In an op-ed for The Washington Post this Thursday, Marc Fisher argues that when it comes to foreign policy, money, not strategy, is President Trump's main motivating factor.
"Donald Trump, like Obama, campaigned on a pledge to get the United States 'out of the nation-building business,'" Fisher writes. "But when Iraqi leaders demanded that U.S. forces withdraw after Trump ordered the killing in Iraq of a top Iranian military commander, the president’s instinct was to describe the crisis in purely mercenary terms: 'We’ve spent a lot of money in Iraq,' he said. 'We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. . . . We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it.'"
According to Fisher, Trump sees deals, not relationships, as the bottom line, "not long-term goals or foundational principles" -- a bottom line that "permeates his approach to governing." We can look no further for examples of that bottom line than his current stance against Baghdad.
"The decision to kill Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani without any apparent plan for managing Iran’s inevitable retaliation is typical of how Trump has always operated," writes Fisher. "He takes pride in acting swiftly and decisively, in the moment. He does not want to hear about antedecents that might inform his decision-making or about how today’s decision might alter future options."
Read the full piece over at The Washington Post.