Donald Trump made clear during this presidential campaign that he doesn't like to telegraph his foreign policies. He even disparages military leaders who indicate hard-to-deny plans to capture enemy territory.
Right now, much of the American national security establishment is in a holding pattern, waiting to see even in what direction the new president will go. Will Trump escalate military operations in Afghanistan or withdraw from that troubled country? Which of the numerous groups fighting in Iraq and Syria will be support or oppose? Will Turkey be a new ally -- or adversary? And what about the Kurds? Will he partner with Russia -- and Iran and Assad?
At least when Richard Nixon, in his 1968 campaign, said he had a "secret plan" to win the war, everybody knew he would stay and fight in Vietnam. With Trump, we have no idea. And plans built on surprise usually lack careful thinking and planning.