The Truth About Trump’s Withdrawal Of U.S. Forces From Afghanistan And Syria

The author is a prominent American Christian conservative who was a presidential candidate for the paleoconservative Constitution Party in 2008, when he was endorsed by Ron Paul.  

He is the pastor of Liberty Fellowship, a non-denominational church in Montana, and a popular radio host and columnist. His excellent weekly sermons which often have a lot of political content and strong views are available on his YouTube channel. Baldwin believes that it is the sacred responsibility of pastors to lead on political issues, as they did during the 18th and 19th centuries.

He is a relentless foe of neoconservatism and Christian Zionism and frequently criticizes the neocon hostility towards Russia. His views are representative of an influential and substantial part of Trump's popular support.

Here is an archive of his excellent articles which we have published on Russia Insider, when they were relevant to the debate over Russia.


As we all know, Donald Trump campaigned on a platform of disengaging U.S. forces from unconstitutional, perpetual foreign wars. However, the first two years of Trump’s presidency was a flagrant disavowal of that campaign promise. Not only did Trump not disengage our forces from these illegal and immoral wars, but, as I have documented, he dramatically INCREASED America’s involvement in these wars.

In fact, President Trump has dropped more bombs on more people in his first two years of office than President Obama did in his entire last term in office. Plus, he sent thousands of additional ground troops to Afghanistan and Syria and several other countries.

Now Trump is saying that he is going to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria (ostensibly 2,000 in number) and half of our forces (reportedly numbering 7,000 troops) from Afghanistan. Of course, high level government globalists such as Senator Lindsey Graham and Secretary of Defense James Mattis are incensed at the announcement. Mattis tendered his resignation over the decision, and Graham has had lengthy discussions with Trump about the matter.

And, sadly, the majority of conservatives around the country are likewise chagrined. Remember that almost all (if not all) of these conservatives are also Zionists, and they know the only reason America is fighting these wars of aggression in the Middle East is for the purpose of assisting the offensive military machinations of the State of Israel. And they are pouting over the possibility that Israel might actually be stymied from some of its bloodlust and apartheid atrocities. They really shouldn’t worry, however. The U.S. has no intentions of cutting the bloody umbilical cord from the Zionist state.

RT.com has the story:

The US 'withdrawal' from Syria might not mean the end of all its Syria-related operations where Israel is concerned, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaffirmed Washington’s ongoing commitment to Israel’s security on Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Brazil, Pompeo said the US’ commitment to Israel was unchanged, despite the pullout of US troops from Syria announced by the Trump administration last month. Pompeo said that the US effort to “counter Iranian aggression” would continue along with the “protection of Israel” just as it had before.

Earlier, Trump had reassured Israel that the US would take great care of Israel despite the withdrawal, citing the billions in foreign aid Washington gives to Israel every year.

And this report states:

Donald Trump has told Benjamin Netanyahu that the US is paying billions of dollars a year for Israeli security, and that Tel Aviv should not be worried about losing its influence in the region after US troops withdraw from Syria.

“I spoke with Bibi [Benjamin Netanyahu]. I told Bibi, you know we give Israel 4.5 billion dollars a year. And they are doing very well at defending themselves,” Trump told reporters on his way back from Iraq where he paid a surprise visit to US soldiers stationed there. “We are going to take great care of Israel. Israel is going to be good,” US president added, replying to a question on how his announced withdrawal from Syria will impact Israel.

During Trump’s surprise, sudden visit to U.S. forces in Iraq, he made it clear that he has no intentions of withdrawing America’s troops from the Syrian theater.

RT.com again reports:

President Trump’s big announcement to pull US troops out of Syria and Afghanistan is now emerging less as a peace move, and more a rationalization of American military power in the Middle East.

In a surprise visit to US forces in Iraq this week, Trump said he had no intention of withdrawing the troops in that country, who have been there for nearly 15 years since GW Bush invaded back in 2003.

Hinting at private discussions with commanders in Iraq, Trump boasted that US forces would in the future launch attacks from there into Syria if and when needed. Presumably that rapid force deployment would apply to other countries in the region, including Afghanistan.

In other words, in typical business-style transactional thinking, Trump sees the pullout from Syria and Afghanistan as a cost-cutting exercise for US imperialism. Regarding Syria, he has bragged about Turkey being assigned, purportedly, to “finish off”terror groups. That’s Trump subcontracting out US interests.

What Trump seemed to be doing was reassuring the Pentagon and corporate America that he is not going all soft and dovish. Not at all. He is letting them know that he is aiming for a leaner, meaner US military power, which can save money on the number of foreign bases by using rapid reaction forces out of places like Iraq, as well as by subcontracting operations out to regional clients.

Most of the U.S. forces (5,000+) fighting in Syria are actually based in Iraq. And as Trump assured them, they are not going anywhere, in spite of the fact that Iraqi lawmakers have demanded that the U.S. leave their country. So, those anti-establishment Trumpites who think that The Donald has fulfilled some kind of anti-war campaign promise and is “sticking it” to the Deep State have yet again fallen victim to one of Trump’s masterful con jobs.

As Trump was telling the world that he is withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria, the U.S. Army was in the process of building two brand new bases in the Anbar province, less than 100 kilometers from the Syrian border.

And the Times of Israel reported that after holding extensive meetings with President Trump, ultra-globalist war hawk Senator Lindsey Graham gleefully ensured that Trump is NOT going to abandon the Syrian theater:

A senior Republican senator said Sunday that President Donald Trump had promised to stay in Syria to finish the job of destroying the Islamic State group — just days after announcing he would be withdrawing troops immediately.

“He told me some things I didn’t know that made me feel a lot better about where we’re headed in Syria,” the South Carolina lawmaker said.

Of course, now Trump is saying the withdrawal will take “months.”

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Now, reports indicate that the US will allow “months” for the withdrawal, as opposed to a specific 30-100 day timeline.

The new timeline presented and reported in the US now appears to be within 120 days; Trump says that the US is “slowly” bringing the troops home.

There are also new questions about the degree to which the withdrawal will be coordinated with Turkey. Trump made his decision after a conversation with the Turkish president on December 14. Ankara had threatened a military operation in northern Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it accuses of being linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Trump claimed on December 23 that the US withdrawal would be “slow and highly coordinated” with Turkey.

John Bolton, the national security adviser, is now planning a trip to the region – along with chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and Syria envoy James Jeffrey – to discuss the withdrawal in Turkey and Israel. According to CNN’s Kevin Liptak, only Bolton will travel to Israel, not the whole delegation. This comes on the heels of reports that Israel had sought to convince Trump to slow down the withdrawal.

Trump is coordinating the war against Syria (and Lebanon, Iran, etc.) with Israel and Turkey in such a way as to provide those two countries with the opportunity to unleash their war machines (supplied by the United States, of course) against Syria (and eventually Iran) without risk to U.S. troops, while, at the same time, expanding U.S. efforts to oust Bashar al-Assad and take the war closer to Iran’s doorstep. Even with the assistance of American military forces, U.S. and Israeli proxy armies (ISIS, al-Nusra, etc.) failed miserably in their assignment to overthrow Assad. Trump is not angry about U.S. forces being there; he is angry that they failed to defeat Israel’s manufactured adversaries in the region.

But not only is Trump pandering to Israel and Turkey (a NATO member-state that is on the verge of allying itself with Russia over Washington’s agitating actions toward Ankara), true to his “make Big Business bigger” MO, here is the real story behind Trump’s military decisions in the Middle East—and it should horrify all men and women of decency. It won’t, but it should.

You should shudder as you read this report in the Military Times:

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is out.

Mattis' resignation comes amid news that President Donald Trump has directed the drawdown of 2,000 U.S. forces in Syria, and 7,000 U.S. forces from Afghanistan, a U.S. official confirmed to Military Times, a story first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

This month, in the January/February print issue of the gun and hunting magazine “Recoil," the former contractor security firm Blackwater USA published a full-page ad, in all black with a simple message: “We are coming.”

Is the war in Afghanistan — and possibly elsewhere ― about to be privatized?

If Blackwater returns, it would be the return of a private security contractor that was banned from Iraq, but re-branded and never really went away.

[Blackwater founder Erik] Prince has courted President Donald Trump’s administration since he took office with the idea that the now 17-year Afghan War will never be won by a traditional military campaign. Prince has also argued that the logistical footprint required to support that now multi-trillion dollar endeavor has become too burdensome. Over the summer and into this fall Prince has engaged heavily with the media to promote the privatization; particularly as the Trump administration’s new South Asia Strategy, which was crafted with Mattis, passed the one-year mark.

The news of a leaning on a smaller number of privatized forces, instead of a larger U.S. military footprint — and contracted support for U.S. forces that knew few bounds and at times included coffee shops, base exchanges, restaurants, a hockey rinkand local vendor shops — may be welcomed by current U.S. military leadership on the ground. That includes former Joint Special Operations Command chief Army Lt. Gen. Scott Miller, a source familiar with Miller’s approach told Military Times. Miller replaced Gen. John Nicholson as the head of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan in September.

In an [sic] previous exclusive interview with Military Times, Prince said he would scrap the NATO mission there and replace the estimated 23,000 forces in country with a force of 6,000 contracted personnel and 2,000 active-duty special forces.

The potential privatization of the Afghan War was previously dismissed by the White House, and roundly criticized by Mattis, who saw it as a risk to emplace the nation’s national security goals in the hands of contractors.

But Mattis is out now, one in a series of moves that has surprised most of the Pentagon.

Drastic change would “be more likely” now, one DOD official said.

That’s right. Donald Trump is preparing to replace U.S. military forces with mercenaries to fight Israel’s wars.

Here’s the horrifying part: These “private contractors,” i.e., mercenaries, operate in a manner that is totally unaccountable to the rule of law. Totally! They operate outside the Constitution, outside the Rules of Engagement, outside the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), outside the Law of Nations, outside law period—and also outside public scrutiny. There is virtually no accountability for whatever murders, rapes, plunderings or criminalities of any sort that these mercenaries commit.

The Pentagon has already admitted that U.S. Special Forces troops are under fire for “rampant crimes”:

After a string of horrific PR disasters saw elite US soldiers arrested for drugs, abuse, rape and murder, the Pentagon is cracking down on disciplinary issues in its Special Operations Command, according to a new report.

With "allegations of serious misconduct" piling up too high to ignore after two decades of war, General Raymond 'Tony' Thomas, head of Special Operations Command, and Owen West, head of Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict for the Pentagon, have outlined an ambitious 90-day plan to find out how the military's most elite corps lost its way.

Combining Special Forces units that are already plagued with rampant abuses of power with mercenaries who are virtually unaccountable to any human authority is a recipe for the worst kind of barbarity and atrocity. This is what the Roman Empire did during its last days of power and what Great Britain did in its failed war against the American colonies. And this is exactly what Donald Trump is preparing to do. In fact, Trump is already setting the table for an unaccountable military force by shutting down military watchdog groups, thus turning off the light of public knowledge and ensuring military unaccountability.

Donald Trump’s presidency—a presidency that is rife with graft, fraud, extortion, bribery, immorality and now government collaboration with unaccountable mercenaries and military units to wage war on behalf of foreign nations—is what happens when supposed Christian leaders such as Jerry Falwell, Jr., have their way.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Falwell said, “You don’t choose a president based on how good they are.” He also said in that interview that there was “nothing” Trump could do that would jeopardize his (Falwell’s) support. “Nothing” means no lie, no act of immorality, no theft, no act of betrayal, no act of murder or no act of wanton military slaughter would prevent Falwell from supporting Trump. Ladies and gentlemen, such an attitude is nothing short of insane idolatry. In essence, Falwell was saying that he knows how immoral, unethical, dishonest and violent Trump is, and he doesn’t care; it doesn’t matter to him.

Trump wasn’t kidding when he boasted that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone, and his supporters would still vote for him. Falwell proves that.

Tragically, Falwell is representative of the vast majority of evangelical Christian pastors and leaders in this country today. They have sold their souls (not to mention their spiritual birthright) to sit at Trump’s treacherous, tainted, twisted, thoughtless, tumultuous, terrifying, terrorizing, tortuous, tyrannical, Talmudic table. They should apologize for all of their sermonizing about the Ten Commandments, the beatitudes of Christ, the teachings of the Apostles, the Golden Rule, etc. They should take back all of their admonitions of honesty, integrity, morality, trust, fidelity, honor, adherence to law, etc.

Let’s face facts: These evangelical Christian “leaders” believe in situation ethics; they believe that some people are above the laws of men and God; they believe the principles of biblical morality and honesty are apportioned according to position and power (or the lack thereof); and their blind allegiance to the moral and ethical deviant Donald Trump has proven they never meant what they preached.

Christian people by the millions have supported, defended, lauded, extolled and glorified a man (Donald Trump) whose personal morals and ethics rival the most vile leaders in world history. Donald Trump is a man without conscience. His behavior is pathological and diabolical. And he is successfully searing the consciences of the millions of Christian people who have sullied their own hearts by willingly partnering with his incessant crimes.

Trump is not pulling troops out of Afghanistan and Syria; he is pulling the wool over the eyes of millions of Christians and conservatives.

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