In the aftermath of President Trump’s order to kill Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Quds Force—and a terrorist—a lot of attention is being paid to an interview I conducted with then-candidate Trump in September of 2015.
At the time, Trump was not familiar with Soleimani—and admitted as much. But he added a clue to his thinking then, citing a story written about his unpredictability. Trump told me: “you don’t want to let people know what you’re going to do with respect to certain things that happen. You don’t want the other side to know.”
What Trump has demonstrated—time and again—is the strategic value of this unpredictability combined with a willingness to use force. It has restored U.S. deterrence.
The death of Soleimani is a reminder to Iran and to the watching world that it challenges the United States at its great peril.