The scuttled Trump administration ambassador to South Korea, Victor Cha, told a small crowd in Washington earlier this year that Pompeo had been given the North Korea “portfolio,” while new National Security Advisor John Bolton has been given the same for the Middle East and Russia.
Pompeo has a longer time horizon than Bolton. He needs his term as secretary of state to be a success and recognized as such. He can’t afford his own version of the Iraq war, whether it is against Iran or North Korea.
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Yesterday, Pompeo explained the administration’s strategy on Iran to a conference at the Heritage Foundation.