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News Monday, Apr 10 2017

Trump's Syria Policy Is Incoherent

Apr 10, 2017

While President Trump was golfing this weekend, less than 48 hours after launching air strikes in Syria, it became painfully clear that he lacks a coherent plan to deal with Syria and by extension ISIS. Over the past ten days, the most senior members of his Administration have reversed themselves nearly half a dozen times in response to questions about whether or not Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should remain in power.
“This is what foreign policy without serious goals and coherent strategy looks like, and it’s not good,” said American Bridge Spokesperson Sabrina Singh.
March 30: Trump Admins Confirm Assad’s Ouster Is Not A Priority, Reversing Previous Administration

  • March 30: Tillerson: Assad Ouster Up to Syrian People
    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on a trip to Turkey, “I think the status and the longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.” [CBS, 3/30/2017]
  • March 30: Haley: Getting Assad Out Is NO Longer A Priority
    US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, “Our priority is no longer to sit and focus on getting Assad out.” [Reuters, 3/30/2017]
FLIP #1: 4:00 PM on April 6th, Trump Admin Says No Role For Assad Governing Syria
  • Tillerson: ‘No role’ for Assad in governing Syria
    “Assad’s role in the future is uncertain, clearly, and with the acts that he has taken, it would seem that there would be no role for him to govern the Syrian people,” Said Tillerson. [The Hill, 4/6/2017]
FLIP #2: 11:00 PM on April 6th, Trump Admin Says Policy Is Back To Letting Assad Stay
  • Tillerson: No “Change In Our Policy” In Syria 
    “I would not in any way attempt to extrapolate that to a change in our policy or posture relative to our military activities in Syria today. There has been no change in that status.” [The Hill, 4/6/2017]
FLIP #3: April 9th, Trump Admin Says Assad Must Go For Peace in Syria, Ouster Is A Priority
  • Haley:  “We Don’t See A Peaceful Syria With Assad”
    Taper: So ten days ago you said get ago said that getting Assad out of Syria would no longer be a priority for the United States. Obviously since then was the chemical weapons attack. But I’m trying to figure out is regime change in Syria now the official policy of the United States? Haley: So there’s multiple priorities. It’s getting Assad out is not the only priority. So what we’re trying to do is obviously defeat isis. Secondly we don’t see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there. Thirdly get the Iranian influence out. Then finally move towards a political solution because at the end of the day this is a complicated situation. There are no easy answers and a political solution will have to happen but we know that it is not going to be — there’s not any sort of option where a political solution is gonna happen with Assad at the head of the regime. If you look at his actions, if you look at the situation it will be hard to see a government that’s peaceful and stable with Assad. [CNN, 4/9/2017]
FLIP #4 April 9th, Trump Admin Official Goes Back To Saying Ousting Assad Up To Syrian People, No Change In Policy From Last Week
  • Tillerson: “Yes” There Has Been No Change In Trump’s Policy Toward Syria
    Dickerson: In terms of President Assad, you had said there has been no change in policy as a result of this attack so it is still true then that his fate is to be determined as you said previously by the Syrian people? Tillerson: Yes, John. [CBS, 4/9/2017]
  • Tillerson: “Correct” No Change in Trump Admin Policy Towards Syria
    Stephanopoulos: So it sounds like from what you’re saying right now, there is no real change in the United States’ military stance towards Syria from what it was last week. Tillerson: That’s correct, George. [RealClearPolitics, 4/9/2017]
BONUS: White House Top Spokesman Admits “President Lacks A Coherent Foreign Policy”
“[White House Communications Director] Dubke, who did not work on the campaign, told the assembled aides that international affairs would present a messaging challenge because the president lacks a coherent foreign policy…. ‘There is no Trump doctrine,’ Dubke declared.” [Politico, 04/10/2017]

Published: Apr 10, 2017

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