Picking winners and losers | New NY 23rd

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?

  1. ISIS and al Qaeda must “suffer an enduring defeat.”
  2. “…a stable, unified, independent Syria, under post-Assad leadership, is functioning as a state.”
  3. Iranian influence in Syria must be “diminished”.
  4. “refugees and IDPs (internally displaced people) can begin to safely and voluntarily return to Syria.”
  5. Syria must be “free of weapons of mass destruction.”


  1. ISIS
  2. Russia
  3. Iran
  4. Turkey
  5. Assad government

These would help fill the vacuum left by US military withdrawal.


  1. Kurds
  2. Israel
  3. 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?


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