Trump declares end to United States 'policeman' role in surprise Iraq visit

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"We're respected again as a nation".

IS, which once controlled swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, has been driven mostly into hiding.

Then there were pundits and celebrities who took credit for "shaming" Trump into making the trip, even though the president was already flying over Europe when they tweeted NBC News' tepid take, and presidential trips are not embarked-on at a moment's notice. A planned meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi was scrapped and replaced by a phone call, the premier's office said.

The Iraq trip provided some distraction from a rising tide of domestic political problems, including a government shutdown caused by Trump's row with the US Congress over funding for a US-Mexico border wall. Such a move would reflect one of the strategies proposed by the Pentagon after he announced his decision to withdraw troops from that country. US Defence Secretary James Mattis resigned in protest.

According to the pool report of the event, held in a dining hall at the base, a man called Kyu Lee told Trump he was the chaplain for SEAL Team Five. "And also, by the way, everybody and her aunt, just so I won't be criticized".

Mr Trump walked along a rope line at the USA base in German state Rhineland-Palatinate, shaking hands, posing for selfies, and autographing "Make America Great Again" hats for servicemen.

The Syria decision triggered the resignations of defence secretary James Mattis and Brett McGurk, the special envoy to the worldwide coalition fighting the Islamic State, whose defeat President Trump has cited as his reason for pulling out of Syria.

Trump speaks to USA troops in an unannounced visit to the Al-Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26.

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More than 5,000 United States troops remain in Iraq to train and advise local forces, who are fighting what remains of IS following a string a victories past year.

Khazali was jailed by British and US forces from 2007 to 2010 for managing sections of the Shia insurgency against the occupation during those years.

Both visited American troops in the country, with Obama meeting them inside a palace built by Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, while Trump visited an air base. But speculation had been mounting that he would finally make the gesture following his controversial plan to slash troop levels in Afghanistan and his order to withdraw entirely from Syria.

Trump invited Abdel Mahdi to visit Washington and he accepted, according to the White House. "The American occupation of Iraq is over", said Sabah al-Saidi, the head of one of two main blocs in Iraq's parliament.

"If you had seen what we had to go through with the darkened plane, with all windows closed, with no lights on whatsoever anywhere".

President Bush and al-Maliki held regular conversations about the progress of the surge that increased USA troop strength in Iraq, effectively driving a wedge between Al Qaida and Sunni tribes.

Political and militia leaders in Iraq have condemned US President Donald Trump's surprise visit to see US troops as a violation of the country's sovereignty. He told The Associated Press in October that he "will do that at some point, but I don't think it's overly necessary".

"I know there was a lot of security up there, in the skies", he said. On the one hand, he still wants to demonstrate the intention to abandon the role of global policeman with the subsequent mission where American blood is spilt for the sake of a country, about which majority can't find on a map. He said Ain al-Asad could be used for US air strikes inside Syria.

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