Neocons Love Trump's New Afghanistan Plan, Blackwater Calls It "Obama-Lite"

In an extended tweetstorm conccurrent with Trump's Monday night Afghanistan address, Ron Paul lashed out at the president, saying that at long last, Trump's neo-con nature had emerged. "Steve Bannon brakes removed. Neocons feeling their oats" and urging the public to "Beware! @LindseyGrahamSC loves Trump's speech! Why are arch-neocons celebrating so much? Very telling!." It appears that Paul's assessment of Trump's new strategy was not far off, because as the Hill reports today, the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party applauded President Trump’s troop surge in Afghanistan, even as members of the president’s base accused him of capitulating to the national security establishment.

Some of the loudest accolades came from foreign policy hawks in the Senate, including two of Trump’s fiercest GOP critics, Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who praised Trump for going against his “instinct” and delegating the decision to his generals, who convinced him that victory could be had in the 16-year war that has spanned three administrations.

“I’m proud. I’m relieved,” Graham said on Fox News after Trump’s Monday night address. “I’m proud of the fact that President Trump made a national security decision, not a political decision. I’m proud of the fact that he listened to the generals, and I’m most proud of the fact that he showed the will to stand up to radical Islam. I’m relieved he did not take the advice to withdraw, which would have been disastrous, or create a mercenary army, so I’m very pleased. Very thoughtful, very inspiring speech, and I can assure you a lot of people in Congress will be behind the president.”

McCain echoed Graham, saying Trump was moving beyond former President Obama’s “failed strategy of merely postponing defeat,” although it was not exactly clear how since Trump was doing precisely what Obama (and Hillary Clinton did and would have one), adding that it was “especially important” that Trump did not commit to a timeline for withdrawal.

Marco Rubio, another proponent of foreign US intervention and a "muscular" foreign policy, called Trump’s strategy “the right approach.”

Support also came from prominent neoconservative writers and thinkers who had long been worried that Trump, who ran on an “America First” platform, would take a more isolationist approach to foreign policy. John Podhoretz, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and the editor of the conservative magazine Commentary, reacted to the speech by saying it’s almost as if Bush’s former deputy secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, has been put in charge.

"President Trump’s decision to recommit to Afghanistan was right and important,” wrote American Enterprise Institute scholar Fred Kagan, another proponent of neoconservatism.

The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, a key voice behind every single recent US war and intervention, a “Never Trump” Republican and another "uber" neocon, reveled in the fact that Trump’s generals appeared to have won the power struggle over his nationalist advisers, like former chief strategist Stephen Bannon.

Meanwhile Breitbart, where former Trump advisor Steve Bannon return to after last week's latest White House staff fireworks, ran a story on Tuesday saying that “Trump’s 'America First' base” is unhappy with the president’s “flip-flop Afghanistan speech,” along with a host of stories highlighting GOP establishment support for Trump’s new strategy.

“President Trump’s ‘America First’ base was the biggest loser of Trump’s speech on Afghanistan Monday night, and many quickly expressed their disappointment at the business-as-usual address from the president who had once promised to limit American intervention abroad and focus on nation-building at home,” Breitbart reporter Adam Shaw wrote.

Predictably Ron Paul's son, senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a prominent non-interventionist whose views on foreign policy are derided by the conservative foreign policy establishment, bemoaned the costs to the military and taxpayers for the continuing war: “I strongly disagree with the president’s actions here. If the president and my colleagues want to continue the war in Afghanistan, then at the very least Congress should vote on it. I’ll insist they do it this fall, and I’ll be leading the charge for 'no.' "

Finally, Laura Ingraham, a pro-Trump, anti-establishment conservative radio personality, tweeted:

Not surprisingly, the harshest criticism for Trump's new foreign policy came from the founder of private military company Blackwater, who ripped Trump’s new Afghanistan war plan as an “Obama-lite policy.” Erik Prince who for obvious reason has encouraged administration officials to use contractors instead of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, called Trump’s plan “a continuation of the same limited or failed strategy of the last 16 years.... This is a kind of Obama-lite policy,” Prince told The Hill, referring to President Obama’s 30,000 troop surge in 2009 in Afghanistan. The increase brought the total number of troops in the country to more than 100,000 in 2011 before a rapid drawdown.

“This is a lighter but almost as expensive version. Remember, the Pentagon now is spending as much as when they had five times as many troops in the country. It’s horrendous how they’ve lost control of the spending. That’s what makes this so unsustainable,” Prince added.

“He said it’s not a blank check, but the Pentagon continues to stand and plan and operationalize as if it is a blank check,” Prince said. “That’s the fundamental problem the plan now doesn’t address: How does this end. The Pentagon wants to position this like a forever occupation like South Korea. And I think that’s a horrendous and untenable position.

Surprisingly, Prince was doubtful that the president and Defense Secretary James Mattis are fully behind the strategy: “I don’t think the president loves this plan, I don’t think Secretary Mattis does either. He’s not even on the same continent,” Prince said, referring to Mattis’s current trip to the Middle East and Europe.

So if neither Trump, nor his chief military advisor "loved" the plan - and yet every prominent neo-con did - one wonders, just where did this plan come from?


strannick moimeme (not verified) Tue, 08/22/2017 - 22:33 Permalink

What kind of constituency elect a control-file(d) weirdo like Graham, who votes for every MIC Globalist initiative? I loved watching Tucker destroy Grahams anemic effete, deeply dimpled ass.Now US Soldiers get to die, killing foreigners, to protect the Bush Crime Family Opium monopoly. Drop incendiary flash bombs on the poppy fields, ignite it like a naplamed rice paddy, and let the world leave Afghanistan to the AK47toting, mountain goat farming beard faces, once and for all. 

In reply to by moimeme (not verified)

veritas semper… HowdyDoody Tue, 08/22/2017 - 23:22 Permalink

Yes/ But he's doing it. You don't understand,the Afghanistan thing is part of Real Men Go To Tehran. It is the aperitif.The countries share a uuuge border.Iran has to be attacked from both sides.And then,there's Russia .It doesn't hurt to radicalize the "Kistans" there,maybe they'll spill into Russia.And then there is that pesky little problem the Empire has with OBOR.The See Eye Ayy/Pentagram did not transfer ISIS in Afghanistan from Syria/Ieaq for nothing. Investing in the future!

In reply to by HowdyDoody

HowdyDoody veritas semper… Wed, 08/23/2017 - 03:12 Permalink

Please do not insult me by saying I do not understand. I am fully aware that there is an opportunity for the US to redeploy some of its surviving takfiris to Afghanistan so they can go into the northern 'stans to attack Russia's underbelly. Russia has learnt from the situation in Syria and created fast mobile military units using 'technicals' to cater for this possibility.  

In reply to by veritas semper…

Normalcy Bias Chupacabra-322 Tue, 08/22/2017 - 20:31 Permalink

CIA trains and arms them, then the US Military has to to hunt them down and kill them.It's an ATM Machine that NEVER stops spitting out $100 bills.Don't you know those troglodytes in Afghanistan with AK's and RPG's are a threat to America's National security?They're a much higher priority than fixing our sickenly broken and corrupt healthcare and taxation systems!

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

cheeseheader hedgeless_horseman Tue, 08/22/2017 - 21:32 Permalink

Er, HH, usually can go along with most of your posts, but you just jumped the shark. Umm, men wearing sandals does not compute to most regular, common-sensical, logical American MEN.  Let the women wear the sandals; and if climbing mountains with them, then please accept an invitation to some mountain climbing with this over-the-hill mountain climber.  You may stay at home.Dresses (on her) however, are all right with me....

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

hedgeless_horseman cheeseheader Tue, 08/22/2017 - 21:44 Permalink


The beautiful mrs_horseman and I have been running and backpacking in our huaraches for more than five years.  We were over 40 when we started.  We cannot imagine, now, filling the arches of our feet with Chinese foam, binding them up in a pair of $150 man-made containment apparati, and blinding our perfectly programmed lower brain to the terrain.…

In reply to by cheeseheader

dogismycopilot Chupacabra-322 Wed, 08/23/2017 - 00:33 Permalink

Next year you will have kids fighting who can say, "Hey, my dad fought in this war too!"Does anyone really think an 18 year old millenial can go toe-to-toe with a battle hardened Taliban?The Taliban gets to say, "I fought for 18 years AND my dad AND my grandfather fought here."What a complete cluster fuck. Trump should have turned this over to Prince and washed his hands of it.

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

Son of Captain Nemo Killtruck Tue, 08/22/2017 - 19:59 Permalink

"I’m proud. I’m relieved," Graham said on Fox News after Trump’s Monday night address. "

What a child molester without a conscience that also commits mass murder as a "hobby" and would rather keep doing it then be exposed as a pedophile by his Nazi-Zionist Masters!

But I digress...

What does it say about the rest of us that keep paying for his salary that must be "good" with it?.... Otherwise he would have been disemboweled 14 years ago for what he did "THEN"!!!

In reply to by Killtruck

Beam Me Up Scotty Tue, 08/22/2017 - 19:50 Permalink

"“I’m proud. I’m relieved,” Graham said on Fox News after Trump’s Monday night address. “I’m proud of the fact that President Trump made a national security decision, not a political decision"Sure, because we should be very very afraid of Afghanistans Navy, Air Force, Army, and nuclear weapons.  They could kill us ALL TOMORROW!!!/sarcWhat are they going to do, send a 14' rowboat over with a leaky gas can and light it on fire near Los Angelas???

Iskiab Fish Gone Bad Tue, 08/22/2017 - 20:23 Permalink

What a joke, wolfowitz is the guy who promoted running up a huge debt because he believed if the country is bankrupt it won't be able to afford new social policies.

So they're going back into Afghanistan but doing nothing about Saudi Arabia? The plan must be to let Saudi Arabia keep funding terrorism, and create as many terrorists as possible by continuing to meddle in the Middle East in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan to keep the war machine funded indefinitely. There aren't enough people pissed off so they need to try harder.

In reply to by Fish Gone Bad