January 08, 2020

Flanked by Military Brass, Trump Backs Off War Footing

Featuring Richard Fontaine

Source: Foreign Policy

Journalists Lara Seligman, Robbie Gramer

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday backed off threats of military retaliation after Iran launched more than a dozen missiles against American and coalition targets in Iraq, opening the door to de-escalation even while slapping new sanctions on Tehran.

Flanked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and the nation’s top military brass, Trump’s address more than 12 hours after the attack sent mixed signals. Noting that Iran “appears to be standing down,” Trump said he will continue to evaluate “options” in response to Iranian aggression. But he did not announce additional military steps, instead deciding to slap “additional punishing economic sanctions” on Tehran.

Read the full story and more in Foreign Policy.


  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...