Grind for December 22nd, 2018
“One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.”
– Thomas Jefferson
Trump shocks White House officials with Syria announcement
President Trump on Wednesday announced the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Syria. The announcement, delivered on Twitter, came as a complete surprise to lawmakers and Pentagon officials.
“We have won against ISIS,” tweeted Trump. “We’ve beaten them and we’ve beaten them badly; we’ve taken back the land. And now it’s time for our troops to come back home.”
According to the most recent estimates, roughly 30,000 ISIS militants remain in Iraq and Syria.
Trump’s announcement was met with bipartisan outrage, with lawmakers on both sides insisting withdrawal would cede Syria to Iran and Russia and facilitate the reemergence of ISIS.
“[Withdrawal] will lead to devastating consequences for our nation, the region, and throughout the world,” argued GOP Senator Lindsey Graham. “It will make it more difficult to recruit future partners willing to confront radical Islam. It will also be seen by Iran and other bad actors as a sign of American weakness in the efforts to contain Iranian expansion.”
Others have suggested the decision was a transactional arrangement with foreign powers – possibly part of an arms deal with Turkey or recompense to President Erdogan for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
“[Withdrawal] serves Russian interests. It serves Iranian interests. It takes the heat off of ISIS and does a favor for Turkey. How does it serve US interests?” asked CNN anchor Jim Sciutto.
All of the above arguments are valid, but the way I see it, the United States had no business in Syria from the beginning. The only thing our continued presence in Syria will accomplish is risking more American lives.
The United States intervened in the Syrian Civil War in 2014 (thanks Obama). Troops stationed there have been fighting ISIS while assisting “rebel” forces seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The rebels also have support from Turkey and Saudi Arabia, while Assad’s forces are backed by Russia and Iran.
Congress finally agrees on something: the importance of quantum computing
Lawmakers this week voted almost unanimously to approve a bill that establishes a national quantum computing program and provides $1.2 billion for quantum computing research.
“Establishing a national quantum program is essential to maintaining our position as global leaders in science and technology,” says Senator John Thune (R-SD).
Quantum computing is a revolutionary technology that offers the possibility of performing complex computations much faster than traditional computers.
The technology is still in its infancy, but has massive potential to boost a nation’s cybersecurity and intelligence operations as well as facilitate the development of new technology.
Other potential applications include: data encryption, climate research, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and transportation.
“The first country to harness the power of quantum computing will have a huge advantage over other,” reports Futurism. “And the National Quantum Initiative Act could help the US be that nation.”
President Trump is expected to sign the bill.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… Yoda in Star Wars and Miss Piggy in The Muppets were voiced by the same person.