There’ll be differences of opinion in just about every intelligence analysis that you make.–Special Counsel Robert Mueller
Trump’s remarks are more grist for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s mill. Is the sudden decision regarding Syria another sign of conspiracy involving Trump and Russia?
- ISIS and al Qaeda must “suffer an enduring defeat.”
- “…a stable, unified, independent Syria, under post-Assad leadership, is functioning as a state.”
- Iranian influence in Syria must be “diminished”.
- “refugees and IDPs (internally displaced people) can begin to safely and voluntarily return to Syria.”
- Syria must be “free of weapons of mass destruction.”
- Assad government
These would help fill the vacuum left by US military withdrawal.
- Saudi Arabia
Israel and Saudi Arabia would not appreciate increased Iranian influence. Kurds would be abandoned yet again.
It is hard to say if the United States would benefit or suffer if we ended military involvement in Syria. On the one hand, wars are cruel and expensive. On the other, we would abandon our goals and perhaps set the stage for renewed conflict on a larger scale in the future.
Trump criticized the Obama Administration for leaving Iraq prematurely. If leaving too soon was a mistake then, would he repeat it now? Do his remarks reflect only recklessness in speaking to supporters, or might they reflect a desire to please Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin? Will they stand, or will they be quickly brushed aside?
The attack on Iraq has completely upended the Middle East. ISIS was a direct outgrowth of the power vacuum left in Iraq by the destruction of the Saddam Hussein regime. It is very easy to go to war, not so easy to control the forces unleashed by war. Evidently the leadership of the US has not learned that.
But now we are stuck. Do we abandon the rebels in Syria, as we abandoned the Hmong after the Vietnam debacle? As we abandoned the revolutions in Egypt and Libya?
When the twin towers came down on 9/11, bin Laden started a process that has turned into a Middle East quagmire. The US fell for it. They played his game. Instead of killing bin Laden at Tora Bora for some reason the US refused to give the military on the ground in Afghanistan the 800 more soldiers they requested to finish the job. So, the cornered bin Laden was able to escape. Instead, 9/11 was used as part of the excuse to attack Iraq. The quagmire that followed is one that US policies created. ISIS in the direct descendant of the Iraq Invasion. And it shows no sign of ending.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I tried to think when conflict in the Middle East began. I have no knowledge before Homer, but I am sure it is older than that. Some notable points: Cyrus, Alexander, Hulagu, Nixon’s tilt toward Pakistan, CIA in Iran, GHWB’s Gulf War I. Over and again, one war seems to have been a cause of the next.
Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski is an account of ancient conflict in the Middle East. This is a good read.