Neocons, some defense officials, and even Democrats normally opposed to overseas military entanglements all heavily criticized POTUS Donald Trump’s decision to pull all American troops out of Syria, characterizing it alternately as rash, unhinged, or irresponsible.
But as is usually the case involving this president, the first impression we were given by the “mainstream” media regarding his decision was incomplete and not based on a complete understanding of the action.
As it turns out, one could even say that POTUS acted on the indirect advice of his national security adviser, John Bolton, simply because he was unable to answer one question regarding continued U.S. military presence in the war-torn shell of a country: ‘Why.’
POTUS Trump agreed to withdraw U.S. forces during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Dec. 14, two officials toldÂ NBC News. However, the original purpose of the call was “for Trump to tell Erdogan to back off” threats to attack U.S.-supported Kurdish rebels, according to the network.
However, the president went off-script during the call, agreeing with Erdogan when he asked POTUS, “Why are you still there?” since the Islamic State (ISIS) had been 99 percent decimated. Erdogan said his military could easily take care of the remaining 1 percent remnant of ISIS.
At that point, POTUS stumped Bolton, who was â€œforced to admitâ€ Erdoganâ€™s point.
NBC NewsÂ reported:
With Erdogan on the line, Trump asked national security adviser John Bolton, who was listening in, why American troops remained in Syria if what the Turkish president was saying was true, according to the officials.
Erdoganâ€™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.
Nevertheless, Bolton and others attempted to convince the president over the next few days to keep U.S. forces in Syria, but he decided against it — leading to Mattis’ resignation, according to reports.
Getting American forces out of brushfire wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, while not popular with the Washington establishment, is something POTUS Trump promised on the campaign trail in 2016.
And during a tense back-and-forth on Thursday withÂ CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer, White House adviser Stephen Miller defended the president’s decision.
â€œThis president got elected to get our foreign policy back on the right track after years of being adrift. One foreign policy blunder after another in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya hasnâ€™t worked out for our national interest,â€ Miller continued.
Miller also talked â€œof a country that through several administrations had an absolutely catastrophic foreign policy that cost trillions and trillions of dollars and thousands and thousands of lives that made the Middle East more unstable and more dangerous.â€
â€œAnd letâ€™s talk about Syria,â€ he continued. â€œLetâ€™s talk about the fact â€” ISIS is the enemy of Russia. ISIS is the enemy of Assad. ISIS is the enemy of Turkey. Are we supposed to stay in Syria for generation after generation, spilling American blood to fight the enemies of all those countries?â€
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