The Trump Presidency

doghouse

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Well, you would have to make the case that it is in <insert country> interest to intervene and that clearly defined objectives can be achieved. This would have to be on a case by case basis as each crisis would have its own dynamic.

One of the things that irritates me about current Lefties / pseudo- liberals is that they don't seem to realise, or care, that when they canvas for, or sanction a military intervention is that they are signing a death warrant for some of their fellow citizens. Their WILL be fatalities on your side. They seem oblivious to this because it usually wont affect them. It will likely affect 'the basket full of delporables' though which makes a hawk like Clinton's insult doubly nasty.

I loath people like Clinton.
The deplorables in Syria are pretty beside themselves at the moment just fyi.
 

Dropbear

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hang on, who is our great ally? turkey?

I’ll give you a hint; who just rolled ISIS right out of Syria? It sure as hell wasnt their Turkish allies.


No. For dropbear it will be that oppressed group of people spread across Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran who don't have a nation.
I’m all for helping Rojava in Northern Syria. I’d create an autonomous state within Syria for the Kurds. Those living outside the borders can move in, if they want to. For the most part, Iraqi Kurds haven’t impressed me much.

Additionally, pulling out an artilary battalion and some green beanies from the battlefield isn’t really a game changer. These were US support troops behind the lines, assisting the SDF. The real concern is that this signals a future end to arms drops and the air support they depend upon to fight off ISIS, the Moscow-backed regime in Damascus and the Turks.

There are so many conflict zone around the world that the US could pull out of and not make a difference. This isn’t one of them.

Yeh, irony not lost on me.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Whilst it does appear the Kurds are the right side to back, without any strategic or geopolitical aim from the American military then Trump is right to pull out. I'm not convinced that this is the right action, but as with anything to do with Middle East countries and that religion that cannot bare any scrutiny, the question is increasingly, how can we protect our internal country specifically from the growing threat?

The French have too many internal security issues to step-up and replace the USA. This is the problem of western Europe, the ability to project power is diminishing as we are increasingly being menaced internally. The military strategists and the games have been played, we'll be too busy within the borders of Europe to give a rats ass about the ME by the early 2020s.

An ex-colleague of mine has made a career in the Kurd region and I'm well aware they're modern, secular as possible in that area and appear to be democratic and for women's rights. Not a bad posting for a hardship location, although at one time ISIS were supposedly a mere 40kms from his work place.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Ya'll should dig into the back ground of the guy crowd funding the wall if you want a good laugh.
And you were laughing at the state of British politics!

I refer you once again to Black Grape on the specific subject of getting Mexico to pay for the wall:


P.S. I still think that Trump's influence on reinvigorating the moribund political systems in the western world will be seen as a much needed kick in the ass when it was duly needed. We just need to wait another 10 years or so before everyone gets it.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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You are a treasure mate.

You have to work from the principle that Trump is a Trickster archetype and work forward from that. Both the Democrats and Republicans have awoken from their slumber, but not necessarily on the right side of the bed at this moment. As has been said before, Trump has several punk elements.
 

Rambo

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It's not, but whatever floats your boat. I'm all for getting out of Syria, but what we are doing is insane and will have very serious long term consequences.
honestly i don't see it as insane at all. what the fuck were we even accomplishing in syria?
The fact that you don't even know this basic information is exactly why you don't have the requisite understanding to have a serious opinion on what's happening.
actually its more that i really don't see the kurds as a "great ally" in anything more than name only since we constantly and consistently keep betraying them at every turn. the idea that the kurds are relying on the US for anything at this point is laughable. they might as well be cannon fodder for us given the way we treat them.
Well, you would have to make the case that it is in <insert country> interest to intervene and that clearly defined objectives can be achieved. This would have to be on a case by case basis as each crisis would have its own dynamic.
fair enough. if the reason is, for lack of a better word "pure", i don't see any problem in helping country X. my issue is why are we staying in country X, especially for the length that we've been in iraq and afganistan. i just don't see what our continued involvement in the either of these countries accomplishes unless you're a CIA hawk who thinks that the government controlling the opium trade is a "good" thing.
 

Rambo

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One of the things that irritates me about current Lefties / pseudo- liberals is that they don't seem to realise, or care, that when they canvass for, or sanction a military intervention is that they are signing a death warrant for some of their fellow citizens. Their WILL be fatalities on your side. They seem oblivious to this because it usually wont affect them. It will likely affect 'the basket full of deplorables' though which makes a hawk like Clinton's insult doubly nasty.
i would agree with this but i'd also point out that the right has the same problem but from the other end of the spectrum. they're willing to throw as many bodies at a problem as they can and damn the consequences. there's nothing more that a conservative loves than a live baby that they can turn into a dead soldier.
I loathe people like Clinton.
honestly who doesn't at this point?
 

Rambo

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I’m all for helping Rojava in Northern Syria. I’d create an autonomous state within Syria for the Kurds. Those living outside the borders can move in, if they want to. For the most part, Iraqi Kurds haven’t impressed me much.
isn't this a pipe dream at this point? the turks are never going to allow the kurds to have their own state and we aren't going to piss of the turks enough to back that.

i thought this was a good follow up piece on the situation in syria:

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/...mps-decision-to-withdraw-from-syria.html#more

Fallout Of Trump's Syria Withdrawal - Why Erdogan Does Not Want To Invade
President Trump's strategic decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria creates some significant fallout. The U.S. and international borg is enraged that Trump ends an occupation that is illegal under international as well as U.S. domestic law. "That's un-American!"
Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis resigned from his position effective February 28. He disagreed with the president's decision. It was the second time in five years that an elected commander in chief had a serious conflict with Mattis' hawkishness. President Obama fired him as Central Command chief for urging a more aggressive Iran policy. Mattis is also extremely hawkish towards Russia and China.
President Trump campaigned on lessening U.S. involvement in wars abroad. He wants to get reelected. He does not need a Secretary of Defense that involves him in more wars that have little to none defined purpose.
Mattis is an ingrained imperialist. He always asked for more money for the military and for more meddling abroad. One of Mattis' little notice acts as Defense Secretary was a unannounced change in the mission of the Pentagon:
For at least two decades, the Department of Defense has explicitly defined its mission on its website as providing "the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country." But earlier this year, it quietly changed that statement, perhaps suggesting a more ominous approach to national security.
...
The Pentagon's official website now defines its mission this way: "The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide a lethal Joint Force to defend the security of our country and sustain American influence abroad."​
The Pentagon no longer "deters war" but provides "lethal force" to "sustain American influence abroad." There was no public nor congressional debate about the change. I doubt that President Trump agreed to it. Trump will now try to recruit a defense secretary that is more aligned with his own position.
The White House also announced that 7,000 of the 14,000 soldier the U.S. has in Afghanistan will withdraw over the next few months. The war in Afghanistan is lost with the Taliban ruling over more than half of the country and the U.S. supported government forces losing more personal than they can recruit. It was Mattis who had urged Trump to increase the troop numbers in Afghanistan from 10,000 to 14,000 at the beginning of his term. There are also 8,000 NATO and allied troops in Afghanistan which will likely see a proportional withdrawal.
The Associated Press has a new tic toc of Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria:
Trump stunned his Cabinet, lawmakers and much of the world with the move by rejecting the advice of his top aides and agreeing to a withdrawal in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, two officials briefed on the matter said.
...
“The talking points were very firm,” said one of the officials, explaining that Trump was advised to clearly oppose a Turkish incursion into northern Syria and suggest the U.S. and Turkey work together to address security concerns. “Everybody said push back and try to offer (Turkey) something that’s a small win, possibly holding territory on the border, something like that.”
Erdogan, though, quickly put Trump on the defensive, reminding him that he had repeatedly said the only reason for U.S. troops to be in Syria was to defeat the Islamic State and that the group had been 99 percent defeated. “Why are you still there?” the second official said Erdogan asked Trump, telling him that the Turks could deal with the remaining IS militants.
...
Erdogan’s point, Bolton was forced to admit, had been backed up by Mattis, Pompeo, U.S. special envoy for Syria Jim Jeffrey and special envoy for the anti-ISIS coalition Brett McGurk, who have said that IS retains only 1 percent of its territory, the officials said.
...
Bolton stressed, however, that the entire national security team agreed that victory over IS had to be enduring, which means more than taking away its territory.
Trump was not dissuaded, according to the officials, who said the president quickly capitulated by pledging to withdraw, shocking both Bolton and Erdogan.​
Trump did not "capitulate". He always wanted to pull the U.S. troops out of Syria. He said so many times. When he was finally given a chance to do so, he grabbed the opportunity. Erdogan though, was not ready for that:
Caught off guard, Erdogan cautioned Trump against a hasty withdrawal, according to one official. While Turkey has made incursions into Syria in the past, it does not have the necessary forces mobilized on the border to move in and hold the large swaths of northeastern Syria where U.S. troops are positioned, the official said.
The call ended with Trump repeating to Erdogan that the U.S. would pull out, but offering no specifics on how it would be done, the officials said.​

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Erdogan had planned to only occupy a 10 miles deep strip along the Syrian-Turkish border. Some 15,000 Turkish controlled 'Syrian rebels' stand ready for that. He would need some 50-100,000 troops to occupy all of east Syria northward of the Euphrates. It would be a hostile occupation among well armed Kurds who would oppose it and an Arab population that is not exactly friendly towards a neo-Ottoman Turkey.
Erdogan knows this well. Today he announced to delay the planned invasion:
“We had decided last week to launch a military incursion... east of the Euphrates river,” he said in a speech in Istanbul. “Our phone call with President Trump, along with contacts between our diplomats and security officials and statements by the United States, have led us to wait a little longer.
“We have postponed our military operation against the east of the Euphrates river until we see on the ground the result of America’s decision to withdraw from Syria.”
The Turkish president said, however, that this was not an “open-ended waiting period”.​
Any larger occupation of northeast Syria would create a serious mess for Turkey. Its army can do it, but it would cost a lot of casualties and financial resources. Turkey will hold local government election in March and Erdogan does not want any negative headlines. He will invade, but only if Syria and Russia fail to get the Kurds under control.
Unfortunately the leaders of the anarcho-marxist PKK/YPK in Syria have still not learned their lesson. They make the same demands to Damascus that were already rejected when similar demands were made for Afrin canton before Turkey invaded and destroyed it.
agitpapa @agitpapa 11:14 utc - 21 Dec 2018
YPG delegation was flown in to Mezzeh yday. Negos were inconclusive because they just repeated their usual line of "SAA protects the border, we control the rest." No army allows someone else allied with an enemy to control its rear and its supply lines. +​
+ The YPG leadership is still stuck in its pro-Western rut. It needs to be purged before any deal can be made with Damascus. Their present track will just lead to another Afrin, then another, then another. Thousands of brave YPG/YPJ fighters will have died for nothing.​
Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 16:31 utc - 21 Dec 2018
#Breakingnews: Private sources : President Bashar al Assad has rejected the Kurdish proposal while Turkey is gathering forces (Euphrates Shield et al) to attack the Kurdish controlled area north of #Syria. #Russia seems holding back president Erdogan for a while. A lot of pressure​
It is not (only) Russia that is holding Erdogan back. As seen above he has serious concerns about such an operation. Moreover, he does not have enough troops yet and the U.S. troops have not yet changed their pattern. As of today they still patrolled on the Turkish border and yesterday new U.S. war material was still coming in from Iraq. Erdogan does not dare to attack U.S. troops.
He will most likely want to avoid any additional military involvement in Syria. If Damascus and Moscow can get the PKK under control, Ankara will be satisfied.
Besides the presence of 4,000 to 5,000 U.S. troops and contractors in northeast Syria there also a contingent of 1,100 French troops and an unknown number of British forces. France for now says it wants to stay to finish the fight against the Islamic State enclave along the Euphrates.
But France does not have the capability to sustain those forces without U.S. support. Syria and Russia could ask Macron to put them under their command to finish the fight against ISIS, but it is doubtful that President Macron would agree to that. It is more likely that he will agree to a handover of their position to Russian, Syrian or even Iraqi or Iranian forces. Those forces can then finish the fight.
 

formby

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i would agree with this but i'd also point out that the right has the same problem but from the other end of the spectrum. they're willing to throw as many bodies at a problem as they can and damn the consequences. there's nothing more that a conservative loves than a live baby that they can turn into a dead soldier.

honestly who doesn't at this point?
Yes, but the Right have always been hawkish, not so much the Left.
 

QuandoDio

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If there are no geopolitical concerns, then I would support Trump pulling the troops out.

...and to all those Lefties / pseudo Liberals bigging-it-up, why don't you join the armed forces were you could serve along side those 'basketful of deplorables' as Hilary Clinton delightfully called them who most likely make up its majority instead of virtue signalling the fuck-out-of-yourself on here?
Such a stupid comment.
 

Dropbear

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the American left went to fight in Spain while the right and centre (Dems) sought a neutrality that aided the Axis and Franco. The left pushed FDR to fight hitler while the right wanted to stay out of WW2 right up to Pearl Harbour.

The American left has been fighting and dying in Rojava for five years now.
 

Rambo

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We Know How Trump’s War Game Ends

Nothing unites our political class like the threat of ending our never-ending war


By
MATT TAIBBI

So we’re withdrawing troops from the Middle East.
GOOD!
What’s the War on Terror death count by now, a half-million? How much have we spent, $5 trillion? Five-and-a-half? For that cost, we’ve destabilized the region to the point of abject chaos, inspired millions of Muslims to hate us, and torn up the Geneva Convention and half the Constitution in pursuit of policies like torture, kidnapping, assassination-by-robot and warrantless detention. It will be difficult for each of us to even begin to part with our share of honor in those achievements. This must be why all those talking heads on TV are going crazy. Unless Donald Trump decides to reverse his decision to begin withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan, cable news for the next few weeks is going to be one long Scanners marathon of exploding heads. “Today’s decision would cheer Moscow, ISIS, and Iran!” yelped Nicole Wallace, former George W. Bush communications director. “Maybe Trump will bring Republicans and Democrats together,” said Bill Kristol, on MSNBC, that “liberal” channel that somehow seems to be populated round the clock by ex-neocons and Pentagon dropouts. Kristol, who has rarely ever been in the ballpark of right about anything — he once told us Iraq was going to be a “two month war” — might actually be correct. Trump’s decisions on Syria and Afghanistan will lay bare the real distinctions in American politics. Political power in this country is not divided between right and left, and not even between rich and poor. The real line is between a war party, and everyone else.
This is why Kristol is probably right. The Democrats’ plan until now was probably to impeach Trump in the House using at minimum some material from the Michael Cohen case involving campaign-finance violations. That plan never had a chance to succeed in the Senate, but now, who knows? Troop withdrawals may push a collection of hawkish Republicans like Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Ben Sasse and maybe even Mitch McConnell into another camp. The departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — a standard-issue Pentagon toady who’s never met an unending failure of a military engagement he didn’t like and whose resignation letter is now being celebrated as inspirational literature on the order of the Gettysburg Address or a lost epic by Auden or Eliot — sounded an emergency bell for all these clowns. The letter by Mattis, Rubio said:


“Makes it abundantly clear we are headed towards a series of grave policy errors which will endanger our nation, damage our alliances & empower our adversaries.”

Talk like this is designed to give political cover to Republican fence-sitters on Trump. That wry smile on Kristol’s face is, I’d guess, connected to the knowledge that Trump put the Senate in play by even threatening to pull the plug on our Middle Eastern misadventures.
You’ll hear all sorts of arguments today about why the withdrawals are bad. You’ll hear Trump has no plan, which is true. He never does, at least not on policy. But we don’t exactly have a plan for staying in the Middle East, either, beyond installing a permanent garrison in a dozen countries, spending assloads of money and making ourselves permanently despised in the region as civilian deaths pile up through drone-bombings and other “surgical” actions. You’ll hear we’re abandoning allies and inviting massacres by the likes of Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan. If there was any evidence that our presence there would do anything but screw up the situation even more, I might consider that a real argument. At any rate, there are other solutions beyond committing American lives. We could take in more refugees, kick Turkey out of NATO, impose sanctions, etc. As to the argument that we’re abandoning Syria to Russians — anyone who is interested in reducing Russian power should be cheering. If there’s any country in the world that equals us in its ability to botch an occupation and get run out on a bloody rail after squandering piles of treasure, it’s Russia. They may even be better at it than us. We can ask the Afghans about that on our way out of there. The Afghan conflict became the longest military engagement in American history eight years ago. Despite myths to the contrary, Barack Obama did not enter office gung-ho to leave Afghanistan. He felt he needed to win there first, which, as anyone who’s read The Great Game knows, proved impossible. So we ended up staying throughout his presidency.


We were going to continue to stay there, and in other places, forever, because our occupations do not work, as everyone outside of Washington seems to understand. TV talking heads will be unanimous on this subject, but the population, not so much. What polls we have suggest voters want out of the region in increasing numbers. A Morning Consult/Politico poll from last year showed a plurality favored a troop decrease in Afghanistan, while only 5 percent wanted increases. Polls consistently show the public thinks our presence in Afghanistan has been a failure. There’s less about how the public feels about Syria, but even there, the data doesn’t show overwhelming desire to put boots on the ground. When Trump first ordered airstrikes in Syria over Assad’s use of chemical weapons, 70 percent favored sanctions according to Politico, while 39 percent favored sending troops. A CBS poll around that time found 45 percent wanted either no involvement period, or airstrikes and no ground troops, versus 18 percent who wanted full military involvement. Trump is a madman, a far-right extremist and an embarrassment, but that’s not why most people in Washington hate him. It’s his foreign-policy attitudes, particularly toward NATO, that have always most offended DC burghers. You could see the Beltway beginning to lose its mind back in the Republican primary race, when then-candidate Trump belittled America’s commitment to Middle Eastern oil states. “Every time there’s a little ruckus, we send those ships and those planes,” he said, early in his campaign. “We get nothing. Why? They’re making a billion a day. We get nothing.” As he got closer to the nomination, he went after neoconservative theology more explicitly. “I don’t think we should be nation-building anymore,” he said, in March of 2016. He went on: “I watched as we built schools in Iraq and they’re blown up. We build another one, we get blown up.” Trump was wrong about a thousand other things, but this was true. I had done a story about how military contractors spent $72 million on what was supposed to be an Iraqi police academy and delivered a pile of rubble so unusable, pedestrians made it into a toilet.


The Special Inspector General for Iraqi Reconstruction noted, “We witnessed a light fixture so full of diluted urine and feces that it would not operate.” SIGIR found we spent over $60 billion on Iraqi reconstruction and did not significantly improvelife for Iraqis. The parallel body covering Afghanistan, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, concluded last year that at least $15.5 billion had been wasted in that country between 2008 and 2017, and this was likely only a “fraction” of financial leakage. Trump, after sealing the nomination, upped the ante. In the summer of 2016 he said he wasn’t sure he’d send troops to defend NATO members that didn’t pay their bills. NATO members are supposed to kick in 2 percent of GDP for their own defense. At the time, only four NATO members(Estonia, Poland, the U.K. and the U.S.) were in compliance. Politicians went insane. How dare he ask countries to pay for their own defense! Republican House member Adam Kinzinger, a popular guest in the last 24 hours, said in July 2016 that Trump’s comments were “utterly disastrous.” “There’s no precedent,” said Thomas Wright, a “Europe scholar” from the Brookings Institute. When the news came after Trump’s election that he’d only read his intelligence briefings once a week instead of every day as previous presidents had dutifully done, that was it. The gloves were off at that point. “The open disdain Trump has shown for the agencies is unprecedented,” said Patrick Skinner, a former CIA official for both George W. Bush and Obama. All that followed, through today, has to be understood through this prism.
Trump dumped on basically every segment of the political establishment en route to Washington, running on a classic authoritarian strategy — bash the elites, pose as a populist. However fake he was, there were portions of the political establishment that deserved abuse, the Pentagon most of all. The Department of Defense has been a money pit for decades. It has trillions in expenditures it can’t account for, refused an audit for nearly 30 years and then failed this year (as in failed completely, zero-point-zero, not producing any coherent numbers) when one was finally funded. We have brave and able soldiers, but their leaders are utter tools who’ve left a legacy of massacres and botched interventions around the world. NATO? That’s an organization whose mission stopped making sense the moment the Soviet Union collapsed. We should long ago have repurposed our defense plan to focus on terrorism, cyber-crime and cyber-attacks, commercial espionage, financial security, and other threats. Instead, we continued after the Soviet collapse to maintain a global military alliance fattened with increasingly useless carriers and fighter jets, designed to fight archaic forms of war. NATO persisted mainly as a PR mechanism for a) justifying continued obscene defense spending levels and b) giving a patina of internationalism to America’s essentially unilateral military adventures. We’d go into a place like Afghanistan with no real plan for leaving, and a few member nations like Estonia and France and Turkey would send troops to get shot at with us. But it was always basically Team America: World Police with supporting actors. No wonder so few of the member countries paid their dues.

Incidentally, this isn’t exactly a secret. Long before Trump, this is what Barney Frank was saying in 2010: “I think the time has come to reexamine NATO. NATO has become an excuse for other people to get America to do things.” This has all been a giant, bloody, expensive farce, and it’s long since time we ended it. We’ll see a lot of hand-wringing today from people who called themselves anti-war in 2002 and 2003, but now pray that the “adults in the room” keep “boots on the ground” to preserve “credibility.” Part of this is because it’s Trump, but a bigger part is that we’ve successfully brainwashed big chunks of the population into thinking it’s normal for a country to exist in a state of permanent war, fighting in seven countries at once, spending half of all discretionary funding on defense. It’s not. It’s insane. And we’ll never be a healthy society, or truly respected abroad, until we stop accepting it as normal. Incidentally, I doubt Trump really follows through on this withdrawal plan. But until he changes (what passes for) his mind, watch what happens in Washington. We’re about to have a very graphic demonstration of the near-total uniformity of the political class when it comes to the military and its role. The war party is ready for a coming-out party.
 

Rambo

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Here's the next step - privatizing the war. Good luck to the fucking kurds if that dickless cocksucker Erik Prince takes over this shit.

OPINION
Published December 22, 2018
Last Update 8 hrs ago
Trump is right to withdraw from Syria – He should replace US troops with private contractors
By Gen. Anthony J. Tata | Fox News

Continue Reading Below
President Trump was right to announce this week that he will withdraw all of the approximately 2,000 U.S. troops now in Syria. But rather than ending our on-the-ground involvement entirely in anti-ISIS operations in that country, the president should replace the U.S. troops with a comparably sized group of private military contractors.
The private contractors would be an economy of force that assists our allies in the region in post- conflict operations, such as providing security for private investment that will allow the region to stabilize.
Further, this force could assuage the fears that the Kurds will be left unprotected and that Iran and Russia will be free to roam the country. Likewise, it could be a pilot project of sorts that allows us to determine the effectiveness of privatizing post-conflict operations.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
As a businessman, President Trump understands the efficiency of privatizing government services. A move like this would also help relieve our combat-stressed armed forces, which need to prepare for major combat operations against peer competitors such as China and Russia.
Continue Reading Below
President Trump’s delegation of authority in the rules of engagement in our fight against ISIS has allowed us and our allies to make made great progress against the terrorists.
On Dec. 14, the Syrian Democratic Forces – in conjunction with U.S. forces and air power – defeated ISIS in the town of Hajin near the Iraq border and along the Euphrates River. This significant defeat of a remnant of ISIS forces was most likely a trigger for President Trump to declare that the original purpose of U.S. troops in Syria is nearly accomplished.
There has always been a balance between our troops staying too long and not staying long enough in their engagements abroad. Small pockets of ISIS fighters remain and there exists the potential threats of Russian, Iranian and Turkish hegemonic interests.
Instead of U.S. involvement in Syria looking like the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have the potential for a clearer decisive victory in Syria, such as we saw in the First Gulf War.
Replacing our troops with private military contractors in Syria could give the president, our nation, and our allies in eastern Syria a win-win opportunity.​
For example, ground combat in the First Gulf War against Iraq in 1990-91 lasted just four days and involved little to no nation-building. The U.S. and our coalition allies built up a force, executed the mission, and redeployed the force while keeping our over-the-horizon capabilities and engaging in post-conflict operations that included the economic revitalization of Kuwait.
Operation Desert Storm was an anomaly, though. What has been missing from most recent U.S. military interventions are credible post-conflict operations where the U.S. is able to capitalize on its hard-fought victories to provide return on our investment and create the conditions for enduring stability, as happened in Kuwait.
There is no benefit to the U.S. to keep our military forces on the ground in Syria among the roving patrols of dictator Bashar Assad’s troops, Russian outposts, Iranian special forces and Turkish probing attacks against our Kurdish allies. To do so would invite the potential of mission creep toward nation-building.
However, 2,000 private military contractors working for the U.S. could provide the same security with a small cadre of coalition command and control forces, now that ISIS is on the ropes.
Sustained security would lure private investment into the oil-rich parts of eastern Syria, potentially revitalizing eastern Syria’s economy, while hardening its separation from the Assad regime and Assad’s Russian and Iranian allies.
The resultant oil productivity could also ease tensions with Turkey by opening a cheap oil bridge into the country.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration could do what is has done very well over the past two years, which is to leverage the elements of national power – diplomatic, information, military, and economic – to engage Turkey, Russia, Syria and Iran. In this fashion, our planned departure from Syria could have the positive consequence of stabilizing the war-torn nation.
Down the road, stabilization in eastern Syria could spark a return of some of the approximately 6 million Syrians who fled their country as refugees. Creating an economic zone with private security in eastern Syria would be a step toward normalization, while planting the seeds of democracy and capitalism in the center of the Middle East.
Let’s review how we got to where we are today in Syria. The foreign policy and national security geniuses who are criticizing President Trump today for his withdrawal announcement are the same individuals who stuck their collective heads in the sand as President Obama had then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and his minions cook the books on intelligence about ISIS to minimize the threat it posed.
From 2011-2013, in the face of the Arab Spring and Syrian Civil War, President Obama and his team dismissed ISIS as a serious threat. In fact, as late as January 2014 Obama called ISIS “a JV team” of second-string terrorists.
Ignoring the ISIS threat for two years, Obama’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence told military intelligence officers to not produce any intelligence products on the record that showed an ISIS threat inconsistent with President Obama’s narrative minimizing the strength of the terrorists.
It took photos in the media of pilots burning in cages for Obama to finally confront the monster that he helped create. He responded tepidly by deploying commanders tethered to the Pentagon for mission approvals to fight ISIS.
By then, the Iraqi city of Mosul had fallen to ISIS, along with Iraq’s Anbar province – including the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah. U.S. and coalition forces waged hard-fought battles during Operation Iraqi Freedom to liberate those cities.
President Obama’s negligence caused Iraqi and coalition forces to suffer many casualties as they were forced to fight to regain territory from ISIS.
There is no similarity between Obama’s passive negligence with respect to ISIS and Trump’s active decision-making.
President Trump gave U.S. military commanders the authority and responsibility to defeat ISIS, ending the Obama administration’s micromanagement of their actions from Washington and excessive restraints on their ability to fight.
President Trump is not an interventionist. The Trump doctrine has evolved during his first two years in office. Returning U.S. troops from Syria helps America fulfill the president’s three-part national security strategy:
  • First, compete with Russia and China where it matters – such as in developing military technology and in cyber domains,
  • Second, eradicate transnational terrorism at its source.
  • Third, defend our borders against infiltrators who threaten our domestic security.
Privatizing the next phase of the Syrian conflict would provide necessary security to our allies in the region and allow for economic development of oil pipelines and infrastructure. Likewise, it would keep at bay the Russian, Iranian and Turkish wolves ready to scavenge.
And if the National Command authority needs a brigade combat team in Syria to augment the 2,000-person private military force, the 82nd Airborne Division is always on a two-hour recall and can be wheels up within 18 hours.
President Trump prides himself on taking unconventional approaches and solving problems where others have failed. Replacing our troops with private military contractors in Syria could give the president, our nation, and our allies in eastern Syria a win-win opportunity.
 

formby

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well in america at least the "left" is the democrats and the democrats are basically the republicans of the 70's now.
It is only quite recently that the Left has advocated interventionist wars. The Left were usually against wars, one reason being that the burden fell disproportionately upon the working classes who made up the majority of those who fought it, whilst having little to no influence in its conduct. Cannon fodder, n**ger behind the trigger &c.

As an aside did you know that McNamara operated a policy (Project 100,000) where he enlisted men with sub-normal (horrible term) IQ to serve in the forces, as part of Johnson War on Poverty?

And yes, I know, both were Democrats.
 

doghouse

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well in america at least the "left" is the democrats and the democrats are basically the republicans of the 70's now.
This is somewhat true, though the incoming house class is a significant change.

But to the point, it is more about the Republicans and how insane they have gotten than the Dems.
 

Rambo

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This is somewhat true, though the incoming house class is a significant change.
woah there huckleberry, come on back to the stable. its 6 people they elected that have even marginally left ideas and two who are actually willing to do something about it. nothing's going to change from the status quo for a long long time.
But to the point, it is more about the Republicans and how insane they have gotten than the Dems.
From over here, it looks the other way round.
so from across the pond the republicans seem like the sane ones?
 

doghouse

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so from across the pond the republicans seem like the sane ones?
Yeah, that's an, uh, interesting take.

more like nixon i think but that whole era was a little before my time.
Yeah, that too, Nixon was freer with applying regulations which is more in line with today's Democrats, but Reagan's immigration ideas and his target tax rates are almost identical to current Democratic ones.
 

sirloin

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Honestly the republicans have succeeded in making the US, seem like a fairly unattractive place to live and visit atm. Hard to play that no 1 position out of hand, but they somehow have managed to do just that.
 
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