War

Trump's Right About 'Ridiculous' Misuse of U.S. Troops

The withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan reflect a welcome willingness to question endless military commitments.

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Donald Trump has been complaining for years about the promiscuous use of American military personnel. Two weeks ago, he did something about it, announcing the withdrawal of 2,000 troops from Syria and 7,000 from Afghanistan.

Republicans joined Democrats in condemning Trump for acting impulsively, sowing "chaos," and precipitating a "national security crisis." But it's the president's overwrought critics who are making choices without thinking, driven by the momentum of military mistakes to support open-ended commitments that make no sense.

The U.S. intervention in Syria's civil war was never authorized by Congress, and its aims were nebulous. A few months ago, Trump's national security adviser was saying American forces would stay in Syria as long as Iran or its proxies are operating there—in other words, indefinitely.

U.S. troops have been in Afghanistan for 17 years, and the Taliban occupy more territory than at any time since the 2001 invasion, notwithstanding the 3,500 reinforcements that Trump reluctantly approved in 2017. The withdrawal Trump has in mind would reverse that surge and then some, leaving 7,000 troops in a country the U.S. should have left long ago.

Trump's decision to stop American involvement in one endless war and curtail it in another provoked the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, which tells you something about the "adults in the room" who supposedly were protecting the country from an erratic, ignorant president's worst instincts. Sometimes, as in "The Emperor's New Clothes," adults are committed to upholding unexamined dogma, and it takes a child to point out the truth.

"The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world," Trump said during his visit to Iraq last week. "We're spread out all over the world. We're in countries that most people have never even heard about. And, frankly, it's ridiculous."

Trump is right. It's ridiculous that the United States has 26,000 military personnel in South Korea 65 years after the Korean War, 54,000 in Japan 73 years after World War II, and 64,000 in a dozen European countries 27 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

These countries are perfectly capable of defending themselves. South Korea's economy is around 50 times as big as North Korea's, while Japan and Germany have the world's third and fourth highest GDPs, respectively.

Under the hysterical headline "Trump Unleashed: Mattis Exit Paves Way for Global Chaos," CNN reporter Stephen Collinson says "it's no longer absurd to ask questions like whether the President will suddenly decide to pull American troops home from South Korea after decades of keeping the peace or even pulling out of NATO." Collinson, of course, thinks it's self-evidently absurd to suggest that either move would be a good idea.

Trump is right to question commitments that the national security establishment takes for granted, and in this case his lack of sophistication is an asset. But even ardent interventionists like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who complained that Trump's Syria announcement "rattled the world," have trouble keeping track of the country's military operations.

"I didn't know there was 1,000 troops in Niger," Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, confessed after four American soldiers were killed there in October 2017. With U.S. troops deployed in more than 150 countries, perhaps Graham can be forgiven for overlooking a few.

Hawks like Graham assume all those deployments—even the ones they don't know about—are justified. Trump argues that at least some of them are not. Which seems more likely to be true?

New York Times reporter Mark Landler says the abruptness of Trump's decisions regarding Syria and Afghanistan "unite[d] the left and right against a plan to extract the United States from two long, costly and increasingly futile conflicts." Although there are strong arguments for withdrawing from both places, Landler writes, "the president's move short-circuited a much-needed national debate about the future of America's wars."

Nonsense. We are having that debate now, and it is long overdue.

© Copyright 2019 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: Trump's Syria Withdrawal Does Nothing to Restore Constitutional Limits on Presidential War Powers

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  1. Trump is sure a strange one, but he pales in comparison to the chicken hawks. As stupid as he is on immigration and trade, I can’t think of a single Democrat or Republic plausible candidate who would withdraw any troops from anywhere. Rand Paul and a few others would, of course, but they aren’t plausible candidates.

    I used to say the best thing about Trump winning was that Hillary would lose, just as the best thing about Hillary winning would be that Trump lost. But the things he has done right trump (pardon me) anything Hillary would have done right; I can’t imagine her having done a single thing right, not civil liberties, not immigration, not trade.

    1. And when Obama withdrew troops from Iraq he was blamed for founding the Islamic State by every Republican under the Sun. You can’t win with crazy people and the Republican constituents are crazy with a capital C. So much crazier than the background crazy and that crazy seeps into everything else.

      Now, I thought we were in Syria to kill the leaders of Islamic State and to destroy their 30,000 strong army of religious crazies for threatening and attacking us. We were using the Kurds to fight on the ground and they were still fighting and dying for us when Trump declared it all over and all for hardly nothing. So Republicans like Trump after hyping the threat of the Islamic State for half a decade they now pretend it never happened and we were crazy to even be in Syria supporting Kurds killing Islamic State soldiers.

      1. Obama was blamed for the rise of ISIS because he allowed it to happen on his watch. He deserves the blame for that. Between leaving Iraq and dithering in Syria, he allowed ISIS to take over a large portion of both countries and create a huge refugee crisis.

        Trump to his credit has destroyed ISIS to the greatest extent possible. The fact that he is now pulling ground troops out when it is clear that the job of supressing ISIS can be done by our allies and remaining in Syria accomplishes nothing except spending time and lives is to Trump’s credit and really has nothing to do with Obama’s responsibility for helping to create the situation in the first place.

        1. But that’s not what happened. That’s some crazy story you imagine so you can fix everything into a nice little box. Trump didn’t destroy IS. IS was getting hammered in Syria and Iraq before Trump was even elected. We were accomplishing alot of it with the invaluable help of the Kurds who were doing the hard fighting. It makes me sick to think people died fighting for you and you couldn’t care less.

          1. ISIS controlled most of northern Iraq and eastern Syria when Trump took office. They were not getting hammered anywhere. You are just lying here. The facts are what they are. Just because they make the Chocolate Jesus look bad doesn’t make it okay for you to lie about them.

            1. Not true. Trump adopted and merely continued the policies Obama was pursuing against ISIS. Trump’s signature difference was that he was going to cede more authority to the military.

              1. Trump’s signature difference was that he was going to cede more authority to the military.

                “Ceding more authority” doesn’t mean exercising sunk-cost fallacies.

              2. OP stop. You have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s just democrati fan fiction.

              3. Trump adopted and merely continued the policies Obama was pursuing against ISIS.
                Now you’re just making shit up.

          2. “….It makes me sick to think people died fighting for you and you couldn’t care less.”

            Wait…who died fighting for me?

            1. The SDF soldiers.

              1. Shut the fuck up about SDF soldiers.
                Never once did I hear or see progressives mention the Kurds until Trump announced his plan to withdraw from Syria, and now the hive mind finally notices them.
                Fuck you. You cheered your messiah BO as he sent arms to al Nusra so they could fight your newly cherished Kurds.
                You’re nothing but a parrot, Chandler, and you can shut right the fuck up with your retarded squawking

                1. They’re only for so,sting because Trump is against it, and only against another thing because Trump is for it.

                2. Exactly. Progressives never once gave one ounce of shit about the Kurds.

                  Now they care.

                  Gee, I wonder fricken why.

          3. It makes me sick to think people died fighting for you and you couldn’t care less.

            Oh, bullshit. The SDF are fighting to create their own homeland. They couldn’t give two shits about “us,” save for how much CAS they can get, and they haven’t been able to get
            ISIS out of that last pocket in Syria for over a year now.

            That progressives are arguing to keep troops in perpetual conflict in the Middle East because “orange man bad” is the best example that nothing any leftist says should ever be taken seriously.

            1. I think we should cut the military budget. That’s more consequential than tweeting bs and lies about what’s taking place in Syria to distract from criminal investigations.

              1. You want to conduct perpetual military operations, but demand that the military’s budget be cut. You’re an idiot.

                1. Cutting spending is the consequential action if you believe America is damaged by our military deployments. I would divert resources from other deployments to support the Kurdish alliance but I would reduce overall military spending to pay debt.

                  1. You want to conduct perpetual military operations, but demand that the military’s budget be cut. You’re an idiot.

                  2. Ordinary Person|1.2.19 @ 9:59AM|#
                    “…I would divert resources from other deployments to support the Kurdish alliance but I would reduce overall military spending to pay debt.”

                    Doesn’t all that spinning make you dizzy?
                    The left is really working for the gold in calisthenics since 11/16.

                  3. I’m a slightly more offended by the slaughter, mayhem and loss of human life that comes with perpetual war. The price tag is a secondary concern but whatever floats your boat, dude.

                    We need to stop picking the scab that is the Middle East. We need to let them figure their own problems out. The more we meddle the more we invite chaos upon ourselves.

                    What is the end game? Do you think the Kurds will create stability in the ME? If there was a Kurdish nation-state would that magically make all the religious and sectarian conflict go away? The problem is there is never a victory because we have no goal.

                    1. But then where would we get our opium from? Fucking Mexico??

                  4. “‘ I would divert resources from other deployments to support the Kurdish alliance”‘

                    To what end? A Kurdish state?

                  5. You’re going to cut spending, cut all the things that aren’t authorized by the constitution first.

                  6. Dude, you being the process to cutting the budget by drawing down redundant troops abroad.

                    Trump is 100% correct here.

        2. Obummy & HildaBeast destroyed Libya, a stable nation, because Qaddafi wanted to create a Pan-African currency backed by gold & the Elite Globalists & Big Bankers would have none of it….Read Seymour Hersh’s “The Red Line & The Rat Line” …He explains in great detail how Obummy & HildaBeast helped arm ISIS in Syria to topple Assad who was an ally of Putin & Iran. They did this by ILLEGALLY running weapons from Libya thru Turkey into Syria to supposed “moderates”…It made Iran-Conta look like kid’s play!….Obummy & HildaBeast made Shrub #2 look like Mr. Rogers…They are Big Time War Criminals & should’ve been hung!

      2. Republican constituents may be crazy, but they nominated Trump for POTUS, even if they got Democrats’ help in some states. Back in the Bronx where I was living then, also the Conservative Party rank & file I talked to was very much pro-Trump, while the leadership was anti-Trump.

      3. Obama was blamed for obviously not taking ISIS seriously. He literally called them the “junior varsity.”

    2. But the things he has done right trump (pardon me) anything Hillary would have done right; I can’t imagine her having done a single thing right, not civil liberties, not immigration, not trade.

      That’s totally unfair to Mrs. Clinton. At a minimum, her Supreme Court picks would have been clearly better than the dangerous right-wing extremists Drumpf has rushed through the confirmation process. Hillary’s justices would be guaranteed to protect access to abortion care because they’d realize the Roe v. Wade decision is a SUPER-PRECEDENT. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, in contrast, literally want to turn this country into The Handmaid’s Tale by abolishing reproductive rights.

      1. B-

      2. LOL!!!…Kavanaugh is no Right-Wing extremist….HildaBeast could not have picked a better Big Govt. Swamp Creature!

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  3. Not being groomed by the government and media establishment, Trump rocks the boat.

    If it wasn’t for propaganda, fake news created by and for selfish private interests, there wouldn’t be wars.

    Here are some inconvenient facts that rock your boat. You don’t like them now due to your successful brainwashing. That will change when you recognize the truth.

    Germany was winning WW1. Nobody had an answer to uboats. So the UK began shipping arms on passenger liners and hospital ships, the most notable the Lusitania. Global Zionists promised to bring the US into the war in exchange for Palestine, via the Balfour declaration, when Louis Brandeis, leader of the American Zionist organization was appointed to the Supreme Court and as Wilson’s “special counsel” to WW1.

    Germany knew what caused the loss of WW1 and when a leader showed up promising to put things right, they elected Hitler in 1932. Then global Zionists officially declared war on Germany and coerced nations around the world to boycott Germany’s necessary imports and exports in 1933. Germans had a choice, hand their democracy back over to Weimar or prepare for war. What would you do?

    The US entered the war again to oppose democracy.

    All of it for the Zionist lust for Palestine and look how they have terrorized and oppressed Palestinians for the last 70 years enabled by the most financial aid America has ever given anyone.

    What if there was no fake news and Zionists never duped the US into WW1?

    1. …Zionists…Htler…

      Any time any one thinks the Jews are at the heart of their problems, I wonder about their dicks, because it’s pretty goddam pathetic that they have to pick such a small minority to blame their problems on when there are so many larger more obvious and more likely targets available.

      1. Your childish rhetoric can’t approach the facts.

        And try to stop thinking about my dick.

        1. Facts you have not. Picking on small targets is the way bullies and cowards impress other bullies and cowards.

          1. Facts?

            Except the US loaded the munitions on the Lusitania.

            http://www.world-war-1-facts.com/World-War-
            One-Weapon-
            Facts/World-War-One-U-Boat-Facts.html

            There’s no denying the facts.

            https://archive.archaeology.org/0901/
            trenches/lusitania.html

            A HOSPITAL ship sunk off Newquay in the First World War, which was used in a propaganda campaign, has been found to be carrying boxes of ammunition.

            http://www.newquayvoice.co.uk/news/6/
            article/2079/

            the Balfour Declaration was a contract promising Palestine to Zionists in exchange for their role in bringing the US into WW1.

            https://www.amazon.com/Great-Britain-
            Palestine-Samuel-Landman/dp/1471799131

            1. Sure the US loaded ammo on the Lusitania. So what? The US was neutral at the time.

              Do you blame Jews for all the ills of the world, or only most of them?

              Fuck off, puss-filled bigot.

              1. Gee, I don’t know, ya think shipping arms secretly might make for a funny kind of neutral?

              2. Rob Misek is 100% right!…Behind most evil in the world is a filthy evil Jew!

                1. I don’t think people are evil, but I do think their behaviour can be.

                  Our relationship with the truth is the best indicator of our propensity for evil.

                  The Jewish religion has a particularly weak relationship with truth.

            2. Let us not forget the whole bogus War on Terror is simply America doing Israel’s bidding!

          2. At a crucial moment in the deliberations of the British government regarding the Balfour Declaration, American support was needed. Brandeis apparently got President Wilson to reverse his policy of non-intervention

            http://www.zionism-israel.com/bio/Louis
            _Brandeis.htm

            Judea declares war on Germany

            https://www.wintersonnenwende.com/
            scriptorium/english/archives/articl
            es/jdecwar.html

            Year. 1929. 1932. 1937

            Import from US. 1790. 592. 282
            Export to US. 991. 281. 209

            * In millions of Reichsmarks

            https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/
            encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-
            and-
            maps/boycott-anti-nazi

            1. I always find it fascinating how people on the far left and far right both somehow seem to love to demonize the jews. Maybe they really aren’t that ideologically different after all (likely). Rob Misek you forgot to incorporate the Dreyfus affair and the Protocols of the Elder’s of Zion into your narrative. Try again.

              1. The Jews are the world’s most convenient scapegoats.

                1. If you do something, own it.

                2. The Jews are ok, it is the Zionists that are EVIL SOBs!!!

            2. Brandeis apparently got President Wilson to reverse his policy of non-intervention

              Yeah, like it took some jewish lawyer to get a power hungry self righteous busybody like Woodrow Wilson to intervene somewhere. Who was it that got him to invade Haiti, some voodoo high priest or Mexico, time-travelling James Knox Polk or Donald Trump?

              Judea declares war on Germany

              And how many divisions did the Jews have?

              1. More than a few divisions of liars.

                1. I suppose that if you think that questioning the rantings of a paranoid psychopath is a lie you might be right.

                  But, tell me, what exactly did every single jew do to Hitler that made it necessary to kill every single one of them?

                  Exactly what part of what Jews claimed about Hitler’s program was a lie? (Side note: my father met some Jewish refugees, some of the few that got through the State Department’s embargo, in the MD-DC-NOVA area in about 1940 and the one thing that truck him particularly was how insanely patriotically German they were and how sad they were that their homeland was controlled by a murderous psychopath).

                  1. Jewish is a religion, not a race, Not all religions are equal. You choose your religion. Scientology for example.

                    In Christianity Satan is the father of lies.

                    In the Jewish religion, the Kol Nidre is chanted in every synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year.

                    Here is one English translation:
                    “All vows, obligations, oaths, and anathemas which we may vow, or swear, or pledge, or whereby we may be bound, from this Day of Atonement until the next, we do repent. May they be deemed absolved, forgiven, annulled, and void, and made of no effect: they shall not bind us nor have any power over us. The vows shall not be reckoned vows; the obligations shall not be obligations; nor the oaths be oaths.”

                    Don’t waste my time with your BS interpretation. I know what those words mean.

                    More than a few divisions of liars.

                    1. Of course, this recitation is specifically a reference to Divine Clemency, and not mortal affairs. But you knew that.

                      (((Unicorn Abbatoir)))

                    2. I don’t trust as far as I could throw, anyone who plans to lie to their God.

                      Their actions demonstrate what they think of mortals.

                    3. You are also on the record as stating that lying should be illegal, because fuck the first amendment.

                      And your translation is wrong.

          3. “”Picking on small targets is the way bullies and cowards impress other bullies and cowards.”‘

            Perhaps that explains the Anti-Trump comments about his penis

            1. The richest 1% may represent only tens of thousands of people, but their willful influence on politics and our casino market economy is undeniable.

              In 2010 in the Forbes list of wealthiest people 40% were Jews whose global population was less than 2%.

              These numbers though relatively small, are not insignificant.

              When you talk about the earths elite, nearly half are Jews.

      2. Funny how members of that “small minority” own so many major media outlets & how so many are high ranking members of the FED RESERVE & other Central Banks across the globe & how so many are in presidential cabinets on BOTH SIDES the last 60 years & how so many are in Congress & hold dual Israeli Citizenship!

        Methinks, yer dick is smarter that yer brains!

        1. That’s mainly due to the historical fact that much of the world’s first banking and wealth management services were developed in the holy land, and specifically Jerusalem, to protect the wealth and assets of migrants and pilgrims. Most of that can be traced back to the templars developing a system of depositing in one place and withdrawing from another, while only carrying a worthless paper document in between. Banking has gone on in Israel longer than just about any other place.

          1. Nonsense!!!…The Templars were spiritual people…The Rothschilds & other Zionist scum are NOT!!!

    2. “…All of it for the Zionist lust for Palestine and look how they have terrorized and oppressed Palestinians for the last 70 years enabled by the most financial aid America has ever given anyone.”

      I’ll bet you have a ‘final solution’ for this, don’t you, scumbag?

    3. Hitler actually lost the 1932 election.

      1. Yup.

        Hitler was able to cobble together other Socialists to form a government and Hindenburg picked him as Chancellor. Hitler was sworn in January1933.

        Germany never elected Nazis as a majority until all other political parties were banned.

        1. That’s how the de ocrats are doing it here. Except they are bringing in an endless supply of illegals to either amnesty and vote illegally.

    4. TL;DR Hitler did nothing wrong.

    5. Oh goody. It was bad enough that Media Matters was derailing the comments section with fifty-centers like Tony. Now they’re astroturfing anti-semitism so that they can portray Reason.com as a haven for Nazis.

      1. What’s the matter snowflake? Do I ruin your most coveted delusion.

        Ooh that wicked wicked knowledge that results from free speech.

  4. Trump’s decision to stop American involvement in one endless war and curtail it in another provoked the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, which tells you something about the “adults in the room” who supposedly were protecting the country from an erratic, ignorant president’s worst instincts.

    I liked Mattis, but this comment is spot-on. Afghanistan and Syria are the very definition of sunk-cost fallacies, and it says something about Mattis’ perspective that he was incapable of seeing this fact. If we can’t keep the Taliban from taking over the country without having 25K troops there, and if we have to perpetually occupy Syria to keep Iran from taking it over (or to continue the Obama administration’s idiotic campaign against Assad), then we’re not doing anything other than giving the neocons something to rub themselves out over on an annual basis.

    1. Mattis was given two years to accomplish something in Syria and at the end of that two years could no longer justify our presence there. If Mattis can’t convince Trump of the ultility of staying there, what reason is there to believe that Trump could convince the American public even if he wanted to?

      The other thing that the media isn’t talking about is that we are just pulling our group troops out. We are still free to and likely will conduct air operations in support of our allies in Syria. Why go take on the expense and risk of keeping ground forces there when we can let our allies do that and just give them air support?

      1. What fucking allies in Syria? Trump just served them on a platter to Turkey and Assad.

        1. Saudi Arabia for one and the Kurds and to some degree the Turks. Beyond that, if we really have no allies there, then we have even less reason to be there. And who gives a shit if the Turks and Assas control Syria? What are they going to do with it?

          Morons like you love to get us into wars but then lack the will to do what is necessary to win them. If you are not willing to go to war with Assad, Iran and likely Russia, then you are not going to win anything in Syria. Since doing that is nothing short of insane, the US has no business going to war there. And to claim they should is to be a war monger in the truest sense of the word.

          1. You’re craxy. How can you possibly forget that practically every Republican, Trump included, were demanding military action against the Islamic State? How can you forget it was people like who supported Bush who got us into Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place?

            1. WE took action against the Islamic state. And the islamic state is in shambles. So there is no reason to stay there any longer. If ISIS comes back, we can always come back then. But we have no interest in or ability to create stability in Syria and remaining there only wastes lives and money and risks starting a larger war.

              You are just an idiot spewing talking points. You do not have any coherent view of the situation or what the US should do other than “Orange man bad”.

              1. Forget it John, he’s like a moronic broken record.

            2. “Trump included, were demanding military action against the Islamic State?”
              Are you really that fucking retarded? Do you really not understand the difference between military action and occupation?

        2. I’m sure he’s referring to our good friends Al-Queda that we are helping take over the (relatively for the Middle East) stable Syrian government for no other reason than neocons don’t like the idea of Russia having hegemony in the region that is literally their back yard.

          Yes, we are there for dumb reasons and no, we have no allies. Don’t pretend for a second that pulling out is a bad idea because Trump is some Russian puppet. It’s like if Mexico had religious terrorists rebelling against their government and Russia was there trying to help them. You could imagine we would be nervous about that.

          We are essentially thumbing our nose at one of the handful of countries in the world that could start a major nuclear war. But it’s ok apparently because Russia is the perennial enemy of the neocons that have now infected not only the centrist democrats but now have support from most of the left wing through their successful “hacked the election” propaganda scheme.

          1. It’s like if Mexico had religious terrorists rebelling against their government and Russia was there trying to help them. You could imagine we would be nervous about that.

            That is a very good point. The fact is Russia has more to lose in Syria and wants to influence more than the US does. So, we should not be challenging them there. Doing so will either lead to us backing down and embolding them elsewhere or getting into a war with Russia over a country we have no interests in.

            None of these idiots can ever seem to explain why Russia controlling Syria is some catastrophe. So what if they get a warm water port in the med? They still have to get out of the straights of Gibraltor or through the Suez to do anything with it. And gasp, maybe Russia is entitled to a sphere of influence just like we are?

            1. I completely agree. However, I severely question in what way we have any reason to be allies with Saudi Arabia or Turkey. Both of these countries are aithoritarian messes which undercuts the whole “supporting democracy” justification. Both have links to Wahabbist terrorists so we are literally working WITH the terrorists that killed thousands of American citizens in on American soil on 9/11 when we fight in these coalitions in Yemen and Syria.

              1. The only reason we’re even allies with SA is because they’re the last major Middle Eastern power that can be a check on Iran. That’s why we’re supporting SA in their proxy war with Iran in Yemen. I’d prefer to leave SA to their own devices, too, but unfortunately the Pentagon and the State Department are full of zero-sum hide-bound thinkers.

                Turkey certainly needs to be cut loose from NATO, especially after the attempted coup on Erdogan failed, but it would take an outright attack on US troops by the Turks to accomplish that.

                1. “…they’re the last major Middle Eastern power that can be a check on Iran.”

                  Outside Israel of course.

                  1. Israel can’t check shit anymore outside of a few Palestinians. They got their asses kicked by Lebanon in 2006, and would easily fall to any concerted invasion at this point.

                    SA is, unfortunately, all there is. Egypt’s the only other non-Shia nation with the military power to possibly check Iranian influence, but they’re justifiably more worried about what goes on in North Africa than the Levant and Mesopotamia.

          2. It’s like if Mexico had religious terrorists rebelling against their government and Russia was there trying to help them. You could imagine we would be nervous about that.

            Thirty-five years ago, leftists were outraged that we were providing arms to the Contras in their war with the Ortega regime in Honduras. In the Current Year, they’re upset that Russia is doing the same thing in Syria.

            1. Sorry, Nicaragua, not Honduras. Same shithole area, though.

      2. We are still free to and likely will conduct air operations in support of our allies in Syria.

        Possibly, but those operations are reliant on the special forces and AF combat control personnel being there to coordinate the strikes and air drops. That can’t happen if Trump is pulling everybody out, unless the idea is to simply remove their logistical bases of support.

        1. Yes it can. We have no doubt trained people in those areas on how to call in US air strikes. We don’t have to have SF people there to do that. And we can also conduct our own reconossance and intelligence and launch strikes on our own.

          1. We have no doubt trained people in those areas on how to call in US air strikes.

            The whole point of having those people there was for that very purpose.

            And we can also conduct our own reconossance and intelligence and launch strikes on our own.

            ISR is fine for general location purposes, but you still need boots on the ground to provide grid coordinates and target lasing. The Air Force isn’t going to just take the word of some SDF warlord about troop locations without verification from their own folks, or they could end up bombing Russian soldiers and causing an international incident.

    2. This “sunk cost fallicy” is something talked about a great deal in business, and shows that at least in come aspects, Trumps business background leads him to the right conclusions.

      1. some, not come!

        1. Although Trump does quite well in come aspects too….

  5. “Trump’s Right About ‘Ridiculous’ Misuse of U.S. Troops”

    Yes, in the Middle East, he’s correct. Goat-fuckers will goat-fuck, whether supervised by US troop, or not!

    Now if only he could see that it is also misuse of US troops to send them on political grand-standing, show-boating missions to the US-Mexican border…

    1. It is stupid to use troops on the border.

      Should build a wall.

      1. A wall,
        a tall wall,
        a tall wall
        a tall wall electrified,
        a tall wall, electrified, with motion detectors and automatic gun emplacements on top

  6. So Trump announced troop withdrawals and, Thy Will Be Done, the troops are all back home now? Applaud the announcement all you want but keep in mind Trump announces shit every day that never comes to pass and maybe save some applause for when the troops are actually withdrawn.

    1. That’s what I see. Trump just appointed a lobbyist for the military industrial complex to head up the Defense Department. It’s as if Trump was balancing pleasing Putin with pleasing Boeing.

      1. OP you always manage to do stupid rather well.

      2. Orange Hitler works for the Russkis, Drumpf’s a pawn of the American military industrial complex, he’s a Nazi who’s in the pocket of Israel and the Saudis
        Oh dear, it is retarded.

  7. I’m glad he withdrew! We’re not the world’s babysitter!
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/

    1. Babysitter!

      Every war the US has entered or instigated has been for its own selfish interests.

      Do you actually believe that only you seek the freedom of self determination while denying it to others?

      The US and it’s allies are the invaders, occupiers, destroyers. There is nothing altruistic about that.

      1. Every war the US has entered or instigated has been for its own selfish interests.

        Congratulations, you’ve just described every conflict in human history.

      2. Yeah, that whole D-day thing was so oppressive.

        1. Misek supported the other side.

      3. Rob, if that’s how you view our military, well, you can just go fuck yourself. If we’re the worst people in the world then you really should just GTFO and go someplace nicer.

        1. What and be someone else’s immigrant, leaving a shithole to where the grass is greener?

          I prefer to try and improve where I do live.

          It’s also easier to stop the bombs from falling before they’re dropped.

  8. “Give War A Chance” Hillary

    1. It is going to be entertaining to watch the Never Trump right and the Democrats campaign against peace and prosparity in 2020.

      1. “Prosparity”? [sic]

        Look, I know Palin’s Buttplug isn’t around anymore, but I’ve been trying to cover his economic beat. This Drumpf economy is absolutely terrible.

        #UnbanPalinsButtplug
        #DrumpfRecession

        1. Low unemployment and rising wages. Just horrible.

          1. But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says low unemployment just means everybody has two jobs because they can barely make ends meet.

            #LibertariansForOcasioCortez

            1. #LibertariansForOcasioCortez = empty set.

            2. After realizing that AOC has a degree in economics from Boston U, and listening to a few others from Boston U speak, I was forced to put a degree from Boston U on my list of disqualifying credentials for prospective hires. Directly to file 13.

        2. Did The Plug leave?

          1. I think Ordinary Person is his new sock.

  9. “Trump’s right”…is it legal to say that?

    Anyway, I agree with Jerryskids above: I’ll celebrate when the troops are actually withdrawn and not before. Yeah, it’s good that Trump is saying it but as with any politician I want to see follow-through.

    1. I see no reason to believe they won’t be. If it was all some like, why did Mattis resign? I understand how painful and socially embarassing it must be to give Trump credit for something. My God, people will think you are one of those people. But, sometimes life just sucks. I don’t know what else to tell you.

      1. LOL I was joking about the headline…I was amazed to see a Reason headline with the words “Trump’s right…” in it.

        But on the substance, yeah I’m still gonna wait and see. I do that regardless of who is president.

        1. I just think that if the Pentegon planned to slow role or ignore this or Trump didn’t really mean it, Mattis would not have resigned.

          1. That’s plausible. But I can’t pretend to really know what’s going on in the five-sided bughouse.

  10. I disagree. Whenever Drumpf is doing something that President Hillary Clinton would not have done, you can be 100% sure it’s wrong. And Hillary would absolutely not be considering these reckless, irresponsible troop withdrawals. She has a lengthy record of foreign policy wisdom and puts America’s ? not Russia’s ? interests first.

    #StillWithHer

    1. OK folks, help me out here. OBL sometimes pegs my sarcastic meter, and other times seems to actually mean what’s written. Can I get some help re-calibrating?

      1. Best to ignore him. I have come to the conclusion he is just nuts.

      2. Well, sometimes OBL’s inputs are outside of tolerances, i.e. they’re too real. So re-calibrating your meter wouldn’t help.

      3. OBL’s a parody account and sometimes a pretty good one, but you know what they say about “staring into the abyss”. Just trying to think like they do probably taints your soul a little.

  11. This article doesn’t exist. Reason is run by leftists who hate Trump. They cannot say “Trump’s right” because they are Never Trumpers. So this article is an impossibility. Reason is a leftist rag because it criticizes Trump. That means they never say anything good about him because they all wanted Hillary to win. Therefore this article is a figment of the imagination.

    1. Listen Shikha, you’re not fooling anyone. Don’t be so butthurt.

  12. This Libertarian Moment brought to you by the God Emperor and those who supported him over the pants shitting objections of Reason.

    You’re welcome.

  13. “the president’s move short-circuited a much-needed national debate about the future of America’s wars.”

    Bullshit – the debate is settled and I’ve already talked to members of the military. They don’t enjoy playing referee with their lives and your money (or IOUs to China) in a sectarian civil war in Syria between Iranian Shia militia and offshoots of Al Qaeda.

    1. That is a complete bullshit statement and proves that Sullumn is a moron even when he manages to be right on an issue. It didn’t short curcuit any debate. People are free to have this debate and to judge this decision. By Sullumn’s logic, Trump should have left troops there against his better judgement so as to allow Washington to further debate the matter. Jesus Christ on a crutch how can someone be that stupid?

      1. John, Jacob Sullum did not make the statement, “the president’s move short-circuited a much-needed national debate about the future of America’s wars”, he was quoting New York Times reporter Mark Landler.

        His next sentence, “Nonsense. We are having that debate now, and it is long overdue” is nothing like “Trump should have left troops there against his better judgement so as to allow Washington to further debate the matter.”

        It is New York Times reporter Mark Landler’s logic you should be taking to task, not Jacob Sullum’s.

        1. Then I take it back.

          1. OK, then. 🙂

    2. They don’t enjoy playing referee with their lives and your money

      You should check out the posts on r/military regarding Mattis’ resignation letter. Granted, reddit is AIDS, but every single comment that isn’t “orange man bad” and is actually bringing up the question of how long we really need to be in these shitholes is getting downvoted.

      1. I have yet to see any evidence beyond anecdote what the military thinks of this. Beyond that, it shouldn’t matter what they think. We don’t let the military decide if we should get into wars or not. It is more than a bit rich to hear all of these Progs who have spent their entire lives bitching about the military industrial complex now turn around and say we can’t leave Syria because the miltiary doesn’t want to do so. Do these idiots even listen to themselves?

    3. Referee!

      Every war the US has entered or instigated has been for its own selfish interests.

      Do you actually believe that only you seek the freedom of self determination while denying it to others?

      The US and it’s allies are the invaders, occupiers, destroyers. Own it. Your attitude already demonstrates it. There is nothing altruistic about that.

      1. Every war the < INSERT COUNTRY HERE > US has entered or instigated has been for its own selfish interests.

        FTFY

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  15. Trump had a clear purpose to be in Syria, to destroy ISIS. The military want to be they to help the Kurds, but it was not Trump’s purpose.

  16. Trump had a clear purpose to be in Syria, to destroy ISIS. The military want to be they to help the Kurds, but it was not Trump’s purpose.

  17. His ‘lack of sophistication’?

    So…..he wanted what you want–and he wanted it BEFORE running for president. Was that a ‘lack of sophistication’ too?

    Or, perhaps you, also, lack sophistication?

    This HAS to be getting old. He keeps doing things that libertarians supposedly want, yet, even as he’s implementing things LP candidates have dreamed of implementing for decades, you all still have to find fault.

    1. No one has to love the guy. I sure don’t. But I’ll have his back as long as he keeps his campaign promises. I’ll even back him up and give him the benefit of the doubt on his trade negotiation strategy, even though I detest tariffs. Which will hopefully end up being temporary and lead to less trade restrictions when the dust settles.

    2. Helping the televangelists send men with guns to shoot up abortion clinics the Libertarian Party protected by writing Roe v. Wade for the Court? Izzat what “we” want alluva sudden?

      1. What the fuck are you on about, you lunatic.

  18. “”I didn’t know there was 1,000 troops in Niger,” Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, confessed after four American soldiers were killed there in October 2017. With U.S. troops deployed in more than 150 countries, perhaps Graham can be forgiven for overlooking a few.”

    Um, no. No he cannot be forgiven. It’s his goddamned job to know it. I think these pricks should be forced to review the military commitments on an annual basis including total resources committed, original mission, and progress towards completing the mission. And then forced to justify continuing each one.

    And they should be forced to do it before being allowed to leave for one of the numerous breaks they enjoy.

  19. Everyone needs to get a grip on who benefits the most from having troops on 150 countries? It’s no wonder the GOP and the Dems all hate Trump. When u can’t get ur coffers filled at the public teat (taxpayer money) anymore by backdooring the money thru campaign donations ur r sure to lose ur next election. God forbid that to ever happen! Happy New Year to all sheeple. Oh, and keep sending ur same old representatives to Washington on ur tax money.

    1. Hear me out a second.

      If Trump remains committed and consistent to this as a matter of principle, and if he manages a 2nd term and continues this policy, it can show that bringing troops back home can be beneficial and wouldn’t lead to an existential international disaster as the idiots are claiming – I’m looking at you WaPo and NYT commenters. Who knew you were all war mongering jerk offs? – and could lead to an actual accepted patter of political behaviour.

      Pax Americana.

      Not that Trump is Octavian/Augustus, but I’m just saying.

  20. I like Derangement Syndrome better’n Deployment Syndrome. Bringing the troops back not only cuts down on them getting killed for nothing, but adds to soviet looter discomfiture at trying to write cheap shots at The Don. That bit about The Kenyan’s Wall, f’rinstance, and the Wall around Vatican HQ in Rome were primo propaganda counterattacks that make the Roman Holiday of watching Dem and GOP looters kill each other all the bloodier and more enjoyable! Bring ’em on! Bring ’em home! Cue up your Country Joe and the Fish album full blast…

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  22. Late to the party, but I’d say that SK and Japan are different situations than other nations and, though we definitely should leave, it will take a while. The Korean war is technically not over and we routinely have flare-ups of hostility. Until we end the conflict and properly end our support for the SK side in the war it would be unwise to leave. As for Japan, we’ve both formed an alliance with them and intentionally hobbled their ability to have a real military by directly writing it into their constitution during the occupation. It’s a stupid situation and we shouldn’t leave until we’ve given a lot of notice that it’s happening. I doubt that the Japanese public will vote themselves a standing military again anytime soon but it’s irresponsible to leave before the process can begin.

  23. Trump is a mixed bag on policy but 100% behind him on this issue.

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