It depends on your lens. I personally think we should have been continuing to reduce our presence in Afghanistan and Iraq as much as possible. Our forces are pretty much in the same state as Canada’s. In 2010 it was first announced that Canada would disengage from Afghanistan, they did not formally end their mission until 2014 because they did the US a solid unlike most of NATO. The Canadian Army is pretty small, 23,000 Active Force Soldiers and for most of ten years they were in Afghanistan with a Battle-group and then support forces. That put them at capacity for deployment of forces forward unless we’re talking a true world war type event.
Now looking at our Army and Marine Corps, we went through a tremendous force expansion and then two force reductions over the last 16 years cutting below where we started at the end of the Clinton Administration. Our equipment is busted, our Soldiers tired. It’s not that we don’t want to fight, talk among the ranks and everyone is motivated in service to this country. But you have to take an outside lens, we probably needed a draft to do what we did. At one point we had over 300,000 troops in the Middle East, that’s 1/3 of all forces across the DoD.
I think a lot of people voted for Trump due to the idea of disengagement. Hillary kept saying no Troops on the ground, just enablers…wtf! Enablers (Intel, Signal, Linguists, SF), all of those folks are Boots on the Ground, they are troops. What Trump did say was that he would go after ISIS. That he wasn’t going to play games and he wasn’t about the drone strikes when he could do better with a scalpel. Marines from 11Th MEU BLT are on the ground to provide artillery support for the upcoming assault on Raqqa by the Kurdish SDF and SAA. And then apparently Turkey doesn’t listen to diplomatic cables and memos within the NATO command Structure so we had to have Operators run around in Strykers flying American Flags around Manbij.
Now lets look at some other things, after pulling out of Germany during the 2000s, the Army has started executing site surveys in order to place 4,000 soldiers. Which tells me they’re looking for another place to station a BCT, rotating or forward deployed is not clear at this time. My opinion is that we have several Kasernes available for us to re-occupy immediately as soon as the privates do some landscaping, although DaveO would say different.