Background Briefing: October 10, 2019


Why Is Removing 1,000 US Troops Trump’s Top Priority?

We begin with Turkey’s President Erdogan threatening to dump 3.6 million Syrian refugees on Europe unless they go along with his ethnic cleansing of the Kurds. Max Hoffman, the Associate Director on the National Security and International Policy team at the Center for American Progress whose research focuses on Turkey and the Kurdish regions joins us from Brussels to discuss how the European allies were blindsided by Trump’s move to sell out the Kurds and greenlight Erdogan’s invasion of northern Syria where French and British Special Forces are deployed with the American force Trump is precipitously pulling out. We will examine the absurdity of Trump’s excuse that we need to pull our troops out of endless wars when there are only 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria whose small footprint gives the U.S. enormous leverage over the Assad regime, Russia and Iran. And since the U.S. has a military presence in 186 countries around the world, why is it the 1,000 troops in Syria are Trump’s priority? Unless he is taking his orders from Putin who wants the Americans out of Syria and last year even sent in a mercenary force to attack this small contingent of Americans who were able to inflict heavy casualties on Russia’s Wagner Brigade, a private army owned by Putin’s chef, Yevgeny Prigozhin.


Having Sold out Saudi Arabia, Trump Is Now Selling out Israel

Then, after having sold out the Saudis by not coming to their aid after they were attacked by Iran, we will assess how much Trump is in the process of selling out the Israelis by removing America’s roadblock on the Shia Crescent highway from Tehran to Damascus giving Iran a greater ability to supply heaving weapons to their proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon for a future attack on Israel. Daniel Byman, a Professor of Security Studies and vice dean for undergraduate affairs at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and author of “Road Warriors: Foreign Fighters in the Armies of Jihad”, joins us to discuss the difficulty dealing with a leader of the free world who, with demented ignorance, blames the Kurds for not helping us in World War Two at Normandy.


The Author of “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump”

Then finally we speak with Tim Alberta, the chief political correspondent for POLITICO magazine who covers Trump’s presidency, Capitol Hill and the ideological warfare between and within the two parties. He is the author of the new national bestseller “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump” and we discuss how Lincoln’s party founded on glorifying excellence and achievement came to embrace the politics of anger, grievance and contempt.