GOP/MILITARY/NATIONAL SECURITY/SYRIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WAR: “Seated at the head of his Situation Room conference table, President Donald Trump was adamant: American troops must come home from Syria. He had just announced as much to a crowd in Ohio. The assembled military and national security advisers told him the move was rash and unwise. So he gave them six months. Eight months later, planning for the withdrawal is now underway — against the advice of those same officials, who warned in April that Russia and Iran would gain stronger footholds in Syria when the US presence there evaporates. On Capitol Hill, even some of Trump’s GOP allies were warning of a grave mistake…Hurried discussions continued Wednesday [12-19-18] about the timing and pace of the troop withdrawal, which the White House said has already begun. The announcement lacked the formality of previous presidents’ declarations they would remove troops from war zones: the White House did not schedule any presidential remarks nor provide any concrete details of the decision. Trump issued his first public comments on the decision Wednesday evening in a video message posted to Twitter, in which he pointed to the sky to reference US military personnel who have been killed in Syria.”

Kevin Liptak, “In Syria withdrawal, Trump discards advice from allies and officials,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, December 19, 2018 5:53 am