U.S. Troops Complaining about Syria Withdrawal? What about Our Southern Border?

Paul Hair

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On Oct. 14, journalists reported on U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy saying it’s okay for soldiers to express opinions about President Trump ordering the withdrawal of troops from Syria. He also stated that soldiers must follow orders, regardless of what they think about the decision. And journalists want us to think that a lot of troops don’t like it. They reported multiple instances of servicemen complaining about the withdrawal. If true, one subsequent question that emerges is: Why didn’t U.S. troops complain when America withdrew them from the defense of our own border?

Military.com reported “Army Secretary Says It’s OK for Soldiers to Sound Off on Syria Withdrawal” on Oct. 14. Meanwhile, on the same day, The Washington Times reported “‘Salute and move on’: Army chief warns troops grumbling over Trump Syria withdrawal.” Both headlines were based on the same McCarthy quote: “Everybody has opinions in the war of ideas. But, when national policy decisions are made, we salute and move on.”

(Military.com also included the McCarthy sentence preceding the above one: “I think more and more soldiers are very candid about how they feel; I like candor, it’s important to have that.”)

If the reporting about U.S. troops complaining about withdrawing from Syria is true, then it’s interesting. After all, did U.S. troops complain when they were withdrawn from protecting the American southern border? I certainly don’t recall hearing such complaints. In fact, there were conflicting reports about complaints going in the other direction regarding the defense our own border.

Journalists are unreliable sources. They don’t report the news; they shape a Narrative. So I’m not ready to make a judgment about what is going on inside the ranks of America’s armed forces. However, I certainly would encourage those who counter journalists’ disinformation for a living to start asking questions about this subject.

Specifically, I’d like them to question the current Narrative. And I’d like them to start getting U.S. troops on the record with their thoughts about being withdrawn from the defense of our southern border; if protecting the Kurds in Syria, or protecting their own nation is a higher priority.

Top Image: Coalition Forces prepare commando course cadets for a live-fire range in Syria, July 20, 2019. Commando courses were part of a transition from liberating territory to enabling local security forces and preventing resurgent Daesh networks in northeast Syria. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alec Dionne)

Note: The appearance of visual information from DVIDS does not imply or constitute U.S. Department of Defense or government endorsement.

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