US foreign policy is broken, and Soleimani's killing proves it

A properly functioning National Security Council would never have let it happen, for good reason

The targeted killing of Major-General Qassem Soleimani and four others in a precision strike by an MQ-9 Reaper drone at Baghdad International Airport was an impressive display of American military prowess. And it liquidated a destabilising figure: The general was the commander of the Quds Force, which is responsible for Iran's covert and extraterritorial military operations. In the scheme of things, he had it coming.

Yet killing him made little strategic sense for the United States. In some ways, the most significant thing about his death is what it shows about the breakdown of American foreign policymaking.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2020, with the headline 'US foreign policy is broken, and Soleimani's killing proves it'. Print Edition | Subscribe