President Donald Trump will likely become the first president since Jimmy Carter to not send American forces into a new conflict once he leaves office, Newsweek reports.
Trump’s recently-appointed acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller announced last week that the U.S. will cut the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to 2,500 by Jan. 15, an announcement that came just before national security adviser Robert O’Brien said that Trump was looking “to put a stop to America’s endless wars.”
Although the United States has formally declared war only five times, with the most recent being the country’s entry into World War II, Congress has granted several “authorizations of military force” since Carter left office.
President Ronald Reagan sent troops into Lebanon in 1983, President George H.W. Bush launched the Gulf War in 1991, President Bill Clinton got funding from Congress and permission from the United Nations to send 20,000 troops into Bosnia in 1995, George W. Bush initialized the War on Terror and the Iraq War in 2003, and President Barack Obama sent American forces into Libya in 2011.
According to Thomas Gift, the director of the Centre on U.S. Politics at University College London:
“Trump hasn’t faced a similar monumental national security event that’s compelled him to shift focus and become a ‘wartime president.’ As a result, Trump’s brand of belligerent isolationism has led him to avoid foreign wars.”