President Trump Briefing With Senior Military Leadership – Video and Transcript…

Earlier this evening President Trump held a meeting with senior military leadership prior to a dinner with spouses at the White House. [Video and Transcript Below]


[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, everybody. This is a group gathering of very talented people. And somebody was saying before, I think Mark Esper, our new Secretary of Defense — and, by the way, congratulations.

SECRETARY ESPER: Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Congratulations on really having done already a really great job. But you were saying this is the first group where just about everybody — they’re appointed by Trump. And that’s good. That’s good. Just about everybody. So we have the people that we want. We’re very happy with them.

Our military is in great shape. I want to — in particular, I want to congratulate Mark for new — the new boss, right? You’re the new boss. And it’s some somebody that’s respected by everybody in this room and respected by just about everybody outside of this room, I can tell you. So, Joint Chiefs of Staff. The head is — that’s — it doesn’t get any bigger in your world.

But we are having a meeting tonight. We have a meeting now, and then we’re going to the White House and we’re going to have dinner with the wives and families. And we’re going to have some very interesting conversation.

Things are going very well with our military. We’ve spent $2.5 trillion since I’ve been President, and rebuilt our military. When I came in, we were low on ammunition and, as you know, we had jets that didn’t work too well. We had a lot of — a lot of old planes, and we have now, beautiful new planes, or certainly we have a lot of them coming, but we have a lot of them right now in stock.

And we’re — we’re doing things I think that nobody thought was possible. We have had extraordinary relationships with a lot of our allies and, I would say, good relationships with others. But we want fairness, we want — we want to be treated respectfully. We help a lot of nations, and they are not — they’re not sometimes there for us. So we want to help the ones that — that we want, and we want to help the ones that deserve the help. And I think we’ve discussed this at length, all of us. Perhaps there’ll be some changes made, and perhaps not. But we have to be respected as a nation.

A lot of things are changing. You have some very, very wealthy nations, extremely wealthy nations, where we take care of their military and we take care of their military needs. Nobody can do it better than us. But we are really not being reimbursed for what we’re doing.

And we’re having some very nice talks, very friendly talks. And for the most part, I would say, without exception, people are coming through and they’re saying, “You know, we have to help out also.”

So a lot of very exciting things are happening with our military. We have a great team. This is our team right here. They’re some of the best leaders in the world. I think they’re probably the best leaders in the world. We have the greatest men, we have the greatest women, and we have the greatest equipment. Nobody makes it like we do.

So I just want to thank you all. We’ll have a discussion. Then we’re going to go over and have dinner at the White House. And thank you all very much for being here. Appreciate it.

Q Mr. President, are you confident that — are you confident that these gentlemen — I guess, mostly who are sitting around you — believe what you’re doing in Syria is the best idea at this point?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’ve been in Syria for a long time.
And it was supposed to be a very short hit, and — hit on ISIS. But it didn’t work out that way. They never left. And they’ve been there for many, many years. And we are — we were down to very few soldiers in Syria. We had 50 in the region that you’re talking about — 50 soldiers — and they’ve been already moved out.

But we’ll see what happens with respect to a lot of different things. We’ve told Turkey — I spoke with President Erdoğan of Turkey, and I said, “Got to treat them good, and you got to take care of ISIS.” Don’t forget, we’ve captured — we defeated — this group, largely — defeated ISIS. One hundred percent of the caliphate. One hundred percent. And we wanted to do 100 percent. I was going to do this nine months ago, and we were not at 100 percent, but we were pretty close. Everyone said, “Can we get to 100 percent?” Now I get to 100 percent, and they say, “Well, maybe we could stay longer.” I say, “Well, when do we get out?” There’s got to be a time we get out. We have to bring our people back home.

And frankly, our great soldiers have been talking about this on the campaign. You go back three years ago and more, and you watch the speeches. We want to bring our soldiers back home. These are the endless wars.

And we’re not fighting; we’re policing, to a large extent. We’re policing in certain areas. We’re not police, we’re — these are fighters, great fighters; the greatest in the world. And that’s what they do.

So I’ve told President Erdoğan — I hope he’s going to treat everybody with great respect. You have to understand, they’ve been fighting various of the people that we were working with, and they — Turkey has been fighting them for many years. Somebody said hundreds of years. You had just mentioned to me yesterday, 200 years, maybe more.

At some point, we have to bring our people back home. And that’s what we’re doing. That’s what we’re doing.

Q Is it a firm decision, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: It’s always a firm decision. Last time I made a firm decision, but — and I said, “We’ll do it over a period of time.” We’ve been doing this, actually, over a period of time — over a very long period of time. And we’ve been working with the people in this room, and our soldiers have been coming back over that period of time.

I think that one of the very big factors when we defeated ISIS — we have thousands right now, of ISIS fighters and families. We have family members, wives, children. And many of them come out of Europe, they come out of Germany, they come out of France and other countries of Europe, and I told them, “You have to take these people back.” You have to take them back, give them trials, do whatever you have to do. And they said, “No, we don’t want to do that. I said, “Well, you have to do that.” That’s not fair to the American taxpayers. It’s not fair to America. It’s not fair to the United States not to do that. But they chose not to do it. I said, “Again, you got to take them back.” We can’t take care of sixty, seventy thousand people.

And we’re not going to move the fighters to Guantanamo Bay and take care of them for many, many years into the future. It’s not for us. We did you a great service, a great favor. We defeated the caliphate 100 percent, and now it’s time for Germany and France, and all of the nations where they came from, to take them back. And they chose no. And maybe they’ll — maybe they’re going to change their tune now. I don’t know.

But in the meantime, we’ll have to rely on the European nations. We’ll have to rely on various other nations — as an example, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Russia, and some other nations — to take care of these fighters. But the American taxpayer is not going to spend 50 years of paying tax, or whatever it may be that they’re — wherever they may be, for instance, Guantanamo, or, for instance, prisons in the United States. The American taxpayer won’t put up with that.

Q Mr. President, are you concerned with what the second whistleblower may reveal about your conversation with Ukraine?

THE PRESIDENT: Not at all, because the call was a perfect call. You had stenographers, you had people that took it down exactly. It was a perfect call. It’s just a scam. This is a scam by the Democrats to try and win an election that they’re not going to win in 2020.

All you have to do is take a look at the polls, see what happened. One poll had me up 12 points, 16 points, or 17 points.

We — just take a look at what’s going on. The people understand it’s a scam. They’re trying to win an election in 2020 by using impeachment. If you look at that call, it’s a perfect call. It’s congenial. There was no pressure. And what did the head of Ukraine say? What did the head — did he say there was no pressure? Did his person say — his top representative, his foreign minister, say there was no pressure whatsoever. There was no pressure put on him. This is a scam. This is one of the greatest scams we —

Look, we beat you on the — we won on the Mueller scam. That was a whole big deal. That lasted for two and a half years. We had a few days of peace and then, all of a sudden, they came up with this one. But I guess it’s just part of my life. This is the most ridiculous thing many people have ever seen. All you have to do is read. All you have to do is read what they wrote down, the stenographers. They wrote down an exact call.

Now, what happened is Schiff, Adam Schiff, went up before Congress, and he read the most horrible speech, attributed the speech to me. These people won’t believe this one. If you went to Annapolis, West Point, or the Air Force Academy, you’re not going to believe this one happened. He went up, and he took a speech, and he made it up. It was horrible. And he said, “The President of the United States said this on the call.” It’s a fraud. He real- — I mean, it’s a fraudulent speech. What he did is incredible. And it shouldn’t be allowed. And I don’t think it’s going to be allowed. I think a lot of things are happening.

By the way, Nancy Pelosi knew it was a fraud, and she didn’t say anything about it. But if you look at the call — you just take a look at that call — that call is a very — a terrific call. It’s congenial, there was no pressure, there was no anything. And you know it, and so do I, and so does everybody else. And that’s why the polls are doing well. That’s why — I don’t bring up fundraising, but that’s why, I believe, in the history of the Republican Party at this time, they’ve never had anything like the numbers that have been raised. They raised $13 million in many small donations in a 24-hour period. That hasn’t even happened.

So, people understand that it’s a fraud. It’s a scam. It’s a witch hunt. And all we do is just keep fighting for the American people, because that’s all I do.

We win. Our economy is doing great. Our jobs numbers are the best they’ve ever been. Just about the best they’ve ever been for many groups: African Americans, Asians, Hispanics. They’re the best they’ve ever been in the history of our country. And overall, they’re the best numbers in 51 years.

So, we’re doing great things and we’re going to keep going. Thank you very much.

END 6:25 P.M. EDT

This entry was posted in Big Government, Donald Trump, Military, Patriotism, President Trump, Syria, Turkey, Uncategorized, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to President Trump Briefing With Senior Military Leadership – Video and Transcript…

  1. tax2much says:

    “We had a few days of peace and then, all of a sudden, they came up with this one. But I guess it’s just part of my life.”

    I just astonished of what President Trump puts up with so he can do the right thing for USA.

    Liked by 22 people

    • Linda K. says:

      That’s right. They had the lovely State dinner with Australia, then Trump was at the United Nations giving a great speech, then Nancy and the dems struck with this b.s.

      Liked by 7 people

  2. Dekester says:

    One of the real tragedies in all of this anti PDJT vitriol. Has been the utter disrespect shown to your truly beautiful First Lady.

    Great to hear PDJT say something like where just about everybody was appointed by Trump.

    God bless PDJT

    Liked by 13 people

  3. POTUS speaking about the impeachment coup with these officers surrounding him makes for interesting timing, does it not? What was the occasion for this extraordinary meeting? Followed by a WH dinner with the wives?

    Liked by 9 people

    • The Boss says:

      As a rule, our military doesn’t lie, cheat or steal. Nor does it tolerate those who do. That little tidbit was implied but not stated as a lead in to mentioning the name ‘Schiff’.

      Liked by 7 people

      • James Carpenter says:

        I would seperate the “E”s from the Admirals and Generals. Rank-and-file, very much tending towards the “doesn’t lie, cheat or steal” side of the card.
        But then there is the Pentagon. And Washington DC. And who you can support and make look good above you while advancing into the upper eschelons…


    • czarowniczy says:

      Thing to remember with military officers is their promotions have to be approved by the Senate, that’s a Constitutional obligation. The lists of those to be promoted are reviewed by the Armed Services Committee, rubber stamped and sent to the Senate where they receive unanimous approval.

      What you need to do is dig up the the CVs of any flag officers you’re interested in and see connection(s) to any given Senator that officer might have – not all do but…

      The services gin up their own lists, each having its own hoops the potential promotees have to leap. Now if an officer’s been assigned to a Senator’s staff for a year or two, or to some major Congressional or White House position such as the National Security Council that officer’s generally (no pun intended) seen to be on the fast track unless s/he steps on his/her epaulets. If you have an errant officer who’s been assigned to some office like Schumer’s or Feinstein’s, and one of an opposite political bent gets assigned to a given pol, and said officer owes his/her career to said politician…where do loyalties lie?

      There are also political connections outside of the Capitol that come into play and they are much harder to track but if you look at the military careers of Generals Powell and Schwarzkopf you can see how two different paths lead to the same seats. Trump’s CinC but he still has to keep an eye on the ranks.

      Liked by 4 people

    • To PASS INFORMATION in a facility that is VERRRY SECURE…The White House!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Chip Doctor says:

    PT speaking about Schiff “And it shouldn’t be allowed. And I don’t think it’s going to be allowed. I think a lot of things are happening.” If I were Adam, this would make me a tad nervous. The more this goes on the more I think this was a big fat VSG trap.

    Liked by 10 people

    • railer says:

      Yes, that jumped out to me as well. Trump ALWAYS signals his direction. It’s part of his genius. He tells us where he’s going, and give EVERYBODY a chance to react, both his supporters and enemies. Maybe it all goes his way just on that alone. It’s genius. It’s the exact opposite of what these Swamp creatures do. They hide and lie, and exposure blunts their schemes. Trump uses directional forces to bolster his ideas, which he broadcasts early.

      Schiff should be wary.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Patience says:

    President Trump has meeting with Senior Military and then dinner with spouses and family.
    WHAT???? No cool White House concerts and jive-lavish parties?
    >Work, work, work.

    Thank you, Sir; and First Lady Melania !

    Liked by 11 people

  6. Devil in the Blue Drapes says:

    Tucker’s monologue was excellent tonight.
    If you’re pressed for time, skip to 6:32.
    Rey Col Douglas McGregor gives the best explanation on Pres Trump’s geopolitical shuffling of the ME deck I’ve ever heard anyone explain.

    Liked by 12 people

    • JoeMeek says:

      McGregor s/b SecDef.


    • JoeMeek says:

      Tucker Carlson said some of those who have kept us in Afcrapistan for 18 years should be in jail. I’m not certain, but I think he meant Generals.


      • GB Bari says:

        C_A is probably part of the push to have the USA continue to “police” Afghanistan so that the C_A can continue to fund their illegal unauthorized ops, both domestic and around the world, from the sale of poppy products…. (similar to the reason why the same organization opposes the Wall through their paid-off mouthpieces – pro-open borders Senators and Representatives.)

        Seems to me that an agency that has enough money to fund those “six ways from Sunday” illegal, immoral, unethical, and unlimited character assassination attempts against our legitimately elected President is obviously way over-funded and needs a significant cut in their annual budget. Like 50% or more. Until they learn how to obey the law and the American electorate.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. donny2837 says:

    Thank you Sundance. Another great day in the Treehouse. The last 2 transcripts you put up of our Commander in Chief Q & A’s with the propaganda arm of the domestic coup d’etat enemy are so easy for people to comprehend. To see our Commander in Chief putting the hammer down, throwing the enemy asunder.

    By the way, Don Lemon had Clapper on, Clapper frightened out of his skin. His whole program was everyone asking each other what can we do? No one knew. Also, one guest came out of left field on an over 1 minute rant about the long gone Qanon. Lemon let him talk. Said some such group or agency was going to call the Qanon group a terrorist group. It was wild.

    Not a bad day for D+8 of the Great Counter Offense Campaign. Very good in fact. Hooah!

    Liked by 8 people

    • Robert Smith says:

      I miss Q. It was entertaining and it drove Democrats nuts.

      Liked by 4 people

      • 8Chan will be back online soon. Ron and his tech wizards have built a private secure infrastructure to effect total independence from the likes of Cloudflare. Quite funny, Jim Watkins (8Chan owner) wore a “Q” lapel pin when testifying at Congress, and during an interview with OANN. Oh boy, MSM still loves to crap all over Q & the Anons don’t they… there’ve been 100’s of hit pieces (and all for a LARP?)

        Liked by 2 people

  8. rashomon says:

    After reading as much as possible on PDJT’s phone discussion with Ukraine, the Schiff’s speech astounded me. Is he living in the same world or in some type of time warp fashioned in his imagination? His meme grows as other Congresscritters and the media keep repeating his lies.

    In 1998 Bill Clinton signed a “Treaty Between the United States of America and Ukraine on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters” and it is still in effect. PDJT has the right to seek Ukraine’s help in uncovering such activity — which the Democrats have been yapping about incessantly without producing proof — in order to uncover the facts and take action to prevent further abuse. Just because a Democrat candidate for the 2020 election may be involved in potential criminal behavior does not make that person immune…nor the president’s action impeachable.

    Liked by 8 people

  9. philip faustman says:

    I hope he doesn’t leave the Kurd’s to die. He made it sound like he wanted to cut and leave northern Syria in his tweet. Hope he was just being sloppy like many times before. Bragging about spending 2.2 Trillion wasn’t pretty either. I love and support him but wow. Say what you mean Sir, please. The Kurds were our allies in fighting ISIS and they have a prison with ten thousand Islamic Jihadist’s ready to get out if the Kurds fall. We must maintain a presence to protect our interests and our Kurdish allies. If we don’t it will look very ugly to the world.


    • botchedcasuality says:

      It would be an ugly scar on our souls to abandon the Kurds, but I also agree not our progeny should put boots on the ground.

      Liked by 1 person

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Pretty brave of you to insult the most powerful man in the world from your keyboard. President Trump has never been “sloppy” and, hey, it isn’t bragging if it’s true.

      Boo hoo….. We might “look very ugly to the world.” The world will have to deal with it.

      Liked by 11 people

    • Robert Smith says:

      Many people say we shouldn’t be interventionist until it’s for their cause. There is no clean way to break except to just do so. There has been clear enough signaling. I am also sure the Kurds can take care of themselves.

      Liked by 4 people

    • JoeMeek says:

      Don’t know how to break it to you, but Endless Wars have lost their appeal.

      Liked by 7 people

    • BitterC says:

      The Kurds have been our “allies” purely because it serves their interests. Period.

      There is an alternative to allowing the ISIS fighters to escape. One that would have been acted on long ago if the Kurds were left to their own devices

      The European fighters should be executed for treason

      Liked by 7 people

    • Mike in a Truck says:

      How long Sir? I dont know. When can we go home Sir? I dont know. Cant we just kill the enemy and go home Sir? No, we have to provide security and take care of these civilians. But how can I provide security when I cant even put a magazine in my weapon Sir? You ask to many questions go see your platoon leader and ask him to give you something to do. Sir! yes Sir!

      Liked by 6 people

    • President Trump ALWAYS says what he means, and it is always the truth, even when it is a hard truth and he is being positive-minded about our chances for a positive outcome.

      This is so much the case that, people like you who question the President or his motives — which, again, are always for the best for America first — are no better than the enemy.

      The President has assured us of his actions to protect the Kurds, and to get other nations to step up to handle the ISIS prisoners. It’s a hard situation, when all those other nations literally REFUSE to engage responsibly. The bottom line is, our President — the absolutely best, and arguably ONLY thoroughly competent, President any of us have seen in our lifetimes — is on the ball, across the board, and any who think they could do better are deluding themselves.

      And I say that as a dispassionate, lifelong politically disinterested, physical scientist, who voted Democrat for President from 1976 through 2004 (the Insane Left changed that when they came in with Obama/Soetoro in 2008).

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Elric VIII says:

    The Kurds are very capable of taking care of themselves, as long as we can supply them with what they need. That didn’t seem to be part of the discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dollops says:

      Good point. Without airpower or effective counterweaponry the Kurds cannot defend themselves. Not that we should expect gratitude from any Muslim faction, but they don’t seem to have anything better to do than fight each other so let’s try to even the odds so that they can go at it longer, more salubrious to the civilized world.


  11. cthulhu says:

    Oh………word…..that last pic shows Melania in yet another stunning dress, and the guy in uniform looking away. WTH is wrong with him?


  12. Ma McGriz says:

    ” it’s a fraudulent speech. What he did is incredible. And it shouldn’t be allowed. And I don’t think it’s going to be allowed. I think a lot of things are happening. ”

    I feel certain this is not idle talk.

    Bring it, Mr. President.

    Liked by 8 people

  13. czarowniczy says:

    I’m betting this was, after the doors were closed, a Pentagon/White House ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting and it’s about a week overdue.

    Here at CTH, way back when it was the Kurds bearing the brunt of the anti-ISIS fighting, there were a few of us saying that (a) the RUssians would enter the war and remain solidly entrenched in Syria, (b) that Turkey would push to regain Syria’s eastern provinces it owned under the Ottoman and (c) the Kurds would (again) get thrown under the international bus by the US as they have so often in the past.

    We don’t need the Kurds now, ISIS is flat and the Russians/Syrians are able to deal with what’s left. We obligingly did the lion’s share of the flattening and now the players with the big stakes on the table have agreed to splitting the pot.

    Russia has its Syrian puppet firmly back in the saddle, that was never in doubt, and they’ve enlarged old military installations there and opened new ones to protect their assets.

    Turkey is not going to let the Kurds sit in those eastern provinces, that would give them not only solid positions on two Turkish flanks but a home in those Syrian provinces that Turkey claims. We all sorta winked at the Kurds sitting in them, letting them believe that they’d get them as a reward for taking years of pounding fighting the ISIS battle for us. Now we need Turkey and Turkey’s playing us against the Russians for all it’s worth. The Kurds have zip to trade now, they’ve lost their stake.

    Turkey’s bought Russian A-400 missiles pissing NATO, and the US especially mightily. The US tried to retaliate with refusing to sell F-35s to Turkey so Russia’s dangling the possible sales of SU-035 and SU-57 aircraft to Turkey instead and is selling Turkey ‘peaceful’ nuclear reactors to generate power. That would make Turkey the only NATO nation with Russian equipment…see where this is going?

    It’s looking like Syria and Russia is also dangling the prospect of relinquishing those eastern provinces to Syria under conditions favorable to all parties, added sugar to the mix. So what’s a country that needs Turkey on its sie gonna do?????

    Trump’s moved most US troops out of Syria but the small force that remains is more or less embedded with the Kurds, it relies on the Kurds as its main force when it conducts patrols or sweeps, and if the Turks decide – more like ‘when’ – to move on the Kurds the small US forces are caught in the middle. The longer the Turks have to hold back the more anti-US they become and the more sugar the Russian throw at them. Remember we need Turkey as a block to the Russian’s south, especially for control of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, and as a base for intel gathering. It’s also the largest military force in the Mideast and a valuable counterweight to other Mideast countries moves.

    The Pentagon was very unhappy when Trump pulled the bulk of US troops out of Syria and sort of broke precedent by letting everyone know it wasn’t happy with the moves of its CinC. Then after a conversation with Erdogan Trump allows the Turks to conduct an operation in the Kurdish areas that the Pentagon was worried the Turks would use to conduct intel operations against the Kurds that could be used in an attack. Trump says the ops are a ‘go’, Erdogan comes to the US and the Pentagon blows a couple of corks and starts openly bad-mouthing Trumps decision…most likely hoping Congress goes after Trump.

    The Pentagon never has been one to understand and ungrudgingly accept the reality of politics. The Kurds are now, as they have been in the past, frequently useful and very expendable pawns. They hold nowhere near the power that Turkey has yet without any other option they regularly get caught up in playing the Wile E. Coyote role. They got it after Desert Storm – though at least we stopped Saddam from killing them – just as they did after we used them in the 2003 invasion and they’re gonna get it now in Syria. They have to play even though they know they can’t win. The Pentagon decided to break protocol and criticize the POTUS’s actions so we have a big show solidarity party of flag officers and crow for the main course.

    I feel for the Kurds just as I do the Yards and Nungs we screwed in Vietnam and the Dawn Cossacks and some 25,000 Allied POWs we threw to the Russians after WW II. Though it was and is all politics it still hurts, it just is what it is. I’m looking to see if there’ll be an uptick in Pentagon retirements in the next few months.

    Liked by 6 people

    • JoeMeek says:

      ” I’m looking to see if there’ll be an uptick in Pentagon retirements in the next few months.”

      This would be wonderful news. Although some would end up as high paid lobbyists working against America’s interests..

      Liked by 1 person

      • czarowniczy says:

        Flag officers are politicians in uniform. Promotions up to about 0-5 are more or less pro forma. 0-6 is like a shining gate to the big times and the flag positions are a political dog fight, ya gotta know someone. Downside is that it’s dog eat dog after 0-6.

        Liked by 3 people

    • usmclt says:

      You, sir, get it. Excellent analysis! Semper Fi!

      Liked by 1 person

      • czarowniczy says:

        It’s just my putting together things that the MSM doesn’t, they’ve vignettes the MSM puts out but not together.

        Liked by 1 person

        • ann says:

          And much appreciated your “putting things together “ is, czar .


          • czarowniczy says:

            It’s old stuff, the players change but the script doesn’t. In recent history we had McArthur and Truman, various generals during Vietnam, Desert Storm, our Balkan adventures, our Mideast tour de force – it’s expected.

            Every now and then though, a CinC has to rein in the whiners and reestablish command or the whole thing falls apart. I’m betting Trump wanted a nice sit down dinner and discussion before he lopped any heads, bad time to do that politically.

            Liked by 1 person

    • GB Bari says:

      The Kurds have zip to trade now.

      What about all the oil they’re sitting on top of?


      • czarowniczy says:

        They’re sitting on it, they don’t own it, they’re squatters as far as all concerned feel.

        The Kurds have been fighting for a Kurdistan homeland but that would require taking land from existing nations, all who have pots in the game too big to mess with.

        Remember at the end of Desert Storm where we established a safe zone in Iraq for the Kurds? We kept a no-fly zone over it for some 12 years until we invaded, kept the Kurds there somewhat safe (for some reason we left Saddam attack them with helicopters) but not we nor anyone else would declare the Iraqi area Kurdistan or even Kurd-owned and we let the Turks keep on whacking Kurds on Turkish land.

        About all the Kurds own is the clothes on their backs and their weapons and at any time that could change too.

        Liked by 1 person

    • dollops says:

      Russia needs the Dardanelles, we don’t. Let them annex Constantinople if that’s what their long range goal is – it will satisfy two of Russia’s genuine desires: to have secure access to the Mediterranean Sea; and to wrest Orthodoxy’s founding city from the Muslim invaders. All this “Russians are coming” hysteria is disingenuous; it’s the Muslims who are coming, and in that regard Russia is on our side.

      Liked by 2 people

      • czarowniczy says:

        We need the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus to block the Russian Black Sea fleet. Without them as asset bases and chokepoints the Russians would have a greater access to the Med and the ability to raise hell there, it would virtually become their bathtub.

        The Russians fought to retain their naval base at Tartus after the USSR fell, it was that important that they devoted resources that could have been spent elsewhere to keep it. Just a few years back they were working hard to get naval basing at Alexandria as they once had, they need to block NATO from blocking their main warm water port and setting up shop in the Black Sea. Look how hard they worked and what they risked to secure the Crimea and Sevastopol.

        The Chinese, Russia’s ‘good buds’, also have a ‘commercial’ port on the Suez, yet another Western chokepoint, and the Russians have to see this as a potential strategic threat. NATO holds the eastern and western egress points their fleet has to transit and now the Chinese hold the one remaining. Some days it sucks to be the Russian navy.

        Liked by 1 person

        • ann says:

          Excuse my kinda naive questions, I don’t have anyone to ask other than Treepers.

          I read much history, international affairs, but foreign policy analysis of Clinton/Bush/Obama era suffers from political bias & choked scholarly access to accurate archives esp re ME adventurism.
          Prime example: Libya. 2009- present .An imperfect state & proactive new US ally. Clinton/Powers/Transnationals co opt NATO, destroy Quadaffi & civil order.
          Result: reversion to vicious pet bigot clients, irredentist sects, ISIS, race, confessional & ethnic genocide sweeping through North Africa & Levant .

          Multiple similar interventions but our Nat Sec, State & FP community refuses to produce analysis which incorporates huge contributory factors and consequences.
          political, monetary incentives .

          Our nation’s ability to respond productively is held hostage by Establishment Resist.

          But these are thoughts of an uninformed amateur. This is not my field.

          As a frequent reader, our election of POTUS hit the Beltway Potentates hard.
          Legacy journals in economic, foreign policy, Nat sec, IT, are inundated with disputatious white papers and dubious Wilsonian paens.
          Clap trap, without hard fact,

          In contrast, the pragmatic historically informed , Treeper community is outstandingly level headed, unlike me. I get riled up.

          Is port access for naval power still as relevant in this era of carriers with extended air & artillery (?) strike power?

          As per major powers, US, Russia, China,
          Or a complex interplay involving smaller regional powers, Turkish, Saudi, Egypt?

          Is actual presence on land translated into an increased ability to project political soft influence? Or is the motivating factor providing control & infrastructure for energy & commercial activities, export / import, etc.?

          Liked by 2 people

          • czarowniczy says:

            Each Administration has to come up with agendas to ensure its own survival and that the interests of those parties who supported its election get met, those agendas may not bne what you,I or the next guy wants or needs.

            Clinton gutted the military, a good part of that economic wonder he created was reduced government spending on defense and infrastructure. The ‘No New Taxes’ foible helped torpedo Bush I and Bill saw that, he had to provide an economic boost and keep that tax thing on the back burner. We didn’t need, he saw, a military as large as it was as Russia was a disheveled mess, the Bloc was coming to our side and China was not yet ascendant. We were in no shape to fight a big war as one wasn’t on the horizon. He could gut military and government services and the Republicans, who were still walking around in shock that their Cold War platform was gone, were defenseless.

            Bush inherited a mess. When we first launched the Afghanistan invasion we were lucky we were fighting a disheveled mess of an enemy as we were going to a come-as-you-were war, guys were sending letters home asking for supplies the military couldn’t supply, we had to fight a war as we rebuilt the military without the tax base to supply the funding.

            Obama inherited the Clinton/Bush mess but to me his agenda was a domestic reformation of some 60s Mod Squad kind of country…that and some of those shadier South Side Chicago related things. The guy gets a Nobel Prize because he says he’s going to stop the wars and ends up expanding them. He’s to me what you get when you take the Three Card Monte guy from the corner and elect him POtuS.

            All three were foreign policy jerks stuck in the 80s and a European-centric philosophy, they couldn’t understand the Mideast and, like Bush 1, couldn’t grasp that you can’t decapitate a Mideast country and expect it to turn into Niceville overnight – they ain’t us. In all fairness Bush 1 made the same error in ’91. The Brits started this mess there in WW 1 and it’s been rolling along ever since and we just don’t have the people who can understand or work with it. The Russians have an entire university dedicated to educating dedicated their Mideastern diplomats. They spend years training them in culture, history and languages – we send political hacks who get their appointments through political donations or in-house butt kissing. You wonder why we bounce from pillar to post there?

            We have barely professional diplomatic staff, how many of our ambassadors can speak the languages of the countries they’re assigned to? They implement the partisan political goals of whomever’s in the White House or what Congress wants…foreign nations have learned that. The Russians have some diplomatic/strategic goals that haven’t changed since Peter the Great and a professional and trained diplomatic staff designed to implement these goals over an extended time period regardless of which government is in charge.

            Just my opinion, we got a mess overseas because our politicians can’t come up with a strategy that lasts over a 3-day weekend and we don’t have professional diplomatic service like Russia, England or Germany has.

            Liked by 2 people

            • ann says:

              Amazing. Czar. THANK YOU.

              You deftly integrated content I’ve gleaned but am not able to synthesize . Everything you say resonates with what I read.

              Plus, your observations are grounded & sensible!
              temporary physical limitations on mobility, needed mental expansion.
              After President Trump’s election, the grim closeness of recent history isn’t so oppressive,
              Its PROOF we can & shall impact & fix, give a real future to oncoming Americans .

              I read a book each day focused on 17-20th century military/political western history.

              Prior exposure to early modern hx thru WWI & totalitarianism so depressing I hid out in antiquity, Ha!
              So catching up is my mental project, while getting a refit: series of spine surgeries & joint replacements.
              Concur, post Soviet Union abysmal inept hubris afflicts Establishment Foreign policy & a generation of grifters in economic & fiscal affairs.
              And you are right about the inept gangsta aura of our offficials too, ,
              An alarming spectacle, & exposed to the entire world.
              It’s as if somehow, the party & bureaucratic machines select & cultivate huge crops of stunted duds for higher level leadership
              roles. , Parochial, underbred Low lifes embarassing, but at least now we voted a collective repudiation of their contemptible clan.

              Liked by 1 person

              • czarowniczy says:

                We'[re all the pawns of powers larger than we are but the Founders gave us something unique: the power for us to combine and control them. I feel we’ve become too lazy while reveling in the results and we’re losing it. We actually have allowed the government we are supposed to control to import the seeds of our own destruction, assume control over our personal lives and become our ruler.

                Liked by 1 person

                • ann says:

                  “We have actually allowed the government to import the seeds of our own destruction…”

                  Broadly concur, we are accountable, and must reassume control.

                  With one major caveat,
                  The degeneration of our Legislature, which has ceased to identify with or represent citizens.
                  in my nonlawyerly mind, SCOTUS erred by fusing massive donations with free speech rights. Perhaps impeccable in abstract law,, but naive, juris- IMprudence.
                  A top down assertion of power which
                  corroded the political process’s integrity and ultimately, legitimacy as a bottom up representative body.

                  Voters were left w suborned political machines.

                  I see plenty of virtue in our society at large, but very little at the top,

                  Transparency, access to knowledge, builds an informed electorate of stewards rather than ‘consumers’.
                  Again, thanks czar for yet
                  Another informative thought provoking post.


    • James Carpenter says:

      Biting. Unflinching.
      czarowniczy, if you aren’t at a influential teaching post,you should be. Good Pealpolitik on steroids equates with describing the Universe in 25 words or less. Truth doesn’t need a lot of annotation or hand wringing consideration
      Our military attracts better men than average as a rule. It advances better men also. But the closer one gets to the top, all the more likely that political considerations compete with raw talent. You don’t get to Washington DC and the Pentagon without being wicked smart and talented. IPersisten, individual character traits of the initiates, less predictable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • czarowniczy says:

        I’ve been to more than one ‘Come To’ meeting and I had just finished an article in a military feed about Pentagon brass breaking ranks and openly criticizing Trump’s Turkey moves. The timing seemed too coincidental.

        Only surprise to me was that MSM didn’t pick up on it and use it as a Trump club.

        BTW, someone someplace else just posted that the Pentagon (take that as you will) just shut down Turkish air operations over eastern Syria preventing the Turks from using them against the Kurds to support a ground operation. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall to hear what compromises were made.

        Liked by 1 person

        • James Carpenter says:

          As an aside. But an imprtant aside. Do you have ANY accounting of the nukes at Incirlik? As we are posting in the open, lack of response would be understandable.
          But the question itself should be of public interest.


          • czarowniczy says:

            I retired 11 years ago and, to be honest, anything I’d have known about any nukes anywhere that isn’t open source would still be covered by an SF-312 somewhere.


      • czarowniczy says:

        There’s a whole bunch of generals from 0-7 thru 0-10 and some are great while others are…generals. I worked with a one-star who was a mustang, he came up through the enlisted ranks before he took a direct commission and then worked his way through officer ranks.

        He was a general I’d go over the top with in an instant, he not only knew the jobs of his unit he knew them in detail. I always sweated briefing him as he’d find some detail in the brief to quiz me on and I’d sure as hell be able to answer. Even if it were some other officer’s area that the brief was about he wanted to know what everyone under his command was doing. I watched him rip senior officers from units under his command briefing about their briefings to him when they made errors he caught, he’d have run-ins with other one and two stars over their lack of knowledge of the mission, he lacked…finesse…but he was right on top of it.

        In an Egypt deployment we’d rented some rooms in Cairo so that those of us in the desert could go into town for some R&R from living in a tent in ~130 degree temps. He never went in but did keep a note on how many officers and enlisted went in for how long. Those officers and senior NCOs who abused the privilege were noted and they found out when he put his notes on their next OER/NCOERs (efficiency reports).

        When the Mess ran out of beer (we were allowed one can per day after a discussion with the Egyptian base commander) he called Ramstein and got a couple of pallets of it flown in. He bounced me out of bed before dawn to drive him to the airfield before dawn to watch those pallets from plane to Mess lockup to make sure none disappeared. Not one other officer showed any interest.

        They ain’t all politicians by any means but those who aren’t generally get weeded out the higher they climb.


  14. 2Alpha says:

    “You have to take these people back.” You have to take them back, give them trials, do whatever you have to do. And they said, “No, we don’t want to do that. I said, “Well, you have to do that.” That’s not fair to the American taxpayers. It’s not fair to America. It’s not fair to the United States not to do that. But they chose not to do it. I said, “Again, you got to take them back.” We can’t take care of sixty, seventy thousand people.


    Liked by 5 people

  15. Somebody's Gramma says:

    I’m just a regular American and I am sick to death of our young men dying and becoming disabled in gruesome ways, leaving families without mothers and fathers, for the sake of “keeping the peace” in the Middle East. Our money and jobs went to China, and our young men died or were maimed in the Middle East. We’ve been “gutted”!! I’m so grateful that this President gets it. If the Middle East wants to blow itself up, let it. Why is that our problem? Why do we have to fund the whole world while our vets live on the streets and families struggle to make ends meet?!! Build that wall and command/protect the skies, seas, and space so they can’t hurt us! I care about all the people of the world but ultimately they must solve their own problems. Cold Anger doesn’t even begin to describe our reality. Rage is more like it. May God bless our President!

    Liked by 7 people

    • James Carpenter says:

      A nuclear “exchange” between the acknowledged (and soon-to-be-de-facto) Mideast powers will put Lil Ms Greta Thunberg on a “carbon free” boat to nowhere along with her inseperable like-spirited D Hogg.. Climate change?
      You ain’t seen nuthin yet.
      (Nuclear Winter) a phenomena well modeled and compares to Krakatoa on a scale several magnitudes greater.
      Have some “prepper” stores on hand.


  16. iwasthere says:

    Is that somebody’s gay navy wife with the FLOTUS?


    • GB Bari says:

      Not even close. Please see this link.

      Liked by 1 person

    • dollops says:

      My first thought was “Is this an affirmative action lesbian top-ranking officer?” When sanity returned, I was ashamed of my reaction. Look what the left hath wrought, that we now go beyond healthy skepticism into knee-jerk suspicions.
      My humble apologies to the officer who is undoubtedly a better man than I.
      OTOH it would have been more appropriate for him to have been pictured gazing appreciatively at his beautiful female companion of the moment, FLOTUS or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. usmclt says:

    Ha!!! Beat me to the punch, iwasthere! The average American looks at that guy and thinks he must be a great military hero, with all of his ribbons and badges. However, those of us who served in the military easily recognize the “warrior” standing next to the FLOTUS. Furthermore, we know how the guy accumulated the “fruit salad” on his chest. I seriously doubt that he saw one minute of real combat, but if he did, it was likely served as a staff officer, safely to the rear of any actual fighting. Take a look at the pictures of actual fighting generals in uniform like Patton or Puller from WWII. Then tell me how this guy has six rows of ribbons.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. MVW says:

    Trump has previously, over decades…, laid out what he said he would do and we are seeing him do it. Nothing is new.

    How long it takes for Trump to extricate the US military action from senseless, endless, Treasury & Budget busting ME war has been longer then he wanted, and that seems due to Mattis and Obama holdover generals. We saw the results of a change in Syria military leadership after Trump’s unscheduled Iraq trip. The new blood turnover seems in place.

    Don’t expect anything but ‘get it done,’ pure business faces on Trump’s Generals. Afghanistan exit timetable is next, I would not be surprised if that comes out of that meeting. No announcements of it either. We will know when we are gone from that hell hole.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ChampagneReady says:

    Graham said he’s actually going to start a Ukraine invesigation and is inviting Rudy to testify.

    Well, will miracles never cease.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Eastender says:

    Excellent explanation from our President on bringing troops home. I saw his statements live yesterday and was glad to have this video of it to show family and friends. Thanks Sundance!

    Liked by 1 person

    ( that’s a fake news headline)

    DEBKAfile sources refute the overblown reporting of a major US pullback from northeastern Syria and reveal that after 100-150 troops leave two observation posts, 2,250 remain in position. Our military sources disclose that, early Tuesday, Oct. 8, the Pentagon cut the Turkish army and air force off from US command and intelligence and the US regional Surveillance and Reconnaissance Task Force. Without these resources, Ankara cannot conduct any major aerial operation in Syria or elsewhere or launch an offensive operation outside Turkey because it would be denied air cover.

    Initial reporting on the US decision to leave two observation posts and so abandon the Kurds to a Turkish invasion was highly exaggerated due to diverse – often competing – motives.

    Those two posts on the Turkish border are not located in Kurdish territory. For now, there is no sign of the bulk of US forces quitting their air and other bases in Syria. Neither are Turkish forces seen to be preparing to attack Kurdish towns in northern Syria. American training and its flow of equipment continue uninterrupted for the Syrian Defense Forces, of which the Kurdish YPG is the backbone.

    As an added deterrent, President Donald Trump warned Turkey on Monday night if it “goes too far” – meaning that if President Recep Erdogan carries out his repeated threats to attack the Syrian Kurds to clear them out of the regions abutting on the Turkish border – the Turks “would suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy” which is already in a very bad way.


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