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Trump is Right about Syria
He is not your average Republican.
by Rebecca Bynum
Under Obama, we had troops in Syria trying to overthrow Assad. Trump changed the mission to simply defeating ISIS. At this point, those few troops were increasingly vulnerable to attack from Iran which would pull us into great big mess of a war. Do we want a war with Iran? Do we want a war with Russia? Do we really care if Assad stays in power for now?
Trump's choice was likely to either send more troops or pull out. If he had sent more troops, that would likely have been the first step in an expensive involvement both in lives and treasure - for what goal? The kneejerk reaction to oppose Russia in any and all things no matter what the cost is not an intelligent policy.
Will ISIS grow back in Syria the way they did in Iraq? Not with Assad now re-asserting control over the country. Iraq had a very weak government. In Syria, Assad, backed by Russia and Iran will mop up the remainder of ISIS.
Do we give up our seat at the table during peace negotiations? Yes, but having that seat would likely be expensive in terms of re-construction of Syria. Why not let Russia foot this bill? Let Russia's coffers be drained by Syria, the way ours have been drained by Iraq.
Trump's philosophy seems to be to allow the local stakeholders fight it out until some sort of stability is naturally achieved. Is this wrong?
Afghanistan is another lost cause. How can we save Muslims from the natural result, that is, the violence and war, their Islamic culture naturally engenders? Trump is concluding we can't. He will likely switch from the forlorn hope for Islamic cultural transformation to the grim necessity of its containment.
Trump is a natural strategic thinker. He keeps our main national goals in mind and is not seduced by ever shifting tactical goals the way so many pundits and military men are.