The Jury Talks Back

12/21/2018

Trump Syrian Withdrawal Decision Made During Phone Call with Erdogan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:53 am

You know how people were speculating that Trump’s sudden decision to withdraw troops from Syria was made due to his phone call with Erdogan? Looks like the speculation was right:

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria was made hastily, without consulting his national security team or allies, and over strong objections from virtually everyone involved in the fight against the Islamic State group, according to U.S. and Turkish officials.

Trump stunned his Cabinet, lawmakers and much of the world with the move by rejecting the advice of his top aides and agreeing to a withdrawal in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, two officials briefed on the matter told The Associated Press.

The Dec. 14 call, described by officials who were not authorized to discuss the decision-making process publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, provides insight into a consequential Trump decision that prompted the resignation of widely respected Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. It also set off a frantic, four-day scramble to convince the president either to reverse or delay the decision.

Even Erdogan was surprised:

Trump was not dissuaded, according to the officials, who said the president quickly capitulated by pledging to withdraw, shocking both Bolton and Erdogan.

Caught off guard, Erdogan cautioned Trump against a hasty withdrawal, according to one official. While Turkey has made incursions into Syria in the past, it does not have the necessary forces mobilized on the border to move in and hold the large swaths of northeastern Syria where U.S. troops are positioned, the official said.

My view is that if we’re going to be fighting a war, Congress needs to authorize that war.

But suddenly making a decision like this, without consulting anyone in advance, is reckless. Of course, recklessness is a hallmark of the man occupying the Oval Office.

1 Comment »

  1. And in other, equally reliable news, there’s a work stoppage by the elves in Santa’s workshop.

    That’s the NYT, at it again with their unnamed sources. Given their record, all this means is we have no idea what happened.

    Personally, I hope it’s not true, but it well might be (and if so, it’s appalling). But we don’t know.

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 12/23/2018 @ 3:47 am

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