When it comes to ending wars, as we all know from long, sad experience, presidential promises can't always be trusted. Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to end the "bad" war in Iraq and to work toward shutting down the "good" war in Afghanistan. Except, when he left office eight years later, we were not only still fighting the "good" war and the "bad" war, we were also fighting a new war in Syria. With Donald Trump, it's more of the same.
"Ron Paul is right that we are wasting trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan," he tweeted in 2011. "Afghanistan is a complete waste. Time to come home!" he wrote the next year. In 2016, he (rightly) blamed George W. Bush for the "big fat mistake" of the Iraq War during a GOP presidential debate.
And yet the war in Iraq lingers on. Trump has sent more American troops to Afghanistan. There are more American support troops in Syria, and we are also secretly militarily engaged in several countries in northern Africa--with most of that activity taking place under the radar.
In other words, like Obama, Trump hasn't ended any of America's wars, he's just started new ones. Most Americans would be surprised to learn, for example, that civilian deaths in the Middle East have soared under Trump. His first year in office, 2017, was the deadliest year ever for civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria, with as many as six thousand people killed in strikes by the U.S.-led coalition.