While both sides criticize the President’s decision to leave Syria it really should come as no surprise. Then candidate Trump campaigned on a platform to leave Syria and other Middle Eastern entanglements. Where were his critics at that time? This President has accomplished so much more than the previous president who had called ISIS the JV team and allowed them to control enough territory and money to be one of the largest economies in the region. Trump took the handcuffs off his military commanders and allowed them to pursue ISIS by whatever means necessary. We recaptured 99% of the territory once held by ISIS. It is unrealistic to believe we will ever defeat ISIS entirely because ISIS is an ideology and you can’t destroy an idea or belief. The principles of ISIS, as wrong as we feel they are, will never be eliminated no matter how many troops we deploy. After much thought I think the President is correct that it is time for other wealthy Middle Eastern nations such as Saudi Arabia to carry on the fight against terrorism. We have lost enough good men and women for a cause that can never be won. A prominent individual today said you view these situations differently when you have personally lost a family member in the fight for a questionable cause. Even remaining in Afghanistan is not a winning situation. We will never win the hearts of a culture that is foreign to our values in more ways than one. Even the locals that we have trained can’t be trusted and too many of our soldiers have been ambushed by our “allies.” Just like in Vietnam, we don’t know who can be trusted and our efforts will make little difference in the long run.
If we look at Vietnam today, no one is critical of President Nixon’s decision to leave that nation and the region has actually prospered. Syria and Afghanistan are not exactly the same, but we are pouring money and lives into hopeless efforts that are sacrificing America’s greatest resources (humanity). I am looking at the President’s decision more favorably that I was at first. Hopefully the President has gained assurances from Erdogan that he will not slaughter our allies the Kurds in Northern Syria& Iraq. As for the ambitions of President Putin and the Iranians, they may suffer the fate of Napoleon centuries ago where the reach of their greed outpaced the capacity to control and rule.