Trump being challenged by the army and US rivals

AS US President Donald Trump’s authority has been challenged by the army on the one hand, on the other the US’s dominant leadership in fire power is now being tested by its rivals despite huge amount of budget being spent in wars since the 9-11 saga.

Thanong Fanclub wrote in his popular Facebook page in his current series on “End of the Democracy Era in the US” citing the latest US headline news like “US General Says Trump Order for Nuclear Strike Can be Refused”, “Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly wanted Kushner and Ivanka Trump to leave the White House by the end of the year”,  and “Pentagon Retweets that Donald Trump should resign from the Presidency”, as signs of President Trump’s power is being tested.

Aside from domestic problem, he said the US is now seen as being challenged by one of its rivals, Iran, which is known to be backed up by China and Russia, in the news headline “Iranian warships to head for Gulf of Mexico.”

Iran US warships warning shots

The Iranian Navy will soon be sending a force to visit Latin America and the Gulf of Mexico, a newly-appointed naval commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi has said. The move will be a demonstration of the country’s ability to project its power far beyond its shores.

In his first press conference in Tehran since being appointed, the Navy Commander said that Iranian naval forces will cross the Atlantic and stop over at friendly South American countries before flying the Iranian flag in the Gulf of Mexico, RT quoted a local media report last week.

“Sailing in open waters between Europe and Americas should be the navy’s goal, which will be realized in the near future,” Sayyari declared.

Thanong said Iran is just aiming at disturbing the US by showing that by doing so, it is not afraid of the US and let’s see what President Trump would tweet on this issue.

It is generally known that since the North Korea has the capability to respond to the US aggression with its intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with nuclear and hydrogen bomb warheads, it is quite risky for President Trump to push the button on the nuclear attack and that’s why the warning from the Pentagon was issued.

Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of Strategic Command, told a panel at the Halifax International Security Forum recently that he and Trump have had conversations about such a scenario and that he would tell Trump he couldn’t carry out an illegal strike, according to Bloomberg.

“If it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen. I’m going to say, ‘Mr President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?'” Hyten said.

Thanong pointed out as to how powerful the military is today in the White House as seen in the recent news reported by the US media that President Trump’s chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, has considered the possibility of pushing senior adviser Jared Kushner and special assistant Ivanka Trump out of the White House’s West Wing by the end of the year.

US President Trump and Gen John Kelly

Kelly joined the White House in July after former chief of staff Reince Priebus left and has sought to impose order upon a previously freewheeling West Wing as before Kelly arrived, Kushner and Ivanka Trump enjoyed quite unfettered access to Trump, coming and going to the Oval Office as they pleased, according to various media reports.

Since Kelly took over, however, multiple sources told The New York Times and The Washington Post that Kushner’s vast portfolio — which initially included achieving peace in the Middle East, solving the opioid crisis, fixing the Department of Veterans Affairs, and being the administration’s point person in dealing with China, Mexico, and Canada — has shrunk significantly. He now focuses primarily on working towards Middle East peace and oversees the Office of American Innovation, according to Business Insider.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushmer

Kelly, who stands as a buffer between Trump and the rest of the White House staff, has made it clear that he’s in charge, telling associates, “Jared works for me,” according to The Times. And three advisers said that Kelly has discussed the possibility of Kushner and Ivanka Trump leaving the Trump administration all together by the end of 2017.

On the war spending by the US since 9-11, Thanong Fanpage quoted Watson Institute as saying that the US budgetary cost of the Post-9/11 wars through fiscal year 2018 is US$5.6 trillion. The vast economic impact of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan is poorly understood by the US public and policymakers as over 370,000 people have died due to direct war violence, and at least 800,000 more indirectly, 200,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting at the hands of all parties to the conflict and 10.1 million have become war refugees and displaced persons.


Top:  The new Iranian warship Jamaran fires a missile in 2010. Photo: AP via The Sun

First in-text: An image from video shows an Iranian boat, left, heading toward the US Navy patrol ship Thunderbolt in the Persian Gulf recently. The US vessel fired warning shots at the Iranian boat before the encounter was over. Photo: AFP / Getty Images via

Second in-text: US President Donald Trump and General John Kelly emerge from the clubhouse following their meeting at Trump International Golf Club. Photo: Getty Images via CNBC

Third in-text: Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner. Photo: Daily Mail

By Kowit Sanandang