President Obama relied on diplomacy, sometimes behind closed doors. President Trump has taken America in a decidely different direction.
No one can question that Donald Trump is shaking up Washington, D.C. – and, indeed, the world – in the five months since America elected him president. This also applies, in particular, to how America uses its military might.
Here are three ways the new president diverts from his predecessor on the use of America’s military; perhaps: ‘speak loudly, and carry a big stick.’
#1: SYRIA AIRSTRIKES
America’s “first direct military action” in Syria’s civil war represents a clear escalation from the Obama years. In one sense, Trump acted on a statement, just days before, that the Syrian government had crossed “many, many [red] lines” with its latest chemical attack.
President Obama infamously refused to act on his own “red line” in Syria, when Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his people in 2013.
#2: AIRCRAFT CARRIER TO KOREA
Faced with a more aggressive North Korea in the age of Trump, the Defense Department has sent a U.S. aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula this week.
Though CNN notes it is not “uncommon” for an aircraft carrier to operate in the region, the stakes are higher given North Korea’s multiple recent missile tests in the Sea of Japan. The U.S. has also signaled it’s done talking about North Korea, and that the time has come for action.
#3: “RAMPED-UP BOMBING” IN YEMEN
The U.S. released more bombs on Yemen in one week of the Trump administration than “any year during Obama’s presidency.” The takeaway, according to Foreign Policy‘s Dan De Luce and Paul McLeary?
The Trump administration has proven much quicker at green-lighting attacks.
More broadly, the expanded bombing in Yemen signals a more aggressive use of military force by the Trump administration against Islamist militants, from Syria to Afghanistan.
No matter how you slice it, President Trump has shown more willingness to use America’s top-shelf military than President Obama, even after just a few months.
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