Democrats and some Republicans predicted the worst when President Trump thought outside the box and found a different way to address the Syrian-Kurd-Turkish crisis. The worst didn’t happen. The Kurds are safe, Turkey’s not attacking them, there is a safe zone at other nations’ expense, and the U.S. is guarding the oil wells.
It might not last, but we couldn’t go to war with our NATO partner, as bad as they are.
The New York Times asked veterans, military, and the general population what they thought about continuing wars as both parties push for a military presence in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They hold an opposite viewpoint from the party leaders and it explains their support for the President.
“The shifting attitudes of so many who served in the wars help explain why Mr. Trump has support among veterans as he brings troops home and has resisted military action against other nations. There is a slow but steadily increasing alliance of those on the left and the right on Capitol Hill to curb what Mr. Trump calls ‘endless wars.’
The majority do not feel the war in Iraq was worth fighting. Fewer, but still the majority, think Afghanistan was not worth it. More than half oppose continuing the operation in Syria.
“Among veterans, 64% say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, slightly higher than the 62% of civilians who feel the same way. Disagreement with the conflict in Afghanistan is lower — 58% of veterans and 59% of the general public believe that was not a worthy war. While some veterans support continued military engagement in Syria, more than half — 55% — oppose it.
The majority support the President’s policies in general.
“Veterans have supported Mr. Trump more than the general population. About 56 percent of veterans said they approved of the job he was doing as president, compared with 42 percent of the population overall, according to a poll by The Associated Press last year, consistent with other poll findings. Veterans like Mr. Trump’s vow to support their care and bolster military spending, and in some cases, they agree with his America First foreign policy calling for a smaller footprint for United States forces abroad.”
The killing of al-Baghdadi confirmed their views.
For some veterans, especially those who identify themselves as liberal, the killing last weekend of the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi underscored, rather than weakened, their views.
The President was willing to suffer the slings and arrows when he didn’t go along with the prevailing opinion. He knew he would take a hit politically, but he took the risk.
Give peace a chance.