Morning Joe opened Tuesday by dissecting President Donald Trump’s speech on Monday in which he delivered a mostly smooth accounting about the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan. The speech, which reiterated U.S. military committment to the region, was praised by the foreign policy smart people as realistic, though came in for severe criticism from Breitbart (now once again led by Steve Bannon.)
And while host Joe Scarborough pointedly insisted that you wouldn’t hear any “Trump became president” talk from him, there was a grudging acceptance on set that the president ultimately was bowing to the regions hard realities.
The nut of the analysis took place between JScar and Mediaite alum Noah Rothman.
“There are a lot of us … a lot of Conservative’s that saw the withdrawal from Iraq as a good thing,” said Scarborough. “After a decade of war, a lot of us, and I include myself here, said enough is enough. Are we going to be an occupying force in two countries for the next 30 years? And a lot of us learned a valuable lesson after Iraq. Suddenly, I stopped saying, when I went out giving speeches ‘we’re spending two billion dollars a week in Afghanistan lets spend that money rebuilding America.’ Well guess what, sometimes we don’t have easy options and Donald Trump ran head-on into that last night.”
Rothman concurred and offered his own spin, certain to enrage Trump’s isolationist base. He noted that the U.S. was “obligated just about everywhere in the world” and said the U.S. was involved in a new “Great Game” in the region.
“He’s not the first. The last three consecutive presidents ran to one degree or another on retrenchment and those three president encountered realities in the White House that forced them to abandon their campaign trail rhetoric. It’s not easy to tell the American people that we are obligated just about everywhere in the world,” said Rothman. “We have a great game in Afghanistan that we are only just beginning to acknowledge that we’re playing. It’s time to be honest about that”
[image via screengrab]
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