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    I was generally happy to hear Trump talk about getting US troops out of the Middle East… THEN I learned about his almost simultaneous INCREASE in US troops to the area, this time to Saudi Arabia - the same place that pissed off Osama so much that he planned and had executed the WTC and Pentagon attacks. Won’t US officials ever learn?

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      Thanks for posting. But it looks like Cato is having a webserver configuration issue:


      This page isn’t working

      www.cato.org redirected you too many times.

      The link as posted is correct. The problem is Cato’s server. It probably will be fixed when they wake up in the morning.

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      bummer. Was working fine when I posted it.

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        I was able to get a copy via email. Some excerpts:

        The Trump administration has approved the deployment to Saudi Arabia of Air Force F-15s, new air defense systems, and other military hardware, along with U.S. troops to operate and maintain those weapons systems. These new measures the Pentagon announced on October 11 will bring the total U.S. troop deployment to the kingdom to 3,000 since a mid-September attack on Saudi oil facilities. Speaking to reporters after the announcement, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that it is now “clear that Iranians are responsible” for the attacks and warned that Washington has additional units “on alert” that can provide increased security to both the U.S. forces and Saudi Arabia “if necessary.”

        U.S. leaders have taken an unsavory step deepening Washington’s support of an odious, duplicitous Saudi regime that brutalizes its own people and has committed an appalling array of war crimes in Yemen. It also puts the United States in the middle of an escalating political and military confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The direct confrontation between Riyadh and Tehran is merely one component of a larger struggle for regional dominance pitting major Sunni powers against a loose alliance of Shia factions led by Iran. Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Bahrain are other arenas in which that power struggle continues to be waged.

        The administration’s decision to elevate the U.S. military role in Saudi Arabia is all the more bizarre and indefensible in light of President Trump’s repeated condemnations of the Iraq War and other U.S. Middle East entanglements. In defending his recent decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria, the president stated bluntly that “it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.” Trump is correct, but he needs to follow his own advice throughout the region, not just in Syria.

        Yup. Sending U.S. troops (mostly hardware but some additional U.S. troops) to defend the House of Saud is not in the interests of American citizens. So why are we doing it? Whose interests does it really serve?