This expansion of America’s global military footprint began under George W. Bush, but it continued under Barack Obama. By the time the latter left office, the U.S. was waging wars or deeply implicated in them in at least seven countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia) — all of them supposedly authorized by the open-ended non-declaration of war passed by Congress 15 years previously. And that doesn’t even count all of the … subtler military incursions in other countries.

Those include raids and training of indigenous forces in Chad, Cameroon, Uganda, Mali, and Niger — the last of which briefly flashed into the news last fall when U.S. troops were killed in an ambush there. But just as quickly it was gone. None of these actions were debated in Congress or widely covered (or even noted) in the press, either during the Bush or Obama administrations (when they began), nor have they been seriously discussed or debated under President Trump. They just happen, and keep happening, with effectively no public oversight or evaluation at all.