America so far has spent $5.9 trillion on its Mideast and South Asian wars. Roughly fifteen thousand Americans, both military personnel and contractors, along with another 1,500 allied personnel, have been killed. Tens of thousands of Americans have been injured, many grievously. The result has not been victory, but more terrorism, less stability, ravaged societies, wrecked governments, and mass deaths. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have died as a result of U.S. military action. All Washington has received in return is the prospect of endless war.
President Trump should live up to his promise of America First. At the very least, that should mean no more foolish, unnecessary Middle Eastern wars. Pulling out of Syria would be a good start.
Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. A former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire .