The Dangers of Escalation

The events of recent weeks have made it clear that President Trump is taking a far more aggressive approach in foreign policy than his predecessor. The Tomahawk missile strike on one of Bashar al-Assad’s airbases in Syria two weeks ago was the clearest sign of this. That is, until this past Thursday, when the Air Force used its biggest bomb in combat for the first time ever in a strike on a system of tunnels used by Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Meanwhile the U.S. has loosened the rules of engagement for the military and has significantly picked up the pace of drone strikes in both Somalia and Yemen. More troops were deployed to Iraq and Syria to help to roust ISIS from Mosul and Raqqa.

Supporters of these moves will argue that they are necessary to defeat the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, and to improve the credibility of the United States. But Trump’s sharp escalation of military efforts carries with it a host of serious risks.

Read the full post at

Published by Trevor Thrall

I am a professor at George Mason University and Director of the Biodefense Graduate Program.

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