Trump’s parting gift

Donald Trump has clearly shown millions of Americans and others around the world who and what he is. Critics would have no difficulty listing his numerous failings as a leader and as a human being. But underestimating his penchant for poor sportsmanship is a mistake. Now he is showing us how sneaky clever he is at making trouble for his successor.

While most of us focus on his desperate attempts to reverse the results of the election that defeated him and elevated Joe Biden to the presidency, our tweeter-in-chief has been busy setting Biden up to inherit big trouble in the Middle East.

This should demand our attention.

Early this week The New York Times and other reliable sources reported that Trump is expected to order the U.S. military to withdraw thousands of troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia by the time he leaves office in January.

Experienced military leaders and national security officials are appalled, warning that this could lead to catastrophic problems and embolden our enemies in the Islamic State.

Even Mitch McConnell is concerned. “A rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm,” McConnell said from the Senate floor on Monday. This from a fiercely loyal Trump supporter. “The consequences of a premature American exit would likely be even worse than President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq back in 2011, which fueled the rise of ISIS and a new round of global terrorism,” McConnell said, according to a New York Times report.

We have learned, though, that it is a mistake to underestimate Trump’s capacity for making foolish, often dangerous, choices in his quest to punish his perceived enemies. Imagine his perverse pleasure at setting up Joe Biden with a potential escalation of danger in the Middle East to deal with.

Yes, the increasingly bold attempts to derail the election by Trump and his worshipers certainly call for our concern. We can feel reasonably safe in predicting that these efforts will fail. Eventually.

Not so his mischief in the Middle East, and that is troubling, both for a President Biden and for all Americans.

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