U.S. Drone Strikes Have Gone Up 432% Since Trump Took Office
Trump the candidate was very nebulous and misleading about the military operations he would support as president. He used to claim he had been opposed to the Iraq War in 2003, although in reality he supported it. He claimed he had opposed the Libyan intervention in 2011, while in reality he was strongly supportive of it, and even called for sending US troops on the ground.
Still, Trump and his surrogates constantly claim he would support bloody overseas wars much less than "Crooked Hillary". That may or may not be true, but since he became president, he has considered sending more troops to Syria, loosening the rules for air strikes, and increasing the deadly firepower that the US supplies the Syrian rebel groups with (some of them, openly Jihadist).
But there is this one indicator where Trump's foreign policy is clearly showing to be even more interventionist than that of his predecessor's: the approved drone strikes and spec-ops in foreign lands, where the US is waging undeclared, unofficial wars: Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia.
The last Obama year saw 26,171 bombs being dropped on foreign countries. For the 2929 days of his two terms, Obama authorized a total of 542 drone strikes and spec ops (that makes one in 5.4 days on average). The estimates show that 90% of the victims were civilians.
Conversely, for the 45 days of his presidency, Trump has authorized at least 36 drone strikes and commando interventions, or one in 1.25 days. This makes a 432% increase compared to Obama. These include the Yemen strikes on Jan 20/22, and of course that Yemen fiasco on Jan 28; plus one strike in Pakistan on March 1, and 30+ bombings in Yemen between March 2/3, plus another one three days later. Last week he also announced his intentions for military intervention in Somalia.
So the people who believed Trump would be less aggressive in his foreign policy than Obama, were dead wrong. At least as far as the drone strikes are concerned. And given his plans to boost military spending at home and force Europe to boost theirs, something tells me this will go beyond mere drone strikes. This drastic increase of deadly force is meant to demonstrate that this "anti-terrorist" mentality is shared by both major US parties, and the hawkish times haven't gone anywhere. It doesn't really matter who wins elections, who's president or who controls Congress. The US is the world's bully all the same.
The US perpetual-war ideology is virulent, extremist, and is characterized with bombastic cliches and catchy talking-points, but also an irrational mindset and unrealistic goals. There were never serious signals that the elected politicians and their appointed teams on national security were learning any lessons at a strategic level, or considering genuine corrections and reforms in policy.
This is already the third US post-9-11 administration that has pursued the same old policies that have demonstrably failed to curb the number of Jihadist extremists and armed conflicts. In the place of every dead terrorist, two new ones are recruited. Once a terrorist group is defeated, another one takes its place. And the military machine keeps going. While terrorism and extremism has been evolving (what with the "lone wolf" phenomenon, the domestically grown, recently radicalized terrorists, etc), these policies haven't changed one bit. The powers-that-be in Washington have done their best to render the very question of the sustainability of the global and perpetual War on Terror a taboo topic. So if you're foolish enough to believe the promises to the contrary of this politician or the other, the joke's on you.