Did you know that the United States recently sent 400 Marines to fight in Syria, and 300 more soldiers to fight in Iraq. Probably not, because it was done in secret by the Trump administration. Trump sent those troops without telling the press, the American people, or even Congress. We still would not know if a congressman on the House Armed Services Committee had not asked General Joesph Votel a point blank question -- and rather than get in trouble for lying to Congress, Votel told the truth. He also admitted the Trump administration is currently considering sending even more U.S. troops to those two countries.
The Trump administration has taken the position that announcing troop increases violates some kind of military "security". That's patently ridiculous. Announcing the size of the u.S. troop commitment doesn't give any tactical advantage to the enemy. It does however, let the American people know the extent to which the government is sending young Americans into harm's way. And it gives the people of this country the information they need to judge the efficacy of their government.
That means the United States now has at least 5,700 troops in Iraq and Syria -- and that number doesn't count the more than 1,000 "temporary" troops assigned to that war zone (who aren't counted because their mission is supposedly for 6 months or less).
Add to this 6,700 minimum troop level the 8,400 troops the U.S. still has in Afghanistan, and you realize that the United States still has more than 15,000 troops waging war in the Middle East region -- a war that has been going on for more than 15 years now (since October of 2001).
A reasonable person could conclude that any war that couldn't be won in 15 years probably can't be won at all. But reason is not something that's very popular with our narcissistic leader. He seems to be falling into the same type of fallacious thinking that infected the presidency of Lyndon Johnson during the Vietnam War -- the thinking that said if you just keep sending more and more troops to the war, you will eventually reach a level that will allow you to win that war. It didn't work in Vietnam, and it has no better chance to work in the Middle East.
Our government has labeled the wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan as a "war on terror". That's just not true. You can't win a war against terrorism by using troops to take and hold territory. The terrosists will just melt away and fight somewhere else in the future. They have already shown they don't need to hold territory to commit terrorist acts. There are better ways to fight terrorism -- by using diplomacy, intelligence, and law enforcement.
We will never defeat terrorism by using our military forces, and are very unlikely to even hold the ground they have taken (unless we are willing to leave troops in those countries in perpetuity). We need to stop this madness now -- before our 15,000 troop commitment to eternal war grows larger and larger trying to fight a war that can't be won.Unfortunately, most of our elected leaders in Washington are not bright enough to realize that.