BREAKING: Amid Pres. Trump's decision to remove US troops from northern Syria and his vocal criticisms of US military presence in Middle East, Pentagon announces the deployment of more US troops “to assure and enhance the defense of Saudi Arabia.” https://t.co/bPdc9T4D5O— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 11, 2019
I don't really have a lot to add to this announcement that I haven't already said with respects to Trump and Saudi Arabia. We've got another announcement of manpower deployment for Saudi Arabia, on a Friday, amidst a sea of bad Trump news. Trying to reconcile the move with any sense of strategy--a "Trump Doctrine"--just doesn't make sense, any more than the Syria move makes any sort of strategic sense. There's nothing that should have been unpredictable about what Turkey is doing now, and there's no, to use a phrase "unknown unknowns" about what engagement with Iran to defend Saudi Arabia ('s oil)is likely to mean--it's a likely clusterfuck.
But is it inconsistent? I have a standing joke with respects to Republican conflicts of interest: "If one always acts in one's own self-interest, there's no conflict." Trump is the apotheosis of that maxim. I am not above assuming he would use our folks in uniform for his ends because he is not above doing it. It's not even very well hidden.
UPDATE: Mnuchin says we could shut down Turkey's economy with sanctions if they don't knock off what they are doing. I mean, we aren't doing it right now, but. We could. From the Pentagon, we're "very disappointed" in Turkey right now.
UPDATE: Some ISIS militants have escaped prison and Turkey has bombed US Special Forces in an apparent error.