Tags: Donald Trump | Syria | pentagon | military | syria

NY Times: Pentagon Learning to Manage Trump

NY Times: Pentagon Learning to Manage Trump

By    |   Friday, 15 November 2019 10:09 AM

President Donald Trump’s recent backtracking on pulling U.S. troops out of Syria is the latest sign that the Pentagon has figured out how to manage the Commander-in-Chief, according to The New York Times.

Trump’s announcement last December that he planned to bring American troops back from Syria led to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigning in protest. The aftermath eventually pushed Trump to announce that about 1,000 troops would remain in the country until the Islamic State was completely defeated. Trump then decided in October that the remaining troops would be pulled out following a phone call with the president of Turkey. This prompted an outcry from Democrats, Republicans and national security advisers who warned that Trump was abandoning the Kurdish fighters who did most of the fighting against ISIS.

The military, led by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, quickly proposed two plans to keep U.S. troops in Syria. One called for a small force to hold a piece of land on the border between Iraq and Syria amounting to about 10 percent of the area. The other would attempt to keep control over just over half the area that American and Kurdish fighters controlled at that time. Trump then told Milley he wanted to keep the oil fields, prompting the Pentagon to “operationalize” a plan to do so.

“The Pentagon has figured out that they can couch things to manage Trump’s biases in some ways,” said former assistant secretary of defense Derek Chollet, who worked in the Obama Administration. “Don’t make it about saving the Kurds, make it about saving the oil.”

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President Donald Trump’s recent backtracking on pulling U.S. troops out of Syria is the latest sign that the Pentagon has figured out how to manage the commander in chief, according to The New York Times.
pentagon, military, syria
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2019-09-15
Friday, 15 November 2019 10:09 AM
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