Small Wars Journal

There are Mounting Signs of U.S. Military Planning for Venezuela

Sat, 03/16/2019 - 12:25am

There are Mounting Signs of U.S. Military Planning for Venezuela by Kyle Rempfer and Todd South - Military Times

President Donald Trump has been talking about ordering a military operation targeting Venezuela since 2017.


At first, that was widely dismissed as a rash threat, but the idea of a U.S. effort to force “regime change” in the oil-rich South American country may be gaining momentum in Washington.


“It’s a regime that, frankly, could be toppled very quickly by the military if the military decides to do that,” Trump said in September.


In January, National Security Adviser John Bolton flashed a notebook that read “5,000 troops to Colombia."


And on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered all U.S. diplomats to leave Venezuela, saying their presence there “has become a constraint on U.S. policy,” hinting at opening potential military options.


Speculation about a military assault on Venezuela was also fueled by Trump’s recent appointment of a former George W. Bush administration official who was an architect of the Iraq War, Elliot Abrams, to be the new “Special Representative for Venezuela.”


Heightened concerns prompted the Democratic-led House Foreign Affairs Committee to meet Wednesday to debate a bill that would prohibit Trump from taking military action in Venezuela without congressional approval…

Read on.