This is horrible from two perspectives. First, we are abandoning a staunch ally in the region. Second, it further encourages Iran to be belligerent against Saudi Arabia and Israel to test America’s resolve to support our allies.
US troops have begun withdrawing from positions in northern Syria, paving the way for a Turkish operation against Kurdish fighters in the border area.
Kurdish-led forces have until now been a key US ally in Syria, where they helped defeat the Islamic State group, but Turkey regards them as terrorists.
The main Kurdish-led group called the surprise US move a “stab in the back”.
But President Donald Trump defended the pullout, saying it was time “to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars”.
The withdrawal represents a significant shift in US foreign policy and goes against the advice of senior officials in the Pentagon and state department. It follows a White House statement issued late on Sunday, saying US troops were stepping aside for an imminent Turkish operation.
Our stated purpose of being in Syria during the Trump era was for the elimination of ISIS. Allowing mission creep into permanent peacekeeping of the new Turkey-Syria buffer zone would not be wise. Both Turkey and the Kurds provided considerable assistance in our fight against ISIS, but with mission end should come a halt to the already limited usefulness of our “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” agreements. Just because all sides have benefitted to this point doesn’t mean the way forward is predictable.
Separating two allies at gunpoint would be a commitment lasting generations and we all know this country no longer possesses the attention span for such a mission. Kurds, like Palestinians, are a people that cross multiple geopolitical borders without a sovereign nation of their own. The UN has not seen fit to create one for them, so where there are Kurds there will be conflicts. Let the UN referee.
We are talking about 100 service members, so we are not talking about a huge amount of military members.
Merlin is absolutely correct. If you don’t believe that, note that Mitt Romney condemns Trump’s action here….
I’ll quibble about this, though:
We have all the attention-span we need for matters where the National Interest IS at play. There is no national interest for the US in that corner of Syria, period. It’s a fine place for Iran and Russia to spend lives and treasure, though.
And let’s not forget that a bunch of those Kurds are Communists who have been raising Hell over there for 35 years or so.
Plus the Kurd’s didn’t help us on D-Day, so screw them.
The Saudi’s, on the other hand, evidently helped bigly as Trump is sending them 1900 ground troops.