Trump yet again failed to bring troops home!22 October 2019, 09.50
In a tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump said “We are bringing our troops home,” in reference to U.S. forces in Syria. Then a strange development was afoot, and Trump deleted that phrase from the tweet in question. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement that around 1,000 U.S. troops deployed in northern Syria will be moved to the western regions of Iraq. So yet again Trump fails to bring troops home.
There is very serious opposition in Washington against Trump's attempt to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and Afghanistan. A bipartisan coalition is trying to deter Trump’s attempts. The Trump administration was conducting peace talks with the Taliban. However, the U.S. president had halted the negotiations, citing an attack by the Taliban. Trump hasn't given up though. Surprisingly on Sunday, Esper went to Afghanistan, noting that 14,000 U.S. troops in the country would be slashed by a third, but this reduction would be part of an agreement with the Taliban.
On the same day, another surprise was the visit of the President of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and her delegation to Afghanistan. The committee also includes the heads of the “Intelligence”, “Foreign Affairs” and “Homeland Security” committees. Mac Thornberry, a member of the Armed Services Committee, is the only Republican in the delegation. The same delegation was in Jordan before traveling to Afghanistan. It is clear that these visits are aimed at discussing Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan. We should also state that Adam Schiff and Eliot Engel, who chair the “Intelligence” and “Foreign Affairs” committees, are among the key actors in the notorious impeachment inquiry into Trump.
Even if the House of Representatives, where the Democrats hold the majority, decides to impeach Trump, this decision must be approved by the Senate, where the Republicans are the majority. The vote requires 67 votes in the 100-member Senate. Republicans are in the majority with 53 seats. It is not possible for Democrats to get the support of 20 Republicans. However, some Republican Senators who do not want U.S. troops in Syria to be pulled out may hold Trump's feet to the fire when it comes to the impeachment inquiry. The investigation could be used as a means to disrupt Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
As a matter of fact, Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham have turned up the heat on Trump with their critical rhetoric in recent days. Romney has harshly criticized Trump's request for an investigation into Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden's son Hunter’s business ties with Ukraine and China. This issue is within the scope of the impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives.
It was remarkable that Senator Graham hinted that Trump's attempts at the President of Ukraine could change the attitude of the criminal investigation if there were any criminal elements. Graham was standing behind Trump so far. It appears that Graham changed his mind after Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria.
Graham and Romney are among the heavyweights of the Republican Party, which are primarily concerned with protecting Israel's interests. In particular, Senator Graham sees the U.S. pullout from Syria as a dangerous development for Israel. He says that out in the open.
Thus, even if 51 members pointed their fingers at Trump in a Senate vote, it would be politically damaging despite it not having any legal repercussions. The Democrats will use such a development to tear down Trump, who is preparing for the 2020 elections.
Of course, these developments may be related to Trump's deletion of the phrase “We are bringing our troops home.” It seems that the dominant circles defending American interventionism will continue to operate the bipartisan mechanism to dissuade Trump from his decision to withdraw troops.