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Trump declares end to U.S. 'policeman' role in surprise Iraq visit

Trump declares end to U.S. 'policeman' role in surprise Iraq visit

The remarks seemed, at times, to be have been spoken by two different presidents.

He had previously said that United States forces could use Iraq as a staging ground for targeted forays across the border into Syria. We've knocked them silly, ' he said.

But almost in the same breath, Trump's hawkish tone seemed to wilt.

Trump's critics have said that the fight is far from over and the withdrawal leaves allies in the lurch.

"It's not fair when the burden is all on us, the United States", he said, as he defended his decision to withdraw troops from Syria and let regional countries, Turkey in particular, to complete the work of finishing the remnants of the ISIS terror group and Saudi Arabia to invest in development of the war-ravaged country.

Trump's waffling over strategy in the Middle East is partly a reflection of his own chaotic style of leadership.

Trump's unannounced visit on the day after Christmas continues a holiday tradition followed by previous presidents. Call it hawkish isolationism. He is trying to position himself for the new year when a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives will challenge Trump's policies.

In the realm of trade, Trump has repeatedly demanded that China reverse decades of unfair trading practices, while simultaneously undermining global institutions, like the World Trade Organization, created to curb precisely such abuses. US Defence Secretary James Mattis resigned in protest.

The civil war within Trump's foreign policy played out in real time this week.

More news: Trump Visits US Troops in Iraq on Unannounced Trip

Trump hasn't said anything in the past week about the U.S. presence in Iraq, where some 5000 American troops remain, assisting Iraqi government forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in the north in the effort to secure the nation from the threat of the Islamic State.

Many Republican and Democratic lawmakers have heaped scorn on Trump for his sudden order last week to withdraw from Syria.

Mr Trump has repeatedly railed against the majority of the 28 other members of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for failing to spend a minimum of 2% of national income on defence.

"On the other hand, Trump certainly needs to quell discontent among the Republicans related to his decision on withdrawing USA troops from Syria", Kosachev, who chairs the Russian Federation Council's (upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote on Facebook.

"Trump's visit is a flagrant and clear violation of diplomatic norms and shows his disdain and hostility in his dealings with the Iraqi government", said a statement from Bina.

"Trump's visit is a flagrant and clear violation of diplomatic norms and shows his disdain and hostility in his dealings with the Iraqi government", stated Iraq's Bina bloc, before elaborating and explaing that Trump's visit "places many question marks on the nature of the USA military presence and its real objectives, and what these objectives could pose to the security of Iraq". Trump said in the Twitter post. Some troops leaving Syria will come to Al Asad "for a stay", he added.

Only two VC-25 USAF aircraft are in service, and are both operated by the US Air Force as Air Force One.

The president was seen shaking hands with camouflage-clad personnel, signing autographs and posing for photos at the base.


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