Gareth Porter explains at The American Conservative, how President Trump has “offered the country a new course, one that does not involve a permanent war state.” Trump has blown up the the “transparent schemes” of the military industrial complex, which has been fighting tooth and nail to keep American forces in Syria.
This is the same playbook the war complex has used since Vietnam. Any time a president attempts to set a course away from forever-war, military advisers, generals, the media, and the military industrial corporations work hard to dissuade him. With Trump however, it didn’t work. Porter writes (abridged):
The mainstream media has attacked President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria as impulsive, blindsiding his own national security team. But detailed, published accounts of the policy process over the course of the year tell a very different story. They show that senior national security officials and self-interested institutions have been playing a complicated political game for months aimed at keeping Trump from wavering on our indefinite presence on the ground in Syria.
The entire episode thus represents a new variant of a familiar pattern dating back to Vietnam in which national security advisors put pressure on reluctant presidents to go along with existing or proposed military deployments in a war zone. The difference here is that Trump, by publicly choosing a different policy, has blown up their transparent schemes and offered the country a new course, one that does not involve a permanent war state.
The relationship between Trump and his national security team has been tense since the beginning of his administration. By mid-summer 2017, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford had become so alarmed at Trump’s negative responses to their briefings justifying global U.S. military deployments that they decided to do a formal briefing in “the tank,” used by the Joint Chiefs for meetings at the Pentagon.
But when Mattis and Dunford sang the praises of the “rules-based, international democratic order” that has “kept the peace for 70 years,” Trump simply shook his head in disbelief.
What part of Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan should be considered “keeping the peace?” Read more here.
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