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Last week, two of the Navy’s battleships, the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz, were ordered to the Pacific to protect against another COVID-19 outbreak in the area.
The order came at a time of increasing political and economic tension between the U.S. and China.
On 9 June, Taiwan reported a number of Chinese military jets crossed its air space, and Japan confirmed the presence of a Chinese aircraft carrier along with its fleet of smaller boats through an area of southern Japanese islands.
The presence of the U.S. aircraft carriers in the Pacific came after a coronavirus outbreak occurred on the USS Roosevelt, which had to dock in Guam earlier in the year. According to Rear Admiral George M. Wikoff, who commands the fleet led by the USS Reagan, the Navy deployed the ships in order to create a “bubble of health.”
The admiral clarified the deployment was not just about virus control: “The bottom line is that the mission endures and doesn’t take a break for the virus… We continue to promote regional security with our partners and maintain a very high state of readiness.”
Some two dozen Republican House members are pressuring the White House not to cut the number of U.S. troops in Germany. They sent a letter last week that read in part, “We believe that such steps would significantly damage U.S. national security as well as strengthen the position of Russia to our detriment.”
They were reacting to the White House proposal to make a 50 percent cut in those troops, which would amount to at lease 9,500 by September. The house members concluded U.S. military presence in Germany since World War II has been instrumental in keeping the peace in Europe, and they specifically referenced that “threats posed by Russia have not lessened.”
Pentagon officials have proposed it could effectively manage events in Iraq with only about half the current number of troops. There are about 5,200 U.S. troops there now. America’s allies in Iraq have already cut their troop numbers in half as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
As previously noted in the Trends Journal, the U.S. came perilously close to an all-out war with Iran after assassinating popular Iranian general and political leader Qassim Soleimani at the Baghdad airport in January. This led to Iraq’s parliament voting on 5 January to expel all American troops from the country. This, of course, never happened.
The U.S. has made it clear it wants to see less Iranian influence over Iraqi military forces as well as the quashing of any ISIS resurgence. Iraq has voiced concern over the U.S. waging battles with Iran on Iraqi soil, but, at the same time, they want U.S. help in controlling ISIS.
ISIS has been waging small-scale attacks in primarily rural areas of Iraq since the beginning of the year.
TREND FORECAST: As The Presidential Reality Show® draws closer to Election Day, we forecast President Trump will be pushing for more troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, Iraq, and military bases around the world.
Ending foreign entanglements was a key selling point in his 2016 race for the White House, and he will use it again. But this time, President Trump will use it as a cost-cutting measure for a nation that is sinking into depression and over-burdened with debt.

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