The assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3 was impulsive and ill-advised. Soleimani has blood on his hands, but targeting a senior official of another country, on President Trump’s order, has created many dangerous downsides and no upsides.
What was the main objective of killing Soleimani and why would President Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo go after the second-most-powerful man in Iran? Was this operation part of Trump and Pompeo’s plan to decapitate the theocratic system regime without calling it “regime change?”
Removing Soleimani from the scene was much more than killing just another “terrorist” leader like Osama Bin Laden or ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Did the president believe that Soleimani’s death would force Iran to cry “uncle?”
The assassination has accrued no apparent positive consequences for the Trump administration, the Saudis or the Israelis, other than eliminating a key player who was definitely a thorn in their side.