President Trump has declared his own "Mission Accomplished," with the U.S. set to withdraw from Syria despite concerns from the national security community and many Republicans.
- Trump tweeted this morning: "We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency."
Why it matters: "Trump appears to be discarding his entire Syria and Iran strategy at a single stroke, giving up any and all U.S. influence in the region — and disregarding the advice of his top national security officials," WashPost columnist Josh Rogin writes.
Details: There aren't a lot, at least not yet.
- The White House declined to elaborate on how many troops are in Syria, how many are coming home, or when.
- "The issue here is that the president has made a decision and so previous statements ... he gets to do that. That's his prerogative," a senior administration official told reporters.
- The Pentagon is similarly short on details.
- There are estimated to be around 2,000 U.S. personnel in Syria, and there are plenty of ongoing strikes against ISIS, which Trump claimed is defeated.
What they're saying:
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to Trump's tweet: "This is simply not true."
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.): "Withdrawal of this small American force in Syria would be a huge Obama-like mistake."
The other side:
- Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) tweeted: "Both the Trump and Obama Administrations in Syria went far beyond the congressionally authorized use of force to go after terrorists. ... I am pleased [Trump] is bringing our troops home."
- Obama's first Syria ambassador, Robert Ford, to Axios' Haley Britzky: "I'm not a big supporter of Donald Trump, but in this case he's making the right call. ... The U.S. has no huge national security interests in northeastern Syria."
Between the lines: "Trump is now contradicting what all of his other top national security officials have been telling the world for months," per Rogin.
- Just Monday, Trump's special representative for Syria engagement said Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad won't be able to wait out a U.S. exit.
- “I think if that’s [Assad's] strategy, he’s going to have to wait a very long time."