President Trump declared that his administration is not looking for regime change in Iran.
In a press conference in Japan, Trump said that “I’m not looking to hurt Iran at all. I’m looking to have Iran say, ‘no nuclear weapons.’”
This marks a less hawkish approach to the embattled Middle Eastern nation after the U.S. recently took decisive measures such as deploying an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf. Further, there were reports of the U.S. sending 120,000 troops to the Middle East to confront Iranian proxies.
Now, it appears that Trump is turning to diplomacy as a means of getting Iran to scrap its nuclear program. This is a similar approach to what Trump has done in North Korea. Although North Korea is still a work in progress, Trump’s strategy marks a significant break from the typical neoconservative schtick of saber-rattling, sanctions, and regime change rhetoric.
Hopefully, the same strategy will be used with Iran, which is a state that has been lumped in the same so-called “Axis of Evil” like North Korea. Although the Trump administration has not been perfect on foreign policy, especially when looking at the case of Yemen, it has taken a more realist path to foreign policy. Instead of blindly following the orders of the defense industry, this administration is at least weighing how it approaches rogue countries according to American interests.
The impulse to immediately send troops for nation-building has done considerable fiscal and reputational damage to the U.S. The country has already dropped $1 trillion each on campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Any more foreign adventures and America could be on the path to fiscal meltdown. The Middle East is already a massive powder keg of instability, and destabilization schemes could bring even bigger refugee crises to the U.S. and its allies.
Treating the world like an interventionist lab experiment is no recipe for stability.
How about we try diplomacy for once?