Is America Escalating Military Involvement Around the Globe?

In the week since President Donald Trump’s ordered airstrike against a Syrian airbase, his administration has made a series of moves signaling increased military operations around the world.

A U.S. naval force along with a Japanese fleet is now stationed off the Korean Peninsula, sent there ahead of a potential nuclear test from North Korea on Saturday. CNN reported Thursday that North Korea called the presence of the naval strike group “reckless acts of aggression” and would respond with “whatever methods the U.S. wants to take.”

At the same time, U.S. forces in Afghanistan dropped one of the largest bombs in its arsenal on an ISIS group bunkered in caves near the Pakistan border. That strike is believed to have killed dozens of ISIS fighters, according to a BBC report, and officials in both the U.S. and Afghanistan said no civilians were killed.

And an airstrike in Syria by the American-led coalition unintentionally killed 18 Syrian fighters that are allied with the U.S. in its fight against ISIS. It was the third time in a month, the New York Times reported, that coalition strikes may have killed civilians or allies in the area. A Bloomberg report this week said some officials in the Trump administration believe the U.S. needs to send troops into Syria.

Fox News outlined the major military missions the Trump has authorized in his first 100 days. In addition to the strikes in Afghanistan and Syria, it includes the January raid in Yemen in which 23 civilians and a Navy Seal were killed.

  • In a commentary, the Washington Times on Thursday argued the decision to use one of the country’s largest bombs in Afghanistan sends “a message likely to resonate far beyond the battlefields of the 16-year war there.” A former intelligence officer likewise told Fox News the bomb is a “bravado weapon” and sends a message to U.S. adversaries that “the next four years will be different than the last eight.”
  • The New Republic this week called Trump’s series of military decisions and his approach to North Korea “scary as hell,” writing that the president had “become enamored with using U.S. military power.” Vox said speculation and commentary on the bomb used in Afghanistan was over the top, arguing the weapon was the right tool to combat ISIS’s specific presence in the country and that it wasn’t intended to send a message. The Atlantic this week argued Trump successfully promised in his election to do both more and less abroad. Now,
  • The Economist this week said Trump’s foreign policy is shaping up to be more or less normal for American presidents.

Today, we are asking five questions about America’s Escalating Military Involvement Around the Globe. Cast your V.O.T.E. here!