Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
HAVE YOUR DONATION DOUBLED!

If you are able to donate $100 or more for our Annual Fund Drive, your donation will be matched by another generous CounterPuncher! These are tough times. Regardless of the political rhetoric bantered about the airwaves, the recession hasn’t ended for most of us. We know that money is tight for many of you. But we also know that tens of thousands of daily readers of CounterPunch depend on us to slice through the smokescreen and tell it like is. Please, donate if you can!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Is Trump Taking Us to War Everywhere?

by

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.

Distributed by OtherWords.

More articles by:

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

Weekend Edition
October 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Clinton, Assange and the War on Truth
Michael Hudson
Socialism, Land and Banking: 2017 Compared to 1917
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in the Life of CounterPunch
Paul Street
The Not-So-Radical “Socialist” From Vermont
Jason Hirthler
Censorship in the Digital Age
Jonathan Cook
Harvey Weinstein and the Politics of Hollywood
Andrew Levine
Diagnosing the Donald
Michelle Renee Matisons
Relocated Puerto Rican Families are Florida’s Latest Class War Targets
Richard Moser
Goldman Sachs vs. Goldman Sachs?
David Rosen
Male Sexual Violence: As American as Cherry Pie
Mike Whitney
John Brennan’s Police State USA
Robert Hunziker
Mr. Toxicity Zaps America
Peter Gelderloos
Catalan Independence and the Crisis of Democracy
Robert Fantina
Fatah, Hamas, Israel and the United States
Edward Curtin
Organized Chaos and Confusion as Political Control
Patrick Cockburn
The Transformation of Iraq: Kurds Have Lost 40% of Their Territory
CJ Hopkins
Tomorrow Belongs to the Corporatocracy
Bill Quigley
The Blueprint for the Most Radical City on the Planet
Brian Cloughley
Chinese Dreams and American Deaths in Africa
John Hultgren
Immigration and the American Political Imagination
Thomas Klikauer
Torturing the Poor, German-Style
Gerry Brown
China’s Elderly Statesmen
Pepe Escobar
Kirkuk Redux Was a Bloodless Offensive, Here’s Why
Jill Richardson
The Mundaneness of Sexual Violence
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Choreography of Human Dignity: Blade Runner 2049 and World War Z
Missy Comley Beattie
Bitch, Get Out!!
Andre Vltchek
The Greatest Indonesian Painter and “Praying to the Pig”
Ralph Nader
Why is Nobelist Economist Richard Thaler so Jovial?
Ricardo Vaz
Venezuela Regional Elections: Chavismo in Triumph, Opposition in Disarray and Media in Denial
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
NAFTA Talks Falter, Time To Increase Pressure
GD Dess
Why We Shouldn’t Let Hillary Haunt Us … And Why Having a Vision Matters
Ron Jacobs
Stop the Idiocy! Stop the Mattis-ness!
Russell Mokhiber
Talley Sergent Aaron Scheinberg Coca Cola Single Payer and the Failure of Democrats in West Virginia
Michael Barker
The Fiction of Kurt Andersen’s “Fantasyland”
Murray Dobbin
Yes, We Need to Tax the Rich
Dave Lindorff
Two Soviet Spies Who Deserve a Posthumous Nobel Peace Prize
Rafael Bernabe – Manuel Rodríguez Banchs
Open Letter to the People of the United States From Puerto Rico, a Month After Hurricane María
Oliver Tickell
#FreeJackLetts
Victor Grossman
From Jamaica to Knees
Michael Welton
Faith and the World: the Baha’i Vision
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Kirkuk the Consolation Prize?
Graham Peebles
Beyond Neo-Liberal Consumerism
Louis Proyect
On Gowans on Syria
Charles R. Larson
Review: Candida R. Moss and Joel S. Baden’s “Bible Nation: the United States of Hobby Lobby”
David Yearsley
Katy Perry’s Gastro-Pop, Gastro-Porn Orgy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail