Advertise On EU-Digest

Annual Advertising Rates


Syria: Is the US leaving their Kurdish Allies in Syria in the cold? As to Pompeo and Bolton: Don't Expect Trump's New Hawks to Save Syria

The conventional wisdom in Washington these days says that Secretary of Defense James Mattis is the one man who can save the nation from war. The new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is a hawk's hawk. And don't get the foreign policy establishment started on incoming National Security Adviser, John Bolton. President Donald Trump himself pines for military parades and asserts that torturing terrorists "works."

Like most conventional wisdom in the Trump era, however, this is all wrong -- for a number of reasons. But the first and most important one is Syria. Trump actually wants to cut and run from this tragic country. This is why there is no real strategy for the moment to counter the Russian-Iranian led campaign to unify the country for the dictator in Damascus, Bashar al-Assad. U.S. forces are in Syria only to destroy the Islamic State.

Trump made this point on Thursday at a rally in Ohio. "We're knocking the hell out of ISIS, we'll be coming out of Syria very soon," the president told the crowd. "Let the other people take care of it now."

"Let the other people take care of it" is a good summary of Barack Obama's approach to Syria. Consider this searing farewell statement from former diplomat Fred Hof as he prepares to leave his post as director of the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center this week. (Hof took on that post in 2012 after resigning from government to protest Obama's inactions on Syria.)

"President Obama would caricature external alternatives by creating and debating straw men: invented idiots calling for the invasion and occupation of Syria," he wrote. "He would deal with internal dissent by taking officials through multi-step, worst-case, hypothetical scenarios of what might happen in the wake of any American attempt, no matter how modest, to complicate regime mass murder. The ‘logical’ result would inevitably involve something between World War III and an open-ended, treasury-draining American commitment."

Hof concludes: "He did not mean to do it, but Barack Obama’s performance in Syria produced global destabilization."

This was the world Trump inherited in 2017. And despite his campaign rhetoric about the pointlessness of interventions, Trump did not just bug out. Instead he lifted restrictions on the rules of engagement for U.S. Special Forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and, in one of his administration's best moments, struck regime airfields after a nerve gas attack a year ago.

It's possible that Trump's promise to exit Syria is just bluster for the crowd. This was not a policy speech. It was a rally that focused mainly on building the border wall and immigration. Yet it's also possible Trump is finally taking control of the government, and we should expect policy to reflect his rhetoric in a way it has not up to now. 

Read Full report click here : Bloomberg

No comments: