Making Sense of Pompeo and Bolton’s Middle East Tour
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FEATURING RAHUL MAHAJAN – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to the Middle East along with White House National security Adviser John Bolton. Pompeo gave a major address on Thursday in Cairo, Egypt just about a decade after President Barack Obama made a historic speech in the same city. Pompeo’s lengthy address laid out a new vision for a Trumpian foreign policy while openly denouncing Obama’s approach. Much of that vision centered on isolating Iran.
The trip intended to offer nations clarity on President Donald Trump’s sudden announcement of a complete withdrawal of US forces from Syria. But, according to the New York Times, “the two officials left the administration’s message muddier than they found it. In Jerusalem on Sunday, Mr. Bolton laid out conditions for withdrawal that could leave American troops in Syria indefinitely.” When reporters asked Pompeo about the contradictions he simply said, “There’s no contradiction whatsoever. This is a story made up by the media.”
Meanwhile the withdrawal from Syria has apparently officially begun but according to news reports it is “chaotic,” and so far only equipment is being transferred out.
Rahul Mahajan is the US Foreign Policy and Empire Correspondent for Rising Up With Sonali and the author of two books on the Iraq war: Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond and The New Crusade: America’s War on Terrorism. He also teaches at University of Wisconsin, River Falls.