Trump is Having Fun Flexing American Military Might
The president is starting to find his groove.
It’s hard to believe it took this long really. He flirted with nationalistic rhetoric during his campaign and through to his inauguration, promising to stay out of unnecessary conflicts, and focus on “America First.” But now that he has had a taste of the awesome arsenal at his disposal, and the overwhelming encouragement from the subservient insider political class, the gloves are truly off. He is above all, the embodiment of hyper-masculininty in politics, once promising to “bomb the shit out of ISIS.” He is now making good on that promise…
The United States government dropped what is known as the “Mother of All Bombs (MOAB)”, the largest non nuclear weapon in their arsenal on Thursday in the Nangarhar province in southern Afghanistan.
It is clear that the president is relishing in this show of strength, but unclear whether there is a bigger strategy at play, write Greg Jaffe and Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post:
Amid the often jarring inconsistency of President Trump’s foreign policy, one thing has always been crystal clear: He loves a big show of American military force.
As he searches for a coherent foreign policy during his first months in office, Trump has celebrated but often inflated the effect of military actions. The massive shows of strength, at times, have seemed to be a strategy unto themselves.
The big question is whether Trump’s recent military maneuvers can be fashioned into a long-term strategy or whether they are the Trump foreign policy equivalent of an angry tweet.
The posturing tone emanating from the White House is totally in line with who we all know Trump is, and now that the Generals and the Neocons are gaining his ear, we can only expect these types of incidents to increase. Check our Jeremy Schahill of The Intercept’s excellent take down of the news media’s fawning coverage of Trump’s hawkish turn, focusing on the Syria strategy:
INTERCEPTED PODCAST: THE EMPEROR’S NEW CRUISE MISSILES
And Jonathan Marshall writes in ConsortiumNews that Iran could be next in the cross hairs “now that the neocons have housebroken President Trump.” Could Iran be next in line for “regime change?”
A Familiar Turn
Trump is hardly the first to go from a dovish candidate to a hawkish president, as one only needs to look to the example of our previous president for that. Although not campaigning as an isolationist, he did promise to stay away from misguided interventions, a position which was very loosely adhered to in the cases of Afghanistan, Libya, and even more so through clandestine drone operations.
Presidents often enter office with grandiose promises to bring about reform, only to quickly learn that the situation is vastly more complicated than thought, and there are many competing factions struggling to influence the decision. Indeed, the office tends to dictate terms to it’s occupant, not the other way around.
Trump is learning that if you can’t beat em, join em…