As President Trump’s declaration of victory over ISIS in Syria continues to reverberate around the globe, support for his decision to withdraw US troops is evaporating. Many of the most influential members of President Trump’s own party have been harshly critical of his unilateral decision to pull out of Syria and the justification for the withdrawal itself.
“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the president wrote on Twitter.
“The announcement came under immediate scrutiny,” The Daily Mail writes, “particularly when it was coupled with remarks that America’s liaison to the coalition fighting ISIS made a week ago.”
“Nobody is declaring a mission accomplished,’ Brett McGurk had argued. “Defeating a physical caliphate is one phase of a much longer-term campaign.”
That was last week. This week, the president himself is declaring “a mission accomplished.”
Now prominent Republicans are weighing in. Sen. Marco Rubio called the withdrawal a “great disservice” to the United States. Leaving Syria, he says, is a “big mistake” that shows “America’s adversaries [that] America is an unreliable partner.”
“Today’s decision will lead to grave consequences in the months and years to come,” Rubio added.
This is what’s being said publicly. There are likely more intense conversations happening in private. “Vice President Mike Pence just happened to be on Capitol Hill for a weekly meeting with Republican senators on Tuesday and took the brunt of the criticism behind closed doors,” Daily Mail writes.
Yet it is unclear if Pence was consulted in the matter at all. “It doesn’t feel to me there was any inter-agency process,” Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker noted. “I’m not sure even the principles knew. This is the role of the Congress. To make administrations explain their policy, not in a tweet, but before Congress answering questions.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) was quick to call out President Trump. “This is simply not true,” he Tweeted.
Kinzinger served in the Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan. While he’s been supportive of some of Trump’s agenda, he finds the claim of victory to be too much.
The decision is attracting the ire of many American citizens. Some are comparing this declaration of victory to another famous declaration.
Many took the opportunity to respond to President Trump. Most either noted that ISIS had not been defeated or that the move seems to placate Russia.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders elaborated on the Tweet.
“Five years ago, ISIS was a very powerful and dangerous force in the Middle East, and now the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate. These victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign,” Sanders said. “We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign.”
That hasn’t placated the critics.
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.)and a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee is also fighting back.
“If these media reports are true, it will be an Obama-like mistake made by the Trump Administration. While American patience in confronting radical Islam may wane, the radical Islamists’ passion to kill Americans and our allies never wavers,” Graham said.
One of the only notable tweets of support came from Senator Rand Paul.
The Tweet, though, has angered some who don’t understand how a president, any president, can simply “declare victory” when the enemy is still fighting and the stakes are so high.