He applied maximum pressure on China, and we may be facing a trade war.
He applied maximum pressure on Venezuela, exacerbating hunger in the streets but leaving the dictatorship in place.
He applied maximum pressure on Palestinians, who responded by refusing to meet administration officials.
Most worrying of all, Trump applied maximum pressure on Iran, and we may now be on the brink of war.
In each of these cases, Trump pursued aggressive tactics without any obvious strategy. The tactics themselves often proved quite successful at inflicting misery, but this simply led several countries to double down on belligerence in ways that endanger the United States — and that is particularly true of Iran.