The impact of the travel ban on allies
President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning all refugees and all visitors from seven majority-Muslim countries has been halted by the U.S. courts, but it has already had an effect on U.S. troops abroad. Five of the seven countries covered under the order are places where the U.S. is engaged in military operations: Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia. That means some of the people excluded are locals who have been helping the U.S. at great personal risk—particularly in Iraq. “This has caused massive disappointment in the hearts of every Iraqi who is fighting radicalism,” an Iraqi general told Fox News. Iraqi militias, including the Hezbollah Brigades, have threatened an “earthshaking response” against U.S. troops in Iraq. Trump has also alienated Iraqis by repeating his belief that the U.S. should “take Iraq’s oil”—which would be illegal under international law. “There is nothing Trump could have said that would be more corrosive to our interests in the Middle East,” says Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Baghdad. “It plays to the myth that we were in Iraq to take their oil.” Once ISIS is defeated, Crocker said, fears that U.S. troops will steal Iraq’s oil could lead Iraqis to attack U.S. troops.