During his Presidential Campaign in 2016, U.S president Trump promised that he is going to withdraw American soldiers from Afghanistan and Syria. Trump repeated his promise many times after he got elected. The “establishment” reacted against Trump’s promises. The choices of the foreign policies based on the consensus of the two parties were also in the same direction as the establishment. We should also remember that together with the “Israel Lobby” the “American Military-Industrial Complex” which is supported by the U.S.’s “perpetual wars” are also influential over Trump and the Congress. Therefore, Trump is cornered by many right now. However, Trump also has to keep the promises he gave to his people if he wants to be re-elected. Trump is struggling with such an equation.
Recently, Trump ordered the withdrawal of the U.S. soldiers deployed in Syria. Trump also signaled that half of the U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan are going to be sent back to their homes as a first step. Trump, who faced harsh opposition from the Republicans, was forced to slow down the withdrawal process in Syria.
Trump went against the establishment on issues such as “North Korea”, “NATO”, “unilateral free trade agreements”, “Iran Nuclear Deal”, “Russia”, and “China”. Trump who pulled the U.S. from the “Iran Nuclear Deal” and “Paris Climate Agreement” is basing his decision to withdraw the U.S. soldiers deployed in Syria on the ultimate defeat of Daesh. “The United States Intelligence Community” formed by 17 different institutions, however, disagrees with Trump on this issue.
During the last week of January, the Director of the “National Intelligence” Dan Coats revealed the “National Intelligence Strategy” report, which is updated every four years. The arguments in this report don’t comply with Trump’s choices. According to security specialists, if he had known what it included Trump wouldn’t sign this strategy document.
The Director of National Intelligence Coats and Director of CIA Gina Haspel gave briefings to the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. In the report, which the briefing was based upon, it is argued that it doesn’t seem possible that North Korea is going to give up its nuclear weapons, that Iran is continuing to observe the conditions of the Nuclear Deal, and that the threat of Daesh still exists in Iraq and Syria. In the report, it is also stated that the U.S. has to struggle with the security challenges caused by the climate change. Just as the fossil energy lobby in the U.S., Trump was also rejecting the role of human activities in climate change.
Trump harshly criticized the arguments suggested by Coats and Haspel in the Senate. By saying that time will prove himself right, he argued that their senate statements were distorted by the media.
A draft resolution prepared by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is like a warning for Trump. The draft resolution stating that the speedy withdrawal of the U.S. soldiers from Afghanistan and Syria may threaten U.S. national security was accepted Jan 31 after the two parties reached a consensus. While 68 voted “yes” for the resolution, 23 said “no”. The Democrats, whose names are among possible candidates for the 2020 Presidential Elections such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Cory Booker voted “no”. Among the Republicans, Ted Cruz, John Kennedy, Todd Young, and Mike Lee rejected the resolution. The Republican Senator who has been strongly advocating U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East missed the voting.
It is expected that this resolution will be added to a more extensive Middle East package in another round of voting which is going to be carried out sometime in the beginning of next week. This package also includes resolutions such as generous military aids to Israel and punishments for the initiatives calling for the boycott of Israel. This legislative package about the Middle East prepared by the pro-Israel Republican Senator Marco Rubio has been rejected twice because of Trump’s disagreement with the Democrats for not allocating funds from the budget to the “Mexican Wall”.