Middle East

White House Bypasses Congress, Sends More Troops and Weapons to Middle East To Counter Iran

The Trump administration keeps deliberately raising tensions with Iran, risking conflict.


The Trump administration is sending more troops and weapons to the Middle East amidst rising tensions with Iran.

"We are going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective," President Donald Trump said to reporters at the White House, according to the Associated Press. "Some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now and we'll see what happens."

The Trump administration also announced today that heightened tensions with Iran constitute a national emergency, thus allowing the administration to approve $8 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia without authorization from Congress.

These moves come after White House officials spent weeks deliberately raising tensions with Iran. Last week, it was reported that Defense Department officials—at the urging of ultra-hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton—were revising contingency plans to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event Iran attacked U.S. troops in the region or ramped up its nuclear program.

Before that, Bolton, who's long advocated for war with Iran, announced that a U.S. carrier, the Abraham Lincoln, would be heading to the Persian Gulf ahead of schedule to counter a supposed, unspecified heightened danger from Iran.

The aggressive moves taken by the Trump administration provoked condemnation from across the political spectrum.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) both issued statements on social media warning of the consequences of any war with Iran.

Libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) also had harsh words for the president's end run around Congress.

Interestingly, Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) sent out a tweet expressing concern over increasing U.S. involvement in the Middle East. China is the real enemy we should be watching, he said.

The moves made by the White House in recent weeks are all incremental. Back in his private citizen days, Trump himself argued against any war with Iran.

As president, he's occasionally advocated for reducing the U.S.'s presence in the Middle East, although he hasn't followed through on pledges to pull troops out of Afghanistan and Syria.

Nevertheless, the lack of a clear strategy from the Trump administration raises the risks that these incremental moves will spiral into a conflict that no one really wants (except maybe John Bolton).

"I don't believe either side really wants a conflict, but you put this many troops from both sides in a small area and raise tensions like this, there's always the risk that something happens accidentally that spirals into a larger conflict," Emily Ashford, a Cato Institute foreign policy scholar, told Reason last week.

To quote Trump, I guess "we'll see what happens."

NEXT: Should Baltimore Pay Ransom to the Hackers Holding City Computers Hostage?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Sanders was right about Vietnam and Iraq.

    Unfortunately, he’s left on everything else.

    1. Meanwhile, Bernie manages to keep a fair portion of the F-35 budget in his home state. And so, being against the wars his pork is intended to fight, his ‘protest’ is crocodile tears to me. When he inspires legions to march against any new war, I’ll buy in. Fat chance of that. He speaks against war with his mouth while raking in the war booty with both arms. Does the guy ever look in the mirror? Does he listen to himself?

  2. Nevertheless, the lack of a clear strategy from the Trump administration raises the risks that these incremental moves will spiral into a conflict that no one really wants (except maybe John Bolton).

    Guarantee he’s the one that’s driving this whole thing. If Trump doesn’t tard-wrangle him immediately, that “no new Middle East wars” will be obsolete.

    1. A show of force is the best way to prevent conflict.
      This is a country that routinely chants “death to America” and has been doing so for 40 years.
      Obama went the other way and bent over for them. They responded by immediately capturing US soldiers.

      1. A show of force is also the best way to start a conflict.

        1. A show of force is also the best way to start a conflict.

          Arnaud Amalric agrees.

        2. I thought it was fake an attack on one of your ships?

          1. And like magic – that is exactly what Bolton is now claiming – an attack on shipping

            Bolton is pure chickenshit scum.

        3. That’s fucking idiotic, jfree

          1. Yeah, JFree, you know the rules.
            Everything Trump does can be rationalized as a positive development, with creative enough thinking.
            And calling bullshit on the lame rationalizations substituting for any sort of principle just earns you insults and scorn.
            So get with the program – if you don’t want to be reviled, conform to the narrative!

            1. Hey as long as we can mobilize all the cliches on our side, we win.

            2. Jeff and jfree, here to demonstrate that the reflexively progressive are historically ignorant and lack insight into fundamental psychology.

              1. Nardz – name one war – EVER – that hasn’t started with a show of force. You think you’re gonna central plan this to the right outcome?

                You brainless dickless chickenhawks are all the same. From Prez Bonespur to NSA Chickenshit to you. You don’t know psychology. You don’t know history. You don’t know the terrain. You don’t know the enemy. You don’t know war. You don’t have an achievable goal. What you do know is irrelevant and what all three of you combined know could fit on the head of a pin.

                So all you can do is believe the cliches you spout.

                1. Umm…world war 1? A bunch of rebels and political dissidents orchestrate a plot to assassinate a nations leader. Big show of force there, a few 19 year olds with a hand grenade and a handgun.

                  Big show of force there…

                  What we do know is that the youth of Iran would like a more open and free society, as evidenced in the years long Arab spring. But sadly dickface Obama and his chickenshit cabinet didn’t have the balls to support the youth, and their allies in the govt, in any of those countries. Especially Egypt and iran. We should and could have eliminated many of the Muslim extremist/sharia loving leaders in that region during the Arab spring and done it with popular support. But Obama, like you, is sawfter than puppy crap on a hot sidewalk so he sat on his hands as the extremists choked out the youth uprising and dug their heels in.

                  Oh those times when not being a pussy is a good thing.

                  1. Obama’s actions – without Congressional approval IIRC – in Libya and Egypt were despicable as they were cowardly.

                    1. Rufus The TrumpTard Moron pipes in.

                      LIBYA WORSE THAN IRAQ!

                  2. Big show of force there

                    WW1 was preceded by 20+ years of an arms race with the two main alliances circling and threatening each other and setting up the machinery and systems to go to war. Sarajevo was just the match that set the machinery in motion. Obviously history ain’t your thing.

                    What we do know is that the youth of Iran would like a more open and free society

                    They are not going to risk anything. There is no real opposition in Iran because there is no alternative vision. And let me guaranfuckingtee you – if the US starts something, the regime there will immediately get 100% support overnight – regardless of the situation now. Iran is an extremely cohesive nation – which is one reason it has been around for 3000+ years in roughly its present area. Bolton and his twits may imagine they’re gonna find some Chalabi – but he is STUPID.

                  3. “Umm…world war 1??

                    The Russian mobilization was meant to threaten Austria and prevent war them from attacking Serbia. It didn’t work as Germany declared war the next day..

                  4. “…years long Arab spring”

                    Uhhh, you do know that Iran isn’t Arab, right?

                2. Poland was really flexin on the Nazis after Chaberlain told them to.

                  I guess Manchuria talked too much shizz to Japan

            3. Thinking someone’s opinion is idiotic is hardly evidence of Trump support. Jesus fucking Christ.

        4. Capitulation here is a horrible idea. Iran needs to back down. Unfortunately, Trump’s job has been made far more difficult by Obama’s previous bungling.

          1. “Iran needs to back down.”

            What do they need to back down from?

            1. Maybe you should try reading some news and see their provocative actions of late.

              1. The news is telling you that Iran is ‘acting provocatively’ and you believe it? Haven’t we been down this road together?

                1. Pk, let’s try this then. I have multiple relatives in both national intelligence and the US Navy. I regularly hear about the aggressive crap Iran pulls. It has been ramping up again lately.

                  This falls in line with international news reports in the subject. But feel free to use the ‘you belief what they report?’ Line to justify your own internal narrative. Which is what I expect from you Trueman.

                  1. “I regularly hear about the aggressive crap Iran pulls. ”

                    What aggressive crap? And do you really think that American bluster and bluffs are going to change anything?

                    “This falls in line with international news reports ”

                    What international news reports? why can’t you be more specific, especially if these reports have you so worried about Iran. Is it the Saudi diplomats in Washington whose safety you are concerned about? Some commenters have brought up concerns over their safety from Iranian assassins. Are these the sorts of news reports and family gossip that have exercised you?

      2. See? Nardz is ready to go fight for his country’s freedom. I’ll be the first to thank you protecting my safety and liberties from the Iranian hordes at our gates.

        1. No one gives a fuck what you think progtard. Your boy Obama made all this happen, so really, you are to blame.

          1. Losing the culture war has made you a cranky, all-talk clinger.

            Your replacement will be a welcome and inevitable development.

            1. I’m not being replaced anytime soon, and not by a little pussy like you. If you ever want to try, let me know.

              1. Bring it! I’ll meet you anywhere! I’ve got the DD214 to prove it, Shiteater!

                1. So you’re Arty’s sock eh? Figures. Yeah, come and get me bitch. And stop lying. No way a puke like you is a vet.

                  Fucking traitor.

                  1. You Republicans are the Chicken-Hawks. Trump, Bush, Cheney, etc.

                    1. Faggot, unlike you I am a war veteran. So fuck off with your accusations of ‘chickenhawk’.

                      Not like a little pussy like you could handle military service. Plus you’re a traitor anyway.

                  2. I’ve got a DD214 and 28 years Army, you little cunt!
                    You are nothing more than a Republican Statist bitch that jacks off to body bags of dead US servicemen and women while hiding behind your monitor in your mom’s basement.

                    Fuck off, slaver!

                    1. No, you don’t. Your just some leftist stealing the valor of real vets. Your disgusting. And probably a sock of PB.

      3. This is a country that routinely chants “death to America” and has been doing so for 40 years.

        Given that it’s been chanting and not attacking, I’m not sure this is a great case for action–if anything, it suggests the chant is just an expression of impotent rage.

        1. the chant is just an expression of impotent rage

          ^ This.

          When you figure that they don’t have any troops anywhere near us at all, and we have them effectively surrounded and have been actively working against their interests for decades, it’s not hard to see that their main concern is that the US is going to invade their country, not that they’re planning an invasion of ours.

          1. No, the regime has just worked tirelessly to enable terror attacks around the globe for forty years. Obama and his progtarded friends gave them the freedom to build nukes, and the money with which to do it. Including a bunch of untraceable cash.

            Now Trump is cleaning up after these treasonous actions of Obama’s.

            1. It’s almost interesting how the rightwing stupid-sphere can get you idiots to believe the exact opposite of truth. They have to be doing this out of sheer perverse fun at this point.

              You are a toy poodle for sweaty jackoffs doing buttwork for the Republican party. Do you have to shower often?

              1. No, he only is the last of the Shiteaters.

                1. Why don’t you and Tony go fuck raucous other’s assholes, instead of shitposting here?

                  And drink some Drano when you’re done.

                  1. You are the collectivist cunt on this thread, Shiteater.

                    1. No PB, I’m not. that would be you.

              2. Tony you stupid cunt, he gave them pallets of cash and then transferred $150 billion to them. They are a state sponsor of terror.

                Do you dispute ANY of that?

                1. It was their money. It was part of a deal that definitively halted their nuclear program, which was the entire goddamn point, and which Trump tore up because Obama made fun of him once.

                  America has killed far more of them than they have of us.

                  How about if Iran decided to attack Cleveland in retaliation for our meddling in their lives?

                  1. In order:

                    It was NOT their money. It belonged to the previous regime and it’s citizens. They’re not entitled to it.

                    The deal has no enforcement and guarantees nothing other than they for sure get a bomb a few years later than they may have gotten it.

                    What Iranians has America killed?

                    Do you consider it ’meddling’ when Iran exports terror worldwide as they have for the last forty years? Which is what they are assuredly doing with at least a portion of that. Obey Obama illegals face them?

                    But as a blind counter tribalism, you are a traitor to your very core. Maybe you should go live there where instead of people like me who would save your dumb ass from a homophobic beating, the Iranians throw you off a building for your appetites.

                  2. When have we EVER killed an Iranian?

                    1. Iran Air Flight 655

                      Which was itself part of the ‘show of force’ (tanker war, Operation Praying Mantis, Operation Earnest Will. Operation Nimble Archer, covert ops, etc) we put into the Persian Gulf in order to help Saddam in his aggressive war against Iran. A war which prob killed 500,000.

                      And there are a ton of other instances where we have lied to them – eg promising an improvement in relations if they a)pressure Hezbollah to release American hostages in Lebanon, b)militarily destroy the Taliban in western Afghanistan (see 2001 Battle of Herat).

                      Not saying Iran is friendly at all – or ever will be. But assholes like you are fucking clueless about ACTUAL history cuz all you want to do is stroke your warboner

        2. “chanting and not attacking,”
          You might want to discuss that statement with the former US Embassy staff.

          1. The ignorance those twats display…not like the Iranian revolutionary guard hasn’t been accused of killing Americans in the Iranian or beirut embassy, hijacking a twa flight, or bombing a hotel full of Americans in Iraq, among other things lol.

            They literally have to ignore reality to make their high-horse pacifist shit seem even remotely rational.

            1. Us blaming the revolutionary guard for everything in the ME is the equivalent of Latin American regimes blaming everything on the CIA. It is a useful, if worn out excuse intended to feed a narrative, rather than reflect reality.

      4. Wait Wait Wait. . .what were all the other shows of force then?

        How much killing have we done in Iraq up to this point?

        Do we really need another show of force?

        1. Cuban missile crisis, Reagan’s approach to the USSR.
          If one demonstrates the resolve to act in response to direct aggression, one forces the opponent to either back down or face consequences.
          Iran could imprison US service members because Obama had made it clear that his “deal” was of utmost importance to him, thus Iran would face no consequences; Obama wouldn’t risk their deal.
          Kennedy and Reagan gave the impression to the Soviets that they’d respond with force to further provocation. Thus, that provocation stopped.
          Iraq, as a demonstration of force, worked well enough on Qaddafi among others.
          Iran has been agitating. The response to that agitation is clearly intended to keep them from continuing to do so and going further.

          1. Incidentally, Iran reportedly halted nuclear weapons development in 2003 – 2 years after the invasion of Afghanistan and the year the US invaded Iraq.
            In 2011, 2 years after withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Iran tried to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in a DC restaurant

          2. “Iran has been agitating. ”

            Only since 1979. What makes you think Trump’s adding a few troops to the region will put a stop to this agitation when the untold turmoil and suffering the US has unleashed on the country since 1979 hasn’t caused them to change their agitating ways?

          3. The problem with always relying on bluffing is that someone will eventually call you. And this is not a two-person game. Even if we can beat Iran, we will have lost to China and Russia.

      5. This is a country that routinely chants “death to America”

        Wait, *countries* engage in speech now?

        So because certain individuals in the Iranian government don’t like certain individuals in the US government, that means it’s time to kill huge numbers of Iranians who don’t particularly care one way or another, or perhaps even like the US?

        1. You’re incredibly stupid.

          1. As soon as I saw it was Pedo Jeffy I knew he would say something like that. I truly hope he meets some MS-13 members and they gang rape him to death after he runs his mouth saying his usual stupid shit.

            It just seems fitting.

            1. Running your mouth is all you have left, Last of the Shitlords.

              Well, that and obsequiously complying with the rules established by your betters after stomping your preferences in the culture war.

              Toe that line, clinger, and mouth off all you like.

              1. Bitch, I can do so much more than that. Come for a visit and I’ll show you.

                1. So, so brave, little boy.

                  Just sitting behind your keyboard lusting for blood.

                  1. Yep, the blood of the traitors, the progressives. But any thirst for death and violence I have is eclipsed times a billion by progressive trash. One only needs to look at the one hundred fifty million dead caused by your fellow travelers over the last century or so to see that.

                    You are pure evil, just like them. My hatred is a response to your evil, and your covetous plans to continue that spree of murder and oppression.

                    1. Hey, hold on, Shiteater.
                      You are the progressive here and purely evil in your list for blood. Only progressives love the government intervening in the economy with tariffs and threatening military action wherever it “feelz” a threat to it empire.

                      I’m sure when you get on your knees and pray to your sweet jeebus you ask him to cast all of uswho don’t want to suck Trump’s cock into hell.

                      You are one fine christian, Shiteater.

                    2. No, you’re the evil one. And for the record, I’m agnostic. Ypu are almost certainly a PB sock, and therefore complete scum.

      6. A thoroughly negotiated multilateral agreement preventing the development of powerful weapons by a theocratic autocracy is also a good way to prevent conflict. Oopsie!

        1. Immediately after that agreement was signed, and billions in unmarked bills of various currencies were sent from the US to Iran’s theocratic regime, Iran captured 10 US soldiers and flaunted it to the world.

          1. Tony will gleefully let these people work their evil to their dark heart’s one thing that makes me happy is that should Islam ever get out of hand and establish their murderous caliphate here that a fanny bandit like him will die first, and horribly. Oh, the bitter irony.

      7. “This is a country that routinely chants “death to America” and has been doing so for 40 years”

        Well it hasn’t work so far, we’re still here. Are you worried they might eventually try another strategy?

        1. They will fart in our general direction and then taunt us a second time.

    2. Tards don’t make good tard-wranglers. Besides, I’m sure once someone explained to Trump that war-time incumbents are a virtual lock for re-election, he got completely on board. That he promised no new wars means nothing.

  3. “We are going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective,”

    2 armor divisions, a couple of air wings, and a public affairs unit.

    1. And a partridge in a pear tree!

      What America needs NOW is a BIG, Beautiful WALL between us and the Iranians, paid for by the Iranians!!!

      1. When things get ugly, you’re the kind of useless idiot that gets scraped off first. Often by your own people when they figure out you’re a danger to everyone around you because of your boundless stupidity.

    2. Trump – “We are going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective”

      Not good, but 1500 isn’t exactly a build-up.
      Most smaller annual training exercises dwarf that. Two armor divisions and a couple of air wings can be 50,000 – 65,000 people, not 1,500.

      1. They’re never gonna tell you when that number ramps up.

        1. But will Trump let it happen?
          No matter the insinuations by campaigning candidates like Sanders and Amash, Trump has been the most vociferously anti-intervention president, since, well, ever.
          1500 people to protect shipping, ports, etc. is pretty small beer too. I guarantee you Bolton and the Pentagon wanted tenfold.

          1. It was what 6 weeks ago that Trump said we were pulling our troops out of Syria – and his R’bots here said ‘see he’s the most vociferously anti-intervention president since well ever’ – just like you just did. Two days later, Bolton went to Israel to assure them that we wouldn’t be getting out of Syria until Iran abandoned Syria/Hezbollah. Like Iran is just gonna abandon fellow Shiites to Sunnis cuz we want them to.

            Now Trump is doing exactly what Bolton said he would do. Just moving troops from one place to a slightly different place in the neighborhood – in order to provoke. Trump ain’t gonna ‘stop’ anything. He’s too stupid and lazy, his attention wanders too frequently to the next shiny object, and he’s a total narcissist which means anyone who can successfully appeal to his ego will get whatever they want.

            1. This would mean more coming from someone whose moniker wasn’t short for JewFree.

  4. also announced today that heightened tensions with Iran constitute a national emergency, thus allowing the administration to approve $8 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia without authorization from Congress

    What we need is a czar of national emergencies to coordinate them all.

    the lack of a clear strategy from the Trump administration raises the risks that these incremental moves will spiral into a conflict that no one really wants (except maybe John Bolton)

    What we need is a policy tweet from Trump.

    1. What we need is a new Frank Sinatra

  5. I’m not so sure that the people of this country will be so rah-rah for a war this time around. They’re really gone have to get the dog wagging to drum up the yokel support and silence the hippies and commies in the media.

    1. Don’t have to get popular support for a war anymore. Not with an all-volunteer army.

      Media support – yeah need that. But more to divert people’s attention to different shiny objects than to ‘sell’ some war.

    2. What do you think they’ll do, rise up and revolt? Nobody in America will do anything. They won’t even change their partisan party vote. They might bitch and moan, but the country is too hypnotized by media and power to do anything, ever.

      Settle in for the fuckening, it’s coming soon.

  6. “The Trump administration also announced today that heightened tensions with Iran constitute a national emergency, thus allowing the administration to approve $8 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia without authorization from Congress.”

    Actually, couldn’t Congress block this if so inclined?

    Also, my understanding is that Trump is invoking a little used provision in a law that was passed by Congress a long time ago–a law that gives the president the discretion to do precisely this kind of thing. That’s different from Trump doing something “without authorization from Congress”.

    Regardless, that headline is a probably misleading where it says Trump is “sending weapons to the Middle East”. That makes it sound as if taxpayer money might be involved–but it isn’t. Trump is approving arms sales that were pending. He is not sending weapons to the Middle East.

    It’s especially misleading in a post about sending troops to the Middle East, which may well be costing the taxpayers something–are troops paid more when they’re deployed?

    Actually, is there anything about this post that isn’t misleading? Can anybody spot the honest truth in there? Where’s Waldo now?

    1. Party pooper.

    2. Also, my understanding is that Trump is invoking a little used provision in a law that was passed by Congress a long time ago–a law that gives the president the discretion to do precisely this kind of thing. That’s different from Trump doing something “without authorization from Congress”.

      It is different, you are right. It means that past Congresses, as well as the current one, should share blame for this. But it doesn’t exempt the president from blame–nothing forced him to do this.

      1. Yeah, standing up Grandma for Thanksgiving is bad, but if there’s a law that says you can do that, then you aren’t doing it without the approval of Congress.

        Also, it isn’t clear to me that approving arms sales to our allies in the Middle East is bad like leaving Grandma with a Turkey to eat all alone on the holidays is bad.

        If approving arms sales to our allies is the alternative to fighting Iran’s proxies ourselves, then American contractors selling conventional weapons to our allies might be a good thing.

        Also, in a purely libertarian world, should arms contractors need the approval of government to sell weapons to our allies? Isn’t that the principled Libertarian question to ask?

        1. If approving arms sales to our allies is the alternative to fighting Iran’s proxies ourselves, then American contractors selling conventional weapons to our allies might be a good thing.

          Why not just not fight Iran at all?

          Also, in a purely libertarian world, should arms contractors need the approval of government to sell weapons to our allies? Isn’t that the principled Libertarian question to ask?

          It is, that’s true, but I don’t think the president approving the sales to a specific ally (which evidently is required by law) is a particularly libertarian thing. The president arguing that there should be no restriction, or rather, that he will approve sales to any country, would be pretty libertarian.

          1. It would be libertarian if it wasn’t filled with cronyism. If the government is involved in any way, at least one connected politician is making a shitload of money.

            Why would you even give them the benefit of the doubt? Nearly every single politician at one point or another has proven that they’ll sell themselves like whores to whoever they can whenever they can.

            1. So you’re saying that Congress or the president should need to approve arm sales because of cronyism?

              Seems like it should be the other way around if you’re trying to fight cronyism.

              Anyway, if government has any legitimate purpose at all, it’s to protect our rights, and that’s also the only legitimate purpose of our military–to protect our rights from foreign threats. If selling letting American arms dealers sell conventional weapons to our allies is more conducive to avoiding direct involvement, then that’s a good thing–even if selling weapons did somehow lead to cronyism. I certainly don’t think we should fail to protect ourselves against belligerent states like Iran because to do so might mean cronyism.

              Oh, and in the present tense, I don’t really care why Iran is belligerent either. I think the government should our rights from foreign threats–even if they have a good reason to be angry.

            2. Ken thinks Donald fucking Trump is an exception to that rule.

              Yeah, I don’t get it either.

              1. Of course you don’t Tony. Your cognition is extremely limited. You are a weak, facile little toad. Working so hard to be a good let to your progtard elite masters.

          2. “Why not just not fight Iran at all?”

            Not sure what definition of ‘fight’ you’d like to use, but mostly because Iran is/intends to ‘fight’ us.
            The point of “ramping up tensions” (apparently unilateral, since nobody but Trump has agency according to some people) is to dissuade Iran from upping the ‘fight’

            1. When and where, idiot?

              1. What?
                Nevermind. Don’t answer.
                Not a single thing you’ve ever posted has contributed to any discussion.

                1. I think he’s confusing you with me. I’ve already been challenged to a fight. Which is cute. The little bitch does need to be slapped around though.

                  1. Too bad you don’t have the balls, Shiteater.

                    1. PB, you couldn’t fight your way out of a nut sack. where you would be quite at home.

        2. There is no such thing as a purely commercial weapon. Not at this level, we are not talking handguns here.

          I wondered about what this deal since we will not find the details in open sources. Raytheon does not stockpile patriot batteries or javelin missiles in a warehouse somewhere.

          I suspect at least some of it we are talking about existing stocks or some in production to be diverted to Saudi Arabia and paid for which will then go into paying to replenish them. Or wherever the money goes.

          So far as libertarianism and Defence. Sure it is better to keep advanced weapons out of the hands of potential adversaries. Lockheed-Martin did not develop the f-35 the way Apple developed the iPad.

          Even then when you get an international partner, say Israel and the f-35 program, it is part of the deal that Israeli engineers, pilots, all of them are involved through the process and their version will be different.

          So not just a simple commercial transaction.

    3. “…are troops paid more when they’re deployed?”

      Yes, they are paid “combat pay” even when it is “theoretical combat” pay, and they are paid “per diem” (per day) extra pay for deployment. I say that as a veteran.

      Also the industrial-military complex gets paid more whenever there is wear and tear on military gear, and gear needs replaced or repaired. There ARE special interests that get more money, power, and glory, whenever the armchair warriors get more war boners!

    4. Also, my understanding is that Trump is invoking a little used provision in a law that was passed by Congress a long time ago–a law that gives the president the discretion to do precisely this kind of thing.

      So here’s the thing. Trump has been invoking “emergencies” left and right in order to exploit these loopholes. Aluminum and steel tariffs? Emergency. Potential car tariffs? Emergency. Border wall? Emergency.

      Now he’s saying, there’s some kind of emergency going on and we need to let all of these different countries buy weapons. What’s the emergency? They don’t bother to say. What’s changed? Who knows.

      Is that what the rule of law looks like?

      1. “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone…”
        Oh, wait.

        1. It’s all fun and games until the “wrong guy” is in office.

    5. which may well be costing the taxpayers something–are troops paid more when they’re deployed?

      Troops aren’t paid more – but all the costs of deployment and extra ordnance and the equipment that will be left over there (and the amount that will be diverted for bribes and other slush fund type stuff) is incremental spending that is not included in the defense budget but in an off-budget category called ‘Overseas Contingency Operations’ – with very little oversight and no sequestration which has amounted to $1.8 trillion since 2001.

      Before 2001, that spending was within a year or so rolled into the actual defense budget. Since 2001, it has remained separate – and 18 years later it allows us to pretend these war don’t actually cost us anything cuz they never show up in the budget or in any public discussion of that war. So war itself can quickly become invisible since the media doesn’t pay attention and no one else does either unless they have relatives deployed.

    6. Ken, Reason just wants to bash Trump.

      1. And all you want to do is suck Trump’s cock, little boy.

        1. That idea makes you not doesn’t it, faggot? Bet you would like to watch, before Trump plows your asshole, just the way you fantasize, right pillow biter? Just praying for that presidential reach-around while he fucks you like the little bitch you truly are.

          I’m sure you jizzed on your keyboard just reading that. Like the sloppy bottom you are.

    7. “Actually, is there anything about this post that isn’t misleading? ”

      What part of Easter Worshipper Britschgi did you miss?

  7. When Congress fails to pass the laws the President wants passed, it forces the President to use his pen and his phone to get these laws enacted. Obama said that and a whole herd of pundits agreed with him. A whole other herd of pundits warned that setting such a precedent for whomever followed after Obama might not be wise. And here we are.

    1. Did Congress pass a law that authorizes Trump to do exactly what he’s doing? Was it signed into law by an earlier president?

      If so, then he isn’t exactly doing it without authorization from Congress.

      Maybe Congress needs to take back their proper role within the separation of powers, but if they need to do that, isn’t it because the presently authorizes the president to do these kinds of things?

      1. Arguably he’s using a power unconstitutionally delegated to him by Congress. It’s way too much to ask for, I know, but it would be nice if we had a president who didn’t constantly try to accrete power (and equally nice to have a Congress that fought the president on this in a meaningful way at every step).

        1. I don’t see how he’s even doing that – until they start committing acts of war.

          So if he throws up a blockade or starts shooting, then he needs to go to congress for a declaration of war. And for some reason the war powers act gives him plenty of leeway to go ahead and invade a foreign country before getting that declaration. Which, I believe, would be an unconstitutional delegation of authority.

          1. Yeah, it also needs to be emphasized that this is not about the president spending taxpayer dollars.

            This is not about Trump “sending” American military owned hardware to our allies.

            He’s giving American companies permission to sell this hardware. That’s pretty much all we’re talking about.

        2. “Arguably he’s using a power unconstitutionally delegated to him by Congress.”

          I’ll buy that, and I think that’s the lesson to learn from this. I’d love to read that article if someone would write it! Instead, we got a bunch of misleading statements that don’t really stand up to scrutiny.

        3. “.. unconstitutionally delegated to him by Congress. ”

          Congress has no authority to delegate their authority via statute? Statute they can then modify or rescind?

          Call it irresponsible if you wish, but calling it unconstitutional is patently absurd.

    2. Its worth mentioning that Obama did not defy Congress, he simple acted within his powers when Congress failed to act. Congress could not pass an immigration law and so President Obama set up DACA for the dreamers. With President Trump you have a different situation. Congress has explicitly told him “no wall” and “no arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen”. His response is to go around Congress declaring national emergencies. I don’t think we have an equivalency with these actions. Am I wrong?

      1. “Its worth mentioning that Obama did not defy Congress, he simple acted within his powers when Congress failed to act. Congress could not pass an immigration law and so President Obama set up DACA for the dreamers. “

        Congress’ enumerated powers include “setting the rules of naturalization”. If Obama set rules that determine if and how people become naturalized, then he was not acting within “his powers”. Those powers belong to Congress.

        1. President Obama did not change the naturalization policy. He simple set the priorities for enforcement and then said we are not going to harass Dreamers if they are following the rules. President Trump on the other hand was told “no” and his response was I don’t follow rules. Big difference.

          By the way Congress can address immigration policy any time they want all it takes is a will and compromise.

          1. He gave them an exemption to the rules of naturalization by way of a permit–and that’s not changing the rules of naturalization?

            How is this different from claiming that Obama didn’t go to war in Libya because Congress never declared war? The fact that he went to war in Libya without congressional approval is not evidence that he did not go to war.

            I supported what Obama wanted to do in Libya–I just opposed it on the grounds that he was violating the Constitution. It is unnecessary to pretend that what the president is doing is constitutional just because you support it. I’m also a qualified open borders guy. Just because I don’t like the president deporting dreamers doesn’t mean I have to pretend the the president exempting people from the rules of naturalization is perfectly constitutional.

            Things are true or false regardless of whether we like the implications.

            Meanwhile, we lose support for our arguments when we bury them in bullshit, and pretending that the president granting a two year exemption to the rules of naturalization as set by Congress isn’t the president messing with the rules of naturalization is burying your argument in bullshit.

      2. Mod, everything you said is complete bullshit. Obama acted unconstitutionally, and trump has not.

        Are you really this stupid, or just a liar?

        1. Do you never wonder if you’re wasting what few precious years you have left being a cum dumpster for the Republican party?

          1. It’s what gives his little life meaning, Tony.

          2. No, but I hear the position is open. You an Peter can rot in on that. You both like your assholes plowed.

            1. So you don’t wonder about how pathetic your life is, what with spending it taking bucketfuls of spooge into your every orifice from a political party that has done nothing in the better part of a century except start fake wars, fail to prevent terrorist attacks, torture people, and destroy economies? They do say ignorance is bliss, but I wouldn’t exactly describe you as happy-go-lucky, so what gives?

              1. Sorry Tony, I don’t go in for the homo turn on talk like you do. You can probably go fuck Peter/PB’s ass though. You probably want to bring some child porn to get him excited first. He likes that vile shit

  8. That headline is just straight-up dishonest. Nothing in that announcement requires authorization from congress. So in no way is he “bypassing” congress.

    On the other hand, it certainly is possible that he is preparing to bypass congress. Presidents after Bush II went to congress for authorization to use force have not seen fit to even so much as follow laws requiring notification to congress when attacking other countries. So far Trump has not followed this pattern, but he’s still got a lot of time to change that.

    1. They better impeach him right away! Thinking about doing stuff!

  9. Bolton is a fucking tool. Hammer, nail, you know the proverb.

  10. POO* bypasses reality, goes straight to Fox Business Network propaganda

    Trump retweets doctored video of Pelosi to portray her as having ‘lost it’


    *President Orange Obstruction

    1. Stop posting kiddie porn shreek.

    2. PB, kill yourself right away. Them no more children will be raped by you.

  11. A nice contrast between Amash and Bernie. The mentions quotes congressional powers and checks & balances while the latter strokes his own ego. Fuck Bernie.

  12. Someone needs to channel Dr. Strangelove and explain that you can’t wag the dog unless you specify exactly what fake reason you’re starting a fake war over.

    That said, Bernie Sanders, just shut the fuck up. Go be right about everything at your lake house. Whittle something.

  13. Bentota is a very pretty rural area,Most of the land is well shaded and sheltered by tall trees with coconut palm trees dominating the landscape.
    سريلانكا بنتوته منطقة ريفية جميلة،معظم الأراضي مظللة بشكل جيد ومحمية من أشجار طويلة بأشجار جوز الهند التي تهيمن على المناظر الطبيعية.

  14. I wish more of my fellow libertarians appreciated the fact that letting defense contractors sell convention weapons to our allies is probably the alternative to war.

    Neoconservatives would traditionally prefer the U.S. invaded rather than consort with nasty people like Putin in Syria or the vicious dictators that run Saudi Arabia. Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain would rather have invaded Syria than shake hands with Putin or would have rather America got involved in Yemen rather than let our proxies deal with the problem.

    It would be all butterflies and buttercups if the alternative to U.S. contractors selling conventional weapons to the Saudis were American isolationism, but that isn’t one of the options on the table. There isn’t anybody in a serious defense policy position that’s advocating libertarian isolationism–either Democrat or Republican.

    The choice isn’t between not being involved and letting U.S. contractors sell weapons to the enemies of our enemies. The choice is between those who want direct involvement and Trump’s reluctance to get involved in another quagmire (AKA pragmatism) by letting our proxies do the dirty work like they did during the Cold War. If your preference is for the United States not to go to war in the Middle East, you should probably support U.S. contractors selling arms to our allies so long as it’s done so by constitutional means.

    If you would prefer to go headfirst into another quagmire like Iraq because at least that way you don’t have to shake hands with people like Putin and House of Saud, then you’re not being principled if your principle is avoiding war. You’re just a fucking idiot who doesn’t learn from mistakes.

    1. “…letting defense contractors sell convention weapons to our allies…”

      Some libertarians might even balk at the notion that control of such sales falls within the government’s purview.

      1. I brought that up above, but, apparently, that wasn’t the kind of “principled” some of those people wanted to be.

        There are people out there who would rather go to war than let our defense contractors sell conventional weapons to our allies–on principle. They’re called “neoconservatives”. I don’t think that’s the kind of “principled” these people were trying to support either. I keep trying to tell them that the alternative to pragmatism and proxies is not Ron Paul. To the contrary, . . .

        The real world is full of trade offs, and not everybody in the government or the voting public believes everything “principled” libertarians believe. Those of us who try to do the best we can with the real world, real leadership, and real voters we have are “unprincipled”, I guess.

        That’s probably a good test for reasonability, much less libertarianism. The flip side of TANSTAAFL is that everything in the real world requires trade offs–including foreign policy. All these “libertarians” who imagine they can be “principled” without any trade offs are living in an imaginary world.

        There’s a word for people who think that “principled” means believing in something no matter the evidence or the consequences in the real world, too. That’s called “faith”, and it’s typically associated with religious belief.

        1. Ken,

          Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, United Technologies, others are really not just private companies.

          I can get from the post you get it.

          What I do not understand is the trade off between war and selling, whatever that is, to anyone. It is not about that.

          Perhaps you could explain to me.

          Avoiding war is good. This is not a box of cornflakes.

          1. If avoiding war is good in a particular situations, then avoiding war is also better.

            Avoiding war is better than proxy wars.

            Proxy wars are better than the U.S. going to war directly.

            Our allies are already at war with Iran. Iran asserted itself in Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere.

            So, the choice isn’t between proxy wars and no war.

            The choice is between proxy wars and our direct involvement.

            If Hillary Clinton or John McCain were in office, they wouldn’t be engaging in proxy wars. We’d be doing this ourselves, with our allies in Saudi Arabia behind us. Iran is a state sponsor of terror. They have a battle hardened, terrorist army called Hezbollah, who have been fighting in Syria for years. The reason Hezbollah hasn’t explicitly targeted the United States since elements that eventually coalesced into Hezbollah targeted our Marine barracks circa 1982 is in no small part because Iran fears our direct involvement. If we were to become directly involved in a conflict with Iran, that would no longer be the case.

            Isn’t the War on Terror against Al Qaeda and ISIS already bad enough? Do we really need to pick a fight with Hezbollah, too?

            Again, if avoiding war is better, than proxy wars are superior to direct wars, and the alternative to Trump’s pragmatism and willingness to work with vicious dictators like Putin and vicious murderers like the House of Saud may be the only thing that stopped us from going to war directly over Yemen and Syria.

            If you do not want war, then you should favor this over direct U.S. involvement.

            This is not a false dichotomy. Where are the powerful peaceniks in foreign policy? The correct answer is nowhere. The option where we do nothing in the face of Iranian aggression isn’t anywhere on the table. I’d like to offer to drop sanctions against Iran and form a trading agreement like we have with Mexico and Canada–but that isn’t one of the available options either. Donald Trump isn’t proposing that. No one in Congress is pushing that. None of the leading candidates for President are pushing that.

            It has no relevance in policy at the moment. It’s an ideal goal we should keep pushing in people’s minds so that if and when it becomes an available option, we can use it–but until then, like doing nothing in the face of Iranian aggression, it has no relevance in actual policy.

            It would be one thing if there were no war now, and pushing arm sales to the Saudis and the UAE might drag us into a war that isn’t even happening. In that case, defense contractors selling arms to our allies might be a gateway to war. That isn’t our situation. Our enemies are already at war with our allies, and they would be regardless of whether we sell them weapons. Selling our allies weapons is the alternative to direct involvement. If you prefer war, oppose selling our allies weapons, and you’ll probably get one eventually. That’s why necons oppose working with people like Putin and the Saudis.

            1. ” Selling our allies weapons is the alternative to direct involvement. If you prefer war, oppose selling our allies weapons, and you’ll probably get one eventually. That’s why necons oppose working with people like Putin and the Saudis.”

              As I’ve mentioned before, US has only one ally in the region. It’s not Saudi Arabia, Israel, ISIS, Iran or Hezbollah. It’s Turkey, the only member of NATO in the region. Neocons like Bolton, Trump and their backers have always been keen on working with Saudi Arabia. Normally you are not so incoherent.

              Question: Are the Russians/Syrians/Hezbollah fighting Al Qaeda/ISIS in Syria? And were Iranians in Mosul fighting ISIS? That’s what I’ve always thought. I thought of ISIS as an enemy but you seem to believe Al Qaeda/ISIS is our ‘ally.’ Very forgiving and Christian of you, but still.

  15. […] White House Bypasses Congress, Sends More Troops and Weapons to Middle East To Counter Iran […]

  16. […] keeps raising tensions with Iran, risking conflict. Bypassing Congress, the White House recently sent more terrorists and weapons to the Middle East to counter […]

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.