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This Marine veteran Congressman may enter the 2020 presidential race as a national security hawk
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) may not have decided yet whether to run for president, but he sounded like a candidate-in-waiting on Tuesday while arguing the Democrats need to make national security a central part of their platform in the presidential election.
A Marine Corps veteran who deployed to Iraq four times, Moulton argued the United States needs to update existing alliances, build new ones, and establish clear strategic goals in Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere during a speech Tuesday at the left-leaning Brookings Institution think tank in Washington D.C.
"With regards to 2020; yes, I am looking at a potential campaign," Moulton said. "I think that we have to make the argument to people that there are serious national security concerns across the globe and that this has got to be part of the debate. But this is one of the things that I hope will be added to the conversation."
"I'll be the first to say that we have extraordinary candidates who have already announced and are running. There are amazing people out there who are running and contributing to this debate, and, ultimately, this has got to be part of the discussion as well. And if this is one of the things that I can add to the debate, then that's perhaps an argument for me to jump in."
Moulton told Task & Purpose after his speech that he has not arrived at a decision about whether to enter the presidential race.
"I'm just looking at it seriously," the former infantry officer said.
When asked if he planned to visit early battleground states Iowa and New Hampshire any time soon, Moulton did not give a definitive no.
"It may be part of it but I don't have any plans on the calendar out there," Moulton said.
Moulton first told BuzzFeed that he was considering entering the 2020 presidential race. In Tuesday's speech, he accused President Donald Trump of damaging U.S. foreign policy beyond repair by abandoning alliances and cowering to adversaries.
Yet the "disaster" of the past two years has presented the next administration with an opportunity to overhaul how the United States reassures allies and confronts enemies.
"When your old house gets damaged by a bad renter – or in this case a terrible president – you don't just restore it to look like it was built in 1950," Moulton said. "You take the opportunity to renovate it. You don't just rebuild; you build something new –something more relevant; something better. That's what's required of our foreign policy today. In with the new and – more difficult but as important – out with the old."
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Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen has died 10 years after he was shot in the head while searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.
Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Most of the U.S. troops in Syria are being moved out of the country as Turkish forces and their Arab allies push further into Kurdish territory than originally expected, Task & Purpose has learned.
"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'
More than 700 women and children affiliated with ISIS escape Kurdish prison camp after Turkish shelling
BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Women affiliated with Islamic State and their children fled en masse from a camp where they were being held in northern Syria on Sunday after shelling by Turkish forces in a five-day-old offensive, the region's Kurdish-led administration said.
Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.
Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the United States unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is warning that it's "absolutely a given" that ISIS will come back if the U.S. doesn't keep up pressure on the group, just one week after President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from northern Syria.
"It's in a situation of disarray right now. Obviously the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks, and we'll have to see if they're able to maintain the fight against ISIS," Mattis said in an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press," set to air on Sunday. "It's going to have an impact. The question is how much?"