President Trump plans to remove our troops from the Syrian conflict…..supposedly. If he does so, we feel this will be a big mistake that he will eventually regret making. The Washington Post recently reported that Trump has ordered his top military brass to make plans for the withdrawal with no timetable. To confuse the issue still further, Reuters quoted an unnamed senior administration official as saying the U.S. was, “not going to immediately withdraw but neither is the president willing to back a long-term commitment.” So, what’s going on?
If we withdraw now when no U.S. objective has been militarily achieved, this leaves both our allies and enemies in the region scratching their heads. We claim to have destroyed ISIS, but have we really? We claim the goal of stopping Iran and Russian expansion in the region, but pulling out of Syria does the opposite and confuses our allies who thought we would see winning this anti-Assad-Iran-Russia-ISIS conflict as a major goal of the Trump administration. ISIS is still a threat and it’s obvious that Trump is falling into the same hole that both G. W. Bush and Obama dug. Recall Bush’s famous statement in 2008 of “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. And then followed by Obama’s poor decision to withdraw completely from that same country in 2011. Iran filled that vacuum and Iraq, once noted for the purple fingered signal of democratic voting is now under the tyrannical yoke of Iran.
We truly can understand the problem of remaining and using our forces on the battlefields of Syria. There would be enormous risks with our continued presence there. Russian, Iranian, Syrian Freedom Fighters, pro-Assad Syrians, Turkish and Kurdish troops are intertwined like knots on an aged tree trunk all over that tortured nation and the threat of us being drawn into a confrontation with any one of these parties is very problematical and dangerous. What would we do if our troops suffered casualties from a chemical attack? Whom to blame and retaliate against? Trump and our military have to consider all of the situations that could very easily get out of hand.
However, Assad’s multiple gassings of his own people gave us the fortitude to intrude and force him out with our military. And much of what the U.S. does in that region of the world has to do with our hostile relationship with Iran. Assad’s total control of Syria would give the Iranians a pathway all the way across to the Mediterranean Sea. Once in place, they’d never leave and then would have a perfect jumping off point to attack both Europe and North Africa ballistically. Their emplacements in southern Syria will threaten Israel. Throw in the nuclear capabilities and the Islamic fanaticism of their leaders and it’s a sure thing that any enemy of the Tehran Mullahs will suffer a dire fate.
As such, we understand the thoughts of Trump to back out of Syria. He does not want to become entangled in a web of violence that could bring many casualties to our troops. However, we entered WWII, and endured much pain, heavy losses and suffering but we brought down a mighty evil. We’re faced with a similar scenario now. We suggest we keep our forces in Syria, supply them with the most advanced weapons and we should not hesitate to use them to obtain victory. Our mistakes leading to the strengthening and emboldening the Iranians have brought us to this point. We can no longer placate, appease and fold to the Iranian threats to the stability of the rest of the world. We have to face the reality that is the United States that once again must be its savior. That’s just the way it is.