Citing the need for US leadership in war-torn Syria, a national defense analyst is concerned about President Donald Trump's pledge to pull USA troops out of the country. And, despite the White House's insistence that the group is "almost completely defeated", a string of renewed IS attacks in recent weeks has raised fears about a resurgence.
"A lot of great work's been done in Syria", Lt. -Gen.
American diplomacy failed largely because the United States lacked leverage on the ground and so could not force other parties to bargain honestly or respect agreements.
While the comments aligned with remarks Trump made as a private citizen and presidential candidate, they appeared to go against much of what the administration had previously said on Syria. Besides the generals on the other side of the table, briefing Trump, his own chief of staff, John Kelly, is a retired Marine Corps general implacably opposed to any "premature" withdrawal of USA forces from Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. And in the longer run, he should be working to separate the Sunni population from al-Qaeda by cultivating Sunni partners in Syria who are allied with the United States against the Salafi-jihadist cause, as well as the growing Iranian-Russian-Assad-Hezbollah alliance. "It doesn't work that way", Trump said a year ago, shortly after becoming president.
He told the crowd in OH that "We are going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be". "I want to bring our troops back home", Trump said. "I want to start rebuilding our nation".
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The Blob-the dominant Washington thinking on national security matters-will push against any inclination by Trump to pull USA troops out of Syria. He came away from a phone call Monday with King Salman confident that the king will agree to give the money, two USA officials briefed on the conversation said. Obama announced that a 30,000-troop surge in Afghanistan would be followed by a withdrawal in 2011, and followed his predecessor's plan for removing troops from Iraq by the end of that year. But ceding influence over Syrian territory could hand more control to countries whose interests in the Middle East are sharply at odds with the United States. Despite the inclusion of Arab fighters in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - the USA coalition partner whose leadership is dominated by the YPG - the push by a Kurdish fighter-led force to oust ISIS from the majority Sunni Arab city of Raqqa highlighted the deficit of trust between the Kurdish YPG and Sunni Arab populations in areas it has captured from ISIS.
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That's not all. A US withdrawal would create an Obama-style vacuum that would be filled by Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and the Assad regime. According to the Institute for the Study of War and the American Enterprise Institute's Critical Threats Project, "Al Qaeda.is more unsafe than ISIS", because although they share "the same aims as ISIS, including the intention of attacking and destroying the West", al-Qaeda is less focused on developing a physical caliphate and more on "insinuating itself inside Sunni insurgencies by harnessing popular grievances. while continuing to build capabilities that could be turned against the West". As both a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally and a country that has lines of communication with Tehran, Turkey is and will continue to be the U.S.' foremost partner in countering Iranian influence when the dust settles on the battle against ISIS.
The dominance of the PYD and YPG in northern Syria has created a region directly across Turkey's border from which the PKK can continue to threaten Turkey's security. They point to the creation of Islamic State after his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, pulled out USA troops in Iraq in December 2011. Once again, Syrians are left highly vulnerable under a regime that killed them and destroyed their country, while Syria itself is left as a field of conflict for many forces and armies.