Chess players can be judged by the imperfect rule of thumb of “move look ahead.” A beginning player has at most two move look ahead. Grandmasters…10? 15 at the absolute max, and in both of those numbers you’re eliminating huge sets of possibilities.
The infinitude of combinations even in a game with a limited set of elements is exponential. Even players with such capacities suggest it’s more important to have a strategy and really now the elements before you.
These are in closed systems.
Trump has one-move look ahead in foreign policy. This is an open system, one where knowing the total array of elements is so important: a move in Iran isn’t just going to affect Iran of course, but Iraq…and Syria…and Israel…and Turkey…and you can go down the list endlessly; maybe Brunei.
Whatever one thinks of the policies, for himself, Trump has been a brilliant strategist on the domestic political front. His axioms were simple. They included: don’t threaten entitlements, be the toughest on immigration, entertain the public and keep trotting out villains (the media, Clinton.) The domestic world is a more closed system, with more easily identifiable pieces.
This win has given him far too much self-confidence. It’s likely before 2016 he couldn’t identify Iran on a map. Now our relationship with it is governed by tweet.
I suspect the situation with Iran will calm down. He has backed off of war multiple times and will do so again. This makes the seemingly strong move a few days ago – kill an adversary – possibly be a very large trap to have fallen into. He spent years sacrificing allies for (temporary) political advantage, and now the King might be very exposed.