US Politics in Trump era
Since his emergence as a political figure, Trump has promised that if he ever attained power, he would use the U.S. military to inflict a massive bloodletting on others, including noncombatants. Unlike other campaign promises, Trump has delivered on this one. Since taking office, he has presided over skyrocketing rates of civilian casualties in America’s many foreign conflicts.
President Trump has turned American foreign policy into an extortion racket, abusing his powers to goad foreign leaders into persecuting his domestic rivals and improve his political standing. The proof for this in the case of Ukraine is irrefutable.
The Israelis deployed StingRay mobile identity-catchers, devices that are mistaken for cell towers by cell phones, allowing them to capture the contents of calls and the mobile browser activity. Lipmann says that the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division subjected the devices to extensive forensic tests, looking at where the components came from, how old they were, and considering who would have access to them, and the trail led inexorably to Israel.
President Trump said Sunday the United States was prepared to respond to the devastating attacks on two oil installations in Saudi Arabia that cut the state oil company’s production output by half, while Iran rejected U.S. accusations that it was responsible. Trump did not name Iran, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had on Saturday, nor specify whether he was contemplating a military response.
Iran seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, state television reported on Sunday, the third time Tehran has reported detaining a tanker in the last month as the United States applies its campaign of “maximum pressure,” sanctions and diplomatic isolation against the country.
The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday in a dramatic step bound to further escalate tensions with Tehran. A senior administration official said Zarif had acted more as a “propaganda minister” than a diplomat, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Zarif was “complicit” in Iran’s support of terrorists, torture and other malign activity around the world.
The American military shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, President Trump said during a ceremony at the White House.Mr. Trump said the unmanned aircraft threatened the Boxer, an amphibious assault ship that can launch attack jets and helicopters from its landing deck.
China has demanded that the United States "immediately cancel" a potential $2.2bn arms sale to Taiwan, including battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles. The move would be Washington's first big-ticket military sale to the democratically-governed island in decades, and comes amid deteriorating ties between the US and China, the world's two largest economies that have been locked in an acrimonious trade war.
Donald Trump has launched a scathing attack on Theresa May and said the US would no longer deal with the British ambassador to Washington after the diplomat’s frank assessments of the president as “inept” and “dysfunctional” were leaked to the Mail on Sunday.
Iran has exceeded a key limitation on how much nuclear fuel it can possess under the 2015 international pact curbing its nuclear program, effectively declaring that it would no longer respect an agreement that President Trump abandoned more than a year ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Monday.
Iran’s news media was filled with upbeat economic reports last week. Several tankers of oil had been exported to China, and the economy minister said tax collections were up 30 percent. Farm-raised shrimp production had expanded by 400 percent. “Summer is here!” one article exulted, and online vacation rentals in the country’s tourist spots were a potential growth market. But on the streets of Iran’s cities, as the United States’ “maximum pressure” sanctions took hold, the view was decidedly less sunny.
In the hours before and after leaving for an international summit meeting, Mr. Trump assailed Japan, Germany and India. He complained that under existing treaty provisions, if the United States were attacked, Japan would only “watch it on a Sony television.” He called Germany a security freeloader and chastised India for raising tariffs on American goods.
Iran's parliamentary speaker has warned the United States against violating the country's borders, cautioning such a move would draw a "stronger" reaction than the downing of a US drone a week ago. In comments carried by Iran's semiofficial Tasnim news agency on Thursday, Speaker Ali Larijani said the shootdown of the unmanned aerial vehicle was "a good experience for them to avoid any aggression".
In newly disclosed testimony, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson said President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, operated independently with powerful leaders around the world without coordination with the State Department, leaving Tillerson out of the loop and in the dark on emerging U.S. policies and simmering geopolitical crises.
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran on Tuesday called the White House “mentally retarded” and vowed that Tehran would not be intimidated by American sanctions — drawing a blistering threat of “obliteration” from President Trump.“Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, calling Mr. Rouhani’s comments “ignorant and insulting.”
US President Donald Trump has said he is imposing hard-hitting new sanctions on Iran, including on the office of the country's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.Mr Trump said the additional sanctions were in response to the shooting down of a US drone and "many other things".Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's highest authority, was singled out because he was "ultimately responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime".
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has said it will not be possible to solve the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a deal "along the lines of the Arab Peace Initiative".
President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran on Thursday night, but that he called it off with 10 minutes to spare when a general told him that 150 people would probably die in the attack.
Iran shot down a United States surveillance drone early Thursday, both nations said, but they differed on the crucial issue of whether the aircraft had violated Iranian airspace, in the latest escalation in tensions that have raised fears of war between the two countries.Iranian officials said that the drone was over Iran, which the American military denied — an important distinction in determining who was at fault — and each side accused the other of being the aggressor.
Iran said Monday it would boost its stockpile of enriched uranium to exceed limits set by a 2015 nuclear pact with world powers, in what appeared to be the latest salvo in an escalating standoff with the United States. Some European diplomats saw that 10-day deadline less as a firm plan to violate enrichment limits and more as an urgent call to Europe from Iran to deliver fresh concessions.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee is quietly amassing documents on allegations of politically-motivated retaliation at the State Department; it’s looking into whether Trump has violated foreign emoluments and conflict of interest rules; and lawmakers are working to find out more about the president's relationship with Vladimir Putin and how he leads American foreign policy behind the scenes — all without the fanfare associated with the other committees’ work.
In 2018, President Donald Trump was seeking to jettison the landmark nuclear deal that his predecessor had signed with Iran in 2015, and he was looking for ways to win over a skeptical press. In response, the White House passed along an article published in Forbes by a writer named Heshmat Alavi. There’s a problem, though: Heshmat Alavi appears not to exist. Alavi’s persona is a propaganda operation run by the Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e-Khalq, which is known by the initials MEK, two sources told The Intercept.
When the Trump administration declared an emergency last month and fast-tracked the sale of more American arms to Saudi Arabia, it did more than anger members of Congress who opposed the sale on humanitarian grounds. It also raised concerns that the Saudis could gain access to technology that would let them produce their own versions of American precision-guided bombs — weapons they have used in strikes on civilians since they began fighting a war in Yemen four years ago.
Iran is failing as a nation after Washington imposed powerful sanctions last year, US President Donald Trump said on Thursday, adding that things could change rapidly in talks with the leadership in Tehran. "They are failing as a nation, but I don't want them to fail as a nation. We can turn that around very quickly but the sanctions have been extraordinary [in] how powerful they have been."
Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s Middle East adviser and son-in-law, has expressed uncertainty over the ability of the Palestinians to govern themselves in a rare television interview broadcast on Sunday night.
“I get why people think this is going to be a deal that only the Israelis could love. I understand the perception of that,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says in his most unvarnished comments on the plan to date.
Prince Mohammed bin Zayed grew the U.A.E.’s power by following America’s lead. He now has an increasingly bellicose agenda of his own. At times, the prince has contradicted American policy and destabilized neighbors. Rights groups have criticized him for jailing dissidents at home, for his role in creating a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and for backing the Saudi prince whose agents killed the dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Kim Yong-chol, a former North Korean spy master and vice chairman of its ruling Workers’ Party, had been the country’s most internationally visible diplomat in the past year, visiting the White House twice and leading negotiations for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s two summit meetings with President Trump. This week, leading South Korean newspapers reported Kim Yong-chol’s fall from grace. One of them, the conservative daily Chosun Ilbo, went so far as to report that Mr. Kim had been banished to forced labor, with many of his negotiating team members either executed or sent to prison camps.
The US state department has cut off funding to a group that purported to combat Iranian propaganda, after it was found to be trolling US journalists, human rights activists and academics it deemed to be insufficiently hostile to the government in Tehran. The group also focused on supporters of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which Donald Trump withdrew from last year, particularly the National Iranian American Council, which has advocated nuclear diplomacy with Tehran. It used the hashtag #NIACLobbies4Mullahs.
President Trump publicly undercut John R. Bolton, his national security adviser, on Iran and North Korea in recent days, raising questions about the administration’s policy and personnel in the middle of confrontations with both long-term American adversaries.
The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country’s Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month’s tanker attacks.
A US move to send more troops to the Middle East after accusing Tehran of being behind attacks on tankers in the region is "extremely dangerous ... [for] international peace", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying. "Increased US presence in our region is extremely dangerous and it threatens international peace and security, and this should be addressed," state news agency IRNA quoted Zarif as saying on Saturday.
The Trump administration, facing rising tensions with Iran, plans to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East by sending another few thousand forces to the region to step up missile defense and surveillance, according to U.S. officials.
Iran has made a dramatic shift in how it confronts the United States, abandoning a policy of restraint in recent weeks for a series of offensive actions aimed at pushing the White House to rethink its efforts at isolating Tehran, say diplomats and analysts. With the Trump administration tightening economic sanctions and intensifying military pressure, Iran is now seeking to highlight the costs it could also impose on the United States — for instance, by disrupting the world’s oil supply — without taking actions likely to trigger an all-out war.
Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President Vladimir Putin out-prepared President Trump during a key meeting in Germany, putting the U.S. leader at a disadvantage during their first series of tête-à-têtes. The U.S. side anticipated a shorter meeting for exchanging courtesies, but it ballooned into a globe-spanning two-hour-plus session involving deliberations on a variety of geopolitical issues, said committee aides, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Tillerson’s seven-hour closed meeting with the committee.
That the Trump administration’s approach to Iran could lead the United States into an inadvertent conflict should come as a surprise to no one. Indeed, from the day Trump took office, many feared that his impulsive behavior, blustering rhetoric, inability to think ahead, disrespect for policy process, and determination to “win” could lead to war. In a spring 2017 essay for this magazine, I raised concerns about his potential to stumble into conflict with Iran, China, or North Korea.
The Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has hit back at Donald Trump’s “genocidal taunts” after a strongly worded warning from Trump that Tehran should not think of attacking the US. “Goaded by #B_Team,” Zarif wrote on Twitter, in an apparent reference to Trump advisers such as John Bolton, “@realdonaldTrump hopes to achieve what Alexander, Genghis & other aggressors failed to do. Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone. #EconomicTerrorism & genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran’.” He added: “#NeverThreatenAnIranian. Try respect – it works!”
Trump has said that there is no inconsistency in his administration’s messaging but that the image of incoherence can be useful. “At least Iran doesn’t know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!” he tweeted Friday. But as he moves more deeply into the second half of his term with major foreign policy issues unresolved, Trump’s credibility has suffered, and his options have narrowed.
Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s. The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all. Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say.
With strong memories of the last catastrophic war in Iraq, Europeans are united in opposing what many consider the United States’ effort to provoke Iran into a shooting war. Yet, despite the strains in trans-Atlantic relations in the Trump years, flat-out opposition to Washington remains an uncomfortable place for European nations.
The top British general in the US-led coalition against Isis has said there is no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria, directly contradicting US assertions used to justify a military buildup in the region. Hours later however, his assessment was disowned by US Central Command in an extraordinary rebuke of an allied senior officer.
US investigators believe Iran or groups it supports used explosives to damage four ships off the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, media reports say. Military experts were reportedly sent to investigate the incident and found a large hole in each of the tankers. No evidence has emerged to show that Iran was involved. The affected countries are yet to assign blame.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Brussels on Monday for an unplanned visit with European foreign ministers who fear that the United States and Iran are inching toward war. The last-minute decision, announced as he boarded a plane from the United States, set up a confrontation between Pompeo and European diplomats who have been scrambling to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Two Saudi oil tankers, Norwegian ship apparently attacked near the Persian Gulf amid rising Iran tensions
Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and a Norwegian ship were damaged over the weekend near the Persian Gulf in what Saudi Arabia claimed Monday was an “act of sabotage,” further heightening regional tensions with Iran.
At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said.
President Trump said he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone for more than an hour Friday about topics including special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation but that he did not confront Putin about Russian interference in the 2016 election.
More than 40,000 people have died in Venezuela since 2017 as a result of U.S. sanctions, according to a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research co-authored by economists Jeffrey Sachs and Mark Weisbrot. The report examines how U.S. sanctions have reduced the availability of food and medicine in Venezuela and increased disease and mortality.
On April 13, Democratic primary candidate Cory Booker launched his campaign at a kickoff event in Newark, New Jersey with a slogan of “Justice for All.” Booker’s slogan quickly came under fire from student protesters who responded to his vocal support for pro-Israeli government policies with cries of “Justice for Palestine!”
With the Trump administration moving ahead Monday with punishing new sanctions against Iran with the goal of completely halting the country's oil exports, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly joked about a secret White House plot to overthrow the Iranian government during a private meeting with Iranian-American "community leaders."
Kim Jong-un’s test of what analysts said could be a new short-range guided or cruise missile shows the North Korean leader reverting to saber rattling as he seeks to end sanctions that are derailing his hopes of rejuvenating the North’s economy.
Donald Trump says Saudi Arabia could turn to Russia or China for arms, but the French intelligence report emphasizes its dependence on the West. But a highly classified document produced by the French Directorate of Military Intelligence shows that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are overwhelmingly dependent on Western-produced weapon systems to wage their devastating war in Yemen. Many of the systems listed are only compatible with munitions, spare parts, and communications systems produced in NATO countries, meaning that the Saudis and UAE would have to replace large portions of their arsenals to continue with Russian or Chinese weapons.
President Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution on Tuesday that would have forced an end to American military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s civil war in Yemen, rejecting an appeal by lawmakers to his own deeply rooted instincts to withdraw the United States from bloody foreign conflicts.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing a hotly contested bid for a fourth term, tweeted on the eve of the election that the Trump administration designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization at his request.
Donald Trump has announced that the US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967, in a dramatic move likely to bolster Benjamin Netanyahu’s hopes to win re-election, but which will also provoke international opposition. Previous US administrations have treated Golan Heights as occupied Syrian territory, in line with UN security council resolutions. Trump declared his break with that policy in a tweet.
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order reducing the number of civilian deaths from drones that the government must report. Trump signed the order Wednesday, revoking an Obama-era requirement for the director of national intelligence to release an annual report on the number of deaths resulting from US operations in noncombat areas around the world.
Eight members of Congress have taken a pledge to work to bring ongoing U.S. global military conflicts to a “responsible and expedient” end, the result of a first-of-its kind lobbying effort by military veterans on Capitol Hill. The pledge was written and organized by a group called Common Defense, made up of veterans and military families, which advocates for scaling back U.S. military commitments overseas.
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un abruptly cut short their two-day summit Thursday amid contradictory accounts over why they were unable to reach an agreement to dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons. Talks collapsed unexpectedly amid a disagreement about the trade-off between sanctions relief and denuclearization steps, leaving questions about the next possible moves for each side to keep alive the diplomatic outreach.
European leaders have long been alarmed that President Trump’s words and Twitter messages could undo a trans-Atlantic alliance that had grown stronger over seven decades. They had clung to the hope that those ties would bear up under the strain.But in the last few days of a prestigious annual security conference in Munich, the rift between Europe and the Trump administration became open, angry and concrete, diplomats and analysts say.
Unhinged Mike Pence Warns of ‘New Holocaust’ as Team Trump Tries to Rally EU Leaders for War With Iran
Speaking at a U.S.-led conference about the Middle East in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday, Vice President piled on the potent anti-Iran sentiment surrounding the conference by demanding that European Union (EU) allies withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump ditched last year, and accused Iran of plotting a "new Holocaust."
The House passed a resolution Wednesday, February 13, to end US support for the war in Yemen. It’s the culmination of a years-long effort by progressive activists and lawmakers to claw back war-approving authority from the president and end US participation in a war that has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.
McClatchy is reporting Venezuelan authorities have uncovered 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges and 90 military-grade radio antennas on board a U.S.-owned plane that had flown from Miami into Valencia, Venezuela’s third-largest city.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has not yet seen an acceptable plan for the creation of a "safe zone" in northeastern Syria, three weeks after US President Donald Trump suggested the move. "There is no satisfactory plan that is put before us concretely yet," Erdogan told a parliamentary meeting of his AK Party on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia and its coalition partner in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) transferred US-made weapons to al-Qaeda-linked groups and a Salafi militia whose commander who once "served with" the Yemeni branch of ISIL, a CNN investigation has found.
Iraqi President Barham Salih has said US President Donald Trump did not ask Iraq's permission for US troops stationed there to "watch Iran". Salih was responding on Monday to Trump's comments to US media in which he said American forces would remain at a US base in Iraq to keep a close eye on neighbouring Iran.
To be a European company with links to Iran in the age of American sanctions can mean dealing with challenges that, every day, verge on the existential. Suppliers cut off their shipments with little warning. Phone lines get disconnected. Even having the elevators repaired can be an ordeal, with service contracts canceled.
On December 11, 1981 in El Salvador, a Salvadoran military unit created and trained by the U.S. Army began slaughtering everyone they could find in a remote village called El Mozote. Before murdering the women and girls, the soldiers raped them repeatedly, including some as young as 10 years old, and joked that their favorites were the 12-year-olds. One witness described a soldier tossing a 3-year-old child into the air and impaling him with his bayonet. The final death toll was over 800 people.
The White House is openly plotting to bring down the government of Nicolas Maduro in Caracas. It is being openly promoted as a campaign to steal Venezuelan oil for the benefit of U.S. corporations, and some powerful Democrats are cheering Trump on and joining the conspiracy.
President Trump lashed out at U.S. intelligence officials Wednesday, calling them “extremely passive and naive” about the “dangers of Iran” and pushing back on their assessments of the Islamic State and North Korea during a congressional hearing. In tweets, Trump offered what amounted to a rebuttal of testimony on global threats provided to the Senate on Tuesday by a panel of top officials from his administration.
Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, has accused Donald Trump and a “group of extremists around him” of plotting to topple him in order to seize Venezuela’s oil, and warned he risked transforming the South American country into a new Vietnam.
A new American intelligence assessment of global threats has concluded that North Korea is “unlikely to give up” all of its nuclear stockpiles, and that Iran is not “currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activity” needed to make a bomb, directly contradicting two top tenets of President Trump’s foreign policy.
China’s flagship tech company Huawei is the first Chinese company to establish global dominance in a game-changing technology, namely 5G mobile broadband. Washington’s efforts to thwart Huawei’s rise simply are an after-the-fact charade by the US national security establishment to deflect blame for a catastrophic policy failure. With a wink and a nudge, the rest of the world will humor the United States, and continue to do business with the Chinese giant.
As U.S. lawmakers, civil society leaders, and Latin America experts continue to warn against American intervention in Venezuela's internal political affairs, the Wall Street Journal on Friday confirmed suspicions that opposition leader Juan Guaido's move to declare himself "interim president" of Venezuela this week was highly coordinated with the Trump White House and Republican lawmakers.
The protection of allied forces who fought and died battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) in Syria must be guaranteed, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in a phone conversation. Pompeo and Cavusoglu talked on Monday as the NATO allies try to reach an agreement over the fate of US-backed, Kurdish-led fighters, who fought against the ISIL, following the planned withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria.
‘A Reckless Advocate of Military Force’: Demands for John Bolton’s Dismissal After Reports He Asked Pentagon for Options to Strike Iran
Reminding the world that he is, as one critic put it, "a reckless advocate of military force," the Wall Street Journal revealed on Sunday that President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton "asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran last year, generating concern at the Pentagon and State Department."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday denounced comments by a senior US official urging protection for Kurdish allies as "seriously mistaken". US National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks in Ankara with Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and other officials on the handling of armed groups in northern Syria and the US's planned pullout of its forces there.
U.S. Senate’s First Bill, in Midst of Shutdown, is a Bipartisan Defense of the Israeli Government from Boycotts
In the 2019 GOP-controlled Senate, the first bill to be considered – S.1 – is not designed to protect American workers, bolster U.S. companies, or address the various debates over border security and immigration. It’s not a bill to open the government. Instead, according to multiple sources involved in the legislative process, S.1 will be a compendium containing a handful of foreign-policy related measures, a main one of which is a provision, with Florida’s GOP Sen. Marco Rubio as a lead sponsor, to defend the Israeli government. The bill is a top legislative priority for AIPAC.
Feeling betrayed by the United States, its Kurdish allies in Syria asked the Syrian government on Friday to protect them from possible attack by Turkey. The request appeared to help open the way for the forces of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, backed by Russia and Iran, to start retaking the Kurdish-held part of the country near Turkey’s border. That would be a big step toward Mr. Assad’s goal of reclaiming all of Syria, upended by almost eight years of war.
When a Saudi F-15 warplane takes off from King Khalid air base in southern Saudi Arabia for a bombing run over Yemen, it is not just the plane and the bombs that are American. American mechanics service the jet and carry out repairs on the ground. American technicians upgrade the targeting software and other classified technology, which Saudis are not allowed to touch. The pilot has likely been trained by the United States Air Force.
On Thursday, North Korea shattered any illusions that may still linger in Seoul and Washington about the reclusive state’s willingness to negotiate away its nuclear deterrent. It did so by defining exactly what it means by “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” – the mission-critical phrase that was at the heart of the June Singapore Summit Declaration signed by Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump.
Jim Mattis, the four-star Marine general turned defense secretary, resigned on Thursday in protest of President Trump’s decision to withdraw 2,000 American troops from Syria, where they have been fighting the Islamic State.Mr. Trump announced the resignation in two tweets Thursday evening, and said Mr. Mattis will leave at the end of February.
Trump Pledges to Withdraw U.S. Ground Troops from Syria—But Global Powers & Deadly Air Forces Remain
President Trump ordered the withdrawal despite opposition from within the White House. In September, Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said U.S. troops would stay in Syria until Iranian troops and its proxy forces leave. While Trump claims ISIS has been defeated, a report by the United Nations in August found up to 30,000 ISIS fighters remain in Iraq and Syria.
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Thursday welcomed President Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal of American troops from Syria, calling it “the right decision.” Mr. Trump said on Wednesday that he was ordering the withdrawal because the United States military had achieved its goal of defeating the Islamic State militant group in Syria. But the move caught many by surprise, including some of his military and diplomatic advisers.
President Trump has ordered a rapid withdrawal of all 2,000 United States ground troops from Syria within 30 days, declaring the four-year American-led war against the Islamic State as largely won, officials said Wednesday.“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the president said in a Twitter post on Wednesday morning.
At a meeting in Canada in July 2018, espionage chiefs from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S.—all signatories to a treaty on signals intelligence, and often referred to as the “Five Eyes”—agreed to do their best to contain the global growth of Chinese telecom Huawei, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing a prior report from the Australian Financial Review.
The Senate voted resoundingly on Thursday to withdraw American military assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, issuing the latest in a series of stinging bipartisan rebukes of President Trump for his defense of the kingdom amid outrage in both parties over Riyadh’s role in the killing of a dissident journalist.
At the heart of the Huawei case is the rise of China's "military-civilian integration," and the U.S. government's instinctive reservations over it. Military-civilian integration is a strategy designed to increase China's national power by mobilizing and incorporating all advanced technologies held by the PLA, the national government as well as state-run and private companies.
Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the company's founder, could face extradition to the US. She was arrested in Vancouver on 1 December, but the news was not made public at her request. The charges remain unknown but the US has been probing Huawei over possible violation of sanctions against Iran. China says her detention is possibly a rights abuse.
Some 85,000 children may have already died here in Yemen, and 12 million more people may be on the brink of starvation, casualties in part of the three-year-old American-backed Saudi war in Yemen. United Nations officials and aid experts warn that this could become the worst famine the world has seen in a generation.
The arrest of a top Chinese technology executive intensified concerns about an emerging cold war between the world’s two largest economies, sending stock markets around the world lower on Thursday. The trade war has set investors on edge. The markets have been rattled about the prospect that the conflict with China would begin to impact the economy at home at a time when global growth is slowing.
The document, a diplomatic cable marked “sensitive,” was sent from the American embassy in Tel Aviv to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on January 3, 2018. It describes an unnamed Israeli Ministry of Defense official expressing concern about any attempts to cut funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).