Monday, June 13, 2016

How many wars are we fighting today?

The unclassified answer appears to be 16 -- the same as six months ago, but troop levels have changed in several conflicts. The Obama administration has been following the practice of submitting to Congress reports based on the requirements of the War Powers Resolution every six months.The latest report, released today, identifies 16 military operations where American combat-equipped forces are deployed: "against al-Qaida, the Taliban, and Associated Forces" with no particular locations or numbers given; in Afghanistan, where the number of U.S. troops has dropped to 9,300, compared with 10,500 six months ago; Iraq [where the number has increased from 3,550 to 4,087 now] and Syria [where the number has jumped from 50 to 300]; Turkey [no numbers given in the unclassified version]; Somalia; Yemen; Djibouti; Libya; Cuba; Niger [where the number has climbed to 420 from 310]; against the Lord's Resistance Army; Egypt; Jordan [where the number climbed from 2,000 to 2,200]; and in Kosovo [where the number dropped from 700 to 660].

So Congress has been informed. It's up to lawmakers, who have the Constitutional power to authorize or forbid major military operations, to act on this information, either by authorizing them with or without conditions or by limiting them.

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