Trump Signing MAGA Hats in Iraq May Have Violated Defense Department Rule

Content image- Phnom Penh Post

Content image- Phnom Penh Post

US President Donald Trump is seen through glass as he takes a photo with US troops at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany on Thursday.

US President Donald Trump spent around three and a half hours on the ground in Iraq on his first visit to a troubled region.

The decision blindsided Congress, terrified USA allies on the ground, and led to the abrupt resignations of both Defense Secretary James Mattis and the top State Department official managing the fight against Islamic State, Brett McGurk.

"Trump needs to know his limits".

"Trump must be aware that Iraq's sovereignty came with blood, not the building of bases in this country of resistance and martyrs".

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi walks out of the Parliament in Baghdad on October 2, 2018. Iraqi leaders didn't even seem to know Trump was planning a visit, although Trump's team reportedly reached out to Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's office, the Iraqi leader didn't want to come to Al-Asad air base and the personal meeting was cancelled.

The visit could have unintended consequences for American policy, with officials from both sides of Iraq's political divide calling for a vote in Parliament to expel US forces from the country.

Despite his order for a withdrawal of USA forces from Syria, the president made it clear that he is not abandoning the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Syria and Iraq. He would go on to lead the extremist group to expand into Syria, eventually leading the U.S.to send troops to that country, where they have been working with local forces since 2015.

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Trump acknowledged the impasse has no foreseeable end date, telling reporters he couldn't say when the government would fully reopen.

The suggestion ran counter to the current sentiment of Iraqi politics, which favours claiming sovereignty over foreign and domestic policy and staying above the fray in regional conflicts.

Trump's visit would be a "great moral boost to the political parties, armed factions, and others who oppose the American presence in Iraq", Iraqi political analyst Ziad al-Arar said.

However, the president has made disentangling America from its wars a priority since his 2016 election and he said in Iraq that the U.S. would no longer be treated as "suckers".

Ahmed al-Assadi, another Iraqi lawmaker, said that "the demand for the withdrawal of American forces has become a basic requirement that must be implemented as soon as possible".

"President Trump and the First Lady travelled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a tweet.

His militia is represented in parliament by the Binaa bloc, a rival coalition to al-Sadr's Islah. "And if they do not leave, we have the experience and the ability to remove them by other means that your forces are familiar with". That's down from about 170,000 in 2007 at the height of the surge of US forces to combat sectarian violence unleashed by the USA -led invasion to topple dictator Saddam Hussein.

Qais al-Khazali, the leader of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq group, expressed the Iraqis' resolve to purge the country of American forces. Let's go. Take more time.' Constantly giving them more time. Four militants were killed, according to the coalition. To rounds of applause he said that the United States was fighting in areas it shouldn't be fighting and spending billions on 19 years of war, a reference to the long war since 9/11.

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