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Meghan L Sullivan: 'Trump undermines his own goals and emboldens Iranian designs on region'

 

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US president Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit with members of the military at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq (Andrew Harnik/AP/PA)

US president Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit with members of the military at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq (Andrew Harnik/AP/PA)

US president Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit with members of the military at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq (Andrew Harnik/AP/PA)

The move of US President Donald Trump to visit Baghdad is a small, good one, amid a week of calamitous decisions. The press will understandably highlight the time that Trump spent with US troops.

Yet a key objective of the trip will have been to shore up the new Iraqi government's confidence in the US, as Iraqi officials must be high on the list of those shocked by the president's recent decisions to rapidly withdraw US forces from Syria and Afghanistan. Perhaps the president has realised his administration has some hard work to do if there is any hope of keeping his latest decisions from dramatically strengthening Iran.


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