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‘The President is Aware’

The Pentagon is sending in more troops to Syria and Afghanistan. And, apparently, the president has been made “aware.” Is that it?

On this episode of The E.R., Max Boot joins us to discuss his new book "The Road Not Taken."
On this episode of The E.R., Max Boot joins us to discuss his new book "The Road Not Taken."

On this week’s episode of The E.R., David Rothkopf, Rosa Brooks, and Colin Kahl discuss the Trump administration’s military and foreign policy strategies. With more U.S. Marines and troops being deployed to both Syria and Afghanistan, is this part of a grand strategy or just an ad hoc patch? What are the administration’s long-terms goals in Syria — besides killing ISIS, of course?

The panel argues that there are multiple avenues that must be taken in order to achieve anything that even remotely resembles stability. Whether it’s political changes to the Assad regime, stabilization techniques in Kabul, or countering violent extremism across the region, all of these components must come together. But it seems that Trump has little appetite for a long-term plan.

The conversation then turns to the agents of the Trump administration’s broader strategy: namely, what are Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doing to mobilize and support U.S. interests abroad? And what can we expect in the next four years as situations shift and policies change? As one guest points out, everything needs to be looked at holistically — and right now, it seems that President Trump is doing the exact opposite.

Colin Kahl is a contributing editor to FP’s Shadow Government blog. He’s currently a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in the security studies program, and was previously the deputy assistant to President Barack Obama and national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. Follow him on Twitter at: @ColinKahl.

Rosa Brooks is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and teaches international law, national security, and constitutional law at Georgetown University. She is the author of the newly released book “How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything.” Follow her on Twitter at: @brooks_rosa.

David Rothkopf is the CEO and editor of the FP Group. Follow him on Twitter at: @djrothkopf.

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