Iran test fired a missile. Such missile launches, the Israelis insist, are banned under the 2015 nuclear agreement. Trump talked tough on the campaign trail about how he would crack down on Iran. Things are heating up in Yemen as well. So Trump is at a point where he can't freely tack back and forth on foreign policy. He is going to have to commit to a course of action.
There is no course more momentous than Trump's apparent commitment to "safe zones," a sloppy repackaging of Hillary's long-sought-after "no-fly zones."
According to Nahal Toosi's story in Politico, "Trump chats with Saudi, Abu Dhabi leaders about 'safe zones'":
In his call with Saudi King Salman, the president “requested, and the king agreed to support, safe zones in Syria and Yemen, as well as supporting other ideas to help the many refugees who are displaced by the ongoing conflicts,” the White House said.
It was not immediately clear what Trump meant by “requested” safe zones in those two war-struck countries or what the Saudis are willing to do. Past talk of creating such havens has run into the reality that U.S. lawmakers are cool to any move that could lead to the deployment of American troops in the Middle East.
Trump and Salman also “agreed on the importance of rigorously enforcing the [nuclear deal] with Iran and of addressing Iran’s destabilizing regional activities.”Trump garnered quite a bit of intellectual support from the left because of his reluctance to embrace the neocon jihadi war to oust the Baathists in Syria. Now that reluctance appears to have been a campaign ploy.
Obama's reboot of the Cold War likely cost the Democrats the White House in 2016. When Trump dons the mantle of the perpetual warrior, whether saber-rattling against Tehran or fiddling about with the sheikhs golden ticket of a Syrian no-fly zone, most of his popular intellectual support will evaporate. He'll be left with the know-nothings out there in opioid-induced-constipation TVland.