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President Trump Announces Troop Withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq



On August 8. 2020, a Trump administration official announced that he will increase troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the Times of Israel, the Trump administration official informed reporters that Trump is expected to make the announcement on August 9 regarding the Iraq withdrawal. The Afghanistan withdrawal announcement is supposed to come in the next few days.

Back during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi in August, Trump revealed that American troops would be taken out of Iraq, although he did not provide a concrete timetable for the withdrawal.

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These talks have increased after Iranian-backed proxies have dialed up on their attacks against American targets.

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In the last few months, the Iraqi government has faced significant pressure to kick out the approximately 5,000 American troops stationed in the country to allegedly combat jihadists.

Although the American military withdrew from Iraq at the end of 2011, a residual force was initially left behind at the U.S. embassy.

However, more American forces were sent in subsequent years to assist Iraqi forces in fighting off the Islamic State, which took off in 2014.

As far as Afghanistan is concerned, the U.S. currently has 8,600 soldiers in compliance with a bilateral agreement that Washington and the Taliban signed off on back in February.

In August, the Pentagon announced plans to slash troops below 5,000 as peace talks between the two groups continue.

During a previous interview with Axios, Trump revealed that this administration aimed to scale down the presence to around 4,000 to 5,000 troops in Afghanistan by the time presidential elections take place in November.

Per the U.S.-Taliban deal, all foreign troops are expected to leave Afghanistan by next spring.

Trump has made it a point to call out the endless wars and carve out plans to get the U.S. out of foreign policy entanglements in the Middle East.

So far, it has been difficult for the Trump administration to see its vision through due to the entrenched nature of the defense industry and the lack of America First personnel in his administration.

For Trump to actually make his vision of foreign policy restrain a reality, he will need to start promoting more realist personnel and allies that actually believe in restraint.


Mara Elvira Salazar is No Friend of America First Nationalism

Republican leaders would be wise to ignore all of her political advice.



If there’s one Republican leader that young activists should never listen to, it’s Florida Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar. 

Salazar, who is a Cuban American, has been an outspoken advocate of loosening U.S. immigration laws. In fact, she even confronted known immigration hawk and key Trump adviser Stephen Miller at a Republican Study Committee weekly lunch on February 24, 2021. She specifically criticized Trump’s immigration message and demanded that the GOP be more inclusive in its outreach.

“I told him [Miller] that the GOP needs to attract the browns,” stated Salazar. “We, for the last 30 years since Ronald Reagan, have not sent the right message to the browns,” she continued. “Reagan was the last guy who gave a path to citizenship to 3 million people … 35 years ago. It’s time for us to do the same thing that Reagan did.”

Salazar doubled down on her pro-immigration message when she went on Larry Kudlow’s show on March 2 and declared that former President Donald Trump would have done better with Hispanics by advocating for looser immigration. Journalist Ryan Girdusky noted how some of Trump’s advisers were already pushing for amnesty lite policies:

Girdusky added that Salazar was rather unhinged in her criticism of Miller’s vision for the GOP:

Salazar made a lot of noise about the Hispanic vote, despite ignoring how Trump improved his Hispanic numbers between 2016 and his re-election bid in 2020 from 28% to 32%. And he did so without much Hispandering or campaigning on passing amnesty. 

The unsavory fact that the GOP consultant class and the likes of Salazar refuse to acknowledge is that the Black Lives Matter unrest alone likely pushed significant segments of the Hispanic population into the Democrats’ arms. BLM radicalism alienated Americans of all backgrounds., but Hispanics were not having any of this kind of ruckus. Even Hispanic Democrats, of all groups, largely supported strong military action during the riots.

In reality, Hispanic support for Trump is largely based on his bluster and political bluntness, which many minority groups find comfort in. 

However, Republicans like Salazar gets it all wrong by thinking that expanding immigration both legal and illegal is a key to the Republican Party success. The Republican Party will have to concede that they can make gains with Hispanics at the margins but they cannot expect to win the majority of the Hispanic vote due to Hispanics’ propensity to support many causes ranging from gun control to more government involvement in healthcare. Data from the Pew Research Center demonstrates these beliefs among Hispanics. Nevertheless, there are some avenues for outreach with this demographic  but they must be done right. 

The key for Republican success is the white working class voters, which played a crucial role in putting Trump over the top in the Midwest back in 2016. These voters are not the most reliable in terms of turnout, but they comprise a vast segment of the American electorate. Any candidate who can activate them could potentially build a hegemonic electoral coalition for years to come. The goal for a sane Republican campaign is to maximize turnout and support among the WWC. 

Such inroads with WWC voters are more important than meeting a diversity quota the likes of Salazar and naive Republican strategists would like the party to pursue. Any nationalist campaign worth its salt would be promoting the following: Infrastructure projects targeting the Midwest, the restriction of both illegal and legal immigration, and re-shoring programs to bring jobs back. 

On the other hand, following Salazar’s program is the way that the GOP will become irrelevant and alienate many WWC voters who are already on the fence with regards to the Republican Party. These voters are not going to gravitate towards Republicans just because of the “R” next to their name. They still must be catered to and pushing for amnesty is one way to turn working class voters off.

Under Salazar’s watch, the GOP will simply be going back to the politically correct ways of the Bush administration. To tap into the sleeping giants that is the WWC, Republican leaders should ignore everything Salazar has to say and get fully behind nationalist policies such as immigration restriction, infrastructure development, and re-shoring. 


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