None of that is necessarily unusual, said Arnold Punaro, a retired two-star Marine general and consultant with deep ties in the Pentagon. “Unless there’s some external event driving it, most administrations feel like they’re on the right course. You don’t see many incumbents running for reelection talking about, ‘Well, I want to change what I’ve been doing for the last three-and-a-half years.’ You’re most fine-tuning policies that your administration put in place.”

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