Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

Trump finally hews to ritual of meeting troops in harm's way

The White House  Flickr The White House Flickr
Patty Aguilar | 28 December, 2018, 07:13

He said the withdrawal of troops from Syria will be "strong, deliberate, and orderly" and added that the US military will maintain a presence in Iraq to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State and "to protect USA interests".

President Donald Trump has returned to the USA from an unannounced trip to Iraq, his first visit to a danger zone overseas. In March, he told military families that he was handing out the first pay raise in a decade. Bush had to sneak out of his Crawford, Texas, ranch and fly to Washington, D.C.to get on Air Force One, which was disguised as a civilian jet.

Still, the USA and Iraq developed considerable military and intelligence ties in the war against IS, and they continue to pay off in operations against militants gone into hiding.

Trump, said he has "no plans at all" to remove U.S. troops from the country. "Earlier this year specific guidance notified federal employees that bringing MAGA hats to work or using the terms "#resist" or "resistance" in reference to President Trump could violate the Hatch Act.

"We just approved $700 billion for our military", Trump said at the time. "I said, 'No. Make it 10%". Trump, aided by congressional action, did reverse the subsequent six-year trend that began in 2011 of pay raises that hovered between 1 and 2 percent. "Make it more than 10%'". "If we see something happening with ISIS that we don't like, we can hit them so fast and so hard" that they "really won't know what the hell happened". "The American occupation of Iraq is over", said Sabah al-Saidi, the head of one of two main blocs in Iraq's parliament.

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Iraqi lawmakers also took aim at Trump's visit, arguing it was a violation of their country's sovereignty. "First time in 10 years". "I fought for you".

"Trump has blurred the line between the office of the presidency and the campaign to such a degree that it is making it much more hard for troops to make that distinction on their own", according to CNN military analyst John Kirby, a former Pentagon spokesman.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump also posed for photographs with at least one service member who was holding a Trump-Pence campaign sign, and he autographed red "Make America Great Again" hats for troops in fatigues, despite military guidelines that prohibit active-duty troops from participating "in partisan political activities" and the expectation that they keep their political views private while in uniform.

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