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Re: “Americans among 19 dead in Syria suicide bombing”:

Innocents were no doubt killed by a malignant ideology that’s far from defeated. Our forces can be effective enablers of peace and stability, but they need to be properly used and then backed up by stable leadership, and a coherent diplomatic and military strategy.

Sadly, during the Trump presidency we can’t be assured our troops are appropriately deployed and supported.

The status of our current presidential leadership is highly uncertain. Virtually no evidence supports the premise that President Donald Trump is thoughtful or informed, or that he has a competent team integrated into his decision making.

Trump goes out of his way to parrot Kremlin talking points and hide his interactions with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Whether Trump is just incompetent or a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia is the real national-security crisis, not some stupid border wall.

Jeremy Watte, Seattle

Correction: This letter has been corrected. When it was first published Jan. 18, it had an incorrect spelling of the author’s last name.