February 5, 2019


Pentagon walks back Trump idea of using Iraq base to counter Iran (Jack Detsch, February 5, 2019, Al Monitor)

Top Donald Trump administration officials indicated today that US bases in Iraq would have little role in monitoring Iran-backed proxies after the president vowed in a TV interview that American troops would stay in the country to "watch" Iranian forces.

Iraqi political figures roundly criticized Trump in the wake of a Sunday interview on CBS' "Face the Nation." President Barham Salih, a longstanding American ally, called the potential action "unacceptable" and insisted the United States hadn't been granted permission by Baghdad to snoop on Iran.

Testifying before Congress today, just hours before Trump's State of the Union address, US Central Command chief Joseph Votel said that the Pentagon's mission focusing on the defeat of the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS) had not changed despite the administration's focus on curtailing Iran's use of Shiite proxy groups in the Middle East.

Even if he is a grotesquely incompetent and corrupt racist, it's at least mildly worrying that the military barely acknowledges that he's the commander-in-chief.  It's a constitutional crisis best solved by his removal.

Posted by at February 5, 2019 7:14 PM