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Trump still hasn’t visited a war zone, despite tough talk on military

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Trump US military
Over
a year and a half into his tenure President Donald Trump has yet
to visit American troops in a war-zone.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

  • President Donald Trump repeatedly portrays himself as a
    gung-ho supporter of the US military, but a year and a half
    into his tenure the president has yet to visit American troops
    in a war-zone.
  • The vast majority of Trump’s commander-in-chief
    predecessors dating all the way back to World War II have
    visited troops in war zones, including George W. Bush and
    Barack Obama.
  • Both Bush and Obama met with US troops in combat zones
    soon into their first terms. 

President Donald Trump repeatedly portrays himself as a gung-ho
supporter of the US military, but over a year and a half into his
tenure the president has yet to visit American troops in a war
zone.

Since Trump took office, American troops have been killed
everywhere from Somalia and Niger to Yemen and Iraq. In 2018
alone, five US soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan.

But Trump
has yet to visit Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria
, among other
places where US troops are putting their lives on the line to
execute his orders. 

This is arguably out-of-step for a president who’s
filled his cabinet with generals
, boasted about
making the military stronger than ever
, called for an
expensive
(and recently cancelled)
military parade in the capital, and

lambasted NFL players
for allegedly disrespecting the troops
by kneeling during the national anthem. 

In short, Trump has often talked the talk when it comes to the
military – barring
controversial comments about Sen. John McCain’s time as a POW in
Vietnam
as well as widely criticized
attacks against Gold Star families
– but will he walk the
walk? 

Trump’s predecessors often visited US troops in war zones
overseas

The vast majority of Trump’s predecessors dating all the way back
to World War II have visited troops in war zones, including
George W. Bush and Barack Obama. And both Bush and Obama met
with US troops in combat zones soon into their first terms.

Bush, for example,
met with ground troops in Baghdad
within 10 months of the
invasion of Iraq in 2003. By the end of his time in office, Bush
made four trips to Iraq and two to Afghanistan. 

Comparatively, Obama visited troops in Iraq in 2008 while he was
still a senator and made another visit within his first three
months as president. Ultimately, Obama made
four trips to Afghanistan
as president. 


Obama Afghanistan
Former
President Barack Obama shakes hands at a troop rally at Bagram
Air Field, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, during an unannounced
visit, on Sunday, May 25, 2014.

Evan
Vucci/AP


The war in Afghanistan is nearly 17 years old and
there’s no end in sight

Trump promised to ramp down America’s involvement in the war on
terror as a presidential candidate. But the realities of the
presidency have thus far made it difficult for him to do so and
he’s even increased US troop presence in some cases. Last year,
Trump sent several thousand more troops to Afghanistan, for
example. 

Presidential visits to troops stationed in harm’s way boost
morale. As the war in Afghanistan nears its 17th anniversary, the
roughly 15,000 US troops Afghanistan especially could benefit
from seeing the president at a time when many Americans have
seemingly forgotten about the conflict. 

Moreover, as commander-in-chief some might say Trump has a duty
to visit those he orders into harm’s way.

The White House did not immediately respond to a query from
Business Insider as to whether the president had any plans to
make such a trip sometime in the not-so-distant future. 

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