the deal itself.
If a rogue regime like Iran inherently can't be trusted, by what logic is Trump continuing to romance the totalitarian Stalinist leader Kim Jong Un?
Trump praises Kim to the heavens, going so far as to say they are "in love." Kim shows no interest in stepping away from his nuclear program. In recent weeks, North Korea launched its first two missile test in over a year; Trump shrugged.
Trump's best-case scenario is getting Kim to ink an exhaustive, detailed, multi-nation deal similar to the one with Tehran he discarded. So what's really going on here?
New York Daily News