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Just as the Obama administration transformed U.S. foreign policy in the middle east from troops on the ground and manned airstrikes, to drone diplomacy. Trump is using similar optical illusions to mislead the public.
It's disingenuous at the least and a cynical public deception at its worst.

On December 19th, Trump announced he was withdrawing America's 2000 troops stationed in Syria. What the public wasn't informed of is there are 5500 contractors assigned on Syrian soil. No media outlet, except Fox, even acknowledged contractor forces. And Fox opined that American military forces should be replaced with more contractors, thereby making U.S. presence in Syria all mercenary. They're still forces serving U.S. interests, they're just not wearing U.S. military attire.
Another cynical deception by a U.S. President.

A blurb from a December 2017 article at The Week lays out the issue:"

"At the time of Jarrard's comments, Pahon toldThe Washington Post that it is "widely acknowledged" that there are more Americans in the battle than official numbers acknowledge. He attributed the disparity to the fact that force management level reports "don't include temporary forces," but that's clearly not the only factor in play. The reports also fail to include military contractors, who outnumber reported military personnel by at least two to one in the Middle East. (That ratio may be too low, Foreign Policynotes, because it does "not include contractors supporting CIA or other intelligence community activities.")

So per the latest official numbers, there are about 26,200 U.S. boots on the ground in our three largest theaters of war: 2,000 in Syria, 8,900 in Iraq, and 15,300 in Afghanistan. For all three nations, these figures are significantly higher than the Defense Department previously admitted. On revealing the larger counts in November and December, the DoD took pains to explain it was not announcing a surge, merely being a little more honest with the public.

Per more comprehensive assessments, the total is more like 64,700. That's 4,000 in Syria (using Maj. Gen. Jarrard's number), 17,000 in Iraq (about 8,000 contractors plus the 8,900 soldiers), and 43,800 in Afghanistan (about 28,500 contractors plus the 15,300 troops) — all told, more than double the official number, and perhaps still too low thanks to those intelligence contractors and temporary deployments.

At the very least, the 64,700 figure neglects to encompass the war on terror's entire multitude of unaccountable and little-noticed missions involving an unknown number of forces in an unknown number of countries for an unknown period of time pursuing unknown objectives.

In the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld uttered a tongue twister. "There are known knowns," he said. "There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know." ...
Read full article at The Week