“Nothing changed there. And we were never not on the ground working with the Kurds in Syria.” – Senator David Perdue (Fox)
Senator Perdue… be ashamed. How can you say the above with a straight face when you know thousands of Kurds, our supposed allies, died due to Trump’s spontaneous, unplanned withdrawal from Northern Syria?
Our military is highly effective in promoting our goals of world order and democracy. We have traditionally been a steady force, supporting our allies, which is why both Democrats and Republican politicians were so upset at Trump’s decision. Our Kurdish allies were then slaughtered by Turkey, which considers them terrorists.
I fully agree with the President that we have got to get out of permanent wars, but he is a transactional person, on the par with a sleezy used car salesman going for the one-time sale. Trump has no long-range strategy in the Middle East (and ignores those like Bolton who, right or wrong, actually do). Instead, he treats everything as though he were bilking some poor fool to put money into Trump University. Or to back one of his many failed casinos while he walked away with the profits.
There are certain areas where the US must have a presence because, if we do not, a power vacuum is created. In this case, filled by Iran, Syria, Russia, and Turkey. None of these nations are friendly to democracy or us.
I don’t understand why any Senator, Republican or Democrat, would say that we do not have the resources to help protect our Kurdish allies, at least until an equitable withdrawal could have been arranged. And, I cannot understand why Perdue would lie for our President who was obviously suckered by a Turkish despot into making an impromptu phone call decision to withdraw our forces and leave our longtime allies to be slaughtered.
Because Trump cut and ran in Syria, an Iranian Militia in Iraq was emboldened to attack military bases containing American soldiers (10 times). When Trump then bombed Militia bases, militiamen invaded the American Embassy. Incomprehensibly, Trump had not sufficiently protected it with American guards. Only when the militia accomplished its goal, getting the Iraqi President to agree to the withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq, did they leave. Yet another American defeat.
All this is happening despite the fact that the USA is without any doubt the strongest military power the earth has ever known, spending as much as the next 10 major powers combined on defense. Military spending has already doubled in the last 10 years to over $700 billion dollars annually. We also spend 4 percent of our gross national product on the military, while most NATO nations spend around 1 percent.
So, the national resources are clearly there to achieve our aims, if they are clearly and strategically set by our Commander in Chief. They clearly are not.
Congress must determine if our military spending is both efficient and effective, a constitutionally mandated role that Perdue and toddies like him refuse to play, preferring to look the other way while this President makes all decisions unilaterally (including abandoning the Kurds, as well as reallocating military projects and spending that money on an ineffective, politicized border “wall”).
As a fiscal conservative, former GOP office holder, and retired corporate exec, I believe the questions that must be asked by Congress are: “what is the appropriate level of funding for defense?” and “where and how should that money be spent?” Perdue and other supposed conservatives have got to get over their long-time addiction to blindly increasing our military spending and then delegating responsibility to this President without any public oversight or indication of a broader strategic plan.
The Syrian Kurdish and Iraq Embassy situations are among just the latest examples. Trump’s erratic moves will cause greater instability and conflict in the region, which will inevitably lead to more American involvement later on, and much greater long-term expenditures by the USA with fewer goals accomplished.
Senator Perdue, you’re a former CEO. How is this being fiscally responsible, conservative…or rational? Would you run a corporation this way? Look at yourself in the mirror. Do you like what you see? Real patriots don’t.
Jack Bernard, a retired SVP with a large national healthcare firm, has worked extensively with hospitals across the nation regarding cost containment and insurance. He was also the first Director of Health Planning for Georgia.