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President Donald Trump entered the new year facing flare-ups of long-burning crises with two old adversaries — Iran and North Korea — which are directly challenging his claim to have reasserted American power around the world.

While the Iranian-backed attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad seemed to be under control, it played to Trump’s longtime worry that American diplomats and troops in the Middle East are easy targets and his longtime position that the United States must pull back from the region.

In North Korea, Kim Jong Un’s declaration on Wednesday that the world would “witness a new strategic weapon” seemed to be the end of an 18-month experiment in which Trump believed his force of personality — and vague promises of economic development — would wipe away a problem that plagued the last 12 of his predecessors. Read more