Trump criticized military commanders and allies for endless wars
State of the Union: Trump vows to stop ‘endless’ wars
The President called for an end to military intervention in Syria and Afghanistan, accusing allies of &# 171; enjoy&# 187; American military power
WASHINGTON – Syria is just “sand and death,” said US President Donald Trump in support of his decision to withdraw US troops from the country.
The head of state criticized the “endless wars” that, in his opinion, America is waging.
The president announced this ahead of his first cabinet meeting this year, in which the country’s new acting defense minister, Pat Shanahan, sat to his left..
The president’s words likely indicate a growing rift between Trump and key military commanders over US strategy in the Middle East and South Asia..
At the meeting, Trump lashed out at military officials for numerous failures.
He rejected claims that the retention of American troops in Syria is necessary to inflict a final defeat on the “Islamic State”.
“Everyone says, what are you talking about, then they will come to our country. Perhaps this can happen, but the likelihood is very small, – he said. – But do you know where else they will come? To Iran that hates "Islamic State" even more than we are. They will come to Russia “.
Trump also dismissed the view that the U.S. military presence in Syria could serve a different purpose in a country worn out by an eight-year civil war and run by a government backed by Russia and Iran..
“Syria has been lost for a long time,” he said. – We are not talking about huge wealth. We’re talking about sand and death “.
However, the president appears to have backtracked on his December promise that the US military in Syria would “return home now.”.
“I never spoke about "fast" or "slow", Trump said, rejecting media reports that US troops would withdraw from Syria in the next four months.
“But our departure will be very powerful,” he added..
Trump also expressed his displeasure with former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other senior military officials over the endless war in Afghanistan, as he called it..
“I gave our generals all the money they asked for,” the president said. “But their work is not great.”.
Refusing to go into details, the president said his administration would do the “right thing” in Afghanistan, noting that the US is in discussions with the Taliban as well as other countries..
“India is there. There is Russia there, ”he said, recalling the experience of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and suggesting that the ten-year war may have precipitated the collapse of the USSR..
“Before, Russia was the Soviet Union. Because of Afghanistan, it became Russia because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan, ”Trump said..
Trump also criticized American allies and partners for allegedly using the US in places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to replenish their coffers..
“All that other countries have done over the last fairly long period of time is they gave us some soldiers, and then they talked about it as if it was the end of the world,” Trump told reporters. “We subsidize their military with billions, billions and billions of dollars, which is many, many times more than these soldiers are worth.”.
“Our country must be respected,” he said..