National Journal’s Politics Editor Josh Kraushaar spoke to Fox News Wednesday about Donald Trump‘s ordering of U.S. airstrikes that killed Kataib Hezbollah combatants in Iraq allegedly supported by Iran. The attack came after the president accused the group of conducting a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.
According to Kraushaar, Trump’s response reflects his “bipolar foreign policy,” Newsweek reports.
“The president certainly has campaigned and talked about getting us out of the Middle East, trying to withdraw troops, avoiding the notion of endless wars,” Kraushaar began.
“But the reality of what is happening in Iraq — where you have Iranian-backed militias attacking Americans and our interests — certainly has given the hawkish wing of the Republican Party and the president’s hawkish side a little more momentum heading into the new year.”
Although Trump has vowed to pull U.S. troops from perpetual foreign wars, he recently committed more soldiers to the Middle East, suggesting that pulling back from the region might not happen anytime soon.
“The president sort of has a bipolar foreign policy. His rhetoric doesn’t necessarily match what’s going on the ground.”
In response to supporters and allies of Kataib Hezbollah storming the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, America deployed 100 Marines and two Apache helicopters to the embassy. Not long after, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced the deployment of 750 more soldiers to the region.
UPDATE : #Iraq Situation
• US troops arrive in Baghdad (video) • Esper to deploy 750 more, # could go up to 4000
• Iraqi Militias order supporters to leave US embassy vicinity
• Iran summons Swiss ambassador; Khamenei tweets at Trump pic.twitter.com/Slb5H3Hw4H
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) January 1, 2020
Kraushaar is not the first to call out the disconnect between Trump’s rhetoric and the reality of his foreign policy. Independent Justin Amash previously took aim at Trump’s foreign policy in Syria and accused him of not having any intention of ending wars. Although at the time, Trump claimed to be pulling U.S. troops from Syria with the intention of bringing them home, Amash wasn’t buying it.
The Michigan Representative noted that Trump has increased troop presence in the Middle East and vetoed legislation to limit the U.S.’s involvement in the Yemen war, calling him a “fraud.”
“Bring home our troops,” Amash continued.
Amash also slammed Trump for the route he took in pulling U.S. troops from Syria. While Amash believed Trump should have worked to prevent Turkey from taking advantage of the removal, the libertarian congressman noted that the president instead allowed Turkey to enter the region and launch an attack on Kurdish fighters.
Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has also been highly critical of Trump’s foreign policy. She recently voiced her concerns about Trump’s “impulsive” and “short-sighted” airstrikes against Iranian militia and suggested that his actions are taking the United States “deeper into mid-east quagmire.”