Why Trump Can’t End The Forever Wars

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has imported into the American military lexicon a new rationale for U.S. military actions in the Middle East. It’s called “mowing the lawn,” but it has nothing to do with keeping the grass trimmed. “To mow the lawn,” Esper recently remarked to reporters, “means, every now and then” giving your adversary a good, swift kick in the shins. “You have to do these things,” he explained “so that a threat doesn’t grow, doesn’t resurge.”