Trump admin. should tread lightly
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Throughout the past couple weeks, President Trump and his administration have shaken up American foreign policy. First came the strike on Syria, in which Trump authorized the firing of 59 Tomahawk missiles against Syrian regime targets.
Soon afterwards, the US dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in their arsenal, the so-called “Mother of All Bombs,” on ISIS targets in Afghanistan. Additionally, the US and North Korea have recently seen tensions escalate, with North Korea testing a missile launch and Vice President Pence telling North Korea “the sword stands ready” if need be.
The events underline the dangerous and unpredictable world we live in today, and, strangely enough, Donald Trump will be the man leading America through these times. Trump must be careful to not repeat the mistakes of America’s past, and must be careful to not be overly aggressive — something few people will put past the Tweeter-in-Chief.
Seemingly the most controversial of Trump’s recent actions was the Syrian Missile Strike. The initial strike was justified; the use of chemical weapons is a heinous crime that America has warned the Assad regime about in the past, which cannot be tolerated. However, what is not justified is a long-term American war in Syria.
Many Americans remember the disaster that was the Iraq War — invading a country that didn’t attack us for questionable reasons, killing thousands of Iraqi civilians and destabilizing Iraq enough to leave an opening for a group like the Islamic State to take large swaths of Iraqi territory.
Not only was the war a disaster, but it cost the US over $2 trillion. That is enough to pay for almost 30,000 full-rides to UNI. It is vital America learn lessons from the past, and not get caught up in yet another Middle-East quagmire.
Not long after the missile strike, the US dropped the “Mother of All Bombs” on an ISIS target in Afghanistan, a country in which the US has waged war for 16 years. The Pentagon reports that about 96 ISIS fighters were killed in the bombing, but has been reluctant to release any information about potential civilian casualties or collateral damage and has not allowed anybody to see the bombing site — not a good sign.
The bombing represents a reckless trend in the Trump administration of increasingly disregarding civilians in military operations. The New York Times reported last week that the number of civilian causalities increased from 1,782 in February to 3,471 in March. Ignoring civilians in these conflicts risks further increasing anti-American sentiment and making the situation even worse.
It is much more difficult to win hearts and minds when you tear down homes and recklessly kill or injure friends and family.
The Middle East is a messy, complicated situation, and the new president must be very cautious and carefully think through his decisions to avoid another disastrous war in the Middle East.