WEB Notes: Trump says many things the rest of us say. Now is the time for him to be “genuine” and remove our troops from the middle east. Since his election victory, he has increased troop numbers, not drawn them down. Words are sweet, but they are not works.
President Donald Trump has criticized U.S. spending of more than $7 trillion on conflicts and reconstruction efforts in the Middle East and Afghanistan, shortly after officials said the U.S. would not pledge money to a major conference geared toward helping Iraq rebuild after more than 15 years of conflict.
Trump’s remarks, which coincided with the release of his 2019 budget proposal, hit out at the choices of past administrations, especially over foreign policy in the Middle East and Central Asia, since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. Trump argued that the costly struggle to stabilize Afghanistan, as well as Iraq, which the U.S. invaded in 2003, has only exacerbated economic difficulties at home.
“As of a couple of months ago, we have spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. Seven trillion dollars. What a mistake. But it is what is,” Trump said Monday at a White House meeting on with officials and lawmakers on infrastructure. “We’re trying to build roads and bridges and fix bridges that are falling down and we have a hard time getting the money. It’s crazy.”
“Think about it: as of a couple of months ago, $7 trillion in the Middle East and the Middle East is far worse now than it was 17 years ago when they went in and not so intelligently, I have to say, went in. I’m being nice. So, it is a very sad thing,” he added.