Is Trump Taking Us to War Everywhere?

By Olivia Alperstein | ( | – –

No one expected Trump to be a peace president, but he seems bent on taking us to the verge of World War III.

No one ever expected Donald Trump to be a peace-loving president. On the campaign trail, he endorsed torture, said he’d bomb the families of alleged terrorists, and spoke gleefully about the president’s power to launch nuclear weapons.

But threatening war with multiple countries over a few weeks goes beyond even that. Tough-guy, hit-them-before-they-hit-us foreign policy is back with a vengeance.

Under Trump’s orders, earlier in April the military dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal — known as MOAB, or the “Mother of All Bombs” — on Afghanistan. Outside of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there’s simply no precedent for the use of such a large weapon, which carries grave risks of civilian casualties.

Shortly before that, Trump ordered a military strike on Syria, apparently without informing either Congress or the State Department. Meanwhile, the White House is rattling its saber at North Korea and pondering an expanded military role in both Somalia and Yemen.

In all of these situations, Congress has not only the right but the responsibility to carefully review any authorization of military strikes. Yet so far this president, like others before him, has taken pains to keep the people’s representatives completely out of the loop about his plans for the wars we’re already fighting, as well as for any new ones he might start.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have each lasted upward of a decade and half or more. Like Vietnam before them, they’ve taught us the risks associated with intervening in a difficult region with no exit strategy.

Recklessly plunging into new wars not only impacts the world stage. It also takes a huge toll on our federal budget.

Trump’s budget proposal increases military spending by $54 billion, at the expense of vital anti-poverty programs like Meals on Wheels, diplomatic resources, food safety, and environmental protections. It “takes money from urgent social needs to feed the already-bloated Pentagon budget,” lamented a large group of leaders from diverse movements, from climate justice to immigrant rights.

These aren’t programs with extravagant budgets. They represent barely a drop in the ocean of our already ginormous ($600 billion-plus) military budget, not to mention the $21.6 billion appropriated to fund Trump’s border wall.

These cuts would only make sense if we were still fighting the Second World War, with every family rationing staple food items and planting victory gardens while scraping money together to buy war bonds to support the troops.

We are not — at least not yet — on the verge of World War III. But with recent acts of aggression and military strikes in several diplomatically precarious regions, Trump seems determined to take us close to the ledge.

From backtracking on calling NATO “obsolete” to deciding not to accuse China of currency manipulation, we’ve already seen Trump completely reverse his policy positions after (presumably) thinking things over a bit more thoroughly. It’s time for him to also rethink this more-military-conflicts-than-you-can-shake-a-big-stick-at foreign policy.

As our president, Donald Trump is responsible for our safety. He cannot risk launching us into still more endless wars; the cost is simply too high, and ordinary American families will pay the heavy price.

Olivia Alperstein is the Deputy Director of Communications and Policy at Progressive Congress. Distributed by



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Posted in Donald Trump,War | 7 Responses | Print |

7 Responses

  1. Wars WASTE a nation’s wealth and over time destroys the nation.

    While war seems to be a “glorious” manifestations of a nation’s pride, the REALITY is war is simply a wasting away of a nation.

    Trump campaigned on “America First” but his actions clearly say lets destroy America as quickly as possible out of pure greed driven hubris.

    While the USA has spent large amounts of money on war toys, most of that money was wasted buying “gold plated” jink (F-35 is the most recent example). So in reality, the rest of the world is more than capable of making the lives of American soldiers, sailors and airmen short and useless.

    The world is awash in war toys that are equal to or better than anything the USA has, so when the USA starts wars because it can’t control the situation with negotiations, the USA is more likely to lose than to win.

    It is long past time for the USA to give up the Empire mentality and just do what is best for Americans in America instead of trying to control the rest of the people on earth who have no desire for any USA control.

    The USA can NOT win the current and coming wars in any sense of the word “win.” The ONLY thing the USA can do is lose or lose extremely badly while destroying itself.

  2. All this war nonsense is to distract from his failures in the domestic arena. The ‘rally ’round the flag’ effect is tempting. Luckily he didn’t get the bump in the polls with his mindless policies, only 37 to 48%. Other presidents like Bush I and II were up in the 70s and 80s. But Trump is still real dangerous enough that if things get real hairy either with the Russian investigation or ACA repeal II, no telling what foreign adventure he might enter into.

  3. He will only back down to other bullies big enough to actually hurt his personal interests. We’re already locked into a pattern of threatening war on weaker countries, so he’s not deterred from that. The problem he and most Americans have is seeing that even a large tier of weaker countries can wear out available US forces if their existence is on the line.

    • The “weak” are not so weak any more as I noted above. In fact many nations on earth are more than a match for the USA military, especially as Super390 notes if the USA forces are spread thin.

      In every category of weapons, other countries now have sufficient firepower to cripple and in many cases DEFEAT USA military.

      Military weapons are based on technology and due to globalization, the vast open communications networks and the accelerated optimization of technology while driving down the cost, it is now possible for even medium size nations to out-gun the USA.

      There are two basic reasons for this (1) solid, high performance technology is readily available to every nation on earth for cheap prices (2) the USA vastly wastes every dime they spend on weapons technology.

      Some examples of cheap technology. . . Quad-core 64-bit 1.2 GHz Raspberry Pi computers cost US$35 . . . Linux is free . . . GPS chips without the USA restrictions are readily available . . . detailed global mapping software and data is free . . . There are over 100 MILLION AK-47 and equivalent weapons on earth with thousands more being made each and every day . . and the list goes on and on.

      Sure the USA has high-tech (barely flyable) F-35s but they are pretty much useless in most battles the USA will fight.

      “Friends any come and go but enemies accumulate” and when you have enough enemies you can’t win.

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