President Donald Trump, who recently announced he would begin to withdraw U.S. military forces from both Syria and Afghanistan, says he won’t be removing American troops from Iraq because they’re necessary to “watch” Iran.
As part of an interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS News, Trump remarked:
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“All I want to do is be able to watch. We have an unbelievable and expensive military base built in Iraq. It’s perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up.
“And this is what a lot of people don’t understand. We’re going to keep watching and we’re going to keep seeing and if there’s trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons or other things, we’re going to know it before they do.”
Ironically, Trump has been highly critical of placing U.S. military personnel in Iraq and has even called the Iraq war “one of the greatest mistakes that we’ve ever made.”
Despite his obsession with Iran and nuclear weapons, the president’s own intelligence chiefs said this week in testimony before the Senate that Iran is abiding by the Obama-era nuclear deal and reimposed crippling economic sanctions.
Brennan reminded Trump that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear pact:
“I should say your intel chiefs do say Iran’s abiding by that nuclear deal.”
The president slammed Iran as a “vicious country that kills many people,” before adding:
“I disagree with them.
“I have intel people, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree.”
When Brennan noted that Trump’s public pronouncements of what he plans to do in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq seem to be the same telegraphing of military strategy that he so often criticized his predecessors for, the president insisted his comments weren’t the same thing as those he had been so critical of in previous administrations.
Featured Image Via CNN