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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