Mr. Trump withdrew — or “ripped up,” as he put it — from President Barack Obama’s 2015 Iran nuclear deal. And after promising to “bomb the hell out of” the Islamic State, he oversaw a military campaign that led to the terrorist group’s near-total battlefield defeat — even if that campaign was planned and initiated under the Obama administration. In his convention speech on Tuesday night, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited those actions, along with the targeted killing in 2019 of the group’s “evil leader,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Speaking from Jerusalem to spotlight Mr. Trump’s relocation of the American embassy there from Tel Aviv in 2018, Mr. Pompeo also praised the president’s pressure campaign against Iran and the missile strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the notorious Iranian military commander, on Jan. 3.
Other convention speakers emphasized the way Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly vowed to end “endless wars,” has avoided entangling the country in new military conflicts, making him the first American president since Jimmy Carter to not send combat troops into a new theater. “In four years, Donald Trump didn’t start any new wars,” Richard Grenell, his former ambassador to Germany and the acting director of national intelligence, said on Wednesday night.
But the president has also recently begun to argue that he needs another term to make good on his grandest ambitions. Many American adversaries, he says, are simply waiting him out in hopes of his defeat in November. A Democratic loss, Mr. Trump argues, would force them to capitulate.
“If and when we win, we will make deals with Iran very quickly, we will make deals with North Korea very quickly,” Mr. Trump said at a news conference this month from his resort in Bedminster, N.J.
The president has also argued that China hopes he will lose, preferring to start over with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee. Mr. Trump says he can also secure a “better” trade deal with Beijing after November, if he wins, than before.
Richard Goldberg, a former National Security Council aide in the Trump White House who worked on Iran, said the president had conducted foreign policy well, adding that it was natural for a first-term foreign policy to be inconclusive.