GOP senators buck Trump on Syria, Afghanistan drawdown plans

Mitch Mc Connell reveals that the Republican party is fundamentally opposed to democracy

Mitch Mc Connell reveals that the Republican party is fundamentally opposed to democracy

In warning against the withdrawal, the Senate argues with that claim.

The Senate, where Trump's Republican Party enjoys a 53-47 majority, voted 68-23 to forward an amendment cautioning against any "precipitous withdrawal" from Afghanistan, where the U.S has long struggled to support local government forces against an ultraconservative Taliban insurgency, and from Syria, where a USA -led coalition has all but defeated the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in a campaign opposed by the Syrian government and its global allies.

The move was a rare showing of opposition from Republican senators who consistently side with the president, revealing a possible breaking point for Senate Republicans who view some of the president's foreign policy approaches as unsafe.

'ISIS and al-Qaeda have yet to be defeated and American national security interests require continued commitment to our mission there, ' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor before the 68-23 vote Thursday.

The non-binding language calls al Qaeda and the Islamic State continuing global threats, contradicting Mr. Trump's Twitter-based foreign policy claims that the fight against worldwide terrorism has been largely wrapped up.

The day after Trump announced his withdrawal plans, Mattis issued a resignation letter signaling that he and Trump no longer agreed on military operations, including the president's abrupt moves to drawdown troops in Syria and Afghanistan.

The amendment asks the administration to show lawmakers that "conditions have been met for the enduring defeat of al-Qaida and ISIS" before starting any troop withdrawals - a definition that struck about half the Democratic caucus as too nebulous and far-reaching to support.

"I think a number of our members, as you know, talk to the President on afairly regular basis and have articulated to him that they think the policies that he wants to employ with regard to Syria, for example, are not the right ones". It is the job of Congress to responsibly end these military interventions and bring our troops home, not to come up with more reasons to continue them, as this amendment does.

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McConnell is seeking to add the resolution to a pending measure on Middle East security policy that has broad bipartisan support.

"What it really seems to be is a package of urgent measures to rewrite the rules of American politics for the exclusive benefit of the Democratic Party".

A vote on final passage of the amendment could come early next week.

A day before the Senate has a key vote on the Syria amendment, McConnell went to the floor to blast unnamed Democrats for filibustering the measure.

"We are on a deliberate, coordinated, disciplined withdrawal", Shanahan said Tuesday in his first formal engagement with media as acting defense secretary.

It was not clear how many Democrats would oppose McConnell's amendment, even though many of them generally support getting troops out of Afghanistan and Syria.

How would it affect Mr Trump's vague plans on Syria? They don't want to withdraw troops from countries where threats from terrorists remain strong, despite ongoing efforts that have diminished their power.

The U.S. has been a large part of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation coalition fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001.

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