From Julian Borger's 11-17-20 GUARDIAN article entitled "Fears of Foreign Policy Chaos in Trump's Final Days Fueled by Iran Bombing Report":
Fears that Donald Trump might try to wreak havoc on the world stage in his final, desperate, weeks in office appear to have been well-founded, after he reportedly asked for options on bombing Iran.
A report in the New York Times said Trump was advised against strikes on Iranian nuclear sites by senior officials warning of the risk of triggering a major conflict. But it added that the president may not have entirely given up on the idea of staging attacks on Iran or its allies and proxies in the region [...].
The turmoil in foreign and defence policy comes at a time when Trump is refusing to accept election defeat and is preventing Joe Biden’s incoming team from receiving intelligence or policy briefings.
Former officials have suggested that Trump is aware he will eventually have to leave office and is considering another run at the presidency in 2024. To that end, he is looking at last-minute options for fulfilling campaign promises he can point to, to build a narrative that he ran a successful administration that was removed by a rigged election.
“This will be his version of the Lost Cause,” a former official from the Trump White House said, referring to attempts after the civil war to romanticise the Confederacy. “He can go out in a blaze of glory, and the stab in the back theory gets strengthened because he can point to all the things that he did.”
The former official added there were also factions in the Trump administration who view the weeks until Biden’s inauguration as a last chance to achieve their objectives [...].
“What I’ve always worried about was that people around Trump would try to persuade him that he’s the last thing standing between the ‘weak Democrats’ who would take over after him, and Iran developing a bomb,” said Rob Malley, a former Obama administration official who was one of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] negotiators, and is now head of the International Crisis Group.
On Tuesday’s report that Trump’s aides had persuaded him against carrying out strikes on Iran, Malley said: “I’m not sure this is the end of the story. There may be a covert operation that would be less risky than what the president might have been talking about … And unlike in the years past, he would not have to carry the consequences.”
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