The Cease Fire That Wasn’t

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Russia, Syria, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

So Trump sent this embarrassing letter a couple days ago: Oh my God. A “deal”??? It didn’t go over well in Turkey either Wow. #Erdogan tells news conference the letter sent by @realDonaldTrump telling him not to be a ‘tough guy’ wasn’t in line with diplomatic or political customs. He said they wouldn’t forget the lack of respect. “When the … Read More

Trump’s “America First” Means We Have No Influence Anymore

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Donald Trump sure has made the rest of the world respect us: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected a U.S. offer to mediate a cease-firebetween Turkish forces and Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria….“The terrorists should drop their weapons and leave the area that we have identified as the safe zone,” he said in a speech Wednesday to the Turkish parliament. He vowed to press … Read More

Trump’s Inexplicable Turkey Policy Raises Questions Of Loyalty To America

Ken AshfordSyria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds will likely go down as the greatest American foreign policy disaster since the invasion of Iraq. While the cost, destruction, death toll and moral miasma of the invasion of Iraq are unparalleled, the Kurdish betrayal is uniquely bad in a key way: America’s imperialist misadventures against perceived enemies are sadly commonplace, but rarely have we … Read More

Turkey Now Heading Into Syria

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Syria, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Sorry Kurds. A bad situation in Northeast Syria is about to get much worse. Sources say that US officials have just informed the Syrian Kurds that Turkey is likely to attack on air and ground in next 24 hours. The United States, per Trmp’s ill-advised pullout, will do nothing. Targets are Tal Abyad and Ras al Ayn. Ironically Tal Abyad … Read More

Putin’s Poolboy Reverses US Policy On Turkey

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

He didn’t consult allies. He didn’t consult Congress – even Republicans. I’m not sure he even consulted his advisers. But I’ll give dollars to donuts he talked to Putin about this. This morning, Americans woke to this… out of the blue: So President Trump has given his endorsement for a Turkish military operation that would sweep away American-backed Kurdish forces … Read More

Are Congressional Republicans Growing A Pair?

Ken AshfordIraq, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

The Hill: Frustrated Republicans say it’s time for the Senate to reclaim more power over foreign policy and are planning to move a measure Thursday that would be a stunning rebuke to a president of their own party.  GOP lawmakers are deeply concerned over President Trump’s reluctance to listen to his senior military and intelligence advisers, fearing it could erode national … Read More

ISIS Not Defeated

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

NBC News reports: U.S. service members were among those killed by an explosion in Syria on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the coalition fighting the Islamic State group said. Earlier, a senior Kurdish security official told NBC News that members of the U.S.-led coalition were caught up in a blast at a market in the northern city of Manbij. The official could … Read More

Trump’s New Positions On The Wall And Syria Has Some Conservatives In An Uproar

Ken AshfordImmigration and Xenophobia, Republicans, Syria, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Let;s start with the wall and note how sad Trump has become. He used to have so much vision: Oct. 3, 2015“We’re going to build a wall, and it’s going to be impenetrable, it will be a real wall.” — Jan. 16, 2016“China built a wall that’s 13,000 miles long 2,000 years ago. My ambition is for ours to be … Read More

Trump Undermines Military Intelligence — This Time On Syria

Ken AshfordRussia, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

On Monday, the U.S. special representative for Syria engagement publicly pledged that the U.S. commitment to Syria would not waiver. The very next day, Trump reportedly decided to rapidly withdraw all U.S. troops there.  Today he tweeted this: Trump appears to be discarding his entire Syria and Iran strategy at a single stroke, giving up any and all U.S. influence in the … Read More

Trump Goes Soft On Russia Again

Ken AshfordRussia, Syria, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Monday (left)Tuesday (right)Wednesday TBD pic.twitter.com/sxkWhRYJRv — Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) April 17, 2018 Trump rejected, for now at least, a fresh round of sanctions set to be imposed against Russia yesterday, a course change that underscored the schism between the president and his national security team. Why did he do it?  Here’s what a cynic might say… Sunday morning: Haley announces … Read More

Syria Update

Ken AshfordSyria, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

It is very difficult to keep up with developments on the situation in Syria, despite the fact that there has been no response to the terrible civilian gassing. First, there’s the matter of President Trump contradicting himself by his tweetstorm telling Russia and everybody else that  “smart” missile was “coming”. It makes the US looks weak, or confused, when the … Read More

Trump Sees Pictures Of Syrian Chemical Attacks; Calls Out Putin By Name For The First Time

Ken AshfordSyria, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

A lot of talk. We’ll see what Trump does.  When Obama was President, he tweeted that Obama should not do anything to get us involved in fighting Syria. Now (in a tweet not shown here), Trump blames Obama for not doing enough. Syria has been a dystopian hellscape the entire time Trump has been in office. He believes that war … Read More

Day 116. Jeopardized.

Ken AshfordImmigration and Xenophobia, L'Affaire Russe, North Korea, Republicans, Syria, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

1/ Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats during their Oval Office meeting last week, which has jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. Trump’s decision to disclose information risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. A US official said Trump “revealed more information to the Russian … Read More

War With Syria?

Ken AshfordSyria, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Breaking News: The Pentagon is developing options for a military strike in Syria in response to the chemical attack https://t.co/CZhplm9INI — The New York Times (@nytimes) April 6, 2017 Well, I guess it’s good to know that Trump finally recognizes the seriousness of the Syrian situation. And I hope he makes a connection between the horrible Sarin gas attacks and … Read More