U.S. President Donald Trump leaves the White House for a trip to Annapolis, Maryland, in Washington, U.S. May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria U.S. President Donald Trump leaves the White House for a trip to Annapolis, Maryland, in Washington, U.S. May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

For Trump the dealmaker, troop pullouts without much in return

By: MENA
Tue, Oct. 22, 2019
NEW YORK, Oct 22 (MENA) - The Taliban have wanted the United States to pull troops out of Afghanistan, Turkey has wanted the Americans out of northern Syria and North Korea has wanted them to at least stop military exercises with South Korea, The New York Times reported.

President Donald Trump has now to some extent at least obliged all three — but without getting much of anything in return. The self-styled dealmaker has given up the leverage of the United States’ military presence in multiple places around the world without negotiating concessions from those cheering for American forces to leave, the paper added.

For a president who has repeatedly promised to end the “endless wars,” the decisions reflect a broader conviction that bringing troops home — or at least moving them out of hot spots — is more important than haggling for advantage. In his view, decades of overseas military adventurism has only cost the country enormous blood and treasure, and waiting for deals would prolong a national disaster, the paper said.

But veteran diplomats, foreign policy experts and key lawmakers fear that Trump is squandering American power and influence in the world with little to show for it. By pulling troops out unilaterally, they argue, Trump has emboldened America’s enemies and distressed its allies. Friends like Israel, they note, worry about American staying power. Foes like North Korea and the Taliban learn that they can achieve their goals without having to pay a price.

“It’s hard for me to divine any real strategic logic to the president’s moves,” said John P. Hannah, a senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney. “The only real connective tissue I see is the almost preternatural isolationist impulse that he invariably seems to revert to when left to his own devices internationally — even to the point that it overrides his supposed deal making instincts.”
 
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