Trump's absence from the war zones more than a year into this presidency stands in contrast to his immediate predecessor: Former President Barack Obama made his first of five presidential trips to the front lines three months after taking office and he went to Afghanistan twice in 2010, including one visit just months after he announced a surge of forces against the Taliban. Meanwhile, former President George W. Bush went half a dozen times, including his surprise visit to troops in Baghdad on Thanksgiving Day in 2003, eight months after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Many former diplomats, Pentagon officials and retired military officers believe Trump too should visit the countries where American troops are in harm's way. They say it would give him an unvarnished, outside-the-Beltway perspective on the the stepped-up fight against the Islamic State and his own decision to dispatch additional troops to beat back a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan — plus it would boost morale.
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