Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the results of an election he decisively lost has been embarrassing, but it’s not the only dangerous thing the outgoing president is doing before his time in the White House runs out.
The Trump administration also appears to be sabotaging Joe Biden’s foreign policy – and American national security more broadly – in its final days.
As former Obama Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes pointed out on Monday, the Trump administration has spent the transition period trying to blow up relations between the United States and Iran so Biden can’t reenact the Iran nuclear agreement that Trump pulled out of.
“They have been using this time in the weeks leading up the Biden inauguration to stack more sanctions on Iran. Now we see this assassination (of an Iranian nuclear scientist),” Rhodes said. “This seems very much like an effort to sabotage an incoming Biden administration from doing what they said they would like to do.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) December 1, 2020
The timing of this just cries out. This is a man who’s been well known to Israel and the United States for a couple of decades as an Iranian scientist involved in their nuclear program. And yet we’re just having this really irresponsible, illegal assassination of a scientist in a foreign country take place during the transition. By the way, it’s not going to succeed in solving the problem of Iran’s nuclear program. That program had been rolled back under the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal. Iran has significantly advanced its nuclear capabilities since Donald Trump pulled out of that agreement. And they have been using this time in the weeks leading up the Biden inauguration to stack more sanctions on Iran. Now we see this assassination. By the way, even if this was a critical scientist in Iran, he’s not the only one who had the knowledge of how to conduct the nuclear program. You cannot eliminate that with a single assassination. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle when it comes to a country knowing how to produce the nuclear fuel cycle. So this seems very much like an effort to sabotage an incoming Biden administration from doing what they said they would like to do, which is return to a nuclear agreement if Iran does so as well.
Trump is making America less safe on his way out the door
It has become abundantly clear over the past few weeks that Donald Trump is about as capable of accepting defeat as a child who loses a game of hopscotch on the playground.
But Trump’s pettiness and personal shortcomings are less important than the way he is openly undercutting the stated national security agenda of the man who just soundly defeated him at the ballot box.
Donald Trump’s post-election tantrum isn’t just embarrassing for him personally. It’s also making America less safe in ways that will do lasting damage to U.S. foreign policy.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.