They would like to know Trump’s intent in North Korea, Syria and elsewhere.

They dispatched the carrier strike force toward North Korea. They launched the cruise missiles at Syria. But the U.S. military, stung when it was sent to war before without a clear plan and then blamed for the resulting mess, is expressing caution about being thrust deeper into any of the conflicts raging around the world.

Combat-ready American and allied troops are deployed today against heavily armed opposing forces in Europe and the Korean peninsula. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, U.S. and NATO commander in Europe and the former top U.S. commander in South Korea, last year described their situation like this: They’re ready “to fight tonight if deterrence fails.” But a plan would be good.

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