As I said in December, the Israel Lobby, the Pentagon and the GOP establishment would find some way to pressure Trump into reversing his withdrawal of troops from Syria:
“WASHINGTON — First, President Trump was going to pull all 2,000 American troops out of Syria immediately. Then he was going to slow down the withdrawal. Then he was going to leave troops in neighboring Iraq.
Now, in the latest about-face, Mr. Trump has agreed to leave about 400 troops in Syria — 200 in a multinational force in the northeastern part of the country and another 200 at a small outpost in the southeast, where they will seek to counter Iran’s influence throughout the country.
His decision to commit what one senior administration official described on Friday as a “couple hundred troops” to the multinational force, operating south of the Turkish border, came after European allies refused to send troops if the United States would not.
Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, John R. Bolton, pressed the president to make the decision on Thursday, this official said, amid signs that the Pentagon’s negotiations to put together a stabilization and monitoring force were foundering on European resistance. …”
Such has been the story of the Trump administration:
– Big Ag and the Chamber of Commerce have gotten Trump to support increasing legal immigration
– Republican senators loudly condemned Trump for withdrawing from TPP and renegotiating NAFTA until he essentially replaced NAFTA with TPP
– The tax reform bill passed without closing the carried interest loophole
– The GOP Congress punted on funding the border wall half a dozen times
– Various immigration bills like Kate’s Law have died in the Senate
– Trump was persuaded to sign the 2018 Omnibus and to cave on the shutdown by Republican senators
– The GOP Congress passed heavy sanctions on Russia and Trump yielded to pressure from conservatives to arm Ukraine and expand NATO
– Trump was convinced by Ryan and McConnell to prioritize their agenda of health care, tax reform and welfare reform
At the end of the day, conservatives in Congress have prevailed on nearly every issue, and Trump has walked back his populist promises over and over again.