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After being shamed into visiting the troops around Christmastime, President Artie Lange's Coke Nose boasted to American troops in Iraq about the 10 percent pay raise he fought for to make sure soldiers were taken care of because had it not been for a doctor writing a bogus bill of health to keep him out of Vietnam, he'd would have been right there with them.

US President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on December 26, 2018. We are always going to protect you.

"We just got you a big pay raise".

While a lot of the immediate backlash seems to be related to Trump cancelling his visit with the Iraqi PM over a disagreement on location, the ruling bloc and its leader Moqtada al-Sadr have long spoken out about the need for Iraq to get out from under the domination of foreign powers and seek a more independent future.

As The Washington Post's Philip Rucker and Paul Sonne reported, the pay raise Trump authorized this year amounted to 2.6 percent, not 10 percent. I think you could see him, in the audience, when he's talking to them - his advance party politicized that event. Does anybody here? Is anybody here willing to give up the big pay raise you just got? The 2.6% pay raise is the largest in the past 9 years.

The day after Christmas, Melania Trump joined president Donald Trump in Iraq to surprise USA troops. "But, you know, they were sort of excited the commander in chief was there and willing to blow by it".

Russian Federation ready to deploy new hypersonic nuclear missile - Putin
Mr Putin was speaking after overseeing what the Kremlin said was a pre-deployment test of the new missile system, called Avangard. The Avangard is a strategic intercontinental ballistic missile system equipped with a hypersonic glide vehicle.

While speaking to the troops in Iraq, Trump defended his decision to withdraw from Syria, saying that Islamic State (IS) is "very almost defeated" and the caliphate is gone. "I said, 'No. Make it 10%". On Wednesday, Trump used the phrase "in more than 10 years" four times.

Trump said it's time to leave Syria because the US should not be involved in nation-building, and that other wealthy nations should shoulder the cost of rebuilding Syria. In March, he told military families that he was handing out the first pay raise in a decade. Under President George H.W. Bush, the US went to war with Iraq in 1990/1991 in response to the invasion of Kuwait-although the Persian Gulf War/Operation Desert Storm was a relatively short conflict compared to what came in the post-9/11 era.

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Maryland President Donald Trump once opined that it wasn't "overly necessary" for him to visit troops in danger zones overseas.

Trump has taken considerable criticism for declining to visit in the first two years of his presidency. But the circumstances do highlight the difficulty facing Trump as a president who wants virtually unlimited defense spending harnessed to a belligerent nationalism - but doesn't much care for deploying US military power unless it can kill everything in sight.

President Donald Trump has accidentally revealed the location and identities of US Navy Seals in Iraq.

Officials say the withdrawal plan will have to be approved by the Secretary of Defense and it's possible that it may be up to Pat Shanahan, the department's number two official, to approve the plan when he becomes the new acting defense secretary on January 1, after Mattis' departure.


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