Trump is reluctant to take military action in the Middle East because he wants to live up to his campaign vows to reduce foreign entanglements, according to multiple people who speak with him regularly. He’s also worried about the economic and political ramifications of embroiling the United States in a war with Iran, which stands accused of the recent attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia…
At the same time, Trump has flashes of private regret about his only new military intervention in the region: airstrikes against Bashar Assad’s government in Syria. Trump has told confidants that he wishes those 2017 and 2018 attacks, which targeted Syrian facilities after the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, had inflicted more damage.
Over the past 10 days, about a dozen outside advisers have weighed in with him on Iran, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has tried to mediate between the U.S. and Tehran; Ric Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany; anti-interventionist Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.); and Freedom Caucus stalwart Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), according to a Washington Republican familiar with the president’s conversations.
Many — but not all — of those voices are urging Trump to show restraint, this person said.