'Disaster in the making': Republicans torch Trump's Syria policy

Source: Politico | October 7, 2019 | Quint Forgey and David Cohen

Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Nikki Haley denounced the decision to allow Turkey to fight U.S.-allied Kurds.

Several prominent Republicans admonished the White House on Monday for its controversial decision to allow Turkey to invade northern Syria and potentially wipe out U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters — with Sen. Lindsey Graham criticizing the maneuver as “a disaster in the making” in a rare public break with President Donald Trump.

“I don’t know all the details regarding President Trump’s decision in northern Syria,” the South Carolina Republican wrote on Twitter, adding that he was in the process of scheduling a phone call with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and warning: “If press reports are accurate this is a disaster in the making.”

Graham, a vocal defender of the president and frequent adviser on matters of foreign policy, predicted the administration’s move would ensure a “comeback” of ISIS, force the Kurds to align themselves with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Iran, damage the relationship between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government and Congress, and become “a stain on America’s honor for abandoning the Kurds.”

He also threatened to introduce a Senate resolution opposing Trump’s decision, and accused the White House of being dishonest about the nature of the ISIS threat during an interview on the president’s favorite morning cable news show.

“The biggest lie being told by the administration [is] that ISIS is defeated,” Graham told the hosts of “Fox & Friends.”

“This impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gains we’ve made, thrown the region into further chaos,” he said, adding: “I hope I’m making myself clear how shortsighted and irresponsible this decision is in my view.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, another hawkish lawmaker respected within the GOP for his foreign policy outlook, also condemned the White House’s action and cautioned that it would encourage Iran amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic.

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