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Looking for a war

Since becoming President of the United States, Donald Trump's days have not been happy ones. He has been accompanied by crises since the minute he stepped into the White House, either with the accusations of cooperating with Russia, Russia's facilitation of his arrival to the While House, or him being unqualified for the presidency. This final accusation is still being debated, especially with the rise of the extremist right-wing and neo-Nazis whose votes contributed to Trump becoming president. This gave the impression that the US President is overlooking their activities and did not directly condemn them after the recent violence in Charlottesville.

There is no doubt that these internal crises are tainting Trump's presidency and need bigger events to distract from them. This is an old American policy which, it seems, Trump is now adopt, but so far he has failed in doing so. Since his first days as president, he has been trying to open a front in this country or that. The first step was in Syria, after bombing the Al-Shayrat airport. The consequences of the bombing did not last long, especially with America's withdrawal from the Syrian arena after calculating the costs of a clash with Russia. This would not help Trump as much as it would further complicate his internal crisis after opinion polls in the US suggested that Americans were not keen on opening a battle front with Moscow.

After ruling out the possibility of engaging in the war in Syria, and by doing so engaging in an almost direct confrontation with Russia, Trump's administration looked for other military options. Next came the North Korean missile crisis, which warns of a serious confrontation with Southeast Asia. Trump issued his threats and his generals announced that the plans were ready to thwart the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's plans who had announced plans to strike the US. This war atmosphere did not last long, as looking at whether they would win or lose, the US found that it would definitely come out as the loser, especially with the presence of 50 million people, represented by the South Korean population, falling under the fire of Pyongyang's missiles.

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The anti-missile shields may not be able to protect them. The same goes for the fact that the war could snowball and turn into a global confrontation, which will make matters even more complicated for the Trump administration. America wants to draw attention away without exhausting the US' human and financial resources.

The search is ongoing, but it is delayed. This has pushed American generals to re-open old issues, at least for the time being. Afghanistan is now back on the table, even after the American withdrawal from the country was the final decision made by the Obama administration, as well as for Trump during his campaign. However, the administration is rehashing the war and sending more soldiers to Afghanistan. In terms of this war, the American troops have enough experience and therefore it will not be costly, as "the war you know is better than the war you don't." Based on this, life was breathed back into the Afghan battle, and new variables have been added that may contribute to changing it a little, such as the addition of Pakistan and India into the mix. There have also been hints at expanding the battle to reach Pakistan, since it is considered a haven for the Taliban and hints at giving India a role in the Afghan arena.

The revival of the Afghan war may benefit the Trump administration and give it some of the advantages that it wanted from this, but the search for the war continues, especially as the internal crises are on the verge of worsening.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Al-Araby Al-Jadeed on 31 August 2017.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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