On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, two U.S. troops and a British solider were killed in a rocket attack on a military base in Iraq, according to a U.S. official.
In addition, the official reported that roughly a dozen coalition personnel were injured during the attack. However, this was the initial report and could be subject to change.
Foreign coalition members suffered wounds ranging from “light to critical”, a coalition official told AFP.
Britain’s Defense Ministry stated it was “aware of an incident involving UK service personnel” in Iraq and an investigation was being conducted.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the attack as “deplorable” and said the UK foreign minister had reached out US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Myles Caggins revealed that more than 15 rockets struck the base, which is located close to Baghdad.
Previously, the Iraqi army said the attack on the Taji base did not bring about any injuries or damage.
According to Iraqi security forces, they discovered the launch vehicle that was allegedly used to carry out the attacks.
Images posted on social media showed a vehicle that was converted to launch Katyusha rockets.
The U.S. government has blamed Iran-backed factions from Iraq’s Hashed Al Shaabi military network for recent attacks that shared a similar M.O.
After Wednesday’s attack, three warplanes likely belonging to the US-led coalition attacked Hashed positions on Iraq’s border with Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“Ten explosions shook the area near Albukamal,” said the organization’s head, Rami Abdulrahman.
Tensions have been heating up since the U.S. government took out Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani earlier in January.
This is another illustration why the U.S. should completely abandon the Middle East, a region that is condemned to instability.
Hopefully, Trump gets the memo and starts pulling troops out of the region.
Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?
America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad
Does America First have a new non-interventionist champion?
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has been viewed by many as one of the figures who could potentially lead a Trumpist movement after Trump, should Joe Biden end up being installed as president on January 2021.
Hawley has made a name for himself as a champion of Middle America and questioning the neoliberal orthodoxy on immigration and trade. Lately, Hawley has made a pivot towards questioning the interventionist conventional wisdom on foreign policy.
In early October of this year, the Missouri Senator called for the American government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Hawley tweeted, “Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end.”
Hawley’s foreign policy has been a work progress over the past two years. During a 2019 speech Hawley gave at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), he questioned the nation-building policy prescriptions of previous administrations, demonstrating some degree of skepticism towards non-stop interventionism abroad on the part of the Senator.
That said, it remains to be seen if Hawley’s legislative record will fully match his rhetoric.
Hawley is a staunch China hawk, who fears the rise of China and is a strong voice against China’s expansionist efforts. Hawley’s track record shows that his foreign policy views are rough around the edges. Daniel Larison of The American Conservative is not as optimistic about Hawley judging by his votes on the Yemeni Civil War. Larison cited several of Hawley’s votes that may be cause for concern:
“Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate’s resolution of disapproval that opposed the president’s effort to circumvent Congress with a bogus “emergency” to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More important, he voted with the president and most Senate Republicans against the antiwar Yemen resolution that would have cut off all U.S. support to the Saudi coalition.”
Nevertheless, Hawley’s comments on Afghanistan are a good sign that Hawley is catching on to the fact that Americans are tired of foreign wars. Politicians can change their views and behaviors. Hawley is likely recognizing that the America First movement is exhausted by the endless wars and wants candidates and elected officials who offer withdrawal plans.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 24, 2020
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, a fierce interventionist skeptic, maintained cautious optimism about Hawley. In a tweet, he commented, “All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting.”
All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting:https://t.co/0g3jpVPsDm
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 24, 2020
The jury is still out on Hawley. Regardless of flaws in his voting record, America First advocates should continue to push him and other America First leaning Republicans in the right direction. We should never forget that politicians are still receptive to political pressure and the grassroots holds the keys to political change.
Young senators like Hawley are the future of American politics and it makes sense for foreign policy restrainers to lobby them and push them in a direction that favors non-interventionism.
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