That is what Trump billed himself as in the 2016 election…..and yet most…scratch that…ALL are still raging and Americans are still dying.
We get lots of lip service and even a bit of shuffling troops around so that it can be said that the president is keeping his campaign promise of 4 years ago.
Let’s start with Afghanistan.
The US has brought some troops out of the country and Trump’s new ambassador has lots to say about the troops….
In a move the could have major implications for the longest running war in US history, the Trump administration is planning to nominate Will Ruger to be the next ambassador to Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Ruger, an anti-interventionist conservative, has long championed an immediate withdrawal of American troops from that country.
Ruger’s planned nomination, which a source familiar with the matter confirmed to Mother Jones, speaks to President Trump’s desire to remove troops from Afghanistan as quickly as possible. Though the United States signed a much-criticized peace deal with the Taliban in February, the administration has been hazy about when to expect a full withdrawal of troops. Trump reportedly wants troops home before Election Day, but the Pentagon has advocated for a much “slower withdrawal schedule,” the New York Times reported in May.
On the surface sounds like a good deal…but is it? Or is it just talk?
Next is our second longest war….Iraq.
There has been some talk about removing our troops from Iraq and so far it has been just that…TALK.
The U.S. will be reducing the number of troops it has stationed in Iraq by about a third, reports The Wall Street Journal, leaving behind roughly 3,500 men and women. This news comes after a long series of brags at the Republican National Convention that President Donald Trump is succeeding in ending America’s foreign wars.
“Unlike previous administrations, I have kept America out of new wars, and our troops are coming home,” said Trump in his acceptance speech last night, promising that in a second term he would “strike down terrorists who threaten our people and keep America out of endless and costly foreign wars.”
Trump, Self-Proclaimed Ender of Endless Wars, Is Reducing the U.S. Troop Presence in Iraq to Where It Was in 2015
Let us not forget our footprint in Syria.
We went for dual reasons….eliminate ISIS’ progress and to rid the country of Assad, WE did a fair job on the first but failed miserably on the second.
Why are there still thousands of American troops in Syria? The government offers up an official counter-terrorism justification for maintaining an illegal military presence in the country, and the president will sometimes talk about “keeping the oil” there, but the real answer is that no one with any authority or influence in Washington wants to bring them home. The usual mix of inertia, cowardice, and ideology that defines so many of our foreign policy debates also creates perverse incentives for politicians in both parties to defend an illegal, unauthorized mission that has nothing to do with American security.
U.S. troops are in harm’s way in Syria, and they are occasionally engaged in hostilities with pro-regime forces. Four American soldiers were injured in a collision last Wednesday between their armored vehicle and a Russian one. That was just the latest in a string of clashes between U.S. forces and Syrian and Russian government forces that has been going on for months. Last month, a group of American troops came under fire from Syrian government forces. The Syrians claim that a U.S. helicopter had attacked a Syrian government outpost and killed one of their soldiers. There was a bigger clash in February of this year that also resulted in at least one Syrian fatality. These have all been minor incidents, but they show how potentially dangerous it is to keep these troops there.
The noise about action to be taken by the US against Iran is still there in the printed word and the spoken as well.
And finally there is the turmoil in Lebanon, a country that the US has placed troops on two occasions, the country is sliding into a civil yet again….and the US is just waiting for the invite…..
A new flashpoint of the wider tension, however, is in Lebanon. Russia, which has an expensive alliance with Iran in Syria, has declined to take on the same level of involvement in Lebanon. Iranian allies in Beirut – namely, Hezbollah – have therefore eyed eyeing Chinese funds and expertise to restore the city and its port after this month’s devastating ammonium nitrate explosion demolished them. The speediness and lack of conditionality that comes with Chinese support would provide a shortcut for Hezbollah to pre-empt any other powers stepping in as the city’s saviour and to bring its dominance of Lebanese politics to the level of a monopoly.
The Middle East may be out of mind these days but I requires watching closely or we will be ass deep in the region once again.
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“lego ergo scribo”