Over the span of just a few hours, President Trump upended his own policy on Syria with a chaotic series of pronouncements, blindsiding foreign allies, catching senior Republican supporters off guard and sending aides scrambling to control the damage
Over the span of just a few hours, U.S. President Donald Trump upended his own p...
7 Min ReadWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Over the span of just a few hours, U.S. President Donald Trump upended his own policy on Syria with a chaotic series of pronouncements, blindsiding foreign allies, catching senior Republican supporters off guard and sending aides scrambling to control the damage.
Trump’s decision on Sunday to remove some U.S. forces from northeastern Syria, opening the door to a Turkish offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters in the region, provides a vivid example of how, with traditional White House structures largely shunted aside and few aides willing to challenge him, he feels freer than ever to make foreign policy on impulse.
While Trump’s erratic ways are nothing new, some people inside and outside of his administration worry that the risk of dangerous miscalculation from his seat-of-the-pants approach may only increase as he moves into re-election campaign mode facing a number of unresolved, volatile international issues, including Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan.
He also made clear on Monday that he was determined to make good on his 2016 campaign promise to extract the United States from “these endless wars,” although his plans for doing so are clouded by uncertainty.It comes as Trump is under growing pressure from a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry over his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate one of his political opponents, former Vice President Joe Biden.
“There’s a real sense that nobody is going to stop Trump from being Trump at this stage, so everybody should buckle up,” said one U.S. national security official, who cited Trump’s firing last month of national security adviser John Bolton as a sign of the president being less restrained than ever by his top advisers.
Trump’s policy whiplash on Syria started shortly after a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday in which he sought U.S. support for Ankara’s planned incursion. Afterward, the White House said that U.S. forces “will no longer be in the immediate area,” suggesting that Turkey could be given free rein to strike Kurdish forces long aligned with Washington in the fight against Islamic State.
Trump, in a series of Monday tweets, appeared at first to double down on plans for a U.S. troop drawdown, but later threatened to destroy the economy of NATO ally Turkey if it took its military operation too far. That seemed to be an attempt to placate criticism, including from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that he was abandoning the Syrian Kurds, who denounced it as a “stab in the back.”
CONFUSION AMONG TRUMP AIDESThe latest presidential pronouncements on Syria injected news confusion over U.S. Syria policy.Last December, acting without any kind of formal policymaking process, Trump called for a complete U.S. withdrawal from Syria. But he ultimately reversed himself after drawing strong pushback from the Pentagon, including the resignation of then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and an uproar on Capitol Hill and among U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East.
Trump insisted to reporters on Monday that he “consulted with everybody” on his new Syria decision, although the announcement seemed to catch Congress as well as some within his administration by surprise.FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about Turkey and Syria during a formal signing ceremony for the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement at the White House in Washington, October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
“He makes impulsive decisions with no knowledge or deliberation,” tweeted Brett McGurk, who served as Trump’s envoy for the international coalition to combat Islamic State and quit after the December Syria policy uproar.Trump’s abrupt decision on Syria came after learning in the phone call with Erdogan that the Turks planned to go ahead with a long-threatened incursion, a senior administration official said.
“We were not asked to remove our troops. The president when he learned about the potential Turkish invasion, knowing that we have 50 special operations troops in the region, made the decision to protect those troops” by pulling them back, the official said.
The official underscored that Trump’s decision did not constitute a U.S. withdrawal from Syria.Trump made clear to Erdogan that the United States did not support the Turkish military plan, which came as a surprise to the Turkish leader, a senior State Department official said.
There was some confusion among senior officials to figure out what Trump had actually decided, a source familiar with the internal deliberations at the White House said.But the senior administration official, speaking on a conference call with reporters, denied that Pentagon officials were “blindsided,” and Trump said he had consulted with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
PROMISED TO BRING TROOPS HOMEU.S. officials told Reuters repeatedly ahead of Trump’s decision that U.S. personnel would not be able to stay in northeast Syria if their Kurdish-led partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces, were forced to turn their attention to a massive Turkish invasion. That view was reaffirmed on Monday, as officials warned that only a limited pullback was expected for now – but a larger one could follow.
“If it’s wide-scale conflict, we would not have a partner in northeast Syria,” one U.S. official said on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.The president saw his decision in the context of fulfilling a campaign promise to ultimately bring U.S. troops home. He visited Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday and awarded Purple Heart medals to a half-dozen wounded warriors.
Trump himself got into the subject earlier when taking questions from reporters at the White House. He said the United States had become a “police force” in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and he wanted to change that.FILE PHOTO: Turkish and U.S. troops return from a joint U.S.-Turkey patrol in northern Syria, as it is pictured from near the Turkish town of Akcakale, Turkey, September 8, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photo
“I have to sign letters often to parents of young soldiers that were killed and it’s the hardest thing I have to do. I hate it,” Trump said.Some independent analysts said, however, that Trump’s freewheeling way of making war-related decisions could further undermine U.S. credibility with allies and partners. He has already whipsawed on plans for a withdrawal from the long-running war in Afghanistan.
“We find ourselves involved in counterterror operations around the world,” said Fred Hof, a former Pentagon and State Department official. “Potential partners will be looking at what happened in Syria and drawing certain conclusions.”Reporting by Matt Spetalnick, Steve Holland and Arshad Mohammed; Additional reporting by Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali and Humeyra Pamuk; writing by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Mary Milliken and Peter CooneyRead more: Reuters Top News »
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That is what happens when you allow a megalomaniac to rule Baloney - more fiction from the liberal loser media boned and if he wins? Putin laughing spreads his wings strefry Stop Better assessment This would signal a weak and fickle nation apart from being an act of betrayal - everyone knows what Turkey will do.
Trump gives the Erdogan a free ticket to repeat the 1915-16 genocide. Now the Kurds become the victims. On impulse? That's an OPINION. By the way, under U.S. Constitution, the President of the United States determines U.S. foreign policy. The Secretary of State, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the President's chief foreign affairs adviser.
Trump has finally managed to destroy the last remnants of US foreign policy, already NOBODY would turn their back, NOBODY would accept a handshake agreement, and with this betrayal NOBODY will willingly stand beside America forces because they know they may be left to die alone. You don’t give up something for nothing ? Or any philanthropist would just write me a check .Any takers
This decision was in the making for two years Very strong leader, US needs him for another term. POTUS realDonaldTrump SenateGOP SenateDems MikePompeo4USA “Policy”? Trump doesn’t know from “policy.” To him, a snap of the fingers qualifies as policy. He doesn’t read security briefs...he Only listens to what the voices in his head are telling him...
Let’s not be fooled people, keep your focus. Trump was probably ordered by Moscow to retreat. What does Moscow have on trump is the question. ToxicOrange is going to betray another ally in a way that will assist Turkey and Russia, the likely justification is going to be Turkish weapon sales. How about he doesn't want America to be the goddamn World Police. Our Men and Women die over there for nothing. Time these neighboring countries step up. EU wants to play with the big boys. Send your troops. UN could also send 'cough' Peace keepers.
Free_Media_Hub it is sad that more people will now not trust America. this is not going to end well for the people living there in the North..... Here’s a take from the realpolitik view about the withdrawal decision. Makes sense to me... You guys are just used to all that bullshit. He is fulfilling a campaign promise
Impulse? Trump said he would do this in 2015. It's why we voted for him. Your report sucks! 'the violent acts of unhinged minds' Get rid of the orange nightmare already. Turkey is a member of NATO. That's not how you WagTheDog Hey antiwar how about thanks for less war, instead? realDonaldTrump I mean geez the US shot up two of your journalists and Assange is not free... progress? Or did you want the Iraq war as much as Bush?
Impulses that go back to 2015, four years ago, when he declared such action to be part of his platform. You wouldn't want him to break an election promise would you? The President shouldnt feel Free to decide on Policy? Talk about biased headline I have to ask myself if Trump had not already agreed to this with Putin. We need to see the notes Trump confiscated.
Campaign promises kept. America doesn’t belong in the Middle East! Let him who cares you all messed this world up starting in 1455 Nonconformist Dangerous ignoramus. Crackpot and I may have said that before broomstick33 The lunatics are in charge of the asylum Look at the western media hungry for war no doubt so they can blame Trump.
Trump is wanting to bring our military back home. He will always put the American people first! Trump has been promising to remove the troops from Syria, after ISIS is destroyed, since he was campaigning. What are you talking about? Is it a surprise, to you, that a President is keeping his word? Has’nt Trump proved repeatedly that he is a traitor to the US or at the very least detrimental to the safety & security of the U S.
Is it possible that this move was a political one, to try and hold tightly to his followers who might be wavering due to the Ukraine inquiries? He claims he's fulfilling his campaign promise by bringing troops home. How many lives will be lost to guarantee him a few votes? Usual day in the office.... ahhh golf course
He's mentally ill. The Cabinet needs to use the 25th Amendment to remove him and do so quickly. Rogue President ! Solipsistic delusional 45 can't see the box no less think outside the box. And in one week everybody will admit they overreacted. Tremendous This man intends to destroy our democracy! People: the more this a** clown realizes that he will NOT be reelected, the worst he'll get. You mean; the most powerful nation in the World cannot defend itself against one man?
Murderer Or as we’ve come to call it...Monday. 25thAmendmentNow 25thAmendment Just another day in paradise! pleasecanwegethimoutofherealready You sound surprised...? 😀 We needed RonPaul why DIDNT you believe I wouldn’t of went into Syria period and you ppl confuse me is Muslim extremism a issue or not I don’t see how this is a problem everything he said sounded right why spend money we don’t have he can’t win he can’t lose
Impeachment detour Do not worry Everything is under Erdogan’s control.. Won't somebody in the Cabinet please read the 25th Amendment? There's a lunatic in the Oval Office! Which damage? Welp, republicans own this shit show. Toolious Arseholious Americanious TrumpIsANationalSecurityThreat So nothing new then
Erdagon wyręczyl USA? Powiem że odbije się to czkawką w stronę USA. Odbije Trump. Nie mam już wpływu .. Ale twoja żona mam . wypuść kurwę do .. 🤬🤬🤬 realDonaldTrump is working for Russia The ship of state headed by the uninformed whims of one impulsive man.
Trump slams 'ridiculous Endless Wars' as he defends dramatic shift in Syria policyGreat framing here 'news.' No one wants to have our troops in fucking Syria except the military- industrial complex and the media. Trump needs help! Canada supported USA and lost Cdn lives in Afghanistan - what did the Americans give it in return: trade wars. Now US is selling another ally out to an even more terrible fate. The self-centered hubris of the American nation will be remembered the next time it calls for aid
Republicans unload on Trump for Syria shift when he needs them mostSo now will the GOP finally due something about this lunatic. Admendment 25 people. He is unfit for office There is solution. They could send to usa terorist, since you defend them so much. When left to his instincts, Trump will always be stupid and dishonorable -- time dumbass Republicans face up to that.
Trump ignores his own warning in SyriaPresident Trump 's recent decision to remove the remaining American troops in Syria is particularly odd because it does exactly what the President repeatedly criticized Barack Obama of doing in Iraq : withdrawing US forces too quickly and paving the way for the rise of ISIS, writes Peter Bergen. Opinion Kkkkkkkkkk Opinion Ok good🐅💕💕🐅💋💝😎👑🇰🇷💕👄👺❤️💙
Trump defends Syria decision as GOP leaders push backPresident Trump 's decision to pull back U.S. troops in Syria , clearing the way for expected Turkish assault, draws outrage from some of his closest allies in Congress. GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham calls it a 'disaster in the making.' lenaargiri impeachment Trump made dems now love and support war. LOL The never ending bush cronies who want forever wars