U.S. military vehicles in Erbil, Iraq, October 2019.
Azad Lashkari / Reuters

As with the past eight U.S. presidents, much of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy was dominated by the broader Middle East. Despite talk of ending “forever wars” and pivoting to Asia, core national interests have repeatedly drawn the United States back to the region.

In many ways, Trump’s priorities in the Middle East differed little from those of his two predecessors: eliminating weapons of mass destruction, supporting U.S. partners, fighting terror, and facilitating the export of hydrocarbons. In other ways, however, his administration—in which I served as envoy for both Syria and the coalition to

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