With the Deep State found at every turn, it is hard to know where to look for sense on PDT’s pull-out of American forces from Syria. The one person whose views I therefore most wished to hear were those of Caroline Glick at The Jerusalem Post. She has now published this, which the headline writer described as: TRUMP’S DECISION TO PULL FORCES OUT OF SYRIA HAS UPSIDES. In the article itself, she is more positive, with this her conclusion which she links to Nikki Haley’s speech to the UN last week:
By abandoning the anti-Israel fake “peace process” and striking out on a new path based on reality, and by walking away from Obama’s pro-Iran policies in Syria and Lebanon and backing Israel in its efforts to defeat its enemies, the Trump administration is demonstrating what pro-Israel really means. So long as it is true to its word, Israel is safer and stronger for it.
OK. But there are two sides to this as she makes clear.
For the past two years, the Trump administration has continued implementing Obama’s pro-Iran policy in Syria. Efforts to change the US mission have failed, largely due to Pentagon opposition. During his visit to Israel in August, National Security Advisor John Bolton said that the mission of US forces had been expanded to block Iran from asserting control over Syria. But since the administration didn’t request a new mandate from Congress, the mission remained officially what it has been since 2014.
It is true that on the ground, the US forces in Syria do far more than fight ISIS. They block Iran from controlling the Syrian border with Iraq and so prevent Iran from controlling a land route from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea.
US forces also have blocked Turkey from taking over Syrian Kurdistan and have prevented Turkish President Recep Erdogan from carrying out his pledge to destroy the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces. If the US chooses not to arm and supply the SDF, once the Americans leave, Syria’s Kurds – America’s only loyal allies there – will either have to cut a deal with Russia and Iran or face Turkey alone.
US forces in Syria also block Russia from taking over Syria’s oil fields. On February 7, forty US Special Forces troops blocked hundreds of Russian mercenaries from seizing the Conoco oil field on the eastern side of the Euphrates.
Finally, US forces in Syria act as a deterrent against Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah aggression against Israel. With US forces on the ground, they fear that provoking a war with Israel will be tantamount to going to war against America. With US forces out of Syria, their fear of attacking Israel will diminish.
Nevertheless, she still sees the positives, and it is quite striking that the Israeli reaction generally has been so quiet. It is the same people who oppose a border wall in the US who are also the ones most critical of Trump’s decision. The one certainty is that there is no certainty, no matter what you do.
FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS: There is an apparent assumption that PDT just does what he does with no groundwork and preparation. However, as noted by Baa Humbug in the comments: Saudi Crown Prince MbS Sends Replacement Troops To Defend Kurds in Syria…. There is also this to dwell on if it doesn’t turn your stomach: THE NEW YORK TIMES WAS AGAINST WAR IN SYRIA BEFORE IT WAS FOR IT.
Almost a year ago, on Jan. 19, 2018, that same editorial board raked the president over the coals for even daring to continue America’s policy of military adventurism. The Times expressed concern that more American troops beyond the 2,000 initially deployed could soon be sent overseas in a mission without any clear goals. “Syria is a complex problem. But this plan seems poorly conceived, too dependent on military action and fueled by wishful thinking,” The Times said.
Who would depend on these people to protect our way of life?