US Senate War Hawks Argue Trump’s Administration Has “No Strategy” On Multiple Battlefields

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US Senate War Hawks Argue Trump's Administration Has "No Strategy" On Multiple Battlefields

President Trump’s counterterrorism strategy draws ire from US senators.

A series of events in the Middle East and Africa has stirred new questions about President Trump’s counterterrorism strategy as the US focus in Iraq and Syria shifts to stabilization. According to the Hill, some senators are questioning the long-term goals the US has as it fights around the globe.

“We have no strategy,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said this week. McCain was referring to Iraq, but he has leveled the criticism at Trump’s approach around the world. Government forces and militias reportedly clashed with Kurdish forces in the city of Kirkuk, which Kurds briefly had under their control. The fighting has prompted questions in Congress about whether the US has planned to mitigate sectarian violence after the fall of ISIS.

While US-backed forces claimed victory in ISIS’s de-facto capital of Raqqa, a hard-fought win that nonetheless raises questions about the US stabilization plans in a country that remains marred in civil war. When asked about the United States’s view on the Syrian government having a role in Raqqa, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert called that a “hypothetical,” and said the focus now is on providing locals with basic human needs. Asked about the post-ISIS plans for Syria, McCain said this week that “there is no strategy in Syria that I know of.” Senator Chris Murphy, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said it appears to him there have been no conversations in the U.S. government about what Raqqa looks like after the fall of ISIS. “It seems we have absolutely no plan for what happens after we push ISIS firmly out of the cities,” he said. “ISIS isn’t going to go away. They are simply going to wait until the reconstruction and efforts at political settlement fail to reemerge.” Murphy also said the United States has empowered the Kurds in both Syria and Iraq without having a plan for what inevitably comes next — their desire for an independent state.

“The Kurds, Iraqis, Iranians, Shia militia, it’s all a jumble,” McCain said. To sort it out, he said, the United States needs to “develop a strategy to win, which we have not.”

The Pentagon is investigating the circumstances surrounding a deadly ambush of a U.S. patrol in Niger that left four soldiers dead, which also drew a lot of attention to the little-noticed counterterrorism operations in Africa, leading to questions about whether the US has a larger strategy there. McCain has blamed the administration for failing to provide his committee with information, bringing up the possibility that a subpoena may be necessary.

Senator Lindsey Graham, an Armed Services Committee member and ally of McCain, voiced support for operations in Niger, saying that “we don’t want the next 9/11 to come from Niger.” But he reiterated that Congress needs to be kept apprised of the mission.

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  • Garga

    Oh, please.
    As if their strategy isn’t bombing, bombing, bombing. A new strategy will be even more bombing.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      bombastic! fantastic!

      AGarga!, ABird, you called for russian carpet bombing. ;)

  • RichardD
  • AMHants

    Syria is nothing to do with the US, let alone the State Department. Did they not get the message, nobody invited them to invade the sovereign nation?

  • RamboDave

    The neocons, like McCain, are scared to death that Trump will allow Syria to regain it’s legitimate sovereignty over all of Syria. Neocons (who are really just Zionists) want to partition Syria, and they are afraid that Trump is not interested in getting the US further involved in this never-ending conflict.

    So, when they say “Trump has no strategy”, that is what they actually mean….. the partition of Syria.

  • Ronald

    They are crying about the Kurds loosing Kirkirk and moving back to their borders within Iraq as per constitution . $1.2 million barrels / day loss .

  • Julio

    Mr McCain could be busy planning other interventions as well as what to do next in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and so on. I would be pleased to help him to made the next move. It is quiet simple: JUST LEAVE those countries once and for all.

  • Melotte 22

    Lol, strategy has not changed since WW2. Bombs, invasions and more bombs and invasions.

  • Nizam

    That’s right. TRUMP doesn’t have any control over US military adventures abroad.

  • as

    It’s not that there’s no strategy it’s just that there’s nothing more it can do in terms of it’s ‘cheap’ and ‘illegal’ war as the weapons technology gap increasingly rebalanced and they lost the dominant position in it’s distribution monopoly as well as their increasingly failing credibility as an ally.
    Furthermore it is facing increasing public dissent and distrust as well as funds capacity ceiling as more new type of global transactions available.

    • as

      Here’s the current tool it always used in ways to pressure and target a country whose headed by someone opposing or put it at disadvantages

      -Economic embargo in particular the nuclear option of swift restrictions.
      May no longer viable as gold backed Yuan and cryptocurrency can bypass it.
      -Color revolution
      Increasingly known by pattern and how it is used in supplying them with weapons lethal enough to oppose the national armed forces through the backdoor. Countered by hardware did not available to irregular forces (armor, aircraft)
      -Media disinformation. Internet enable a real time information corridor bypassing the ‘Mainstream Media’ filters. A lot of disinformation also common however falsification and fabrication always a step behind the real things.
      -Lastly superiority in armed forces and coalition army. With airstrikes campaign increasingly known in how to defended against or countered it restricts their particular success in neutralizing opposing forces while keeping the valuable infrastructure intact to keep the ground forces an edge in deploying or capturing the urban territory.

  • Kennethllindsy

    No Strategy? No Shit.
    Trump hasn’t even formed a competent government yet. He’s been too busy picking fights with gold star widows the past couple of weeks.
    At least he can send out Rex for cocktails during happy hour with his Gulf Arab buddies, but that’s not a strategy.