EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: President Trump is described, even by the few commentators who are relatively friendly towards him, as having no clear strategy in international affairs. This assessment does not hold true across the board. In the Middle East at least, his strategy is very clear.
The latest example of Donald Trump’s single-minded purpose in the Middle East is his decision to continue to maintain a small but highly selective US military presence of some 2,000 troops in Iraq.
The official justification for this decision is the need to continue the fight against the remnants of ISIS across the northern reaches of Iraq. No one should be fooled by this as the threat that ISIS and its predecessors posed to the US was neutralized long ago by an effective homeland security agency.
ISIS poses a more palpable threat to the US’s European allies, but President Trump and his voters feel it is high time those wealthy states take their security into their own hands rather than free-ride on American security protection.