In a move that reportedly shocked U.S. military and diplomatic officials, President Donald Trump suddenly caved to Turkish demands and ordered U.S. troops to pull back from the areas held by our Kurdish allies. The move is being widely denounced by both Democrats and Republicans as an abandonment of allies who have fought along side with us for years. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., denounced the “impulsive decision” by Trump and said that this could be “a disaster in the making.” The authoritarian president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is of course delighted and is expected to invade Syria now that U.S. troops are pulling back. Nikki Haley, Trump’s former United Nation ambassador, put it bluntly in saying that Trump was leaving our Kurdish allies “to die.” Likewise, Senate Majority Leader denounced the move and declared that it “would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”
Fox news has reported that top Pentagon officials were “completely blindsided” and “shocked.” Once again, the White House seems to be running foreign policy by tweet with little preparation or consultation with its own “constituent” federal agencies.
It is hard not to see how this is not a betrayal to our allies and a further erosion of the faith in U.S. commitments. The Kurds have been a reliable and effective ally for the United States in defeating ISIS. The image of U.S. troops pulling back as Turks ready an invasion will not be forgotten by them or many others who are weighing alliances with the United States.
Trump however insists that times up: “The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago. We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight. When I arrived in Washington, ISIS was running rampant in the area. We quickly defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate.”
The problem is that we are not pulling out of Syria. We are pulling back to free areas specifically targeted by Turkey and its notorious leader.
The United States will also be handing over prisoners to Turkey, which now has a green light to wipe out the Kurdish forces.