Politicians and the public have come to think of the U.S. dropping bombs as just another foreign policy stratagem, Bonnie Kristian writes.
What we ignore at our peril is that airstrikes are war, as is evident with a moment's reflection. Dropping bombs on foreign territory is warfare whether we talk about it in those terms or not.
This defining statement is not as pedantic as it may seem. Washington has a well-established history of using sloppy language in civic conversation to pull fast ones on the public. Former President Obama was a master where airstrikes were concerned: By prioritizing air war over ground troops, Obama was able to pay lip service to his campaign-era promises of reform and restraint while, in reality, maintaining and in some cases escalating the very interventionist foreign policy he was elected to repudiate.