It is customary for underlings who do the hard work of analysis of any situation to condense them into a series of options to present to the boss. In the case of the US president and his advisors, they tend to give him a wide range of options that include extreme measures that are included for completeness but are not really seen as desirable. The problem with Trump is that his ignorance and reckless impulsivity make that kind of advice-giving dangerous. He will seize on any option that catches his fancy and that he thinks will make him look good in the moment, irrespective of the long-term damage.
That seems to be the case with his decision to kill Iranian general Qassem Suleimani. As should surprise no one, reports are now coming out that the much vaunted ‘intelligence’ that the deaths of ‘hundreds of Americans’ were ‘imminent’ were based on evidence that was ‘razor thin’ and a ‘highly illogical leap’, according to this series of 17 tweets from New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi. Killing Suleimani was the ‘far out option’ but of course that was the one Trump chose.
1. I’ve had a chance to check in with sources, including two US officials who had intelligence briefings after the strike on Suleimani. Here is what I’ve learned. According to them, the evidence suggesting there was to be an imminent attack on American targets is “razor thin”.
— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) January 4, 2020
So we are back where we always seem to end up, with the US starting a war under false pretenses.