Axios
@axios
Sun May 16 22:27:14 +0000 2021

💥 NEW — Off the rails: Inside Trump’s final-weeks campaign to withdraw the U.S. military from engagements around the world
https://t.co/m6bH6VQuYp

A week after the election, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller received a stunning order, signed by Trump, seemingly out of nowhere:

All U.S. military forces were to be withdrawn from Somalia by Dec. 31 and from Afghanistan by Jan. 15. https://t.co/m6bH6VQuYp

Top military brass, including Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, were appalled.

This was not the way to conduct policy — with no consultation, no input, no process for gaming out consequences or offering alternatives. https://t.co/m6bH6VQuYp

The U.S. government's top national security leaders soon realized they were dealing with an off-the-books operation by the commander in chief himself. https://t.co/m6bH6VQuYp

The episode culminated, as had become a pattern in the Trump presidency, with his ambitions to withdraw U.S. military presence subdued, slow-rolled and detoured by military leaders.
https://t.co/m6bH6VQuYp

When it came down to it, Trump was indecisive. In the view of top officials, he did not seem to want to own the consequences of a precipitous withdrawal.

This allowed the Pentagon to dismiss his tweets and rants and maintain the status quo. https://t.co/m6bH6VQuYp

👇 Read more, including how senior officials deliberately deceived Trump, plus a remarkable incident in early December where classified intercepts led officials to believe Mark Milley was undercutting civilian leadership of the Pentagon.
https://t.co/m6bH6VQuYp

Sun May 16 22:32:27 +0000 2021