Archive for the ‘Trump and US Military’ category

US President Donald Trump warns Iran’s Hassan Rouhani against threatening Washington; says ‘be cautious’

July 23, 2018

President Donald Trump is warning Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that he will face dire consequences for threatening the United States.


Trump tweeted early Monday about the dangers to Iran of making hostile threats after Rouhani said Sunday “American must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

By: Associated Press | Washington | Published: July 23, 2018 Financial Express

Source Link: US President Donald Trump warns Iran’s Hassan Rouhani against threatening Washington; says ‘be cautious’

Bonus Link: President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo Respond to Threats From Iran

{Iran knows they wouldn’t stand a chance in an all-out war with the US military. They’re betting there be no escalation on Trump’s part. Imagine that…putting the entire Iranian nation at risk on a bet. – LS}

President Donald Trump is warning Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that he will face dire consequences for threatening the United States.

Trump tweeted early Monday about the dangers to Iran of making hostile threats after Rouhani said Sunday “American must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.” Trump responded early Monday with a tweet that warned: “NEVER EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”

Trump earlier this year pulled the United States out of the international deal meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon and ordered increased American sanctions.

Rouhani warned Trump Sunday to stop “playing with the lion’s tail” and threatening Iran, “or else you will regret it.”

Trump has suggested Iranian leaders are “going to call me and say `let’s make a deal”’ but Iran has rejected talks.

Rouhani has previously lashed out against Trump for threatening to re-impose the sanctions, as well as for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and banning travel to the U.S. from certain Muslim-majority countries.

Trump’s tweet suggested he has little patience with the trading of hostile messages with Iran, using exceptionally strong language and writing an all-capitalized message.

“WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!,” he wrote.

Trump has a history of firing off heated tweets that seem to quickly escalate long-standing disputes with leaders of nations at odds with the U.S.

In the case of North Korea, the public war of words cooled quickly and gradually led to the high profile summit and denuclearization talks.

Pentagon Accelerates Testing Of New B61 Nuclear Gravity Bomb

May 3, 2018

by Tyler Durden Thu, 05/03/2018 Zero Hedge

Source Link: Pentagon Accelerates Testing Of New B61 Nuclear Gravity Bomb

{Speak softly and carry a big stick. – LS}

President Donald Trump’s promises to rebuild the American nuclear arsenal are starting to bear fruit, and according to a US Air Force general update from May 1, the US has already conducted more than two dozen tests of its new B61-12 guided nuclear gravity bomb.

As Military.com reports, plans to spend over $1 trillion to modernize the US “nuclear triad” – nuclear bombers and missiles launched from land-based silos and submarines – have been fast-tracked thanks to the new Nuclear Posture Review, as well as increased military spending authorized during the Trump administration.

As discussed before, the new gravity nuke has been in development for years, but Trump’s orders have sped up testing to the point where most of the air force’s mainstay military planes have been approved to carry it. And it’s widely expected that the B-2 Spirit and the futuristic B-21 Raider will be approved to carry the B61 as well. In addition to testing the B61-12, the NPR also calls for modernizing the air-launched cruise missile and intercontinental ballistic missile components of the nuclear triad.

As it stands, the US nuclear triad consists of the submarine-launched ballistic missiles, strategic bombers, which carry both gravity bombs and cruise missiles, along with land-based ICBMs. But the B61 possess an advanced capability that its cousins don’t: Underground penetration. This allows it to strike fortified command and control centers, while its explosive yield is estimated at 50 kilotons.

“We’ve already conducted 26 engineering, development and guided flight tests,” of the B61-121 gravity bomb Lieutenant General Jack Weinstein told the Air Force Association breakfast on Tuesday. “The program’s doing extremely well,” he said. – Sputnik.

{Actually, the above quote came from Military dot Com. – LS}

Weinstein explained that the bombs are capable of being carried by the B-52 Stratofortress and B-2 Spirit, which can launch both conventional or nuclear payloads, and also legacy fighters such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15E Strike Eagle.

“When I say ‘dual-capable aircraft,’ I need to be really specific,” he said. “Dual-capable aircraft is called the B-52 and B-2 – it does conventional and nuclear. It also means F-16s and Strike Eagles, and other aircraft our NATO partners fly.”

During tests back in 2015, the F-35 flew with the B61-12 to measure its vibration in the aircraft’s weapons bay. Both of the fourth-generation fighters will be able to deploy the B61-12 bomb. The B61-12 also conducted its third and final developmental test flight aboard an F-15E in 2015.

RT points out that the US could deploy its new B61 bombs to NATO bases in Europe – something Russia says would be tantamount to a violation of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. {Of course, RT would say such a thing. – LS}

The US isn’t the only superpower revamping its nuclear arsenal: earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin shocked the world by unveiling during his annual state of the union address a new nuclear ICBM capable of evading US anti-ballistic missile defenses.

One hopes that the US Military Industrial Complex will be foiled in its attempts to put these two weapons in head-to-head combat, even if it means lower profits for shareholders.

 

 

President Trump Thanksgiving video teleconference with members of the military. Nov 23, 2017 Fl

November 23, 2017

President Trump Thanksgiving video teleconference with members of the military. Nov 23, 2017 Fl, Via YouTube

American Soldiers Died in Niger Because of Obama

October 23, 2017

American Soldiers Died in Niger Because of Obama, Gatestone Institute, Daniel Greenfield, October 23, 2017

Of all the accusations hurled at President Trump, a lack of aggressiveness isn’t one of them. It isn’t his policy to deploy soldiers without a direct combat mission. That’s the opposite of his policy.

But Obama wanted to avoid triggering Islamic terrorists by fighting them too aggressively. And being in a war zone without a combat role provided the anti-war politician with plausible deniability.

American forces in Niger were there providing “advice and assistance to Nigerien security force counter-terror operations”. “Advise and Assist” missions were a staple of Obama era counterterrorism. Embedding American troops within local forces that may be unreliable or compromised carries obvious risks. But the Obama doctrine put public relations ahead of the lives of American soldiers. That doctrine cost countless lives in Afghanistan. And now it may have cost four more American lives in Niger.

If you want to look for the bullet that killed those men, look no further than Obama’s Cairo speech. 

Their deaths should be a reminder that appeasing Islamists always ends in war and death. If the Democrats don’t want war and death, they should end their backing for Islamists and empower our soldiers to defend themselves. 

*****************************

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson has come up with a new gimmick for getting invited on CNN. After exploiting the death of one soldier killed in an attack in Niger, she decided that if exploiting one soldier made her famous, exploiting the deaths of all the soldiers would make her even more famous.

Wilson has taken to calling the attack, “Mr. Trump’s Benghazi.” And she’s close. American soldiers died in Niger for the same reasons that Americans died in Benghazi. Both were fallout from the Arab Spring.

It wasn’t President Trump who deployed our soldiers to Niger. That was Obama’s doing. 

Congresswoman Wilson complained that they, “didn’t have appropriate weapons where they were” and that “they had trucks that were not armored trucks.” 

She is welcome to take up those objections with Obama. 

President Trump has been loudly criticized by Democrats for being too aggressive. It wasn’t his policy to have soldiers in Niger without a direct combat role.  It was Obama’s policy to put American soldiers in harm’s way without going on the offensive. And not just in Niger. American soldiers in Iraq and Syria were put in the same strange situation of being deployed in a war zone without a combat mission.

Except to defend themselves.

Or as Obama put it, “The recently deployed forces have deployed with weapons for the purpose of providing their own force protection and security.”

They were supposed to be playing defense, not offense.

Of all the accusations hurled at President Trump, a lack of aggressiveness isn’t one of them. It isn’t his policy to deploy soldiers without a direct combat mission. That’s the opposite of his policy.

But Obama wanted to avoid triggering Islamic terrorists by fighting them too aggressively. And being in a war zone without a combat role provided the anti-war politician with plausible deniability.

Obama could take credit for ending all the wars (he officially ended the Iraq War twice even before the rise of ISIS) while still keeping soldiers deployed in war zones. But soldiers in a war zone without an official combat role are far more vulnerable and more likely to be underequipped for a firefight.

American forces in Niger were there providing “advice and assistance to Nigerien security force counter-terror operations”. “Advise and Assist” missions were a staple of Obama era counterterrorism. Embedding American troops within local forces that may be unreliable or compromised carries obvious risks. But the Obama doctrine put public relations ahead of the lives of American soldiers. That doctrine cost countless lives in Afghanistan. And now it may have cost four more American lives in Niger.

The deaths in Niger also had deeper origins in Obama’s pro-Islamist policies and alliances.

Our forces were reportedly targeting the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. ISGS, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, is another Arab Spring baby. Adnan Abou Walid al-Sahraoui, its leader, had formerly served as the spokesman for the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) which was a splinter group of Al Qaeda. MUJAO was one of the Jihadist movements empowered by Obama’s illegal invasion of Libya. In the wake of the Libyan disaster, Jihadists seized control of large parts of Mali.

The French took the lead in fighting the Islamist forces. Obama led from behind by deploying American personnel to support the French effort. And that’s still the case. In Niger, we’re there to assist the larger French force. And so when our soldiers came under fire, they had to rely on the French for air support and evacuation. Those are the consequences of Obama ‘leading from behind’.

Our forces were outnumbered. French air support proved unable to offer useful help, but did succeed in evacuating the survivors. And the ambush raises questions about whether ISGS got lucky, or whether it was a setup. The Democrats suddenly seem very eager to find out exactly what happened, but whatever happened was due to policies and programs put into place by their own leader.

Obama’s Arab Spring regime change project and the illegal Libyan regime change operation that followed unleashed regional Islamist aspirations. Mali nearly fell because of Libya. American soldiers in Niger were killed by Islamist terrorists from a group led by the spokesman for that invasion.

But it’s not just about ISGS. One reason we’re in Niger is because we can’t be in Nigeria.

Boko Haram’s Jihadists have killed thousands of Christians in Nigeria. While the genocide continued, Obama officials worked hard to obstruct any effort to name Boko Haram a foreign terrorist organization. Only when the mass kidnapping of girls led to the #BringBackOurGirls awareness campaign, did some of the more overt obstructionism by Obama and his political cronies stop. But it certainly didn’t end.

Obama Inc. repeatedly hectored Nigeria for being too tough on Boko Haram. It refused to waive the Leahy amendment which meant that the United States (and even Israel) couldn’t sell weapons to Nigeria and had a great deal of difficulty in training Nigerian forces. While we couldn’t be in Nigeria because its soldiers insisted on killing Boko Haram terrorists instead of locking them up in a Cuban resort and supplying them with all the Harry Potter novels they could want, we could be in Niger.

And so we’re in Niger.

The Nigerien (as opposed to Nigerian) military hadn’t rubbed Obama the wrong way. And so the American presence in Niger grew. We now have some 800 soldiers there and a sizable drone base.

Deploying large numbers of personnel into a terror zone without a plan to take the fight to the enemy is a bad idea. When the Nigerien forces came under attack by as many as fifty fighters with RPGs and heavy machine guns, our soldiers were left exposed, with no one to rely on except the French. They were there officially for training and surveillance, but they were on the front lines instead.

Congresswoman Wilson and other Democrats would like to blame President Trump for the deaths in Niger. But the trouble in Niger has Obama’s fingerprints all over it from the Arab Spring to the “Advice and Assist” missions that aren’t technically combat missions, but often incorporate combat anyway.

The ambiguity was there to cover Obama’s fundament. It’s time to scrap it along with the rest of his policies. The Arab Spring genie may be hard to put back in the box and we need to seriously think about what we’re doing in places like Niger and whether we have a plan to win that isn’t dependent on the locals. Obama didn’t. Instead his counterterrorism policy marked time. From Africa to Afghanistan, it wasn’t about victory, but an inoffensive containment. And that meant not being too aggressive.

If we are going to have forces in Niger or any other war zone, they should have air support and the widest latitude for defending themselves. President Trump’s policies didn’t kill four Americans in Niger. Obama’s appeasement of Islamists and the anti-war left exposed American soldiers to harm.

If you want to look for the bullet that killed those men, look no further than Obama’s Cairo speech.

Their deaths should be a reminder that appeasing Islamists always ends in war and death. If the Democrats don’t want war and death, they should end their backing for Islamists and empower our soldiers to defend themselves.

The Kerfuffle Before the Storm

October 8, 2017

The Kerfuffle Before the Storm, PJ MediaClaudia Rosett, October 7, 2017

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, center, poses for a group photo with Senior Military leaders and spouses in the State Dining Room of the White House on Oct. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The first priority for any president inheriting this virulent global mess should be to try as far as possible to reclaim America’s credibility; to persuade America’s enemies  that the bargain sale on U.S. interests is over, and America will, if necessary, wield its full military might to defend itself, its allies and interests. That is vital to deterrence, which — if genuinely effective — is vastly preferable to war.

The conundrum is how America can regain the credibility needed for deterrence, without having to resort to war in order to prove the point. For instance, unless Kim Jong Un truly believes that the U.S. might actually attack North Korea despite the potential horrific cost, why should he back down? Why should he worry about U.S. warships and submarines in the region? It’s an impressive show of military hardware, but is it a credible threat?

For an American president faced with this problem, one move worth attempting would be to gather America’s top military commanders for a meeting at the White House, followed by a dinner with their spouses, and invite the press to come witness and report on this conclave. If, in the midst of this genial scene, the president mentions that this is the calm before the storm, it may be baffling and frustrating to reporters — whose job includes nailing down details. But in capitals such as Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and Pyongyang, it might just help prompt a rethink about the assumption — gleaned from their success in rogue ventures during the tenure of Obama — that America is a hamstrung giant.

There’s always the possibility that it was more than a broad warning — that perhaps Trump is indeed about to launch a specific military action. But to whatever extent this cliffhanger helps concentrate minds in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and Pyongyang on just how unpleasant it could be to provoke an American storm,  it was an important message. Quite possibly a bid to avert a war, rather than start one. Worth the kerfuffle in the press.

***********************************

With the phrase “the calm before the storm,” President Trump on Thursday evening kicked off one of the biggest media kerfuffles since his late-night tweet in May about “the constant negative press covfefe.” That mysterious locution produced a spate of stories speculating sardonically on what the president meant. We’re now hearing a similar round of mockery. But this was no late-night typo in a tweet, and while offended members of the media default to derision, it’s worth considering that the president quite likely sent a useful message to an audience that extends way beyond the White House press corps.

The setting was a dinner for top U.S. military commanders and their spouses, hosted by Trump in the White House State Dining Room. Trump invited reporters in for a brief photo-op. Flanked by military officials who have dedicated themselves to defending America and winning its wars, all gathered with their spouses under a big portrait of President Lincoln. Trump asked the reporters, “You guys know what this represents?”

“Tell us, sir,” said one of the reporters.

“Maybe it’s the calm before the storm,” said Trump. A reporter asked, “What storm?” Trump gave the oblique reply, “We have the world’s greatest military people in this room, I will tell you that.” A reporter asked, again, “What storm?” Trump said, “You’ll find out.”

The entire exchange lasted about 30 seconds. The reporters were thanked and dismissed. The media were left to speculate on whether the “storm” referred to impending military action again North Korea, or maybe plans to back away from President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, or something else, or nothing at all. Asked again by reporters on Friday what he meant by “the calm before the storm,” Trump again declined to clarify, saying again, “You’ll find out.”

This has been playing as a crazy-Trump story. CNN came out with the headline: “Trump is treating a potential war like a reality show cliffhanger,” and warned, “This is no reality show… His words — whether he means them as a tease, a threat or something in between — can have very real consequences.” Esquire called Trump “Our Reality TV President” and asked, “Will the season finale involve nuclear war with North Korea?” The New York Times called Trump’s comment “ominous.” NBC called it “provocative.” Politico called it “unprompted.” The Huffington Post, in a headline, called it “Bizarre.”

I’d call it smart. We don’t know precisely what the president had in mind. But we do know — or we ought to know — this: In world politics, there is a gathering storm that threatens America and our allies. There is a rising network of tyrannies hostile to American interests and values, including most prominently Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. The U.S. superpower can face down any one of these actors if it must, but the disturbing trajectory is that for years now — whatever their differences — they have effectively been making common cause against America and the requirements of a free and peaceful world order. They do illicit business together; they often back each other diplomatically, and they learn from each other just how much it is possible to get away with. Russia and China have been carrying out joint military maneuvers. North Korea, longtime weapons dealer to Iran, is cultivating an arsenal of nuclear missiles. The threats compound.

This trend accelerated dramatically during the years of America’s policies of retreat, appeasement, and surrender under President Obama. China, as part of its military buildup, sped up its construction of artificial islands topped with military bases clearly designed to threaten freedom of navigation along vital shipping routes in Southeast Asia. Russia snatched Crimea from Ukraine, and got away with it. Terrorist-sponsoring Iran extended its reach in the Middle East, and is currently benefitting from a rotten nuclear deal that paves its way to the bomb, accessorized with ballistic missiles. Syria disintegrated into war, which opened the way for both the rise of ISIS and military inroads by Vladimir Putin’s Russia into the Middle East. Libya, with America leading-from-behind, disintegrated into terrorist-infested chaos.

And North Korea, which had carried out one nuclear test in 2006 on the watch of President Bush, conducted four more tests during the tenure of Obama, along with scores of ballistic missile tests, while Kim Jong Un consolidated his hold on the totalitarian throne inherited in 2011 from his father. Taking advantage of Obama’s “strategic patience” to ramp up a rogue nuclear program, Kim Jong Un’s regime was ready to greet the Trump administration with an arsenal that by now appears quite convincingly to include long-range missiles, miniaturized warheads and the hydrogen bomb.

None of this is a figment of Trump’s imagination. Neither is it a prop on some reality TV show. It is real.

This is not of Trump’s making. But given the rate at which the threats and crises have been compounding, it falls to him to cope with a greatly emboldened group of increasingly well armed and predatory powers. This has been made all the more difficult by the enormous amount of U.S. credibility that was squandered by Obama — who gutted the U.S. military, bore passive “witness” to upheaval in Iran, erased his own red line over chemical weapons in Syria, threw away the hard-won progress in Iraq, bungled Afghanistan and Libya, promised (and delivered) flexibility to Putin, deferred to China, embraced Cuba, shrugged off the rising nuclear threat of North Korea, and assured the American public that the tide of war was receding.

The first priority for any president inheriting this virulent global mess should be to try as far as possible to reclaim America’s credibility; to persuade America’s enemies  that the bargain sale on U.S. interests is over, and America will, if necessary, wield its full military might to defend itself, its allies and interests. That is vital to deterrence, which — if genuinely effective — is vastly preferable to war.

The conundrum is how America can regain the credibility needed for deterrence, without having to resort to war in order to prove the point. For instance, unless Kim Jong Un truly believes that the U.S. might actually attack North Korea despite the potential horrific cost, why should he back down? Why should he worry about U.S. warships and submarines in the region? It’s an impressive show of military hardware, but is it a credible threat?

For an American president faced with this problem, one move worth attempting would be to gather America’s top military commanders for a meeting at the White House, followed by a dinner with their spouses, and invite the press to come witness and report on this conclave. If, in the midst of this genial scene, the president mentions that this is the calm before the storm, it may be baffling and frustrating to reporters — whose job includes nailing down details. But in capitals such as Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and Pyongyang, it might just help prompt a rethink about the assumption — gleaned from their success in rogue ventures during the tenure of Obama — that America is a hamstrung giant.

Whether that was Trump’s intention, I don’t know. It sure looked that way. In the phrase that so alarmed CNN and Esquire, there was a useful ambiguity. Trump didn’t guarantee a storm; he merely suggested it could happen. Surrounded by his top military commanders, in the seat of American power that is the White House, the commander-in-chief prefaced his statement about “the calm before the storm” with “maybe.” It was, in a genteel and peaceful setting, a warning not to mess with America.

There’s always the possibility that it was more than a broad warning — that perhaps Trump is indeed about to launch a specific military action. But to whatever extent this cliffhanger helps concentrate minds in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and Pyongyang on just how unpleasant it could be to provoke an American storm,  it was an important message. Quite possibly a bid to avert a war, rather than start one. Worth the kerfuffle in the press.

Trump Orders Military to Shoot Down North Korean Missiles

September 8, 2017

Trump Orders Military to Shoot Down North Korean Missiles, NewsMaxJohn Gizzi, September 7, 2017

AP

President Donald Trump has given military orders for U.S. forces to shoot down and destroy any missile launched from North Korea and moving toward the continental United States, Hawaii, and Guam.

Sources close to the president’s national security team tell Newsmax the order was given to Pentagon brass in the wake of last month’s threat by North Korea to fire a ballistic missile aimed at Guam, a U.S. territory.

“The threat provoked the president,” one source familiar with the decision told Newsmax.

Last Sunday, North Korea detonated a thermonuclear weapon. The communist regime claims they can fit the new device on advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles, known as ICBMs.

This week, South Korean intelligence sources said the North was moving an ICBM in an apparent preparation for another test launch over the northern Pacific and possibly Japan.

The president also is said to be considering a new “shoot down” order for any North Korean missile launched and moving toward Japan or South Korea, another national security source told Newsmax.

“This is a clear exercise of self-defense, and there’s no question we should do it,” former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told Newsmax.

Bolton said U.S. allies South Korea and Japan “are in jeopardy” and said the United States must take steps to protect them under treaty obligations.

The presidential order came after a flurry of recent provocations from Pyongyang.

In August, President Trump ominously warned the North Koreans that continued threats “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Soon after, North Korea answered Trump’s warning by threatening a ballistic missile strike off the territory of Guam.

The president quickly responded, saying any attack against the U.S. would be met with a fierce response.

“Things will happen to them like they never thought possible,” the president said, adding U.S. forces were “locked and loaded.”

The situation appeared to be de-escalating when North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un announced he had met with his military commanders and they would not fire the missile at Guam.

In a threatening move Aug. 29, North Korea launched from their capital Pyongyang what they said was an “ultramodern rocket system” — an intermediate range missile. The missile flew over Japanese territory and landed in the Pacific.

“There is general consensus in the White House and the Pentagon that North Korea is quite close to the ‘red zone’ and that the U.S. must act soon or lose the upper hand,” one official told Newsmax.

Bolton, who has advised the president informally on security matters, said the U.S. is being “driven in the direction of a preemptive strike because North Korea won’t back down.”

“We are close to the finish line,” Bolton said, referring to Pyongyang’s recent missile and nuclear developments. “It highlights how little time we have here.”

Just days after North Korea’s nuclear test detonation, Han Tae Song, the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told a disarmament conference the U.S. could expect more “more gift packages.”

If the U.S. military does act on President Trump’s orders to shoot down a missile, this would be achieved through different U.S. anti-ballistic programs under the aegis of the Missile Defense Agency.

Among these programs are the 26-year-old Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, (THAAD), whose “hit to kill” interceptors are designed to shoot down an incoming missile through kinetic energy that explodes the missile on impact.

“It’s called stopping a bullet with a bullet,” one veteran intelligence expert told Newsmax.

The technology appears to be working.

In late August, a day after the North Korea missile flew over Japan, the U.S. Missile Agency conducted a test that successfully struck down a ballistic missile off the coast of Hawaii.

The White House press office and the Pentagon declined to comment on this report.

At Thursday’s White House press conference held with the Emir of Kuwait, the president said while “military action would certainly be an option” in dealing with North Korea, he added “nothing’s inevitable.”

“I would prefer not going the route of the military,” he said.

Ignatius: Fighters in Syria Cheer Mention of Trump’s Name

July 3, 2017

Ignatius: Fighters in Syria Cheer Mention of Trump’s Name, Washington Free Beacon, July 3, 2017

 

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius said Monday that during his travels in Syria, rebel fighters there cheered any mention of President Donald Trump’s name.

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Ignatius prefaced his comments by warning that he would say something “sympathetic to Trump.” It was only the second airing of the show since Trump touched off a firestorm with his tweets mocking Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

“As I traveled across Syria meeting with Syrian fighters who were trying to take down the regime of Bashar al-Assad, every time the name President Trump was mentioned, there were cheers from the audience,” he said in a clip flagged by Legal Insurrection.

One Syrian Kurdish commander, Ignatius said, colorfully remarked Trump had the equivalent of what would be called “cajones” in Spanish. Ignatius said Trump’s looser approach allowed commanders on the ground to more expeditiously carry out operations.

“More seriously, the big attacks that have taken place around Raqqa, one in particular, a surprise landing by helicopter, I was told, by the top U.S. commanders, would not have taken place if it hadn’t been for President Trump’s decision to delegate military authorities down to the level of command,” Ignatius said. “Under Obama, that would have taken a couple weeks of White House meetings, and they still wouldn’t have made up their mind.”

In March, the U.S. airlifted hundreds of fighters in an attack to help cut off Raqqa, the Islamic State’s proclaimed capital. The New York Times reported this was a result of Trump’s delegating approach.

Trump ordered a retaliatory strike against Syria in April after Assad’s regime killed more than 80 people in a chemical attack. Last week, the White House publicly threatened him with a “heavy price” if he carried out another attack.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Trump’s warning to the Syrian regime to not deploy a chemical weapons attack saved “many innocent men, women and children.”