Tag: Syria

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It’s going from bad to worse for the Kurds. I’m no military expert, but from my perspective Trump has made all the right decisions in fighting jihadists so far. This seems like a mistake we’ll pay for in the years ahead. What is the proper moral, and strategic response? More

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President Donald Trump announced today that the United States conducted a raid on a compound in Idlib Province, Syria, that resulted in the death of Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. Baghdadi, Trump said, died trapped in a tunnel with U.S. special forces operators, including canines, closing in on him. Trump, who watched […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Things Could Get Out of Hand

 

Since the three press conferences addressing Turkey, Kurds in Syria, and U.S. forces, there has been a near-miss of US soldiers. The hostile take is from Newsweek. The Department of Defense statement, on the record, gives us the facts we know from the US side.

The facts of this situation, even taken from the Newsweek post, contradict the “abandoned” narrative. That is, US forces were in an observation post within visual distance of the Turkish border, and close to some Kurdish positions, from which there may have been mortar, light artillery fire, across the border into Turkey. It is a long border, with lots of points of contact, compared to the small, shallow border section the past days’ actions and chatter concerned.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Tale of 3 Press Conferences

 

POTUS DIMEFILIf you watch and listen to three sets of statements and answers by our current administration, you will get an interesting picture of our actual current policy. The first is by President Trump, answering a reporter’s off-topic question when he signed two executive orders on transparency in federal guidance and enforcement (a serious push back on the growth of an unaccountable fourth branch of government in the administrative state). The second is a Pentagon briefing on the deployment of Patriot Air Defense/Anti Missile units and two Air Force fighter squadrons to Saudi Arabia, in which both this action and comments on Syria are interesting. The third is a White House press corps briefing by Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin.

President Trump has laid out three possible courses of action in the longstanding conflict between Turkey and those Kurds living in eastern Turkey and across the border in Syria. As has been explained repeatedly elsewhere, these are not the same Kurds abandoned by George H.W. Bush and now supported in northern Iraq by President Trump. These are different groups with different politics.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Syria Exit

 

President Donald Trump announced his desire to withdraw from Syria as one of his goals as president. I thought about this and it sounded like a good idea. The country of Syria has been a “thorn in the side” of many countries and people for a very long time. Syrian refugees are scattered across the world, like the Jews – desperate to return home, to family, history, their land – the land of their ancestors. Their president has been a “thorn in the side” of many countries and an enigma – what do we do with him? Bashar al-Assad never wanted the throne. Who knew?

Turkey wants its borders back. Iran wants a rumble. Israel just wants its security and safety, as the Jews begin another Yom Kippur. How long has this country and region been in turmoil? Is this a region that we can bring democracy to, or stability at minimum, as past administrations have tried? Is Donald Trump asking those questions, as our young soldiers hold the line?

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Vice President Pence Thanks Millennial Military

 
Jordan 2019, AZANG and Army Reserve TOA
Photo by Sgt. 1st Class SHAIYLA HAKEEM Area Support Group Jordan, July 2019

This weekend, Candice Owens uploaded her latest podcast, an interview with Vice President Mike Pence. As he brought the interview to a close, he made a comment that prompted reflection. Vice President Pence grounded his optimism about our nation’s future in the fact of 5.5 million young people have signed up for military service, since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Indeed, the latest cohort of recruits was born after that date, and for at least the past four years, recruits have had no living, personal, memory of that day.

We really do believe that your generation, this rising generation, the generation that has come of age after 9/11, that responded—5.5 million Americans volunteered to serve in our military since 9/11, thousands paying the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom—this is a generation we believe in.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see President Trump making a detailed case for border wall funding in tonight’s televised address, a more effective strategy than tweets and sound bites. They also like National Security Adviser John Bolton’s clarification that the Trump administration does want to get […]

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The Washington Post reports John Bolton has outlined conditions on our withdrawal from Syria, including protection of the Kurds, that could delay any withdrawal indefinitely. I think this is a wonderful development, I opposed the withdrawal, but have a few questions for my fellow Ricocheti? More

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I invested nearly two decades of experience in the region into this show and we look at what forces are there, how we got involved, regional context, possible paths, consequences, ISIS, Congress and POTUS rolls, and much more. Curious on your takes? Please take the time to really listen to this episode, the media coverage […]

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The announcement of Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ departure, followed by President Trump’s announcement that he wants to exit Syria, was a seismic jolt felt around the world. I remember where I was on 9/11, another seismic jolt felt around the world. The second so devastating, causing President George W. Bush to take action by […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Kicking Allies

 

President Trump’s behavior is unprecedented, but his decision to withdraw our troops from Syria, while unprecedentedly abrupt, is actually part of a tradition of unforced errors in American foreign policy.

Out of spite, or sometimes as a smokescreen to evade responsibility, Congress and past presidents have managed to lose wars that could have gone the other way. Seeking to make partisan points, we have cost ourselves dearly.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America fume as President Trump says ISIS is defeated in Syria on Wednesday and Thursday he claims that Russia, Iran, and Syria can handle the fight. They’re also disgusted as Trump’s insistence on $5 billion for a border wall seems to be shifting and congressional […]

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From the ABC: “Against the advice of many in his own administration, President Donald Trump is pulling U.S. troops out of Syria. Could a withdrawal from Afghanistan be far behind? More

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the Senate for approving the criminal justice reform bill known as the First Step Act. While still a bit uneasy about some details, they generally like the emphasis on teaching inmates how to live an honest life when they get out of prison […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome another good jobs report and President Trump’s desire to avoid a government shutdown right before the midterm elections. They also wonder why very few people are discussing Russia threatening to use force near U.S. troops in Syria and accusing us of protecting militias […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America sigh as Democrats repeatedly interrupt the start of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings in a futile attempt to delay him from joining the court. They also give John Kerry credit for explaining how President Obama’s failure to enforce the red line over chemical weapons […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Michael Ledeen on the Potential Collapse of Iran’s Khomeinist Regime

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had historian, Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State and consultant to the National Security Council during the Reagan administration, author of 38 books and most pertinent to today, Iran expert, Michael Ledeen on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • The impending collapse of the Khomeinist regime and what the U.S. can do to accelerate it
  • The false narrative about alternatives for Iran being either appeasement or war
  • The history of U.S. intelligence failures in Iran
  • How secular and liberal Iran’s dissidents actually are
  • Whether there is a wedge that can be exploited between Iran and Russia
  • What will become of Hezbollah if the Iranian regime collapses
  • The allegedly political witch hunt against Iran hawk and Israel supporter Larry Franklin as an illustration of historic anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the foreign policy and national security establishment
  • Ledeen’s theory that Gen. Michael Flynn — with whom Ledeen co-authored the book, The Field of Fight — falsely pled guilty, and the real reason why Gen. Flynn was targeted in the first place

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, download the episode directly here or read the transcript here.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Today I’m launching a new podcast, Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten, and I’d like to ask for some help from the Ricochet community in making it as successful as possible. Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten features compelling long-form conversations with exceptional thinkers and doers — primarily though not exclusively of a conservative/libertarian bent — on the most critical ideas […]

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Now that President Trump has made good on a major campaign promise – pulling the U.S. out of the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal – the debate has begun whether it was the right move. Abbas Milani, a Hoover research fellow and the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University, offers his […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Triumph of the Swill

 
Hearst and Pulitzer depicted as “The Yellow Kids” of journalism pushing America towards war.

When it came to foreign policy, voters in the late presidential elections had two choices — either choose Donald Trump, a man with no previous government experience, or the first female to occupy the Oval Office. The drawbacks to the former were obvious, the drawbacks to the second were too politically incorrect to speak out loud; namely, might Hillary Clinton initiate dangerous military action just to prove she had “the balls” to be Commander-in-Chief.

After the surprise election results, the latter became moot. But the Democrats and their media enablers chose to take a dangerous path. Rather than accepting the results, they decided to push conspiracy theories about how a foreign government with nuclear capabilities manipulated the election and “installed” Trump in the White House. Put the phrase “Putin’s Puppet” into Google and you’ll get over 66,000 hits.

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