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Thread: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

  1. #41
    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    You didn’t know? Trump was quick to reassure his Saudi benefactors of his fealty by sending even more troops and weapons to the Kingdom in the wake of the Iranian drone attacks. He’d already sent troops after the Strait of Hormuz debacle earlier this year.


    It is unclear if the new forces will deploy from American bases in the Middle East or from the United States. There are roughly 500 American troops in Saudi Arabia, part of a 2,000-strong contingent that was dispatched to the region after a rash of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and the shooting down this summer of an American drone by an Iranian surface-to-air missile over the Strait of Hormuz.


    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/26/w...-pentagon.html


    By contrast, Trump moved the 50-100 strong US force out of the way of the Turks in Syria. They are still in the region, according to the administration. They just won’t be preventing the slaughter of the Kurds anymore. I guess the YPG didn’t buy up enough empty rooms at Trump hotels to secure his good graces, like the Saudis did. They also can’t threaten Trump’s brand revenue stream, like Erdogan can.


    A senior administration official told reporters Monday that Sunday’s announcement did not constitute a full U.S. withdrawal from Syria and that only 50 to 100 U.S. special operations forces were moving to other locations in Syria.
    The official explained that Trump’s decision to move the special operators out of the zone of a potential Turkish operation was done to protect troops and keep them out of the crossfire.


    https://www.militarytimes./flashpoin...is-resurgence/



    My point is, this has nothing to do with the NSC source, national policy, or what people voted for. Trump is just a piece of trash that shouldn’t be anywhere near public office. Plain and simple.

  2. #42
    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    Trump is just a piece of trash that shouldn’t be anywhere near public office. Plain and simple.
    I understand, respect, and to a degree agree with this view. But the (adjusted for population density) majority of voters of USA disagreed, so he is the PotUS.

    About Erdogan and the name and revenues:
    It's about the name, not about the Revenue. One thing Trump has been consistent in his life is that he loves to see his name. Money? He knows very well that as long as people are not aware you're bankrupt money doesn't really count. He has been bankrupt before. As for his personal fortune? Come on, Trump living in his bubble can convince himself he has 6B$ net worth while Forbes counts him as 2B$ net worth.
    And at such numbers, whether you're worth 500M$ or 5B$ is more of a matter of how other perceive you as long as they're willing to do business with you.

    It is all about the name.

    Back to U-turns:
    I am still shocked that Trump sent 2000 people in Saudi Arabia, practically for the lulz, as if Iran would hit the Saudis. I really can't find a reason other than to make the Saudis feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing USA is backing them even though they slaughter Yemeni people.
    That is indeed a U-turn.
    Last edited by alhoon; October 10, 2019 at 01:37 PM.
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  3. #43
    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    I don’t see how subjugating the foreign policy of the United States to his own ego is any more exculpatory than doing so for money. That is the essence of corruption and is impeachable if not criminal. The majority of Americans agree; though in matters of law and the duty of federal officials to uphold their oath of office, the opinion of the masses is irrelevant anyway.

  4. #44
    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    If it is as you say it is, then it is treason, that's what it is.
    But it is not that much out of the ordinary.
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    That's because the new normal is the POTUS refusing to be accountable to anybody for any reason. This entire presidency has been insane.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    Quote Originally Posted by alhoon View Post
    Dear all, this is a thread to discuss the various changes-of-heart that Trump has (and had) while in the White House. In particular whether these (or some of these or few of these) are U-turns, "betrayal" of his promises, mistakes (either the initial direction or the change of direction) or simply his opinion changed as the situation changed and a policy or direction from 2016 has served its purpose and its time to reverse it.
    Whether such changes mean Trump has no solid opinion or whether he's cunningly flexible.


    I will start with this: https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-...an-sources-say
    In short, Trump is considered by some to be flirting with the idea to go back to the "horrible!" deal Obama made with Iran and that Trump campaigned against and promising to "sweeten" the pot with 15B$ to recompense Persia for the $$$ lost because of the sanctions he imposed.
    Is it a U-turn and a big apology to Iran? Is it a calculated move to get Iran play nice dangling the "carrot" in front of them to get them on the table and then withdraw it?

    My opinion: Trump understands to an extend that his stance against Iran was idiotic.
    But since Trump isn't the guy to accept he has acted like an idiot, that Obama was right and he was wrong to badmouth the deal etc etc... once he realizes that this is like admitting he is wrong, he will rip up the deal, insult a few dignitaries, rattle the saber with Iran to play tough and in general cost even more goodwill and credibility between USA, its rivals and its allies in order to stroke his ego.
    I don't think Trump will go back to the Obama deal despite this being the right thing to do. Trump doesn't give a crap about his country (bone spurs POTUS) or world peace, he just wants to be remembered as a badass. At first he will consider that a deal with Iran will make him seem like an awesome negotiator.
    Until he realizes it still puts him in the shadow of Obama that secured the same deal without the 15B$. That means such a move doesn't paint him in the light he wants. So he will give the finger (perhaps literally?) to Iran and withdraw from any kind of such talk and blame his people.

    I would argue that the above holds true for many of the rest of the U-turns he did.
    Fire-and-Fury rocket Kim is now his buddy and they're in love. Why? because at the time (things change within a few months but at the time) he thinks he can be remembered as a badass negotiator by bringing NK to the table. A few months later he will wake up in a bad mood and threaten to nuke NK. Then they will make up again.
    That kind of thing.
    I haven't read any response in this thread, nor do I intend to. I'm the only one qualified to answer this question.

    Simple gist of it is, he's a businessman. I own two companies, in two completely unrelated fields, I've served on the board of a tech company and I've even dabbled in the public sector. They are all functional and successful businesses because of my willingness to adapt. 99% of people fail in business because they are stubborn and inflexible. If you want to succeed in anything, you have to be willing to do the opposite.

  7. #47
    Ludicus's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    Quote Originally Posted by JP226 View Post
    I haven't read any response in this thread, nor do I intend to. I'm the only one qualified to answer this question.
    Oh dear. Trump couldn't have said it better.

    I own two companies...If you want to succeed in anything, you have to be willing to do the opposite.
    Nobody needs to own one, two or three companies to understand that Trump's foreign policy is for sale.
    Lets go five months back- Trump Administration Declares Fake Emergency to Sell Weapons to Saudi Arabia The Intercept


    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    Once in office, Trump merely reacts minute to minute
    Every single day. The amoral idiot is impulsive, inconsistent, incompetent. Who is the idiot running US's foreign policy from the shadows? Trump's own son-in-law, Jared. Where are great Secretaries of State like Jefferson, Marshall, Kissinger,Dean Acheson, when the US needs them?

    ----
    Quote Originally Posted by Prodromos View Post
    There's nothing calculated about it; there's no 4D chess here. There's no need to look for some grand strategy behind his moves. He's just a subhuman scumbag. Once you realize that, then everything he does makes perfect sense.
    This...
    Last edited by Ludicus; October 12, 2019 at 12:42 PM.
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    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    Quote Originally Posted by JP226 View Post
    I haven't read any response in this thread, nor do I intend to. I'm the only one qualified to answer this question.

    Simple gist of it is, he's a businessman. I own two companies, in two completely unrelated fields, I've served on the board of a tech company and I've even dabbled in the public sector. They are all functional and successful businesses because of my willingness to adapt. 99% of people fail in business because they are stubborn and inflexible. If you want to succeed in anything, you have to be willing to do the opposite.
    So, you consider his U-turns as a form of adaption? But governing a country is not a business. Foreign policy the same.
    As such, we see USA's economy doing very well (record low unemployment, continued strong growth for what should be like a decade, high stock market, wage increases) ... while other sectors of the government don't do well.
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  9. #49
    Ludicus's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    Quote Originally Posted by alhoon View Post
    governing a country is not a business. Foreign policy the same
    Ask him if businesses have moral obligations beyond what the law requires. For these guys, everything is for sale.
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  10. #50
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    Trump’s unwavering commitment to Putin’s foreign policy has been the one constant of his administration:


    There is no silver lining here. Trump’s decision to withdraw troops allowed a Turkish incursion into territory held by an American ally. For this, Trump received no foreign-policy concessions. The resulting invasion has set back the war against ISIS, and led the SDF—a force that was trained and armed by the United States—to ally with Russia and its Syrian client. In principle, Trump’s sudden shift in policy might have formed the basis for an effort to repair frayed relations with Ankara—which, among other things, had been kicked out of the F-35 program for buying a Russian air-defense system. But Trump undermined this possibility by slapping sanctions on Turkey. In effect, the United States is now sanctioning a NATO member-state in support of efforts by Russia and the Syrian government to consolidate control in a region formerly protected by the United States. Trump’s utterly bizarre October 9 letter to Erdoğan, in which he pleaded with the Turkish leader not to be “a tough guy” or a “fool,” surely did nothing to reestablish good feeling, let alone respect.


    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/trumps-foreign-policy-disaster/600181/

  11. #51
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    I'm not sure he is really committed to it. I think Russia inserted itself into the the US election not so much for some definitive return but just to see chaos in US policy and likely animus toward Hillery who would at minimum simply be Obama v3 a foreign policy Putin did not want. I really doubt in some secret room in Moscow Putin could have imagined such a bizarre yo-yo policy out of Trump as the this (Syria), or frankly publicly whiffing on the Iran strike. Taken together
    ... @ Alhoon:

    I am still shocked that Trump sent 2000 people in Saudi Arabia, practically for the lulz, as if Iran would hit the Saudis. I really can't find a reason other than to make the Saudis feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing USA is backing them even though they slaughter Yemeni people.
    I'm not sure I feel all that war an fuzzy were I them, unless I was booking every room at Mar-a-Lago. Really that was Kurds mistake they should offered to build a golf course in Kobani. Really Great links Mr President the best in Syria.
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  12. #52
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    I'm not sure he is really committed to it. I think Russia inserted itself into the the US election not so much for some definitive return but just to see chaos in US policy and likely animus toward Hillery who would at minimum simply be Obama v3 a foreign policy Putin did not want. I really doubt in some secret room in Moscow Putin could have imagined such a bizarre yo-yo policy out of Trump as the this (Syria), or frankly publicly whiffing on the Iran strike. Taken together
    Of course. To say that Trump is committed to Putin’s foreign policy is more an allusion to Trump’s personal corruption than a full-blown criminal conspiracy. That’s what we learned from Mueller. It’s like Trump’s relationship with Erdogan, but visibly worse and more consequential. Putin isn’t a puppet master, but as a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 20 years, he certainly knows how to “manage” an asset like Trump. The latter has decades long relationships with Russian oligarchs, and all those secrets make for leverage - kompromat. No illicit “tapes” necessary. Trump’s war on the US government, public adoration of and deference to Putin, and pro-Russia decisions on the international stage are undoubtedly a bigger return on investment than the Kremlin could ever have dreamed of when they ramped up their covert war on American society in the 2010s.


    If one believes the US should act like a mid-tier power and abandon the geopolitics of world leadership, getting out of the way of the Turks and Russians in Syria could even be a shrewd, albeit unconventional and geopolitically damaging move for the US. We are long overdue for a pivot to Asia, and we’ll have to take one on the chin somewhere. Putin’s victory in Syria will be a disaster for the Europeans and therefore the US down the line, but the risks posed by future unknown unknowns may pale in comparison to those presented by present known unknowns. Problem is, Trump is motivated by personal corruption, acts with utter incompetence, and lacks the skill or foresight to manage the path he’s set us on. This article explains it well:


    What Trump Actually Gets Right About Syria
    His incompetent and hasty withdrawal is shameful and harms American interests. But it lays bare some uncomfortable truths.


    U.S. policy in Syria has been unclear, confused and unrealistic for nearly a decade—a never-ending mission impossible without realistic goals or the means to achieve them. Yes, people are rightly enraged at Trump’s willful abandonment of the Kurds and his disregard for U.S. credibility and interests. But this indignation should not obscure the fact: U.S. policy in Syria was headed for trouble. [.......]


    Some will argue that giving Russia free rein in the region is an unacceptable risk. But at this point the United States is not giving anything to Russia, Moscow is taking what it wants and the United States is not in a position to stop it unless it is prepared to escalate the confrontation with Russia, Iran, Turkey and the Assad regime, which even the most committed advocates of a more vigorous U.S. posture in Syria don’t want. Why not try harness Russian power and diplomatic skills to achieve something that will fall short of our aspirations for Syria, but will be better than the nightmare it has been through?


    https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...nalysis-229858

  13. #53
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    If one believes the US should act like a mid-tier power and abandon the geopolitics of world leadership, getting out of the way of the Turks and Russians in Syria could even be a shrewd, albeit unconventional and geopolitically damaging move for the US.
    I think shrewd does not fit. If that were object than careful quite negotiations would have undertaken with Syria and Russia for a US withdraw. The would look get some level of autonomy and resurgences for its Kurdish allies and perhaps a smooth handover of ISIS detainees to Assad with a another guarantee that we ask and you tell where they go. A somewhat uppity ally in Erdogan would get nothing he wants and maybe he notice who the great powers are and he one of them.

    We are long overdue for a pivot to Asia
    Fair but the US position was hardly detaining 2 CVs and 10,000 Marines.

    and we’ll have to take one on the chin somewhere
    Iraq does not count?

    Problem is, Trump is motivated by personal corruption, acts with utter incompetence, and lacks the skill or foresight to manage the path he’s set us on. This article explains it well:
    I don't disagree

    On might also point out removing a tiny force will doubling down on our most odious ally with more troops in the ME seem - well bizarre.

    On the article I disagree with a couple things.

    "Washington eventually would have been faced with the choice of supporting either a Kurdish/Arab militia tied however loosely to the PKK, a designated terror group perceived by Turkey as an existential threat, or Turkey, a NATO member."

    So what? Its not Turkey carried much water for us in A-stan or Iraq, I rather doubt they be involved in any Asia pivot. You know Turkey keeps making incursions into Northern Iraq as well should we drop those Kurds tomorrow?

    "Frankly,he can’t do much worse than three U.S. presidents have done since the Iraq invasion and few, if any core U.S. interests—halting nuclear proliferation, preserving Israel’s security"


    The US certainly will have less assets to monitor if Iran is using its Iraq-Syria-corridor to arm its anti Israel proxies. I'm not particularly fond of Israel interest being considered ours so absolutely but that is not going to change. As long as the US was in Syria and some tacit de facto not shoot each other thing prevailed, Assad could not say close his airspace.Also in general the tone that a long term not end is untenable contradicted a bit by say Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula or in fact the Kurdish statlet in northern Iraq.
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  14. #54
    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: Trump's U-Turns and whether they are U-turns, blunders or simply "changing with the times"

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    I think shrewd does not fit. If that were object than careful quite negotiations would have undertaken with Syria and Russia for a US withdraw. The would look get some level of autonomy and resurgences for its Kurdish allies and perhaps a smooth handover of ISIS detainees to Assad with a another guarantee that we ask and you tell where they go. A somewhat uppity ally in Erdogan would get nothing he wants and maybe he notice who the great powers are and he one of them.
    Well yes, but Mr. Art of the Deal isn’t much for international agreements, and what’s done can’t be undone. At this point, America’s leadership position in the world will have to pass a different kind of test: what happens when the US isn’t a factor? Shrewd is probably the wrong word, but US leaders will need to be able to control the damage and get used to reaction in addition to the usual proaction if a “decline” isn’t to become a “fall.”
    Iraq does not count?
    It could, but we’re still there, and facing opponents whose goal is largely to derail US goals, as opposed to pursuing their own, with the exception of maybe Iran. That’s categorically different from the Russians and Turks in Syria. Plus, the troops Trump pulled out of Syria are apparently going to Iraq:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-s...-idUSKBN1WZ01S
    I don't disagree


    On might also point out removing a tiny force will doubling down on our most odious ally with more troops in the ME seem - well bizarre.


    On the article I disagree with a couple things.


    "Washington eventually would have been faced with the choice of supporting either a Kurdish/Arab militia tied however loosely to the PKK, a designated terror group perceived by Turkey as an existential threat, or Turkey, a NATO member."


    So what? Its not Turkey carried much water for us in A-stan or Iraq, I rather doubt they be involved in any Asia pivot. You know Turkey keeps making incursions into Northern Iraq as well should we drop those Kurds tomorrow?


    "Frankly,he can’t do much worse than three U.S. presidents have done since the Iraq invasion and few, if any core U.S. interests—halting nuclear proliferation, preserving Israel’s security"


    The US certainly will have less assets to monitor if Iran is using its Iraq-Syria-corridor to arm its anti Israel proxies. I'm not particularly fond of Israel interest being considered ours so absolutely but that is not going to change. As long as the US was in Syria and some tacit de facto not shoot each other thing prevailed, Assad could not say close his airspace.Also in general the tone that a long term not end is untenable contradicted a bit by say Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula or in fact the Kurdish statlet in northern Iraq.
    I don’t think the article was making a general treatise on a shift in US foreign policy; moreso pointing out that Trump turned a deteriorating situation into an unmitigated disaster in Syria, and that his actions were more of an abrupt acceleration than an alteration in the course of events. Trump’s deployment of troops to Saudi is pure corruption and not strategic, so that situation will have to be reassessed when Trump and his goons are cleaned out. The US lacks the capable leadership and national ethos to run the whole world at once like we used to, and the voters are electing people who are explicitly against doing it. Iraq and Afghanistan killed the public’s appetite for Reagan’s “peace through strength” doctrine.

    Any proactive Asia pivot means leaving the Middle East in the hands of a capable local player that can wield historical legitimacy and local interests to create stability. Iran can do that, but is run by jihadists, and Israel won’t allow the US to improve relations. Saudi is more interested in western cash and killing dissidents than in regional hegemony. Israel is more of an ethnic and religious manifesto than a nation state, is hated by its neighbors, and has far, far too much influence over US policy. That leaves Turkey. The Turks don’t have the ability or the street cred needed to hold sway over the region, but in the absence of the US, their attempts are vastly preferable to Russian proxy regimes.

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