The US is not going to withdraw troops from Iraqi soil, but the world gendarmes do not want to be more.
The President Donald Trump along with first lady Melania on Wednesday paid an unannounced visit to the air force base of Ain al-Assad, located West of Baghdad. The head of state spoke with the US military for about 20 minutes, and also met with the US Ambassador to Iraq and the command staff, spending a total of about three hours on Iraqi soil. This trip Trump tried to kill two birds with one stone-on the one hand, confirmed the intention to fulfill its foreign policy promise and return American soldiers from abroad home; on the other hand, he reassured the Republicans and his electorate after the resignation of defense Minister James Mattis, confirming his intention to maintain the US presence in Iraq.
Trump first came to the war zone.
After the Paris fiasco, when the President refused to visit the American military cemetery in Bois Belo because of the rain, Trump promised to go to one of the hot spots of the world (but did not indicate which country in question). In recent months, the President has been much criticized for almost two years after his inauguration, he has never visited American soldiers fighting abroad. George Bush Jr. visited Iraq four times after American troops were deployed (including on Thanksgiving Day 2003, the 43rd President personally treated soldiers with Turkey). Barack Obama flew to Iraq once-in 2009, when he became head of state.
“The President Trump and the first lady went to Iraq late in the evening on Christmas day to meet with our troops and senior military leadership and to thank them for their service, accomplishments and their sacrifice, and wish them a Merry Christmas,” — reported December 26, the press Secretary of the White House Sarah Sanders. Later, the President posted a video on social networks, which captured the meeting with the soldiers.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 26 декабря 2018 г.
The Iraqi authorities were informed in advance about the visit of Trump, but official meetings with the leadership of the Republic did not happen because of disagreements on their organization. Instead, the President spoke on the phone with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi and agreed with him to “strengthen bilateral relations”.
Washington no longer wants to be a world gendarme
One of the points of Trump’s election program was the withdrawal of American soldiers from abroad-according to the politician, it is too expensive and pointless. He has repeatedly stated that during his presidency, the United States will not interfere in the internal Affairs of the Middle East and stop the policy of “nation-building” in the region (which means — stop sending new troops overseas). According to Trump, the countries of the region should more actively confront various threats themselves, and not rely solely on the United States. He repeated this thesis during his visit to Iraq.
“If they want us to fight, they have to pay the price too. Sometimes that price is monetary, so we don’t look like suckers of the world. We’re not suckers anymore, guys. And we do not look like suckers,” — quotes the President of CNN.
But despite the words that” the US can no longer remain a world gendarme, ” Trump is not going to withdraw troops from Iraq yet.
“In fact, we could use it (the base where Trump arrived) as a starting point, if we wanted to do something in Syria… If we see that with the IS (“Islamic state”, the organization is banned in Russia) there is something that we do not like, we can strike at them so quickly and so much that they will not understand what happened,” the head of state stressed.
At the same time, the withdrawal of the US troops from Syria Trump called the “correct” measure, adding that other States will pay for the restoration of this country, and the Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan has already agreed to eliminate “any remnants” of the IG in Syrian territory.
Trump was criticized and saw in his actions an attempt to “sit on two chairs”
Coalition “Construction” in the Council of representatives (Parliament) of Iraq opposed the visit of Trump and called for the withdrawal of American troops. “We are extremely surprised by the visit of the US President to the air force base of Ain al-Assad, which is contrary to all diplomatic protocols,” — said in their statement. This “is a flagrant violation of diplomatic rules” and” illustrates the disrespectful attitude of the United States to the Iraqi authorities.”
“This visit raises many questions about the nature of the US military presence, about their real goals that may threaten the security of Iraq,” the coalition believes. “We call on all political forces to stand United for the preservation of Iraq’s sovereignty and put an end to the suspicious military presence of the United States on Iraqi soil.”
The head of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Konstantin Kosachev believes that Trump trip to Iraq tried to “sit on two chairs.”
“On the one hand, he still wants to demonstrate the intention to abandon the role of the world gendarme with the ensuing mission to shed the blood of Americans for countries that most have not heard anything,” he wrote on Facebook. – On the other hand, Trump, of course, need to extinguish discontent in the ranks of the Republicans in connection with the decision to withdraw the US military from Syria.”
Kosachev recalled that Trump’s decision on Syria has already become a reason for the resignation of Pentagon chief Mattis, who “was in Washington is clearly more popular than Trump himself.”
Whatever it was, from the point of view of public relations and the beautiful TV pictures on a trip to Iraq was for the President successful — the happy military took it very warm and dismantled a signed red caps with inscription “Tramp-2020”. However, this visit did not end well for the residents of Iraq — the next day a series of explosions occurred in Baghdad. Several mortar shells exploded near the American diplomatic mission.