EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

Speakers at last week’s Republican National Convention lauded President Trump as a foe of endless wars. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) praised the president for “bringing our men and women home,” while Eric Trump claimed that his father accomplished “peace in the Middle East. Never-ending wars were finally ended.”

Just hours later, we learned of a direct clash between US and Russian troops in northern Syria. Military vehicles from each country raced in an open field until a Russian vehicle collided with a US vehicle, injuring four Americans, with each side claiming the other was to blame. Former administration official Brett McGurk noted that “these incidents have been ongoing for months.”

How did we arrive at a situation where the two most heavily armed nuclear powers are facing off in rural Syria without congressional authorization?

Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.