NBC News Misfires On Article Slamming Trump For Not Visiting Troops

Arturo Kim
December 27, 2018

President Donald Trump arrived in Iraq on Wednesday in his first visit to United States troops deployed in a war zone since his election two years ago.

They travelled there unannounced "late on Christmas night" to thank troops for "their service, their success and their sacrifice", it said. That decision on Syria, made over the objections of American military generals and civilian advisers, led to the resignation of Mr. Trump's defense secretary, Jim Mattis, and fueled tensions within the national security establishment.

This is the first time that President Trump has visited troops in a war zone since becoming president, as he traveled secretly to the Al Asad air base in Iraq.

"In fact we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria", he added.

The president spoke to troops and met with military leaders before leaving a few hours later.

He defended his shock decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria, announced without consulting allies or advisers before Christmas.

"We're no longer the suckers, folks", Trump told service members at the base, which is situated in western Iraq.

Some imagined how Trump interacted with the troops. Obama had visited troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and Bush visited Iraq at this point in their presidencies, NBC News reported.

President Trump delivers remarks to the troops at Al Asad Air Base. Mattis was expected to leave his post in February, but Trump forced him out early, saying he was replacing Mattis on January 1 with deputy defence secretary Patrick Shanahan in an acting capacity.

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Trump's visit comes at a fraught moment for the President and the military.

As with prior presidential trips to war zones, Trump's Iraq visit was conducted with some secrecy to help ensure his safety.

Fifteen years after the 2003 invasion, the U.S. still has more than 5,000 troops in Iraq supporting the government as it continues the fight against remaining pockets of resistance by the Islamic State group.

"The nations of the region must step up and take more responsibility for their future", said Trump, who said there would be a "strong, deliberate and orderly withdrawal" of United States forces from Syria.

"He came back into the military because of me", Trump said to reporters.

Trump has always been critical of the war in Afghanistan, which was born of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and has stretched on for more than 17 years, becoming America's longest war.

"They said again, recently, can we have more time?".

Trump follows a long tradition of presidents visiting troops overseas.

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