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US to Keep 1,000 Troops in Syria, Despite Pledges to Withdraw

The U.S. military will remain in the war-torn country in spite of President Trump’s pledge to return the troops home.

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In a policy reversal, the U.S. government will now maintain a presence of 1,000 military service members in Syria, after having previously announced a plan to withdraw the U.S. military from the country.

The shift represents a victory for forces within Congress and the executive branch that waged an influence campaign to reverse President Trump’s pledge to return the troops home. Neoconservative Senator Lindsey Graham had admitted to seeking to convince the President to drop the popular policy.

White House National Security Advisor John Bolton also had sought to maintain the military deployment.

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Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis had even gone to the lengths of resigning his post in the administration in protest of the America First foreign policy realignment.

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Now, with a enduring U.S. troop presence in Syria, it appears his exit from the administration was arranged on erroneous grounds.

The military will continue to assist Kurdish-led forces in securing territory from the Islamic State, the once-formidable terrorist group now said to be on its deathbed and holding a last stand in a few small towns in eastern Syria.

Bolton has pushed for U.S. forces to serve as a deterrent of sorts to Iranian influence in the country. It’s unclear how the bellicose National Security Advisor plans to use the troops to counteract Iran in Syria, considering that Syria’s government is closely tied to the Iranians.

Theoretically, Bolton may seek a soft regime change push in the country, even as the nation’s nearly decade long civil war appears to be coming to a close.

The continuing military deployment in the Middle Eastern country comes as a disappointment to the President’s supporters who hoped he’d be more intent on enacting the America First foreign policy vision he campaigned on in 2016.

Big League National Security

Locked and Loaded: Pentagon Grants Soldiers in DC Power to use Lethal Force

The National Guard have been authorized to use lethal force, if needed.

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Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has authorized the twenty thousand National Guard members providing security around the U.S. Capitol to carry lethal weapons as Washington, D.C., braces for Inauguration Day.

On January 12, 2021, National Guardsmen were given authorization to be armed in support of the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the U.S. Capitol and individual members of Congress and their staff,” according to a statement from the D.C. National Guard, which is commanding Guard forces in the city, including units deployed from six other states, to provide security for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week,” the DC National Guard revealed in a statement “This was requested by federal authorities and authorized by the Secretary of the Army.

The National Guard Bureau declined to specify what weapons troops would carry.

National Guard members are postured to meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities, up to and including protective equipment and being armed if necessary,” said the statement. “The public’s safety is our top priority.

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Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told media members on Monday that a force of up to 15,000 will deploy to D.C. with all their issued equipment, including their individual weapons. So if the need arises, “they are close by and they are readily accessible.”

The Pentagon initially authorized up to six thousand two hundred Guard members from Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania to deploy to D.C. on federal status to maintain security through Inauguration Day.

The history of National Guard members being a part of the presidential inauguration dates back to the first inauguration of President George Washington in 1789.

 

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