After months of all the Republican presidential candidates trying to out hawk one another, front-runner Donald Trump made a surprise appeal to reason Friday, saying he didn’t support “starting World War III over Syria” and that if Russia wants to fight ISIS in that country, the US should let them do it.
With everybody trying to one-up everyone else on wars, Trump still insisted he is “the most militaristic person you’ll ever meet,” but also touted his opposition to the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, saying the US “got nothing” out of the conflict.
Trump’s attempt to retain his hawkish position with any suggestion of not starting a war against someone is liable to be difficult, with other candidates like Lindsey Graham openly talking about ground invasions to kill as many people in other countries as theoretically possible.
Still, the fact that anyone in the Republican field is willing to entertain something short of random, heedless escalation is certainly novel, given the state of the last few months, and that it is a front-runner like Trump suggests that polls showing growing war-weariness among American voters is finally starting to attract some political attention.
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