Officials worry that U.S counterterrorism defenses will be weakened by Trump actions – WBNews

Though cast as measures meant to make the country safe, the Trump administration’s moves during its first week in office are more likely to weaken the counterterrorism defenses the United States has erected over the past 16 years, several current and former U.S. officials said. Through inflammatory rhetoric and hastily drawn executive orders, the administration has alienated allies, including Iraq, provided propaganda fodder to terror networks that frequently portray U.S. involvement in the Middle East as a religious crusade, and endangered critical cooperation from often hidden U.S. partners — whether the leader of a mosque in an American suburb or the head of a Middle East intelligence service. An executive order — issued Friday and titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” — bans entry to people from a list of Muslim-majority nations including Iraq, where U.S. military and intelligence agencies have for years relied on cooperation from Iraqi and Kurdish authorities, not to mention thousands of individual translators and contractors. “Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism,” Republican Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.) said Sunday in a statement. “This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.” [Trump redefines the enemy and 15 years of counterterrorism policy] Already, supporters of the Islamic…more detail

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