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Liberty News ForumLNF Forums HerePolitical Opinion Page - The Hot Seat › Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria (Read 15,476 times)
Demos
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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #370 - Nov 13th, 2019 at 9:29am
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The US Mission Tied to Syrian Oil Fields May Prove the Worst of All Strategic Options

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to remove U.S. troops from northeastern Syria — where they’d been deterring a Turkish incursion and thus allowing the Syrian Kurds to continue focusing on counter-ISIS operations — Trump has acquiesced in a different U.S. troop presence in Syria: near Kurdish-held oil fields. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has announced that, despite the new location for U.S. troops, their “mission remains unchanged.” That’s a puzzling statement—especially absent any real explanation for what the troops would be doing and why they’d suddenly be doing it based near Syrian oil resources.

This adjusted U.S. military presence in Syria has raised a range of concerns. Some are legal questions about a deployment seemingly focused, at least geographically, on another country’s natural resources. Others are messaging concerns, given how much this action “plays into toxic Middle Eastern conspiracy theories” of Americans’ desire to profit from Middle Eastern oil, as top U.S. diplomat Bill Roebuck warned in a leaked memo that revealed just how hard America’s diplomats had been working to explain U.S. policy decisions to our partners before Trump’s abrupt pivot. And still others are concerns about the fundamentally irrational nature of this approach. In that respect, I suggested that the linkage between a continued U.S. troop presence in Syria and oil wealth is an exercise designed to elicit Trump’s acquiesce in a continued presence of U.S. forces—hardly a rational approach to national security decision-making.

Despite all of these concerns, my instinct, at least initially, nonetheless had been to regard the continued U.S. troop presence in Syria as making a bad situation less bad, namely by mitigating the effects of Trump’s disastrous and utterly unnecessary withdrawal of U.S. troops from a different part of Syria. It seemed, upon preliminary consideration, that having some U.S. troops somewhere in Syria to fight ISIS could at least help with preventing the group’s resurgence, maintaining some influence over Syria’s future, and facilitating targeted operations like the one that eliminated ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—among other potential advantages.

Now I’m beginning to question that. It looks increasingly possible that, without a clear mission and with only contortionist Pentagon justifications and tenuous presidential support, the U.S. troop presence tied to Syrian oil fields may represent not just a legal and messaging problem but a strategic one as well...

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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #371 - Nov 13th, 2019 at 2:27pm
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Trump, with Erdogan next to him, on Syria: "We are keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for the oil."

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This sh*t is ridiculous.
  
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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #372 - Nov 14th, 2019 at 10:48am
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Pentagon's Esper sees Syria pullback taking another "week or so"

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington (Reuters) - The U.S. military pullback from the Kobani area in northeastern Syria near Turkey’s border should take “another week or so” to complete, Defence Secretary Mark Esper said on Wednesday, as the U.S. military repositions and reduces its forces in Syria.

Esper said that once the partial U.S. withdrawal was finished, the U.S. military would still have roughly around 600 troops in Syria, down from about 1,000 before Trump’s withdrawal order last month. Esper said the United States was still supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which Turkey views as a terrorist group.

“We’re still partnering with the SDF. We’re still providing assistance to them,” Esper said, stressing the SDF’s role in helping prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State militant group.

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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #373 - Nov 14th, 2019 at 11:03am
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U.S. Struggles to Keep Allies in Fight Against ISIS in Syria

WASHINGTON — As Trump administration officials try to convince allies that the United States remains committed to the fight against the Islamic State in Syria they are facing a significant roadblock: President Trump’s own policy reversals.

At a high-level State Department meeting scheduled for Thursday, diplomats from 35 nations and international organizations will be asked to stick with the campaign to eradicate the extremist group even after its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in an American raid last month...

“We’re keeping the oil,” Mr. Trump said at the White House ahead of a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. “We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for the oil.”

A day earlier, a senior State Department official said the primary role of the relatively small deployment of American military personnel in northeast Syria was to counter the Islamic State. Securing the oil fields was a “secondary mission,” said James F. Jeffrey, the diplomat who oversees Syria issues and is the top liaison to the American-led global campaign against the extremist group.

“U.S. forces in northeast Syria are there under an authorization to fight terrorism, specifically to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS,” Mr. Jeffrey said, using an acronym for the Islamic State. “That is our overall mission...”

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Jeffrey is full of it. And our allies should be concerned because our mission is clearly no longer about ISIS.

We're off the map; here be dragons.
  
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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #374 - Nov 14th, 2019 at 3:41pm
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Defense Secretary Esper asked by @joshrogin how 'oil' fits into U.S. military strategy in Syria: "The way we ensure the enduring defeat is to deny (ISIS) access to the oil fields because if they have access to the oil fields, they can just generate revenue," Esper says.

"If they generate revenue, they can pay fighters, buy arms, conduct operations," Esper adds.

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I followed up and asked Esper isn’t it true that the Kurds are selling the oil to the Assad regime right now? He said he doesn’t know how the Syrian oil market works.

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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #375 - Nov 15th, 2019 at 1:21pm
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Maybe, just maybe, some people should be impeached over the unconstitutional, illegal use of war powers.

You know, if anyone still gives a crap about that kind of thing.

Just a suggestion.
  
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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #376 - Nov 18th, 2019 at 2:24pm
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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #377 - Nov 18th, 2019 at 3:49pm
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As much as I've been aghast at our overly militaristic foreign policy these past few decades, this shit takes it to the next dysfunctional level. We're still there, ain't leaving any time soon, and Agent Orange has a hard on for Iran. But wait, there's more! We've a Congress that doesn't realize it controls the purse strings and could end this via funding, but they won't. They don't even talk about it. The R's are too busy defending Trump from the D's who are obsessed with the man and not the office.

Let's blame the bureaucrats!  Cheesy
  

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Oh noes! Virtue Signaling!!
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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #378 - Nov 19th, 2019 at 10:59am
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Pentagon Spy Agency Finds Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Aided ISIS

Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria following Donald Trump’s order for U.S. forces to pull back aided Islamic State and damaged ties with Kurdish-led militias, according to a new assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The DIA assessment, part of a quarterly report disclosed Tuesday by the Pentagon’s inspector general, concluded that Islamic State “exploited the Turkish incursion and subsequent drawdown of U.S. troops to reconstitute capabilities and resources within Syria and strengthen its ability to plan attacks abroad,” according to a summary.

The report’s preparation was delayed beyond its scheduled Sept. 30 deadline, according to Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine, due to the “significant developments” last month that resulted in the drawdown of U.S. troops. Since then, Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said about 500 to 600 of 1,000 American forces will remain in Syria, some at a base in the south of the country and others in northern oil fields...

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See, we can't leave yet. /sarcasm
  
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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #379 - Nov 19th, 2019 at 12:24pm
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Demos wrote on Nov 15th, 2019 at 1:21pm:
Maybe, just maybe, some people should be impeached over the unconstitutional, illegal use of war powers.

You know, if anyone still gives a crap about that kind of thing.

Just a suggestion.

Re: this. Apparently, Congress considered articles of impeachment for Nixon over his bombing of Cambodia...

Quote:
Late in the afternoon of July 30, the committee began debate on a proposed fourth article of impeachment, introduced by John Conyers (D Mich.) and charging the President with ordering and ratifying the concealment from Congress of the facts concerning the American bombing of Cambodia between March 17, 1969, and 1973. This secret action, stated the proposed article, was “in derogation of the power of Congress to declare war, to make appropriations, and to raise and support armies.” (Text, box next page)

“Many people have forgotten that the Congress constitutionally has that sole authority” [to declare war] stated Conyers, who charged that the President “unilaterally undertook this major military action against another sovereign nation and then consistently lied about it to the American nation.”

Elizabeth Holtzman (D N.Y.) described the American system of self-government as one which provided that the citizens, through their representatives in Congress, should participate in major decisions such as the decision to declare war. This participation had been denied them by the President's concealment of the facts of the Cambodian bombing, she said, urging approval of the article to give notice to this President and his successors that this “cannot be tolerated in a constitutional democracy.”

But the article was clearly doomed to defeat—by the combination of arguments that previous Presidents had acted in similar fashion, but escaped impeachment—and that Congress had forfeited this war-making power and to some degree ratified this undeclared war by its acquiescence.

Cohen charged that Congress had allowed the executive to usurp its constitutional power to declare war by its “sloth and default.” Congress then became something of an accomplice, he said, by allowing the bombing to continue for 45 days in its legislation ordering it to halt.

“President Nixon didn't start this war, but he ended it,” said Lott, adding that the bombing of Cambodia was a factor in the conclusion of the Vietnam conflict.

“Consideration of this article will determine whether or not we ratify” this secret bombing, argued Conyers.

Butler elicited the names of at least nine congressional leaders who had been informed of the secret bombing while it was going on. He noted that these people could have, but failed to, convey this information to other members of Congress.

“We will have redefined…and hopefully limited the powers of the presidency” in the impeachment proceedings, said Waldie, urging approval of the article to make clear that Congress would not tolerate the use of deception to obtain support for war.

Hogan responded, defending Nixon for “doing his duty as he saw it….It would be an American tragedy if he were to be impeached on this basis.”

“The mere fact that we are debating this matter” acts in some degree as a check on the exercise of the war power by future presidents, said Smith. Recalling that in his opening statement he had indicated more concern about this charge than any other. Smith said he would nevertheless oppose the article “because too many aspects of this situation are still not clear.”

“We in Congress share responsibility” for the secret bombing, Fish said, indicating his opposition to the article. He compared the matter to impoundment of funds where “for decades Congress itself was giving ground to the executive.” Now, with the passage of the budget reform legislation and the war powers bill, Fish indicated that he felt the situation was being corrected. The President was no more accountable for this bombing than Congress, added Railsback.

Conyers, conceding that this article “cut differently” from the others, agreed that were it not for Watergate—and the subsequent impeachment proceedings—no article like his would have been under consideration at all as a basis for impeachment.

Robert F. Drinan (D Mass.) described a vote against the article as a vote which “will say that any president can deceive Congress and justify it by saying he didn't want to embarrass some foreign prince.”

The article was rejected, 12–26, with every Republican voting in opposition, joined by nine Democrats.

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