By Quin Hillyer at the Washington Examiner;

President Trump may or may not have “colluded” with Russians, but he certainly acts like they are his overlords.

He does so even though his top security-related advisers keep warning him, and all of us, that Russia is an increasingly dangerous adversary.

Trump’s latest short-sighted outburst favorable to Russia’s interests is his sudden assertion that the U.S. should quickly pull its 2,000 military personnel from Syria, even as his entire national security team reportedly argues strongly against a premature evacuation. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford, and Central Command leader Joseph Votel — all respected generals — say that leaving Syria now would risk undoing the tremendous gains made against the Islamic State. And it would put Russia, along with American-hostile Iran and Turkey, in a commanding position in the Middle East.

Outside experts across the political spectrum agree with the generals. Center-left Ranj Alaadin of the Brookings Institution warnsthat Trump’s desired withdrawal would leave “a Russia-dominated security architecture in the region,” while the Washington Examiner’s Tom Rogan called Trump’s exit call “strategically illiterate.”

As Trump threatens to play into Russia’s hands in Syria, his exiting national security adviser, renowned former general H.R. McMaster, used his last speechin the job to blast Russia and its dictator, Vladimir Putin, for working to “undermine our values, our institutions, and our way of life.”

He continued: “For too long, some nations have looked the other way in the face of these threats. Russia brazenly and implausibly denies its actions, and we have failed to impose sufficient costs. The Kremlin’s confidence has grown as its agents conduct their sustained campaigns to undermine our confidence in ourselves, and in one another.”

In this, he echoed the exit speech of then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson….

[The full column is here.]

 

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