Trump Middle East strategy: $23 billion in US arms sales

The Trump administration has been preparing for its Syria withdrawal by conducting $22.7 billion in U.S. arms sales with 14 Middle East nations in 2018.

After reports from the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that some American forces had already withdrawn from the Rmeilan military airbase in the most eastern sector, a U.S. spokesperson confirmed: "This is the first such pullout of American forces since the U.S. president's announcement" of a troop withdrawal in mid-December.

Although Politico's Morning Consult poll found that 49 percent of Americans support the withdrawal of troops from Syria versus 33 percent who are opposed, the New York Times reported that its Pentagon and State Department sources claimed that Trump is abandoning Syria's Kurds and "ceding a strategically vital country to Russia and Iran."

But a closer analysis of the polling found that 2016 voters for Republican Donald Trump supported the withdrawal by a margin of 76 percent to 14 percent opposed, while voters for Democrat Hillary Clinton opposed to the withdrawal from Syria by a margin of 59 percent to 26 percent that supported it.

President Trump, who campaigned on the foolishness of the $5.9 trillion America has spent on Middle East wars since 2001, took to Twitter to blast "The Failing New York Times" for writing an inaccurate story on his Syria intentions.  The president took his case for ending the foreign entanglement directly to the American people by posting a video on Twitter: "We have won against ISIS."  He added, "Our boys, our young women, our men – they're all coming back, and they're coming back now."

The first withdrawals of combat soldiers coincided with a keynote speech by secretary of state Mike Pompeo at the American University in Cairo, where Pompeo rebuked the Obama administration's "misguided" and "wishful" democracy-building strategies that stoked Arab Spring revolts against U.S. allies, such as Egypt.

Without mentioning names, Pompeo was referring to WikiLeaks reports that Hillary Clinton's State Department funded U.S.-based "civil society" NGOs, such as the National Democratic Institute, as an "instrument of collective empowerment" that used social media tools to stoke widespread unrest in Morocco, Egypt, Iraq, and Bahrain and served as digital accelerants that plunged Syria, Libya, and Yemen into bloody civil wars.

Secretary Pompeo stated that although the United States is still committed to the "complete dismantling" of ISIS threats and expelling all Iranian troops from Syria, the Trump administration intends to be a "force for good" by supporting our friends in the Middle East.  Key to that support is restructuring America's security assistance programs from "boots on the ground" to increasing arms sales and military training. 

Total U.S. arms sales to the Middle East that were below $2 billion in 2010 and rose to about $6 billion as Obama was about to leave office in 2016, according to the Congressional Research Service.  Reflecting the change in policy, the Trump administration inked $22.7 billion in security assistance sales and training to 15 countries in 2018.

The Trump administration's largest Middle East customers for military and commercial defense sales included $4.7 billion with Israel, $4.5 billion with Saudi Arabia, $3.1 million with Turkey, $1.4 billion with Bahrain, $1.3 billion with Egypt, $1.26 billion with Morocco, and $1.03 billion with the United Arab Emirates.  Other customers included Qatar, Algeria, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, and Tunisia.

The Syrian civil war kicked off by the Arab Spring has generated about 500,000 deaths, 5 million refugees, and 6 million people internally displaced.  Prior to the civil war, Syria in 2010 was one of the fastest growing nations in the world, with its GDP jumping by 5.9 percent.  After six years of horrific turmoil, GDP has fallen by over 50 percent, and 40 percent of the nation is listed by the U.N. as "food insecure." 

With the U.S. now the world's largest producer of oil and rapidly expanding its exports, President Trump wants to drastically slash the Defense Department's annual burden of about $81 billion, or about 16-20 percent of budget, to defend global oil supplies.  As a businessman, he understands that America is paying the equivalent of about an $11.25-per-barrel premium to defend other nations' need for oil.   

The Trump administration has been preparing for its Syria withdrawal by conducting $22.7 billion in U.S. arms sales with 14 Middle East nations in 2018.

After reports from the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that some American forces had already withdrawn from the Rmeilan military airbase in the most eastern sector, a U.S. spokesperson confirmed: "This is the first such pullout of American forces since the U.S. president's announcement" of a troop withdrawal in mid-December.

Although Politico's Morning Consult poll found that 49 percent of Americans support the withdrawal of troops from Syria versus 33 percent who are opposed, the New York Times reported that its Pentagon and State Department sources claimed that Trump is abandoning Syria's Kurds and "ceding a strategically vital country to Russia and Iran."

But a closer analysis of the polling found that 2016 voters for Republican Donald Trump supported the withdrawal by a margin of 76 percent to 14 percent opposed, while voters for Democrat Hillary Clinton opposed to the withdrawal from Syria by a margin of 59 percent to 26 percent that supported it.

President Trump, who campaigned on the foolishness of the $5.9 trillion America has spent on Middle East wars since 2001, took to Twitter to blast "The Failing New York Times" for writing an inaccurate story on his Syria intentions.  The president took his case for ending the foreign entanglement directly to the American people by posting a video on Twitter: "We have won against ISIS."  He added, "Our boys, our young women, our men – they're all coming back, and they're coming back now."

The first withdrawals of combat soldiers coincided with a keynote speech by secretary of state Mike Pompeo at the American University in Cairo, where Pompeo rebuked the Obama administration's "misguided" and "wishful" democracy-building strategies that stoked Arab Spring revolts against U.S. allies, such as Egypt.

Without mentioning names, Pompeo was referring to WikiLeaks reports that Hillary Clinton's State Department funded U.S.-based "civil society" NGOs, such as the National Democratic Institute, as an "instrument of collective empowerment" that used social media tools to stoke widespread unrest in Morocco, Egypt, Iraq, and Bahrain and served as digital accelerants that plunged Syria, Libya, and Yemen into bloody civil wars.

Secretary Pompeo stated that although the United States is still committed to the "complete dismantling" of ISIS threats and expelling all Iranian troops from Syria, the Trump administration intends to be a "force for good" by supporting our friends in the Middle East.  Key to that support is restructuring America's security assistance programs from "boots on the ground" to increasing arms sales and military training. 

Total U.S. arms sales to the Middle East that were below $2 billion in 2010 and rose to about $6 billion as Obama was about to leave office in 2016, according to the Congressional Research Service.  Reflecting the change in policy, the Trump administration inked $22.7 billion in security assistance sales and training to 15 countries in 2018.

The Trump administration's largest Middle East customers for military and commercial defense sales included $4.7 billion with Israel, $4.5 billion with Saudi Arabia, $3.1 million with Turkey, $1.4 billion with Bahrain, $1.3 billion with Egypt, $1.26 billion with Morocco, and $1.03 billion with the United Arab Emirates.  Other customers included Qatar, Algeria, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, and Tunisia.

The Syrian civil war kicked off by the Arab Spring has generated about 500,000 deaths, 5 million refugees, and 6 million people internally displaced.  Prior to the civil war, Syria in 2010 was one of the fastest growing nations in the world, with its GDP jumping by 5.9 percent.  After six years of horrific turmoil, GDP has fallen by over 50 percent, and 40 percent of the nation is listed by the U.N. as "food insecure." 

With the U.S. now the world's largest producer of oil and rapidly expanding its exports, President Trump wants to drastically slash the Defense Department's annual burden of about $81 billion, or about 16-20 percent of budget, to defend global oil supplies.  As a businessman, he understands that America is paying the equivalent of about an $11.25-per-barrel premium to defend other nations' need for oil.