The top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee urged President Donald Trump on Wednesday to visit U.S. troops in combat zones abroad.

After almost two years in office, Trump has yet to go to Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan to meet with troops. Every president in recent history, including Barack Obama, has visited soldiers in war zones.

“It should be done by the president, not just to get an idea of what’s going on, but to personally thank men and women in the uniform of the United States who are exposing themselves to great dangers for the country,” Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island told reporters Wednesday.

“That goes a long way, and that’s something that the commander in chief should do,” added Reed, who has served as a ranking member of the Armed Services Committee since 2015.


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Trump also said in an interview on Tuesday that he believes it is not “overly necessary” to visit troops, despite the fact that he has ramped up his rhetoric against ISIS and other radical terrorist groups. The Trump administration has also reportedly committed more troops to the war in Afghanistan.


Reed also described his experiences visiting Afghanistan and Iraq multiple times with Obama and Sen. Chuck Hagel, who eventually became secretary of defense.

Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in December, an unannounced visit. He also briefly stopped by a military base in Jordan.

Obama visited troops abroad five times in total, the first of his trips coming just three months after his first term started.

Trump has drawn criticism several times for disrespecting the military, as he did earlier this month when he failed to attend several memorial services during Veterans’ Day weekend. He cited rainy weather as his reason for skipping the events.

Trump also recently ordered more than 5,000 troops be sent to the U.S. border with Mexico in order to stop the migrant caravan, although it has now been revealed this effort cost around $200 million and that the troops don’t have much to do.

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