Stephen Miller pushed Trump to ban Chad over protests from State Department and Pentagon officials
Controversial White House advisor Stephen Miller played a pivotal role in President Donald Trump’s decision to include Chad in his most recent iteration of the travel ban — which may harm US interests in Africa.
Officials at the State Department and Pentagon were opposed to including the central African nation of Chad, The New York Times reported. White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller urged Chad’s inclusion of the list, which was drafted by acting secretary of Homeland Security Elaine C. Duke.
“Embassy officials said they were still trying to figure out why Chad was on the list,” The Times reported. “At the Pentagon, several Defense officials expressed anger that years of close work could be jeopardized by what one characterized as a ‘casual’ process that failed to take into account America’s long-term interests in the region. Current and former officials at the United States Africa Command, which works closely with the Chadian military to fight Islamic extremists in north and central Africa, said they could not explain the inclusion and referred inquiries to the White House.”
A former US ambassador to Nigeria blasted the Trump Administration’s decision on Chad.
“To me, what they did makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, none, zero,” said Ambassador John Campbell.
Chad’s strongman leader, Idriss Déby, has worked closely with the US military on counter-terrorism.
Chad’s military has worked closely with Americans, playing host to exercises conducted by the United States,” The Times noted.
Chad’s inclusion could cost lasting damage to United States interests, and not just in Africa.
“This confusion over the treatment of a key U.S. ally on combating terrorism sends the message that the United States cannot be trusted as a reliable partner,” explained Monde Muyangwa of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.