U.S. servicemen observed firing positions during a joint military exercise with Georgian forces, Vaziani, Georgia, May 14, 2016. Photo: Reuters
Eliot A. Cohen, Wall Street Journal: When President Trump Goes to War
A new commander in chief will soon face hard decisions about how and when to deploy America’s military might. What principles should guide him?
President-elect Donald Trump does not speak softly, but he clearly believes in military power—what Theodore Roosevelt called “the big stick.” Like all of his predecessors, however, he will soon discover that it isn’t enough to brandish armed force: He will find himself having to use it.
On Jan. 20, Mr. Trump will inherit three wars: Iraq, Afghanistan and the global campaign against various jihadist movements. He will also have to make decisions about other flashpoints that could, willy-nilly, drag the U.S. into armed conflict: Iran’s efforts to dominate the Persian Gulf, North Korea’s drive to build a nuclear-armed long-range missile, China’s aggression in the South and East China Seas and, yes, his friend Vladimir Putin’s bullying of our NATO allies in the Baltics.
As he prepares to take office, Mr. Trump needs to do some hard thinking about 21st-century warfare and strategy. I should say that, along with many other Republican national-security experts, I publicly opposed Mr. Trump’s bid for the presidency, and I have not been encouraged by the start he has made in assembling a national-security team for his administration.
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WNU Editor: There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to Donald Trump .... and how he will use the U.S. military is one of them. But half of the American public are giving him their faith that he will do the right thing .... Half of Americans More Confident in Trump Since Election (Gallop) .... and from that vote of confidence one can then only hope that he will not "mess-it-up".