US Senate vote rebukes Trump on Syria, Afghanistan

US Senate vote rebukes Trump on Syria, Afghanistan

US Senate vote rebukes Trump on Syria, Afghanistan

Speaking on the amendment's language on US involvement in Afghanistan, libertarian Republican Senator Rand Paul tweeted that "It is ludicrous to call withdrawal after 17 years 'precipitous.'" On the other side of the aisle, Democratic Senators Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Jeff Merkley and Elizabeth Warren all voted no.

The US Senate voted to advance an amendment seeking to rein in President Donald Trump's announced withdrawal of American special forces from Syria and put parameters around plans to reduce the number of US forces in Afghanistan.

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 risky.

The amendment acknowledges progress against Islamic State and al Qaeda in Syria and Afghanistan but warns that "a precipitous withdrawal" without effective efforts to secure gains could destabilize the region and create a vacuum that could be filled by Iran or Russian Federation. The moves received considerable blowback from his defense and foreign policy establishment, as well as many Republican lawmakers.

The bill was drafted by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has rarely spoken out against Trump or his policies.

Trump noted approvingly that peace talks were underway in Afghanistan and that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) was almost eliminated in Syria.

McConnell has been one of the most outspoken against H.R. 1, the bill brought forth by House Democrats that proposed the election day holiday, prohibits the purging of voter rolls, requires presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their tax returns, restricts gerrymandering, and provides other measures to open up elections.

The potential impact of Thursday's vote was similarly uncertain, since the amendment McConnell offered was non-binding and there has been no indication of when, if ever, the broader Middle East security bill would come up for a House vote.

"Congress doesn't have to have to cosign Trump foreign policy trial balloons, but they ought to articulate their own responsible withdrawal plan that replaces USA troops and airstrikes with smart diplomacy and targeted humanitarian aid".

Just because Trump is bungling Syria policy doesn't mean Democrats should endorse endless war, nor this amendment which asserts American forces are in Syria to fight Iran.

The Senate was to weigh the amendment, which is attached to a broader Middle East Policy bill, in a preliminary procedural vote later Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., a combat pilot veteran, and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., implored Trump not to abandon the Kurds in Syria. "Today, the Senate will vote on this amendment".

"This is being used against us right now", Rubio said.

"Congress doesn't have to have to cosign Trump foreign policy trial balloons, but they ought to articulate their own responsible withdrawal plan that replaces USA troops and airstrikes with smart diplomacy and targeted humanitarian aid", Rainwater told Common Dreams.

How would it affect Mr Trump's vague plans on Syria? McConnell also used his floor comments Thursday to reaffirm the US commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which Trump has also threatened to abandon.

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