From his perspective and with his interests, Trump has made some very smart moves recently. The departures of Rex Tillerson and H. R. McMaster in the past two weeks and, I predict, the departure of James Kelly by May Day; and the transfers or appointments of Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, and, if confirmed, Gina Haspel—mean one thing: Trump has assembled a wartime administration.
I further predict that Trump, with the support of these new advisers will launch or threaten to launch attacks on North Korea or Iran or both. There is no reason to think that he has changed wishes which he has intimated in the past. Now, he has a war-prone group of advisers to aide and abet him.
These threats or attacks will not occur at least until late spring and may await mid-summer because Trump will want them to have maximum political effect at home. He expects that they will rally the American people to support the country in its military posture or operations. He expects them to help Republicans in the off-year elections. He expects them distract the public from the harmful effects his tariff policies. And he hopes that they will derail Robert Mueller’s investigation, if only by pressuring Republicans to withdraw financial support for its continuance during wartime, because, so they will claim, it undermines the president at a perilous time.
Oh, I do so hope that I am wrong.