Trump Undermines Military Intelligence — This Time On Syria

Ken AshfordRussia, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

On Monday, the U.S. special representative for Syria engagement publicly pledged that the U.S. commitment to Syria would not waiver. The very next day, Trump reportedly decided to rapidly withdraw all U.S. troops there.  Today he tweeted this:

Trump appears to be discarding his entire Syria and Iran strategy at a single stroke, giving up any and all U.S. influence in the region — and disregarding the advice of his top national security officials.

Members of Trump’s party are not pleased:

If he follows through, Trump’s decision will have devastating and dangerous consequences for the United States, the region and the Syrian people. 

What is likely to happen? Iran and Syria will strengthen ties as Iranian influence expands. Russia and Turkey will negotiate Turkey’s invasion of Syria. ISIS or AQ might make a comeback too. One way or another, a refugee crisis is virtually guaranteed.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think we should have been in Syria in the first place. But, a sudden (versus calculated) withdrawal, does not seem ideal. We should be consulting allies to ensure best possible outcome, at this point. Also, it is really stupid to declare ISIS defeated, when it is not.

The tweet above refers as well to Trump’s decision to lift sanctions
on three massive Russian corporations controlled in part by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, the billionaire closely tied to Paul Manafort.