I've made no secret of my view that Pompeo never should have been made part of the Trump administration in any capacity, any more than Bolton or McMaster or others of that ilk. What's Pompeo's latest offense? Flirting with World War Three in Syria--a follow on to his past attempts to force Trump into a major war.
Pompeo, through his mouthpiece, James Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative for Syria engagement, has been pressing to send Patriot missiles to help the Turks in Syria. To its credit, the Pentagon is pushing back. Politico explains:
Turkey, a fellow member of NATO, has asked the U.S. to deploy two Patriot batteries on its southern border. Jeffrey, who is also a former ambassador to Turkey, is urging the Pentagon to follow through with the request and potentially to establish a no-fly zone, one of the people familiar with the matter said.
But senior leaders at the Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense are resisting Jeffrey’s proposal, according to State Department and DoD officials and two additional people familiar with the discussion. Defense officials believe the move would set a bad precedent and would not change Russian or Syrian calculations in the conflict, the State Department official said.
DoD officials are “resisting doing foolish things with real global ramifications,” the State Department official said.
Note that--below Pompeo, people at DoS agree with DoD that this would be a very stupid thing to do, like so many of Pompeo's harebrained and war mongering ideas. Geopolitical realities aside, Trump needs a war like he needs a hole in his head.
“This was and remains a bad idea,” said one of the people familiar with the discussions.
A DoD spokesperson declined to comment. A spokesperson for Jeffrey referred POLITICO to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who on Friday condemned the attack and called on the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian backers to cease their assault on Idlib. He noted that the U.S. is “reviewing options to assist Turkey against this aggression.”
“We stand by our NATO Ally Turkey in the aftermath of the despicable and brazen February 27 attack on Turkish forces in Idlib, which resulted in the death of dozens of Turkish soldiers,” Pompeo said. “The United States condemns this attack in the strongest possible terms.”
What, you say? We thought Turkey had purchased S400 systems from Russia? Are we really going to allow Erdogan to call the tune that we dance to? That was then. Pat Lang explains what's up:
Mike Pompeo, Jeffrey, his henchman, and all the neocons ... want the US to become directly involved in this battle by providing Turkish forces in Syria air defense from US manned Patriot missile batteries. The Turks could not man the systems themselves if we provided them. They also want the US to declare a "no-fly zone" over Idlib Governorate. Such a zone would be a declaration that the US and little friends would shoot down any military aircraft flying over this piece of Syrian territory without US permission. This would be an act of war by the United States and would cause a de facto state of war to exist between the US and Russia.
Why would this cause a de facto state of war to exist between the US and Russia? Lang explains that, too:
Idlib Governorate is Syrian territory. The Syrian government is a member state of the UN. The Russians are assisting the Syrian government at the request of that government. "Fatih" Sultan Erdogan has introduced thousands of Turkish Army troops into northern Syria in what amounts to a neo-Ottoman land grab.
In other words, Turkey is the aggressor, invading Syria.
Pompeo is following out Hillary's disastrous foreign policy. It was disastrous when Hillary was in charge and it's disastrous now. Trump ran against those policies in 2016 and he needs Pompeo to be gone yesterday. Trump needs to be in control of DoS just as much as he needs to be in control of ODNI--maybe more, because ODNI can't start a world war.
To make matters worse, Erdogan is trying to bully all NATO into joining his war in Syria by threatening to unleash another wave of millions upon millions of migrants upon Europe--just as the Middle East and Europe are grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. In what way is Pompeo serving real US interests? At some point Trump needs to assert himself against the Deep State instead of simply thwarting them at the last moment, as in his cancellation of an attack on Iran. Maybe he needs to up the ante on his FISA deal: Barr and McConnell get the FISA renewal, Trump gets Ratcliffe in and Pompeo out.