I motioned Phineas to sit with me at the bar.
“You come to V-Two often?” he inquired.
“Special occasion, my friend.”
“My godson has been deployed to Kuwait.”
“He’s in the 82nd Airborne?”
“Special Forces, just a kid.”
“Aren’t they all?”
“Google 82nd Airborne 1st brigade deployment and look at the photo, then you tell me,” I replied.
“What is Trump doing sending Marines, Navy, and the 82nd to the Middle East?”
“Hoping to distract you and I from the gravity of the Senate impeachment trial.”
“Starting a war has always been a good, short term move for any President under pressure.”
“Didn’t Reagan light up Libya with tomahawks and Clinton order Operation Infinite Reach when they needed some positive poll numbers?”
“I cannot believe even President Trump would be so callous to stoop so low and risk the lives of our men and women for political profit.”
“Are you kidding me? Trump is the guy who used the power and prestige of his presidency to try to intimidate President Zelensky into smearing Joe Biden.”
“Have we learned from the massacre in Lebanon when terrorists blew up the hotel where the Marines were staying during Reagan’s watch.”
“I hope the Kuwaiti barracks have reinforced concrete walls and Patriot missiles guarding the skies, unlike when Iran sent a flurry of rockets to the Iraqi airbases,” added Phineas.
“Even Trump is not so foolish as to send in paratroopers before softening up the Iranian defenses with Tomahawks, bombers and so forth.”
“If he was going to invade Iran, he’d probably try to take out the uranium centrifuges with a couple bunker blaster bombs delivered by B-2’s.”
“All-out war, and for what? What’s the long game, the exit strategy?”
“Perhaps it’s all saber rattling.”
“I would like to think that, but that much firepower, concentrated in an area of the world that needs only a spark to set it all off is a bad idea,” I replied.
“Then Iran responds with ballistic rockets into Kuwait.”
“Consider the cost of this operation. We have likely invested a million dollars in each soldier, fuel to fly in C-17s, house and feed the 82nd in Kuwait, the cost of every Tomahawk is over a million dollars, and the B-2s and bunker blaster payloads cost who knows how much. On and on. A terrible risk of precious lives and waste of oodles of tax money, money that would be better spent on so many of our other national priorities.”
“It’s an interesting, albeit frightening prospect. Would Congress grant war powers to Trump while our Senators sit as jurors at the impeachment trial?”
“Could the trial be interrupted to convene a special session of Congress?”
“That would be a very Trumpian move, throw it all into chaos, then sit back and watch with no plan for how things will turn out.”
“A chess master he is not,” I added.
“But this is not a game of porcelain pieces. The young people are our flesh and blood.”