So President Trump, after a long conversation with President Erdogan of Turkey, decided to pull US troops back from the area of Syria where Turkey wants to establish a “buffer zone” or “neutral zone”. In doing so, it may expose some elements of Kurdish forces – elements already recognized by the USA as terrorists – to Turkish retaliation or aggression or whatever you want to call it. Now, neocons and other right-wing voices are raised in righteous condemnation, calling President Trump’s decision a “betrayal” or a “mistake” or a “blunder” or whatever.
Would somebody please tell me what, in that part of the world, is worth one more US life? What is the compelling reason driving the United States to get involved in yet another shooting war, thousands of miles beyond its borders? Which of our national security interests are involved there? For the life of me, I can’t see even one.
I think President Trump’s explanation summed it up succinctly.
Trump defended his decision, acknowledging in tweets that “the Kurds fought with us” but adding that they “were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.”
“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” he wrote.
There’s more at the link.
Commander Salamander, with his usual clarity of thought, puts it in perspective.
I can argue both sides, but if the option is to garrison N. Syria until the crack of doom, or let Turks, Persians, Babylonians, Israelis, Kurds, and Arabs do with each other what they have been doing since the dawn of civilization in that area without our help, I’ll go with the latter.
. . .
Syria has never been in the USA’s sphere of influence. The Kurds cannot hide behind the USA forever and we cannot house and feed the European based captured ISIS fighters forever.
Unless you support our forces there indefinitely, then accept that there will never be a good time to leave. If there is never a good time, then the best time is now.
. . .
I know empire is a habit, time to start breaking it.
Again, more at the link.
The United States can no longer afford the burden of being the world’s policeman, and it certainly can’t afford to impose its will on everyone around the globe. Those days are long gone. “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art of the next best“, as Bismarck pointed out. It was no longer possible to maintain the status quo in Syria; therefore, President Trump made the judgment call to pull our forces back, rather than risk their lives in yet another war that cannot be won.
I’ve been on the front lines of a war like that – a war that the political masters on both sides kept going for years longer than it need have lasted, solely because of their intransigence and blinkered vision. Many paid for those shortcomings in blood; but it was never the politicians who paid. It was always the men in uniform. I don’t want to see any more American service personnel have to pay such a futile, pointless, yet permanent and irreversible price.
I think President Trump made the right call.