On October 6th the Trump Administration drastically modified its policy on the U.S. Military presence in Syria. The Trump Administration allowed Turkey to take a more aggressive role in Kurdish-held territories backed by American troops, and also withdrew American troops from key locations in Kurdish-held Syria. Despite the success of the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, many foreign policy analysts believe that the United States has lost its foothold in combating the Assad Regime and preventing the spread of ISIS in the region. The United States’ longtime ally in the region, the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has lost ground to Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States.
The Democratic Party kicked off its quest to find a challenger to President Trump over the summer. In total, four debates took place over four days, due to the large number of candidates. The first two of these debates took place on June 26-27 on NBC, and the second two debates took place on July 30-31 on CNN. Key topics in each debate included healthcare reform, immigration, gun control, race relations, and U.S. foreign policy. Many controversies surrounded the debates, including comments made by former Joe Biden about working together with segregationist Senators. NBC and CNN have also come under fire for the manner in which they have organized the debates, and also the amount of speaking time given to each candidate.