Prompting widespread criticism and shocking the world, President Donald Trump announced on December 19 via Twitter the withdrawal of all United States troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
As previously reported by the Inquistir, bar a handful of notable exceptions, virtually the entire media and political establishment criticized the decision. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle sounded the alarms, media publications observed that the United States has "lost the Cold War," and even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opined on social media that Trump is benefiting Russia and Iran.
But it is not only lawmakers and the media that is surprised and confused by the decision. United States Marines stationed in Afghanistan "have no idea" what is happening and remain unsure if Trump is even telling the truth, Raw Story reports.
General Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant at Bost Air Field in Afghanistan, was asked by the press what Trump's Twitter orders mean for deployed Marines.
"That's a really good question. And the honest answer is I have no idea."According to General Neller, Marines' families in the United States don't even know if and when they are leaving, and neither do the Marines.
"If Gen. Neller, one of the highest-ranking officers in the American military doesn't know what's happening, who does?" the Wall Street Journal asked, perhaps illustrating the unusual predicament deployed United States Marines have found themselves in.
Other military officials have confirmed that there has been no official communication between the White House, Pentagon, and the deployed troops.Unsure what to tell his men, General Neller told his troops that there has indeed been no communication with Washington and that he has only "read some stuff" in the newspaper. The general, he said, has a "little more" knowledge than what has been reported by the media.
"I don't think anybody really knows exactly what's going to happen. I've read the same stuff in the newspaper you did, I have a little more knowledge than that, but not a whole lot more," Neller told his subordinates.
The abrupt withdrawal ordered by President Donald Trump is being criticized by many and praised by only a few. Republican Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul, for instance, praised the decision in a series of media interviews and Twitter posts, ridiculing neoconservatives and "warmongers," while mocking John Bolton.
According to the Daily Beast, it was indeed Bolton who had prompted the decision, albeit accidentally. Known for being a war-hawk, Bolton reportedly pushed for an expansion of American forces in Syria, in order to challenge Iran. But the plan backfired, and Trump decided to withdraw the troops, both from Syria and from Afghanistan.