I voted for President Trump and have been one of his biggest supporters since his election. The sudden announcement to remove all troops from Syria has me dumbfounded. Did we not learn from Obama’s mistake in removing our troops from Iraq too quickly? The President declared victory over ISIS and made the withdrawal a campaign promise. He has been very predictable in keeping campaign promises, but having known what took place in Iraq, I think his political base would understand leaving our 2000 military members (mostly observers) in Syria. If nothing else, they could be the U.N. watchdog looking for atrocities by the Assad, Russian or Iranian forces. We have certainly decimated ISIS to the point where they hold only 1% of the territory they once held. However the Assad government forces are still slaughtering civilians and using chemical weapons in defiance of United Nation demands. Russian and Iranian forces are on the ground ready to carve up the country for their personal gain. We are the only thread of humanity and sanity that is keeping the nation from crumbling into total chaos. From the reactions of his military commanders, the President did not discuss the move with them prior to making the decision. Up to this point President Trump has been wise in leaving the military strategy to his Generals. Unlike some other government positions, you do not get to be a General through the Peter principle (rise to the level of your incompetence). The military has always been the arena where everyone is given a fair shot and the most qualified and most skilled are eventually rewarded. Our military commanders also understand the military code that demands that you not criticize your commanding officer.
Although we have defeated ISIS on the ground, we will never win the ideology war regardless of how long we remain in the region. I don’t understand the President’s thinking on this pullout, but I believe there is more to it than simply keeping a campaign promise. My greatest fear is for the people of Syria who have already suffered for years under a brutal dictator and will now face further assault from Russia, Iran and even Turkey. I don’t know what our continued presence would accomplish, but I do know what our absence will bring: more suffering and instability to a region that will likely never know peace.