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Senior U.S. senator says he will ask Trump to rethink Syria pullout


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Senior U.S. senator says he will ask Trump to rethink Syria pullout

By Jonathan Landay

 

2018-12-30T181727Z_1_LYNXNPEEBT0CR_RTROPTP_4_USA-TRUMP-SYRIA.JPG

A Coalition convoy of U.S. led international coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stops to test fire their M2 machine guns and MK19 grenade launcher in the Middle Euphrates River Valley in the Deir ez-Zor province, Syria, November 22, 2018. Picture taken November 22, 2018. Courtesy Matthew Crane/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior Republican senator said he would try to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump at a White House lunch on Sunday to reconsider his order for a total U.S. military pullout from Syria and leave some U.S. troops there.

 

Senator Lindsey Graham warned that removing all U.S. forces would hurt U.S. security by allowing Islamic State to rebuild, betraying U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters battling remnants of the militant group, also known as ISIS, and enhancing Iran's ability to threaten Israel.

 

The South Carolina Republican said he would ask Trump "to sit down with his generals and reconsider how to do this. Slow this down. Make sure we get it right. Make sure ISIS never comes back. Don't turn Syria over to the Iranians."

 

"I want to fight the war in the enemy's backyard, not ours," Graham said in an interview on CNN's State of the Union show.

 

Graham praised Trump, who visited U.S. troops in Iraq last week, for announcing that a U.S. force would remain there. But he said ISIS, while holding only slivers of territory, remained a potent threat in northeastern Syria.

 

"That's why we need to keep some of our troops there," he said.

 

The Pentagon says it is considering plans for a "deliberate and controlled withdrawal." One option, according to a person familiar with the discussions, is for a 120-day pullout period.

 

Graham, an influential lawmaker on national security policy who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, is an ally of Trump, although he has opposed some of his foreign policy decisions.

 

He has joined other Republicans and Democrats in criticizing Trump's order for the pullout of all 2,000 U.S. troops deployed in Syria in support of anti-ISIS fighters made up mostly of Kurds.

 

Turkey views the Kurdish militia, known as the YPG, as a branch of its own Kurdish separatist movement. It is threatening to launch an offensive against the YPG, igniting fears of significant civilian casualties.

 

U.S. commanders planning the U.S. withdrawal are recommending that YPG fighters battling ISIS be allowed to keep U.S.-supplied weapons, according to U.S. officials. That proposal would likely anger NATO ally Turkey, where Tump's national security adviser, John Bolton, holds talks this week.

 

Trump decided on the Syria withdrawal in a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, ignoring the advice of top national security aides and without consulting lawmakers or U.S. allies participating in anti-ISIS operations. The decision prompted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign.

 

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-12-31
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1 hour ago, webfact said:

Trump decided on the Syria withdrawal in a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, ignoring the advice of top national security aides and without consulting lawmakers or U.S. allies participating in anti-ISIS operations. The decision prompted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign.

 

So, did I miss the hearings for Erdogan's nomination for a cabinet post in the US govt.?  Wasn't Erdogan the guy that had his security detail beat up protestors on US soil?  Not a guy who shares our values in democracy, esp. freedom of speech.  What about the US alliance with the Kurds there?  Everyone knows about Turkey's attitude towards the Kurds.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-39979879/erdogan-watches-as-turkish-security-guards-attack-protesters

 

Also, Trump consulted one NATO ally but ignored the rest, including another US ally, viz., the Kurds.  So, can we expect any of them - well, maybe except Turkey and his buddy, Putin (who needs those military posts in Syria)- to trust the US in shared foreign policy objectives, at least while Trump's in office? 

 

Trump acted as if he was running US foreign policy the same way he probably ran his real estate business. 

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16 minutes ago, Boon Mee said:

Trump is absolutely right in pulling out of Syria. Enough Americans have lost their lives in this never-ending conflict. 

Would you like to put a figure on the number of U.S. military losing their lives in Syria? I bet you won't.

 

(Darn these pesky fact-checkers, eh?)

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1 hour ago, Boon Mee said:

Trump is absolutely right in pulling out of Syria. Enough Americans have lost their lives in this never-ending conflict. 

The United States kills far more of its soldiers in training, than actually die in service... far more.

 

so, if you want to introduce a wee amount of logic into it, and stick with the concept that America has lost too many lives (oh... that’s four lives lost in Syria, btw), then, logically, stop training soldiers, as again, that’s when they are dying in real numbers (about 80 last year... 20 times that lost in Syria... damn)

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1 hour ago, helpisgood said:

 

So, did I miss the hearings for Erdogan's nomination for a cabinet post in the US govt.?  Wasn't Erdogan the guy that had his security detail beat up protestors on US soil?  Not a guy who shares our values in democracy, esp. freedom of speech.  What about the US alliance with the Kurds there?  Everyone knows about Turkey's attitude towards the Kurds.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-39979879/erdogan-watches-as-turkish-security-guards-attack-protesters

 

Also, Trump consulted one NATO ally but ignored the rest, including another US ally, viz., the Kurds.  So, can we expect any of them - well, maybe except Turkey and his buddy, Putin (who needs those military posts in Syria)- to trust the US in shared foreign policy objectives, at least while Trump's in office? 

 

Trump acted as if he was running US foreign policy the same way he probably ran his real estate business. 

It’s arguable that Turkey is actually an ally in this fight... more of a like minded competitor.

 

his real allies, those who have fougth under joint command, were ignored in this decision, which is despicable.... which is trump.

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It's time for America to pull back all its troops from the Middle East and Afghanistan. Nothing has been gained after almost 17 years conflict. It confuses me that Liberals still want us to be in the Middle East when Trump is doing whatever he can to pull us out. Let Israel fight alone their own enemies without having to spill more American blood. 

 

We have already topple Saddam for the Kurds, and now these guys are asking us to do more?... Muslim people need to police their own land without the help of others. It has always been a mess in that geosphere since their religion was founded, and it will continue to be so regardless if we are there or not.

 

Enough is enough! 

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2 hours ago, keith101 said:

Putin wants the US out of Syria and Trump is saying ok to his friend .

 

Do your research. Russia has always had a presence in Syria since both countries have mutual agreements over a naval base in the mediterranean. Besides, America has already defeated ISIS with the help of Syrian government, Russia and the Kurds. The Syrian government is legitimate whereas the "rebels" are nothing more than jihadist fighting their own islamic cause. It's time for America to leave both Syria and Iraq. 

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

A senior Republican senator said he would try to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump at a White House lunch on Sunday to reconsider his order for a total U.S. military pullout from Syria and leave some U.S. troops there.

Unless Graham can keep senior advisor Steve Miller away from Trump, Trump will ultimately do what Miller recommends eve if he contradicts himself with whatever he promised Graham.

 

Miller recently told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room":

  • ISIS had been defeated in Syria and the onus is on Russia, Turkey and Syria to crush any future extremism.
  • "But if ISIS wants to retrench and regrow and reorganize, it's going to be up to those countries to defeat their enemy."
  • "Some of the voices you're talking about, like our dear friend Lindsey Graham, who we like a great deal, have been wrong about Middle East policies, wrong about Iraq,"

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/20/politics/miller-syria-mattis-cnntv/index.html

Graham isn't concerned about Trump's political base but Miller is thinking of Trump's re-election in 2020.

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29 minutes ago, racket said:

It's time for America to pull back all its troops from the Middle East and Afghanistan. Nothing has been gained after almost 17 years conflict. It confuses me that Liberals still want us to be in the Middle East when Trump is doing whatever he can to pull us out. Let Israel fight alone their own enemies without having to spill more American blood. 

 

We have already topple Saddam for the Kurds, and now these guys are asking us to do more?... Muslim people need to police their own land without the help of others. It has always been a mess in that geosphere since their religion was founded, and it will continue to be so regardless if we are there or not.

 

Enough is enough! 

That nails it.

The entire post-9/11 military strategy of the United States has been an abject failure.

It has cost trillions of dollars, millions of lives, and there is no indication that anyone is better off, whether it's the American public or innocent civilians in the Middle East.

Oil and Israel aren't worth what this disaster is costing.

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3 hours ago, Boon Mee said:

Trump is absolutely right in pulling out of Syria. Enough Americans have lost their lives in this never-ending conflict. 

Wikipedia estimates that out of the several hundred thousand deaths in Syria the US troop death count stands at 5... These 5 deaths are the only public casualties... This does not count the deaths of undercover operatives in the area that were killed after Trump exposed classified activities to the Russian Foreign Minister...  :coffee1:

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Syrian_Civil_War

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump's_disclosures_of_classified_information

 

 

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Please Mr. President. We were nearly finished with our mission. We had ISIS cornered, and the Kurds were doing all the risky work. We were spending very little money, and accomplishing alot. I know how much you want to please your friend Erdogan, but this mission is important for national security. Please do the right thing here. Please for once, consider the interests of the American people, as more important than pleasing your base. These special forces guys are really good, and they were getting alot done. Do not pull them out now. It is just bad timing, foolhardy, dangerous, and dumb. Please do not be dumb.

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" We have already topple Saddam for the Kurds, and now these guys are asking us to do more?... Muslim people need to police their own land without the help of others. It has always been a mess in that geosphere since their religion was founded, and it will continue to be so regardless if we are there or not. "

 Uh, and how about Kurds kicking ISIS ass big time? kurds did the heavy lifting... they should have their own country, but due to various carve ups by European powers at end of WWI they got stinky end of stick. They had our back in Iraq & Syria. We should not cut and run so that our "ally" Turkey can kill thme

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53 minutes ago, racket said:

It's time for America to pull back all its troops from the Middle East and Afghanistan. Nothing has been gained after almost 17 years conflict. It confuses me that Liberals still want us to be in the Middle East when Trump is doing whatever he can to pull us out. Let Israel fight alone their own enemies without having to spill more American blood. 

 

We have already topple Saddam for the Kurds, and now these guys are asking us to do more?... Muslim people need to police their own land without the help of others. It has always been a mess in that geosphere since their religion was founded, and it will continue to be so regardless if we are there or not. 

 

Enough is enough! 

Every religion has been a bane on men

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52 minutes ago, racket said:

It's time for America to pull back all its troops from the Middle East and Afghanistan. Nothing has been gained after almost 17 years conflict. It confuses me that Liberals still want us to be in the Middle East when Trump is doing whatever he can to pull us out. Let Israel fight alone their own enemies without having to spill more American blood. 

 

We have already topple Saddam for the Kurds, and now these guys are asking us to do more?... Muslim people need to police their own land without the help of others. It has always been a mess in that geosphere since their religion was founded, and it will continue to be so regardless if we are there or not.

 

Enough is enough! 

Wow... wow wow wow.... and worse, you then admonish another poster, suggesting he do his research... wow.

 

you are in real need of a history lesson.

 

start with Kuwait... look at weapons of mass destruction... recall the 3000 deaths in the World Trade Center attack, which led to Afghanistan.... and then, as a side issue, investigate the effect of US self sufficiency ( in energy, recently realized) on international affairs.

 

Your woeful rendition of historical causes of US interference / involvement in the Middle East boggles the mind.

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Making America Grate ...again and again! It’s run like a toilet. Day of reckoning arrives sooner than later. Debt bomb. 

 

Its so so surprising how nobody that matters is really angry. Instead they waffle on, being led by tweets...Twits!

 

Short the market. Buy gold and Bitcoin/ And hope we are all alive to enjoy . Masters of War are playing their game. Trump just a stupid distraction.

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53 minutes ago, racket said:

 

Do your research. Russia has always had a presence in Syria since both countries have mutual agreements over a naval base in the mediterranean. Besides, America has already defeated ISIS with the help of Syrian government, Russia and the Kurds. The Syrian government is legitimate whereas the "rebels" are nothing more than jihadist fighting their own islamic cause. It's time for America to leave both Syria and Iraq. 

Your obviously a republican spouting Trump BS  do some research and you will see ISIS is not defeated .

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1 hour ago, Becker said:

Seems like the grown-ups are trying to intervene again but if the GOP had any cojones at all they would have had 25'd this utter disgrace out of office already:bah:

 

Stay tuned. The 25th may be enacted before the New Year (2019) is out. Senator Graham speaking out is a good start to the beginning of the end.

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5 minutes ago, Emdog said:

" We have already topple Saddam for the Kurds, and now these guys are asking us to do more?... Muslim people need to police their own land without the help of others. It has always been a mess in that geosphere since their religion was founded, and it will continue to be so regardless if we are there or not. "

 Uh, and how about Kurds kicking ISIS ass big time? kurds did the heavy lifting... they should have their own country, but due to various carve ups by European powers at end of WWI they got stinky end of stick. They had our back in Iraq & Syria. We should not cut and run so that our "ally" Turkey can kill thme

 

Let's just say it was the U.S. Air Force and American weapons that killed ISIS. Let's not forget that Syria, Russia, Iran did their parts as well. Kurds also fought ISIS with Syrian and U.S. weapons, while Qatar financed them. It goes to show how in a mess that place have become. Don't forget that without the NATO base in Turkey, ISIS would have soaked up much of northern Syria by now.. And whether you want Kurds to have their own country or not, that's not a task for the US, Turkey or any other nation state to deal with. Besides, it will just trigger another conflict by claiming legitimate land to be be stolen from Syria, Iraq or Turkey for Kurdistan to materialize. It's time to freakin leave the Middle East, there's absolutely NOTHING to be gained from that place anymore. The Iraq War was all about propaganda of WMD, the same type of stuff the mainstream media is lurking with our heads today with respect to Syria. 

 

Leave.

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It doesn't matter what Senior Senator Lindsey Graham says to Trump. Trump is worse than the worst Thai when it comes to losing face. Nothing will cause him to change his Twitter-announced decision.

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27 minutes ago, JingerBen said:

That nails it.

The entire post-9/11 military strategy of the United States has been an abject failure.

It has cost trillions of dollars, millions of lives, and there is no indication that anyone is better off, whether it's the American public or innocent civilians in the Middle East.

Oil and Israel aren't worth what this disaster is costing.

Agree 100%,17 years in Afghanistan,the Taliban are stronger than in years,eventually they will win,Iraq want's Us troops out,the whole this has been a massive fiasco and given birth to Isis one of the most brutal of movements since maybe the Khmer Rouge,oh yeah did the Americans also create them with their genocidal bombing of Cambodia,really they have not won a real war since ww2.

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7 minutes ago, farcanell said:

Wow... wow wow wow.... and worse, you then admonish another poster, suggesting he do his research... wow.

 

you are in real need of a history lesson.

 

start with Kuwait... look at weapons of mass destruction... recall the 3000 deaths in the World Trade Center attack, which led to Afghanistan.... and then, as a side issue, investigate the effect of US self sufficiency ( in energy, recently realized) on international affairs.

 

Your woeful rendition of historical causes of US interference / involvement in the Middle East boggles the mind.

 

Nice history reminder, but tell me once again: how many Iraqis were involved in the WTC attack? Was Saddam Hussain an ally of the US before he was our enemy?... or did we just save Kuwait because they were our Plan B should Iraq not supply the US with oil, or simply doing Saudi Arabia a favor because their were scared of Saddam?...

 

Here's a history reminder of the Iraq war: It was pushed by war liberal and zionist media that had nothing to do with WMD or 9/11. It was 100% funded by Saudi Arabia's bond purchases which also was a supporter of prepping that war along with their ally Israel (who is really just interested of destabilizing the region for their own good). Oh were they also the same people who said they would rebuild it in 3 months with the help of oil money?

 

Yeah, I think I need a good history lesson... but whatever let's just be naive.

 

Osama Bin Laden is dead, and it's time to declare victory and come home. If the Middle East is so much of a concern to you, then by all means go there and fight your battle instead of asking others to die for your own cause. 

 

Thank you.

 

PS. Middle East wars have so far racked up 5 trillion dollars in debt.

 

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