One of the reasons Donald Trump got elected president was because he spoke the truth about our nearly two-decades-long foreign policy in the Middle East.

The gist of his argument was: We've spent trillions of dollars on wars, occupation and nation-building in the Middle East and have achieved nothing. Our soldiers have suffered grievously with our military adventurism. That money could've been better spent on domestic nation-building to help Americans lead better lives.

Whatever one thinks of Trump and his character, his argument was sound and was embraced by tens of millions of Americans.

Fast-forward to 2018, and to Trump's unilateral decision to withdraw roughly 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria, overriding the advice of his generals and almost the entire foreign policy establishment.

Many foreign policy and military elites and experts have been crying foul in recent weeks. The usual argument has unfolded: America is in retreat and its global leadership role will be weakened; we'll cede Syria to Russia and Iran; our ally Israel will be threatened and so on and so forth.

In other words, America should have a military presence forever and every till death do us part in several Middle Eastern countries.

One can't help noticing that many of these people are the same “experts” who thought it a good idea to advance regime-change in Iraq and Libya, who are now advocating the same in Syria, and who think occupying Afghanistan for 17 years and running is sound.

Why are we still listening to them? They may have impeccable credentials, but their motives, judgement and agendas can often be suspect.

As a party-less, ideology-less independent voter who want only the best for America, I'll take political courage and common sense wherever I can find them. So I applaud Trump's pragmatism and independence in bucking our military-industrial complex. Trump is right to bring our soldiers home.

Jess Ornelas


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