On Tuesday, President Donald Trump declared that the United States is withdrawing its troops from the region and heading for the "reconstruction of our country" following the recent US-led coalition victories against the Islamic State. should focus (ISIS) terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.
The statement followed a surprise foreign policy announcement last week. During a speech on infrastructure investment, the president said that US troops would leave Syria "very soon".
In the White House, Trump stressed his position on Tuesday. I want to get out, I want to bring our troops home, I want to start rebuilding our nation, "said the president at a press conference with NATO allies. "We have been very successful against the IS, we will be militarily effective against anyone, but sometimes it's time to get home, and we're seriously thinking about that."
In the coming days, Trump is expected to meet with his National Security Council to discuss the future of the US-led campaign against ISIS.
Recent statements about the withdrawal of the troops were in line with Trump's position on the election campaign, but were in conflict with members of his own national security team who appeared to be pursuing another playbook for the US overseas. This discrepancy has rekindled the foreign policy issue of the Trump era, raising the question of whether the United States will retreat into domestic corporations or whether foreign forces will retain the indispensable power and presence there.
Trump's public commentaries reportedly reflected internal deliberations that the President had with the National Security Team, but not necessarily the views of his best adviser. Trump has made it clear: "If the IS and its remnants are destroyed, the United States would see to it that countries in the region play a bigger role in ensuring security," Reuters said, citing one with the Thoughts of the president.
The official added that these local conditions are still a long way off and President Trump is advised to keep US troops in the region for "at least a couple of years" to beat the gains against the US to secure Islamic state.
There are currently about 2,000 special forces in the United States based in northern Syria to advise and assist the local armed forces. On Monday, CNN reported that the Pentagon plans to send dozens of additional troops to northern Syria, an operation that contradicts the recent statements by the President to withdraw troops.
In a statement to the Sinclair Broadcast Group, a Pentagon spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve declined to comment on the "hypothetical" changes in the US presence in Syria as a result of Trump's statements. "The coalition focuses on the permanent defeat of Daesh [ISIS] in Iraq and Syria," the spokesman said.
Colin Clarke, a terrorist expert at RAND Corporation, said the so-called Islamic State's caliphate has largely collapsed, but there are still pockets of ISIS fighters across Syria. "The threat posed by ISIS has not dispersed," he warned. "It's not what it once was, but it will remain a major threat for at least the next five or ten years."
If the Trump administration does not live through the fight to the end, Clarke believes a resurgence of The IS is "very likely, if not inevitable," within six months to a year after the US retreat.
Trump risks not only the possibility of a new terrorist uprising, but also political instability by making statements in contradiction to his members from his own cabinet.
The President sends "mixed signals" to US allies and regional partners who recognize that IS is a "permanent threat," Clarke noted. While these allies seem to be in combat in the long run, "it is unclear whether the United States is or not."
Since the President launched his political campaign, he has maintained a consistent stance on foreign US military operations. Trump routinely criticized US involvement in Iraq, saying that the US role in Syria should be limited to "throwing IS out of hand" and then immediately bring American troops home.
Members of his government have outlined a slightly different path that includes a permanent presence in the region to secure profits against ISIS and prevent Iran and other regional villains from gaining control of the United States and its allies Taking over territory before being dismissed by President Trump, former Foreign Minister Rex Tillerson outlined the US strategy in the Middle East and said in January that the United States would have a permanent presence in Syria to ensure stability after the US military defeat Islamic state. The Trump administration will not repeat the mistakes of the US withdrawal in 201
gene. Joseph Votel, the High Command of the US Armed Forces, outlined the challenges facing the United States and its allies, namely to ensure the permanent defeat of the IS. "In many ways, the military aspect was the easier part," Votel said on a forum of the US Peace Institute. "It's the aftereffects, it's the stabilization, it's the return of governance … that's really, I think, much more challenging in the long run."
At the same forum, US Special Envoy to the Global Anti-ISIS Coalition, Brett McGurk, stressed that the US mission in Syria should fight ISIS: "This mission is not over yet and we will fulfill this mission."
Similarly, Defense Secretary James Mattis argues for a continued US presence in the region, although he recently suggested that the United States move from an "offensive terrain-grabbing approach to stabilization" to the country with a larger mix of diplomatic personnel, instead of moving military advisers.
Until the presidential address speech in Ohio, "it seemed everyone was on the same page," said David Adesnik, research director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "It seemed we would stay in Syria for a while, defined by local conditions, and the president has suddenly announced a reversal of the situation."
In light of Trump's statements as a civilian and on The withdrawal of troops is not a complete surprise, but he raises the question of whether a policy that violates the instincts of the President, persists for a long time.
For most of his first 14 months in office, the president's national security team, including Tillerson, Mattis and outgoing national security adviser H. R. McMaster, generally opposed Trump's instincts and campaign promises. For example, they were able to override Trump's "original instinct" to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and persuade Trump to send another 3,000 soldiers into the country in September.
"We are still trying to find out if the president is committed. Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…20&Itemid=32 A politics that has something to do with his instincts and election campaign speeches 'means he will not stay that long,' Adesnik said.
Doug Bandow, the senior staff member of the Cato Institute, said that in case of a troop withdrawal in Syria, President Trump's instinct is correct. "The President's stomach is right in this case, but the challenge is, of course, that his gut reaction has very little to do with US politics," he said.
Recently, Bandow wrote a play in which he called on Trump to declare victory over ISIS and bring American troops home from Syria. The United States, he argued, has no significant interests beyond the IS. With well over 90 percent of the territory of the Islamic State, regional actors should become owners, he wrote, "everyone else in the Middle East should play cleanup."
President Trump has often pointed to the oversized role of the United States in overseas conflicts, especially when it comes to bearing war and reconstruction costs. On Tuesday, Trump argued that the United States had received "nothing" for the costs of the conflict. "Remember, $ 7 trillion over a 17-year period, we have nothing, nothing but death and destruction."
Rather than retaining its presence in Syria indefinitely, the United States should bear the costs of stability, Trump said in his Ohio speech. "Let the other people take care of it now."
The US-led global coalition against ISIS consists of 75 different partners. Some contribute financially, others play a military role. Brett McGurk said on Tuesday that the global coalition relies on "regional ownership" that regional actors need to improve their long-term stability and recovery.
The President's assertion that "other people" could fill the void left by the United States has sparked concern in foreign policy circles that Trump is creating a power vacuum in Syria that will inevitably be occupied by Iran, Russia, the US Syrian Bashar Assad's government and other powers hostile to US interests.
The United States is also risking control over the vast majority of Syria's oil wealth in the northern part of the country to the Assad regime, Adesnik said. If the United States leaves the territory it currently holds in partnership with the Syrian democratic forces, they will be pressured to transfer this resource wealth back to the regime in Damascus.
President Trump has repeatedly argued that the great mistake of the United States in Iraq is not "the oil." By leaving local partners without proper protection, the United States reiterated this error, essentially allowing the Syrian regime and its benefactors Iran and Russia the return of billions of dollars in revenue.
Similarly, a hasty retreat could restore conditions that arose when the United States left Iraq in 2011. The lack of stability and the rapid withdrawal of the US security forces created the conditions that made ISIS.
President Trump repeatedly criticized Barack Obama for his withdrawal from Iraq. When Trump recovers his recent statements, he risks "exactly the same mistake that Obama made," Adesnik said.
South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham recently warned that a withdrawal from Syria would be "the worst decision the president could make".
The Senator told Fox News Sunday: "If we withdraw our troops soon, ISIS would come back and you would give Iranians Damascus without American presence, and Russia and Iran would dominate Syria." 19659037]