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Confusion in the ranks…

bisleybisley Senior MemberPosts: 10,787 Senior Member

I have complained often to our leading Democrat about his failure to respond to negative reports about the politicians that represent his political philosophy.

Therefore, to be fair, I have to examine the acts of politicians that I have voted for, and even defended, on some issues. Although I have never accepted Donald Trump as an ideological conservative, I have agreed with many of the promises he has made (and kept) to conservatives. I have also applauded his willingness to play ‘hard-ball’ with those political opponents that have made decades-long careers of playing hard-ball, despite Trump's numerous political missteps, in the process. Now, I find myself bewildered at his most recent controversy – removing all American troops from Syria, immediately, apparently against the advice of his very well respected Secretary of Defense.

While I don’t necessarily disagree with the idea of removing soldiers from foreign entanglements that are really just civil wars, I don’t understand the wisdom of doing it when we have already expended a great deal of wealth and blood to accomplish something, geopolitically speaking.

Here are the negatives I see with such a policy:

1)    Apparently, this withdrawal represents an abandonment of allies in the region that our military has been cultivating for years, primarily the Kurds, who have been the most effective ‘independent’ fighting force against the same terrorist elements that we have been fighting against, for over 15 years. Beyond that, our stated policy has been to remain in Syria until the Iranians are driven out, and ISIS is completely destroyed.

 

2)    Turkey’s current president/dictator/whatever, whose army has been fighting Kurds along the border, for decades, will declare this to be a victory against very powerful foreign intervention, and likely will begin bombing them back to the Stone Age, as soon as he is sure that American air power will not defend the Kurds. Politically, this will almost guarantee that he will remain in power – not to our benefit, really, because of his apparent sympathies with radical Islamic groups. Turkey has historically been the most westernized Islamic nation, and has been an American ally for decades.

 

3)    Opposing Iranian influence in Syria, ostensibly, is the best way available to us to combat Iranian influence in the region, short of actually attacking Iran. Showing weakness to Iran, whether by a bad treaty or a retreat from Syria, invites more Iranian adventurism against American interests. Declaring victory is not going to be easily sold

 

On the positive side, the only good things I can see coming from such an action are:

1)    The removal of valuable human assets from a dangerous and uncertain battlefield

 

2)    Saving millions of dollars

 

3)    Possible transfer of military assets to a more critical mission

 

Number 3) is really the question, for me. If the president has an intention to preserve these military assets and/or funding for something else, he has not stated it to the American people. Politically, nobody, so far, has been very critical of this move, although that won’t last long. Only Rand Paul has supported him, at this point, and only Lindsay Graham and a few others have  been opposed in any noticeable way

The only reason I can surmise is that this move is tied in some way to the border wall battle that is taking place in Congress. Does he intend to use the Syria funding to build the wall? Very tricky undertaking, unless it’s just another bluff.

Opinions?






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Replies

  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,787 Senior Member
    While that may actually be the truth of the matter, the politics of admitting it may be costly. Obama was afraid to do it, and he did nothing that was not calculated in American political terms.

    I would like to hear Israel's take on it.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,367 Senior Member
    I would be surprised. Maybe even shocked to find any elected official in Washington that is actually motivated by any allegiance to any political ideology.

    President Trump will do what's best for president Trump, with an occasional bone thrown to dogs at the door.

    In fairness to my fellow readers here with indeference to our government, I believe the withdrawal was inevitable. Now or later, same results. Anyone know of a way to be sure of complete annihilation? Seems unrealistic to me.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,105 Senior Member
    Breamfisher pretty much put the problem in its proper perspective.

    Unless we are willing to stay there the next 100 years and hopefully guide the next Syrian leader when Bashar Assad finally dies and fertilizes the desert, and get the different sects of Islam to play nice with each other, then staying is a fools errand. Those sects not playing nice with one another is the root cause of the whole mess in Syria. Assad's sect is the minority, and has been grinding the majority sect into the ground since his Dad's time. They finally exploded, and wiped out the Syrian Christians in the process; collateral damage.

    Until Islam has a meaningful reformation that whole area will be a war zone as governments ruled by one sect fight governments ruled by another sect. And then there's the Arabs. It's tribal warfare on a huge scale as far as I can see.

    Syria is a client state of Russia now, and our being there has already caused problems in that respect. Just a matter of time before we or they bomb the hell out of the other over there accidentally and cause a situation that escalates tensions in the region and start a small war with Russia. That should be avoided due to the real possibility of unchecked escalation. No winners in that.

    The end game with Syria will be the same as Lebanon. What used to be a beautiful productive, successful country is now a war torn mess that is hostile to everybody.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    Well, Mattis just quit. I guess we know how he feels about it.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 20,552 Senior Member
    Well, Mattis just quit. I guess we know how he feels about it.
    Yep
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,195 Senior Member
    When I heard this news this AM, I immediately thought it would be interesting to hear what Centermass has to say, if he can even do that anymore on the Forum with the new gig.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,367 Senior Member
    A wall.

    Of hotels.🏢
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,105 Senior Member
    A wall.

    Of hotels.🏢
    If they're like the Black Flag Roach Motels then I'm all for it!



      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • das68das68 Posts: 662 Senior Member
    Well, Mattis just quit. I guess we know how he feels about it.
      ain't just over Syria.


    Trump Orders Big Troop Reduction in Afghanistan.



    'Blackwater’s founder and former CEO Erik Prince has courted President Donald Trump’s administration since he took office with the idea that the now 17-year Afghan War will never be won by a traditional military campaign. Prince has also argued that the logistical footprint required to support that now multi-trillion dollar endeavor has become too burdensome. Over the summer and into this fall Prince has engaged heavily with the media to promote the privatization; particularly as the Trump administration’s new South Asia Strategy, which was crafted with Mattis, passed the one-year mark.











  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    Guys, as you know I'm career military, and more recently my wife retired from Air Mobility Command in January. First of all, in terms of human cost, this 17 years of conflict have produced nothing but casualties. The ops tempo in the military is unsustainable. Never ending rotations into and out of the combat zones are creating more problems than they are solving, personnel wise. Mainly because the world will not tolerate "ending" a war like we did with Germany and Japan. The "War on Terror" is bull-crap. The soldiers will tell you this. Hell, we're prosecuting a decorated soldier for killing a bomb-maker? He should be getting another decoration! This isn't war. This is a lottery. When a soldier dies on his 4th rotation into the combat zone, something is pretty fricken screwed up! 

    Trump is a business man, but he sees things through a different prism. The "War on Terror" isn't working from a purely military or political effort. Perhaps, it's time to consider a business strategy. 

    As for the Kurds, Put an umbrella of protection over them, tell the world that they are under our protection and unleash a crap storm on anyone who tries to test this. 

    The greatest thing we've learned from this conflict, is there are no friends over there. Our troops in Afghanistan can be killed at any time by those who we are training and who are supposed to be our allies. 

    It's time to bring our people home and re-evaluate what it means to make war. This endless stalemate is grinding our people down. Hell, look at the things the pentagon has been doing, concessions being made just to meet recruitment goals. 
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,367 Senior Member
    The news is blowing this whole thing into a world shaking disaster.

    These people could sell toothpaste to a bird.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    das68 said:
    Well, Mattis just quit. I guess we know how he feels about it.
      ain't just over Syria.
    'Blackwater’s founder and former CEO Erik Prince has courted President Donald Trump’s administration since he took office
    Oh, I bet. Erik Prince is education secretary, Betsy DeVoss's brother. Nothing to see here!
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,490 Senior Member
    Afghanistan is another country where my "clean end of the poop" analogy seems appropriate.  Add to that the people's general distrust of anyone who's not them....
    Overkill is underrated.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,564 Senior Member
    .............
    It's time to bring our people home and re-evaluate what it means to make war. This endless stalemate is grinding our people down. Hell, look at the things the pentagon has been doing, concessions being made just to meet recruitment goals. 
    I completely agree. This war has run too long with no perceivable results other than a weak stalemate. It may not be practical, but I would favor sending a fleet of B-52's over there in an area local to Afghanistan, cruise around at 60K feet and just bomb the SH** outta' these scumbags every time they pop outta' their rat tunnels, and screw the "collateral damage."
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,787 Senior Member

    ...President Trump will do what's best for president Trump, with an occasional bone thrown to dogs at the door...

    I have always believed this about every candidate, but especially with Trump, going all the way back to the the primaries. His winning formula was a variation of the TV persona he used to gain high viewer ratings, and he would have been a fool to do anything much different, even if he was even capable of doing anything different.

    Knowing this, many voted for him, anyway, myself included, because he was making bold promises that appealed to conservative and libertarian minded people who were faced with a looming Hilary Clinton presidency. Given a choice between two candidates promising things that they could never deliver, the obvious choice was the one promising to do the things I agreed with. As it turns out, he actually worked his butt off for two years, trying to actually keep those promises - so much so that, in the process, he exposed Republicans in Congress who made little or no effort to keep their own promises.

    For sure, this Syria pull-out is another campaign promise that has been 'checked off.' While I question the wisdom of going against the advice of the most respected geopolitical strategists, whom he fought battles for, to achieve their confirmations, I can't say that actually doing it is anything he didn't promise, from the very beginning.

    I guess an honest person has to admit, at this point, that regardless of character flaws or perceived instabilities that Trump may (or may not) have, he is still the only major candidate within memory who has used his 'bully pulpit' to keep the promises he made to the electorate. If the strain of swimming upstream doesn't crack him, I can't, in good conscience condemn him for keeping his word, even if all of Washington D.C. condemns him for it. Determining his motives are beyond me, so I have to wait for all of the results to come in.

  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,564 Senior Member
    Right now all of the Democrats AND the Neocon Republicans are the ones screaming the loudest. I trust NEITHER of these two groups AT ALL!!
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,367 Senior Member
    I figure if a POTUS from the other side of the isle did this he/she'd be hailed as a hero. And likely a few local hawks on the boards here would lay an egg.

    Instead, the world is shaken to its core, we're all doomed, and Trump is off his rocker.

    Im not worried. At least not about this.
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 1,919 Senior Member
    I held my nose and voted for Trump in 2016.  Since then he has earned my respect with his tireless efforts to actually keep his campaign promises.  While his Twitter comments have stirred a lot of controversy, it has shown beyond any shadow of a doubt that he has zero qualms saying exactly what he thinks.  I find this refreshing in an elected official.  Going into the 2020 elections those who choose to vote for Trump will be able to do so with the confidence that they know exactly what they are getting.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 22,984 Senior Member
    ...it has shown beyond any shadow of a doubt that he has zero qualms saying exactly what he thinks.  I find this refreshing in an elected official.
    Completely refreshing.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,105 Senior Member
    When we start prosecuting the war on terror like WWII we might make progress. Having the troops play policeman and worrying collateral damage, and idiotic rules of engagement are making progress impossible.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 22,984 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    When we start prosecuting the war on terror like WWII we might make progress. Having the troops play policeman and worrying collateral damage, and idiotic rules of engagement are making progress impossible.
    That is EXACTLY right!
    We haven't been allowed to win a war since WW II, and it can be argued that we didn't really finish winning that one either (in Europe).
    If you're gonna fight a war, fight a war. Win it as quickly as possible.
    Or stay home.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 22,984 Senior Member
    2016 was the 1st year I didn't vote Libertarian for some years - Johnson was ful-tilt communist as far as I could tell, so I couldn't vote for him. Besides, as you say, everybody was hating on Trump from all sides, figured he had to be doing something right. So far, he's fantastic - not to be confused with perfect.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,467 Senior Member
    edited December 2018 #25
    I've officially had it with Trump.  He's loud, a megalomaniac, thinks he knows better than his generals, and has gotten rid of some really quality people.  I voted for him and supported him until a few weeks ago.  He's a clown, IMO, and dangerous.  I doubt I'll vote for him in 2020...I may sit this one out.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • FFLshooterFFLshooter Member Posts: 1,057 Senior Member
    This war hasn’t been pointless. There’s a bunch of world bankers that made a killing off of the interest from loaning money for the war effort....
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 22,984 Senior Member
    Gene L said:
    ...thinks he knows better than his generals...
    Has there ever been a leader who wasn't this way? Hitler was famous for it, of course; but just about every US president has micromanaged the military to one extent or another.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,467 Senior Member
    Not like him.  I can't think of another president who did so this badly.  Carter did, making individual decisions that helped  lead to the failure of the Iran hostage rescue mission, Clinton did to a lesser instinct.  Truman did, thank God, but he was right.Kennedy did, so I'm told, which nearly got us involved in WW 3, but in the end listened to saner voices.

    Presidents are commander-in-chiefs, and should have influence, but they're not military commanders who shouldn't listen to their advisors.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,446 Senior Member
    As a person not familiar with military matters, the wisest thing Trump did was selecting warriors to serve as Sec Def and Chief of Staff....the dumbest thing he has done was not consulting those warriors and/or not listening to what they told him in regard to those military matters...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,367 Senior Member
    I don't know guys, Im not a Trump supporter. But. One of the first books I read about WW1 was an old American Heritage text book I picked up at the second hand store. I got the distinct impression that military generals that took advantage of chaotic circumstances to act autonomously from heads of state got alot of soldiers killed. Like millions alot.

    Am I wrong????
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
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