Donald and Melania Trump visit US Troops in Iraq to celebrate Christmas - NewzEmpire


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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Donald and Melania Trump visit US Troops in Iraq to celebrate Christmas

President Donald Trump and the first lady quietly swept into Iraq Wednesday to pay a holiday visit to US troops, at last making good on the President's promise to travel to one of the war zones he has derided as costly blunders.

After a secret overnight flight from Washington, the President and Melania Trump touched down onto a darkened air strip at Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad, the dicey security situation still restricting Trump to a clandestine visit more than 15 years after the American invasion.
He remained on the ground for about three hours, greeting enthusiastic selfie-taking servicemen and women in their dining hall. Photos from the ground showed Trump in a black overcoat and red tie, posing for a picture with troops in fatigues. Melania Trump stood smiling next to him, wearing a mustard-colored blouse.

Trump left behind a slate of troubles in Washington, including a partial government shutdown and an unsteady economy. He's also faced criticism for a series of foreign policy decisions that have left his national security team at odds.

Trump has sought to distance himself from the foreign entanglements he describes as foolhardy mistakes made by his predecessors, including the war in Iraq. He recently ordered a drawdown of the 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan, and a complete withdrawal of 2,000 troops from Syria.

"A lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking," Trump said of his decision on Wednesday in remarks to a small group of reporters traveling with him.

He hasn't stated plans for the 5,000 or so American troops in Iraq who returned to the country in 2014 to battle ISIS. Trump said in the country on Wednesday he had no plans to pull troops from Iraq, suggesting the country could be used as a base for potential future missions in Syria.

A day earlier, Trump had told troops via video conference that the era of heavy US engagement abroad was ending.

"We're, right now, the policemen of the world and we're paying for it," he said on a Christmas call with troops. "And we can be the policemen of the world, but other countries have to help us."

But regardless of whether Trump likes the wars or not, they are now his; the lives of the young men and women stationed abroad subject to his decisions, whims and orders. And as such, the commander in chief was fulfilling what is viewed as an essential duty in paying them a surprise Christmastime visit.

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