Donald Trump made headlines in 2016 when he stood on a debate stage with 16 other Republican candidates and called the war in Iraq “a horrible mistake.” More recently Trump decried America’s need to exit “endless wars” when he tweeted that the United States would withdraw 2,000 American troops from Syria.

But despite Trump’s rhetoric, the reality is that Trump has done very little to pull the United States out of its endless wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or elsewhere. His failure to do so tells us something about Trump’s preference for stagecraft over statecraft, but also about the powerful inertia of American foreign policy and the politics of national security.

Originally published in the Orange County Register on Nov 2, 2019.

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About Trevor Thrall

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