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Old 20th December 2018, 05:33 AM   #1
PhantomWolf
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Trump gives Putin Early Christmas Presents. Republicans stunned!

Just a week after his Special Envoy to Defeat ISIS stated that no one was claiming "Mission Accomplished" and that ISIS and other groups were starting to regroup and remained a continuing threat, Trump has tweeted and released a video declaring that ISIS has been defeated and he's bringing the Troops in Syria home and ending US involvement.

Many Republic Senators are upset and angry about the way this was done, and that Trump is even planning to do so calling it dangerous to the troops and an increase in the danger to the US.

The US had several thousand troops in Syria working with the Kurdish fighters to help them take and keep ground against ISIS. Removal of the troops and air support for these fighters will likely result in their being outgunned and out manned by ISIS fighters once more.

Russian diplomats tweeted that they were celebrating the announcement declaring that the US leaving will allow them to use diplomacy to stabilise the area and strengthen Arab Russia relationships.

Finally, it is reported that Turkey's President has been pushing for the US to withdraw and stop supporting the Kurds, which they see as a Terrorist organisations, and whom they consider to be the greatest threat to Turkish Sovereignty.

Oh, and the other presents, Trump has announced the lifting of sanctions against the business empire of Oleg V. Deripaska, one of Russia’s most influential oligarchs after a sophisticated multimillion-dollar lobbying for the lifting.

So Merry Christmas Presidents Putin and Erdoğan, enjoy yourselves as Trump works to make Russia and Turkey great again, all while joining his fellow traveler, General Flynn, in "Selling out [their] Country".

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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/19/u...sia-trump.html
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Last edited by PhantomWolf; 20th December 2018 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 20th December 2018, 06:37 AM   #2
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I think it's safe to say that the Syrian refugee crisis is about to intensify. Well, at least for those countries who are actually trying to be humane to their fellow man.
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Old 20th December 2018, 07:00 AM   #3
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Old 20th December 2018, 07:06 AM   #4
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Obviously, December 31st is a deadline for Trump paying protection money to the Russians.
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Old 20th December 2018, 07:12 AM   #5
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I cannot for the life of me recall what our victory condition in Syria was supposed to be.
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Old 20th December 2018, 07:24 AM   #6
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Hajin, the (small) last urban stronghold ISIS had in Syria fell last week to the SDF. ISIS is now on a tiny strip on the eastern bank of the Euphrates next to the Iraqi border, with no chance of crossing it because there huge forces of the PMU only wait for them to come because they have nothing else to do as ISIS doesn't exist in Iraq anymore, at all.

So Trump is correct and the scum you allow to propagandize you is lying, as always.

The real danger here is that Erdogan will use the opportunity to invade Syria and massacre the Kurds, which is his favorite hobby as we know. Some deal was made between him and Trump in a phone call last weekend.

Best outcome would be that the Kurds reconcile with Damascus as fast as they can and let the SAA back to guard the border with Turkey. That would be the end of the Syrian crisis.
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Old 20th December 2018, 07:26 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
So Trump is correct and the scum you allow to propagandize you is lying, as always.
Are you calling military and terrorism and diplomacy experts scum?
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Old 20th December 2018, 07:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Hajin, the (small) last urban stronghold ISIS had in Syria fell last week to the SDF. ISIS is now on a tiny strip on the eastern bank of the Euphrates next to the Iraqi border, with no chance of crossing it because there huge forces of the PMU only wait for them to come because they have nothing else to do as ISIS doesn't exist in Iraq anymore, at all.

So Trump is correct and the scum you allow to propagandize you is lying, as always.

The real danger here is that Erdogan will use the opportunity to invade Syria and massacre the Kurds, which is his favorite hobby as we know. Some deal was made between him and Trump in a phone call last weekend.

Best outcome would be that the Kurds reconcile with Damascus as fast as they can and let the SAA back to guard the border with Turkey. That would be the end of the Syrian crisis.
It would have been nice to finish off that little strip. Previously, whenever SDF started massing forces to move against Hajin and the area south of it, Turkey responded by saber rattling, troop movements towards the SDF areas south of the Turkish borders, some artillery strikes on SDF positions, that sort of thing. This would cause the SDF to reverse its troop movements away from the ISIS controlled area back towards the Turkish border.

ISIS still controls territory in Syria, and can still be a threat. This ensures that will continue. The Turkish government seems to want it that way.
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Old 20th December 2018, 07:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Just a week after his Special Envoy to Defeat ISIS stated that no one was claiming "Mission Accomplished" and that ISIS and other groups were starting to regroup and remained a continuing threat, Trump has tweeted and released a video declaring that ISIS has been defeated and he's bringing the Troops in Syria home and ending US involvement.

Many Republic Senators are upset and angry about the way this was done, and that Trump is even planning to do so calling it dangerous to the troops and an increase in the danger to the US.

The US had several thousand troops in Syria working with the Kurdish fighters to help them take and keep ground against ISIS. Removal of the troops and air support for these fighters will likely result in their being outgunned and out manned by ISIS fighters once more.

Russian diplomats tweeted that they were celebrating the announcement declaring that the US leaving will allow them to use diplomacy to stabilise the area and strengthen Arab Russia relationships.

Finally, it is reported that Turkey's President has been pushing for the US to withdraw and stop supporting the Kurds, which they see as a Terrorist organisations, and whom they consider to be the greatest threat to Turkish Sovereignty.

Oh, and the other presents, Trump has announced the lifting of sanctions against the business empire of Oleg V. Deripaska, one of Russia’s most influential oligarchs after a sophisticated multimillion-dollar lobbying for the lifting.

So Merry Christmas Presidents Putin and Erdoğan, enjoy yourselves as Trump works to make Russia and Turkey great again, all while joining his fellow traveler, General Flynn, in "Selling out [their] Country".

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/19/u...sia-trump.html
Soooooooooooooooo Trumpf craps on people once again.
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Old 20th December 2018, 08:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Are you calling military and terrorism and diplomacy experts scum?
If it pumps up trumpf those people incompetent tools who support the **** trumpf spouts will be happy , of course
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Last edited by fuelair; 20th December 2018 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 20th December 2018, 08:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Are you calling military and terrorism and diplomacy experts scum?
Is this a rhetorical question?
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Old 20th December 2018, 08:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
ISIS still controls territory in Syria, and can still be a threat.

Here's a map of what they still controlled last week. A handful of villages, surrounded by SDF, SAA and PMU.
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Old 20th December 2018, 08:24 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Here's a map of what they still controlled last week. A handful of villages, surrounded by SDF, SAA and PMU.
I'll balance that with a map that shows what ISIS will control for the foreseeable future.

Its the same map, of course. ISIS might have been finished off in a week or two, but for this announcement. Now they are secure again.

ETA: 2000+ ISIS fighters left south of Hajin. Turkey is threatening an invasion of Kurdish areas in Syria, so SDF will pull back from Hajin (again) to meet the Turkish threat. ISIS will continue to have a safe base of operations, albeit one that is smaller than what they had a few weeks ago.

Last edited by crescent; 20th December 2018 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 20th December 2018, 09:09 AM   #14
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Old 20th December 2018, 10:00 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
I'll balance that with a map that shows what ISIS will control for the foreseeable future.

Its the same map, of course. ISIS might have been finished off in a week or two, but for this announcement. Now they are secure again.

ETA: 2000+ ISIS fighters left south of Hajin. Turkey is threatening an invasion of Kurdish areas in Syria, so SDF will pull back from Hajin (again) to meet the Turkish threat. ISIS will continue to have a safe base of operations, albeit one that is smaller than what they had a few weeks ago.

I'm not saying that I disagree with you (and the SDF certainly agrees), but these remaining fighters are foot soldiers without supply and without support by the locals. They can't rebuild the "state" from that. They're technically finished.

And we just don't know what deals were made behind the scenes. Erdogan forced the timing apparently. Today he met Rouhani in Istanbul and they were all peace and stability for the region. Potentially, there could be a very good outcome of it (and everybody there wanted the US out, that much is true as well). Potentially, if the Turks really invade it could be a catastrophe for not only the Kurds. ISIS is in any case not a deciding factor in this anymore.
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Old 20th December 2018, 10:05 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
"We got most of the cancer. There's only one little malignant tumor over here."
And in Iraq, and in Libya, and in Egypt... In Yemen. In Saudi Arabia. In Iran. In Gaza. In Pakistan. In Afghanistan.

But somehow the Obama Treatment would have excised this particular tumor Real Soon Now.
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Old 20th December 2018, 10:49 AM   #17
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Althouse has an interesting post about the evolution of the NYT's opinion on this, over the course of three articles.

The first article says basically that this withdrawal is consistent with Obama administration policy, that Trump is doing what Obama would have done, and even Trump's Democrat opponents don't have anything to complain about here.

The second article says that Trump's decision is stupid and wrong, and the third article pretty much attributes the entire thing to Putin.
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Old 20th December 2018, 11:14 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Althouse has an interesting post about the evolution of the NYT's opinion on this, over the course of three articles.

The first article says basically that this withdrawal is consistent with Obama administration policy, that Trump is doing what Obama would have done, and even Trump's Democrat opponents don't have anything to complain about here.

The second article says that Trump's decision is stupid and wrong, and the third article pretty much attributes the entire thing to Putin.
Interesting, and Syria surely is a confusing and difficult issue, but is it not pertinent to remind one that Obama has not been president for a while, and thus a presumption of what he might have done now is just that - a presumption? I believe Mr. Trump's vocal position has changed in the time he has been in office. If that is a result of new developments or intelligence, then it seems reasonable to guess that Mr. Obama would have been privy to the same.

In any case, while I am not sure myself what, if anything, can be done right in this situation, I am curious what you would consider evidence that the current decision is either right or wrong. It seems easy enough, given the current mess, to justify any decision, and no matter what happens, to justify it retroactively. Is there any result that you yourself would consider to qualify or disqualify Mr. Trump's current position?
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Old 20th December 2018, 11:27 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
ISIS is now on a tiny strip on the eastern bank of the Euphrates next to the Iraqi border, with no chance of crossing it because there huge forces of the PMU only wait for them to come because they have nothing else to do as ISIS doesn't exist in Iraq anymore, at all.
If its really true that ISIS is relegated to such a small territory and is contained, then why not actually wait it out until they really are finished and we can see how the geo-political situation evolves? Such a tiny group of fighters with little logical support should be taken care of pretty quickly.
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Old 20th December 2018, 11:43 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
If its really true that ISIS is relegated to such a small territory and is contained, then why not actually wait it out until they really are finished and we can see how the geo-political situation evolves? Such a tiny group of fighters with little logical support should be taken care of pretty quickly.

Because that would make too much sense.
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Old 20th December 2018, 11:55 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
"We got most of the cancer. There's only one little malignant tumor over here."
Nah, it's more like, "We got most of the cancer so let's go ahead and smoke three packs a day instead of just two and a half!"
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Old 20th December 2018, 11:57 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by AnonyMoose View Post
Because that would make too much sense.
In fairness, they function pretty well as a guerrilla/insurgent force in areas "controlled" by other forces. Finishing off that little strip does not finish the organization.

That said, having a safe base of operations, no matter how small, is still a major thing for that sort of organization. It matters.
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Old 20th December 2018, 12:27 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Nah, it's more like, "We got most of the cancer so let's go ahead and smoke three packs a day instead of just two and a half!"
In this case, the tumor is also next to the cerebellum.
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Old 20th December 2018, 01:25 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
If its really true that ISIS is relegated to such a small territory and is contained, then why not actually wait it out until they really are finished and we can see how the geo-political situation evolves? Such a tiny group of fighters with little logical support should be taken care of pretty quickly.
If its really true that ISIS is relegated to such a small territory and is contained, then why do Assad, the Russians, the Turks, the Iraqis, et al need American handholding at this point anyway?
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Old 20th December 2018, 01:34 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Trump gives Putin Early Christmas Presents. Republicans stunned!
What exactly is at stake for us in Syria? What would staying accomplish? How much resources (both in lives and money) is it worth to accomplish that? How much resources will it take to accomplish that?

And if staying in Syria is important enough to spend lives and treasure, why hasn't Congress authorized it?

Maybe a good case for staying in Syria can be made. I don't know, it's a messy situation and there's a lot about it which isn't public information. But if we are going to stay, that case needs to be made to the American public. And it hasn't been. I don't know if withdrawal is a good move, but I'm not ready to conclude that it's a bad move.
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Old 20th December 2018, 01:42 PM   #26
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:18 PM   #27
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I guess that this would be good news for folks that want Donald Trump to start acting like a normal Republican. He's trying to screw over the Kurds just like Kissinger and Daddy Bush did.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:21 PM   #28
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Ooh the ISF military experts! Nobody here knows jack squat about what is really going on there. People will defend or attack Trump based on the little picture in their minds of what they think Syria looks like, and based on how they already feel about Trump. "I saw a documentary once!"

My thoughts on Syria - on the one hand I care about Syria. On the other I don't really give a damn. I got a busy day.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:24 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Ooh the ISF military experts! Nobody here knows jack squat about what is really going on there. People will defend or attack Trump based on the little picture in their minds of what they think Syria looks like, and based on how they already feel about Trump. "I saw a documentary once!"
Do you think it's possible Lindsey Graham knows more than you do?

ETA:
Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
My thoughts on Syria - on the one hand I care about Syria. On the other I don't really give a damn. I got a busy day.
Not too busy to come here to criticize other posters.

Last edited by Minoosh; 20th December 2018 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:29 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If its really true that ISIS is relegated to such a small territory and is contained, then why do Assad, the Russians, the Turks, the Iraqis, et al need American handholding at this point anyway?

Mind you, we're just talking about Iraq and Syria here. To stay in the cancer allegory, it has spread out, and been documented by the Russians how somehow these freaks can take a voyage to far away countries, to Libya, Yemen, Burma and first of all Afghanistan. There they are in a serious fight with the Taliban now.

It might be worth quoting Putin from today's Alo Presidente event the NYT based its latest thing covered in your interesting blog post on. Of course open source so I quote it in full for people who don't dare to click on a link to the Kremlin website:

Quote:
Rachel Marsden: President Putin, Rachel Marsden with the Tribune Publishing out of Chicago, United States.

Yesterday, President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the American troops from Syria. He also announced that, in his opinion, the United States defeated ISIS in Syria, he made that very clear.

What is your position with respect to his statements, both on the withdrawal of the American troops from Syria and also with his statement regarding the defeat of ISIS by the United States?

And, secondly, do you have concern that the American troops will remain in some form? There has been much discussion, for example, around the presence, potentially, of contractors in other jurisdictions where the United States is either out of militarily or might want to be out of militarily but in a more discreet way.

Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: As concerns the defeat of ISIS, overall I agree with the President of the United States. I already said that we achieved significant progress in the fight against terrorism in that territory and delivered major strikes on ISIS in Syria.

There is a risk of these and similar groups migrating to neighbouring regions and Afghanistan, to other countries, to their home countries, and they are partly returning.

It is a great danger for all of us, including Russia, the United States, Europe, Asian countries, including Central Asia. We know that, we understand the risk fully. Donald is right about that, and I agree with him.

As concerns the withdrawal of American troops, I do not know what that is. The United States have been present in, say, Afghanistan, for how long? Seventeen years, and every year they talk about withdrawing the troops. But they are still there. This is my second point.

Third. So far, we have not seen any evidence of their withdrawal but I suppose it is possible, the more so because we are progressing towards a political settlement. The current issue on the agenda is building a constitutional committee.

By the way, when we met in Istanbul – I mean Russia, Turkey, France and Germany – we agreed to make every possible effort to create this constitutional committee and Russia, for its part, has done everything in its power for this to happen.

As strange as it may seem, we fully agreed on the list of members with President al-Assad, who designated 50 people and was involved in selecting 50 more from civil society. Despite the fact that he is not happy with everything, he agreed with this.

Turkey, which represents the interests of the opposition, also agreed. Iran agreed. We submitted the list to the UN and, as Minister Lavrov reported to me just yesterday, unexpectedly, prompted by our partners – Germany, France and the United States – UN representatives (Mr de Mistura) decided to wait and see.

I do not understand what is going on there but at any rate, I want to believe that this work is in its final stage. Maybe not by the end of this year but in the beginning of the next the list will be agreed and this will open the next stage of the settlement, which will be political settlement.

Is the presence of American troops required there? I do not think it is. However, let us not forget that their presence, the presence of your troops, is illegitimate as it was not approved by a UN Security Council resolution. The military contingent can only be there under a resolution of the UN Security Council or at the invitation of the legitimate Syrian Government. Russian troops were invited by the Syrian Government. The United States did not get either of these so if they decide to withdraw their troops, it is the right decision.

There is another very important component in this process. Despite all the disagreements, our specialists, our military personnel, security services and foreign ministries have established a rather constructive dialogue to address acute issues in combating terrorism in Syria. Overall, we are satisfied with our cooperation.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:30 PM   #31
LSSBB
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Ooh the ISF military experts! Nobody here knows jack squat about what is really going on there. People will defend or attack Trump based on the little picture in their minds of what they think Syria looks like, and based on how they already feel about Trump. "I saw a documentary once!"

My thoughts on Syria - on the one hand I care about Syria. On the other I don't really give a damn. I got a busy day.
Through my military experience I know a bit about the Kurds. There are others here who very well may also have the same or better experience. I know some other things to about working with our allies, or lack thereof, in general. And alliances have both military and economic aspects.

But please, feel free to judge a bunch of people who are anonymous to you.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:34 PM   #32
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I think instead of keeping 2,000 troops in Syria we should send advisers to Viet Nam.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:35 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Ooh the ISF military experts! Nobody here knows jack squat about what is really going on there. People will defend or attack Trump based on the little picture in their minds of what they think Syria looks like, and based on how they already feel about Trump. "I saw a documentary once!"

My thoughts on Syria - on the one hand I care about Syria. On the other I don't really give a damn. I got a busy day.

I'm running a wiki on the topic for more than six years now, and from that experience I know that crescent is also well informed far beyond what one can pick up in the NYT or CNN. I'm sure the feeling is mutual. So you perhaps can get a glimpse into what's "really" going on by reading our posts, and if you can't add anything of value to the topic, simply don't.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:35 PM   #34
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Trump's own military advisers were shocked at his announcement. He is receiving bipartisan criticism from those who do know 'what is really going on there'. No Pentagon officials have supported Trump's decision. Bolton, Mattis and Pompeo all disagree with Trump's decision. Who likes it? Russia, Syria (Assad), Turkey and Iran. Go figure.


Quote:
President Donald Trump’s reported call for a rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria comes in stark contrast to statements by his own national security adviser, military leaders, members of Congress and the larger strategic aims laid out to aid Kurdish forces, and counter both Iranian and Russian influence.

Trump’s statement about victory over ISIS and subsequent media reports about a withdrawal of the estimated 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria surfaced Wednesday, seeming to catch Pentagon officials flat footed.
Quote:
The move counters public statements by national security adviser John Bolton to the United Nations in September that seemed to remove withdrawal from the options, even after ISIS was defeated.

“We’re not going to leave as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders, and that includes Iranian proxies and militias,” Bolton said at the time.
Quote:
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has noted the importance of U.S. troops on the ground to counter potential friction between the two U.S. allies.


“By having our officers and NCOs on the ground, we monitor that they are using what we are giving them for support to go against ISIS,” Mattis said.
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/y...urity-leaders/
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:42 PM   #35
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I can't help but suspect this Syria announcement is a "squirrel!" moment. Trump is backed into a corner right now with the wall/gov't shutdown looming and it's been a nasty week for him regarding the Mueller investigation. He's diverting attention. Trouble is, it's backfiring on him because, like most things he does, he doesn't think things through. He is impulsive and thinks Donny Knows Best starring Donald "I know better than the generals" Trump.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:53 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
He is receiving bipartisan criticism from those who do know 'what is really going on there'.

But those are those who know 'what's really going on' but don't want you to know. The permanent war party he keeps closer than his friends.
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Old 20th December 2018, 02:59 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Quote:
If its really true that ISIS is relegated to such a small territory and is contained, then why not actually wait it out until they really are finished and we can see how the geo-political situation evolves? Such a tiny group of fighters with little logical support should be taken care of pretty quickly.
If its really true that ISIS is relegated to such a small territory and is contained, then why do Assad, the Russians, the Turks, the Iraqis, et al need American handholding at this point anyway?
Because we have no idea how (or even if) the Syrians/Russians/etc. are going to handle the situation.

Earlier in the war, Assad spend more time and effort dealing with the non-ISIS threats to his rule. Its quite possible that, should the U.S. withdraw, Assad/Russia will ignore any threat that they pose because groups like the Kurds are better targets.

Its also possible that Syria/Russia may target ISIS, but do so in a way which 'The west' would find morally wrong (e.g. deliberate targeting of civilians in ISIS-held areas.)

Plus, Iran is also involved in the conflict. If it gains more influence in the area, it may mean a greater threat to Israel.

Of course, keep in mind that the person claiming that "ISIS was contained/not a threat now" was not myself, but another poster that I was referring to. My statement was meant to show a flaw in their argument (i.e. IF Isis is not a threat...) rather than an argument about their actual strength.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:22 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
"We got most of the cancer. There's only one little malignant tumor over here."
.
Unfortunately, the malignant tumor is at the top of the thoroughly tarnished white house food chain for now...
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:38 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
Trump's own military advisers were shocked at his announcement. He is receiving bipartisan criticism from those who do know 'what is really going on there'. No Pentagon officials have supported Trump's decision. Bolton, Mattis and Pompeo all disagree with Trump's decision. Who likes it? Russia, Syria (Assad), Turkey and Iran. Go figure.





https://www.militarytimes.com/news/y...urity-leaders/
Trump's announced Mattis is "retiring" in February. I wonder if Mattis knew it or just heard about it from Trump's twitter.
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Old 20th December 2018, 03:47 PM   #40
Stacyhs
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Trump's announced Mattis is "retiring" in February. I wonder if Mattis knew it or just heard about it from Trump's twitter.
Mattis resigned. His resignation letter basically declared he didn't agree with Trump on Syria and the treatment of our allies (Kurds) and that Russia and China aren't our friends. Mattis had enough of his idiot boss.
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