Friday, October 11, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He increased the total number of American troops in the Middle East. 

When Trump suddenly capitulated to the Turkish president's demand that the United States abandon its Kurdish allies in Syria this past Sunday, he did so without consulting anyone else in his administration. The closest thing that he has offered to an explanation is that he wanted to get American troops out of "endless wars" in the region.

None of the approximately 1,000 American troops in Syria have actually left. In fact, Turkey shelled American forces in Syria today, ostensibly by accident. UPDATE, 10/12: American sources including an Army officer in the area now say that U.S. forces were deliberately "bracketed" by Turkish artillery, a hostile act.

But today, the Trump administration announced that almost 2,000 additional troops and two fighter squadrons would be deployed to Saudi Arabia. Those forces will help Saudi Arabia defend its oil infrastructure from attacks by Iran. (The destruction of the US-Kurdish alliance in Syria is very good for Iran.)

Until he became president, Trump was opposed to spending American money or lives on guarding the kingdom and said it should "fight their own wars."

As of two days ago, Trump still claimed to believe that the United States "GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE."

Trump is deeply, personally financially entangled with both Turkey and Saudi Arabia

How is this a bad thing?

  • It shouldn't even be possible to wonder if the president's military decisions have anything to do with his private business interests.
  • Getting troops out of the Middle East means having fewer of them there, not more.