President Donald J. Trump’s troop pullout from Afghanistan and Syria is not the catastrophic or climactic event pundits are portraying it to be.
In fact, Trump’s troop pullout is not a major shift in U.S. foreign and military policy as many observers claim. Moreover, the effects of Trump’s troop pullout are being exaggerated by both its supporters and detractors.
What Trump’s Pullout Is and Is Not
Notably, all the pro-pullout and anti-pull pundits are doing is spreading myths that cloud the issues.
To counter those distortions, here is a list of what Trump’s pullout is not and what you must know about it.
Trump’s troop pullout is not an end to the global War on Terror
The War on Terror began because President Bill Clinton (D-Arkansas) refused to send troops into Afghanistan to eradicate Al Qaeda. To explain, Clinton’s refusal to eliminate Al Qaeda led to the September 11 atrocity that sparked the War on Terror.
In fact, Trump’s troop pullout is likely to embolden ISIS and other terrorists. To clarify, the terrorists will declare “victory” and launch new attacks against the United States and other countries.
The new attacks will inspire more retaliatory military operations. Hence, the war on terror could heat up because of Trump’s troop pullout.
Trump’s troop pullout will not end U.S. military operations in Syria or Afghanistan
For instance, drone strikes, air raids, missile strikes, commando raids, covert operations, and training missions will continue. Note: President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) has not said military operations will end in those countries.
U.S. military operations in Syria and Afghanistan could intensify because of Trump’s troop pullout. To clarify, the absence of American troops will make it easier for Trump; and his successor, to order air raids, covert operations, “training missions,” assassinations, artillery barrages, missile strikes, and drone attacks.
Notably, the President will no longer have to worry about U.S. casualties from friendly fire.
The main beneficiary from Trump’s Troop pullout is the People’s Republic of China
To explain, once the U.S. forces leave, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will be free to enter Afghanistan.
Notably, the PLA is building a “training camp” for “Afghan security forces” in Afghanistan, Business Insider claims. Plus China supposedly provided Afghanistan’s security forces with $70 million in military aid in the first half of 2018.
In addition, a PLA battalion is apparently training for operations in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor, The South China Morning Post claims. Additionally, there are plans for a base in the Wakhan Corridor.
Beijing wants troops in the corridor because Islamic terrorists could use it to enter the Chinese region of Xinjiang. In particular, the Chinese are afraid foreign terrorists will link up with local Islamic rebels in Xinjiang.
Other Chinese reasons to enter Afghanistan include mineral wealth. For instance, there have been Chinese efforts to exploit Mes Aynak a massive copper deposit in Afghanistan.
Specifically, Mes Aynak could contain 450 million metric tons of copper worth $50 billion, China Dialogue claims. However, Chinese efforts to exploit Mes Aynak have stalled.
Finally, Afghanistan could be part of the right away for China’s One Belt, One Road project. To explain, One Belt, One Road; or the New Silk Road, is a series of rail and sea routes connecting China’s industry with markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Afghanistan could be a logical route for One Belt, One Road or the Belt and Road Initiative. Specifically, some maps of the “roads” appear to show a route running across Afghanistan.
Obviously, Chinese mining; or railroad building, in Afghanistan cannot begin until U.S. troops leave. In addition, Chinese miners and railroad builders will need PLA protection.
Trump’s troop pullout could push U.S. allies; like Pakistan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine, closer to Beijing
Those countries will want an ally to counter Russia, and China is the logical choice.
Notably, Ukraine; which is under Russian attack, and Israel are likely to reach out to Beijing – if America becomes unreliable. Israel will ally with China if Russian troops stay in Syria.
Plus, there is an ugly history between Russia and Israel. For instance, many Israelis’ ancestors were victims of Czar Nicholas II’s pogroms. To elaborate pogroms were government-sponsored lynch mobs that targeted Jews.
In addition, Saudi Arabia will ally with China to counter Iran and Russia. Plus, many Saudis will worry about Christian Russian “crusaders” near their borders. Meanwhile, Pakistan wants China as an ally against India.
Importantly, the PLA is expanding its’ naval base in Djibouti at the entrance to the Strategic Red Sea, East Asia Forum reports. Specifically, Djibouti could serve as a base for Chinese operations in the Middle East.
Chinese moves in Ukraine, Pakistan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are likely if Trump’s pullout looks permanent. Notably, all four countries are on the routes shown in the Belt & Road Initiative maps.
President Donald J. Trump is taking serious political risks with his troop pullout.
For instance, Trump will alienate neoconservatives (American imperialists) in the Republican Party with the pullout.
The neocons are a small, wealthy, and highly influential group who could sabotage Trump’s reelection campaign – if he runs in 2020. In particular, neocons could throw their weight (and money) behind centrist Democrats like U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California). I consider Harris the front-runner in the Democratic presidential nomination race.
Moreover, critics will brand Trump a “Chinese agent;” if the PLA moves into the areas vacated by US troops. In particular, critics will point to the Trump family’s business dealings in the People’s Republic of the Donald’s “treason.” In addition, critics will spread rumors of a “secret deal” between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump.
Finally, Trump will suffer politically if terrorists in Syria or Afghanistan successfully attack the US or its interests. Interestingly, terrorists may not need to launch a direct attack. ISIS proved atrocities committed by “lone-wolf” attackers influenced by its propaganda are as effective as direct assaults.
Trump’s reelection will be impossible under those circumstances. Tellingly, two ISIS-inspired massacres; in San Bernardino and Orlando, preceded Trump’s surprise electoral victory in 2016.
Those who expect Trump’s pullout to end terrorism; or American military interventionism, are deluding themselves. Instead, Trump’s troop pullouts are likely to lead to dangerous new terrorist attacks and military entanglements for both the United States and the People’s Republic of China.