At least two comments by US President Donald Trump in his speech on Wednesday left many analysts scratching their heads: his remarks about NATO and those about ISIS versus Iran.While there are many possible interpretations, one is that the US is going to accelerate its withdrawal from Iraq and the Middle East, hoping it can leave NATO to hold the bag – and not minding much if ISIS makes a small, third comeback to keep Iran busy. How will this impact Israel?In broad terms, Iran and ISIS (and its forerunners) have been fighting for influence and control over Iraq and Syria since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.Experts have split the ISIS era into all sorts of phases, but the first major successful Sunni jihadist insurgency was led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did not become preeminent until much later, and only after al-Zarqawi was killed in 2006.After the US troop surge in Iraq in 2007, ISIS’s forerunner was put on the run for several years.Between 2011 and 2014, as Syria fell apart and as Iraq’s Shi’ites – pushed by Iran – continued to abuse Iraq’s Sunni population, ISIS made its second move and first full-scale comeback. Starting in 2014, it took over large swaths of Iraq and Syria.Another big piece of what allowed ISIS to fill the vacuum in Iraq was the American withdrawal.It took years for the US to team up with Russia, Iran and various coalitions in Iraq and Syria to eliminate ISIS’s physical caliphate a second time – some saying the job was not complete until February 2019.The US announced its withdrawal from Syria in October; it is possible that Trump’s comment on Wednesday was his first official acknowledgment that the US will withdraw from Iraq, hoping to replace it with a NATO presence.Since ISIS started to lose key strongholds in 2016 and 2017, top ISIS experts have warned that many of its supporters had already gone underground and it would wait for a time when the US and the West stopped paying attention so it could make a third comeback.In his speech, Trump said that ISIS has been eliminated, but also said that Iran and the US could find common cause going forward by joining forces again to fight the jihadist organization.Was this a hint that the president might be fine with a vacuum in Iraq which allows some amount of an ISIS resurgence to keep Iran busy – just as he was fine with a US withdrawal from Syria that might allow imprisoned ISIS fighters to escape their prisons?TRUMP OFTEN notes that a hole in the July 2015 nuclear deal was the failure to restrain Iran’s hegemonic ambitions for the Middle East.While these ambitions predated the deal, he is absolutely accurate that in the years after the deal, Iran’s aggressiveness in the region escalated.But the bigger escalation was not necessarily after the deal. Rather, it was after the US-Iran-Russia-led coalition started to inflict permanent blows to ISIS.The defeat of ISIS was immediately replaced with larger Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq closer to Israel’s borders, as well as efforts to smuggle advanced rockets to those areas and to Hezbollah. Effectively, the end of ISIS meant the beginning of Iran’s multiple new beachheads for attacking Israel.Trump may have been saying in his speech that actually, a limited ISIS resurgence with some deterrence from NATO might keep Iran busy – and keeping Iran busy with fighting someone else might not be the worst thing.But for Iraq, this would be a recipe for disaster.It is unclear whether this would work as a long-term strategy for the US or just be the prelude to another cycle of US withdrawals followed by returns to clean up a new, bigger mess.Throughout the Syrian civil war, even as top Israeli officials were clear they mourned the loss of civilian life, they were equally clear that as long as Iran, Hezbollah, ISIS and the Assad regime were fighting each other, it meant they were all too busy to bother Israel – and that was not a bad thing.So much is unclear: what Trump meant, whether NATO would step in, whether ISIS would make a comeback in Iraq or continue its already successful comebacks in Africa, Asia and elsewhere – and where this toxic mix would all lead. It could be a catastrophic disaster.But if the final analysis, if Iran is busy again fighting ISIS in Iraq – and a third resurgence of the jihadist group does not lead to a large physical caliphate again – Israel will certainly not shed tears over more rounds of fighting between radical Shi’ites and radical Sunnis. And Israel may even get another breather from Iran being distracted by all of this.