As President Donald Trump starts his reelection campaign in earnest, a major segment of his 2020 platform remains ambiguous. In the field of foreign and security policy, the next five or six months present Trump with the last opportunity to become his former self: to reverse some of his many surrenders to the neoconservative agenda, and to repudiate the global strategy of full-spectrum dominance he was elected to disavow. Corrections need to be made, in strategy and personnel, and the value rediscovered—both electoral and intrinsic—of candidate Trump’s noninterventionist, America First approach.
It is uncertain whether Trump will be able to act accordingly. Worse still, it is not clear whether he grasps the necessity of acting decisively and immediately. His last-minute order to cancel U.S. air strikes against Iran on June 20 offered a glimmer of hope.
If Trump grasps that this decision was the “high point of his presidency,” as Fox News host Tucker Carlson called it, then he may also think of a scheme to dismantle the box into which Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, and especially John Bolton have tried to push him. His self-liberation should start with the awareness that these three have been goading him into rushed military choices which would have opened a new quagmire abroad and assuredly destroyed his presidency at home.
If Trump does not realize that he is at a crossroads of historic...