For starters, the number of American troops stationed abroad has barely budged — 198,000 under President Obama and 194,000 under Trump. In Afghanistan, there are 8,500 more troops on his watch than under Obama’s. Meanwhile, Trump has sent more troops to prop up the murderous king of Saudi Arabia while backing out of his own much-ballyhooed withdrawal plan from Syria.
Trump has expanded the scope of drone warfare. Obama was no slouch when it came to drone bombing. However, Trump upped him, launching 238 drone strikes in his first two years compared to 186 by Obama at the same time in his term. Worse, Trump subsequently reauthorized the CIA to carry out its own drone bombings and rescinded an Obama-era rule requiring the agency to disclose all the civilian casualties it causes. This makes it much easier to attack countries that America isn’t technically at war with and much harder to track the death and destruction the U.S. is causing, all of which will only sow the seeds of a future backlash from those it is terrorizing.
Furthermore, far from delivering on his promise of reducing the fiscal burden of America’s foreign policy, Trump, who once called U.S. military spending “crazy,” has pushed it to levels that even the Pentagon didn’t think was imaginable. The defense, or rather offense, budget has gone up a whopping $140 billion on his watch.