Trump’s own dilemma was met by a near unanimous national security team who felt the US should retaliate for a downed drone by striking Iranian targets. For the President, though, the answer was far from obvious — ultimately he pulled the plug on military strikes, minutes before the point of no return.
But a senior US official said throughout the process, Trump was very invested and very serious. He very much understood that the military could not predict for him what the Iranian response to a US strike might be and it remains a significant administration concern not to start a wider war.
Military officials are pleased Trump didn’t order the strike because of this uncertainty. At the end of the day, many said they believe these Iranian attacks on tankers and the drone are basically a message that Iran wants to talk and they have been telling the President this.