More than any other issue or cause on this blog, the matter of process stands front and center, time and again, as being central to the operation of government. I stress it over and over.
From the antics of my local neighborhood association, to the pure lunacy of the Donald Trump White House, there is no escaping that process matters. When process gets undermined there is a mess to pick up. Be it in relation to how matters come for a vote with the Marquette Neighborhood Association, or the lack of consultation in a formalized way prior to a major announcement about troop withdrawals, there are clear consequences. Whether it is the MNA president or the U.S. president it is not pretty when process is tossed aside for expediency.
Today Secretary of Defense Mattis resigned due to the undermining of the process that should have been used when it came time to address American troops in Syria.
What is shocking to me is that Trump did not coordinate the decision with his senior advisors. If you follow international events in the daily newspapers then it is clear the likes of National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of State Jim Mattis all had issued statements recently declaring that the United States would stay in Syria to counter Iran. It also goes without saying that there were other worthy political goals that made such a policy continuance all the more logical.
What happens when a process is so overtly attacked is that our allies now have even less reason to trust the advisors who speak for Trump, and even more importantly, for America. Think about how our key allies like France and the Brits feel. They too have troops in Syria–predicated on the fact America had their back. Our allies were not told of the troop pullout!!
I get it that most Trump supporters have no deep care or understanding but such totally absurd, reckless, and dangerous moves such this one allows for allies to be reluctant to take on new risks in partnership with America. That is bad news for international order. Internationalists find that unacceptable.
With the adherence of an established process we could have at least shown respect for allies and pushed for promises from Turkey, and concessions from Iran. All we have now is egg on our face, allies who are angry, and a future that is more cloudy than when we started the week.