Philosophically President Trump is right — it’s time to stop the endless wars — but not at the expense of allowing ISIS to rear its ugly head, as we saw after the Obama administration’s disastrous decision to withdraw U.S. troops from a stabilized Iraq in 2010, giving the Islamic State free rein to establish a caliphate.
And inflict carnage throughout the Middle East and around the world.
It is a cautionary tale that highlights the importance of not repeating past errors by hastily drawing down U.S. troops in northeastern Syria with no foreseeable military strategy other than Trump’s understandable frustration with costly conflicts in hot spots throughout the world that never end.
This weekend the president sounded off on Twitter: “The same people that got us into the Middle East Quicksand, 8 Trillion Dollars and many thousands of lives (and millions of lives when you count the other side), are now fighting to keep us there. Don’t listen to people that haven’t got a clue. They have proven to be inept!”
On Sunday he added, “Very smart not to be involved in the intense fighting along the Turkish border, for a change. Those that mistakenly got us into the Middle East Wars are still pushing to fight. They have no idea what a bad decision they have made. Why are they not asking for a Declaration of War?”
Placing partial responsibility on Congress, where it rightfully belongs.
He asked, “Do you remember two years ago when Iraq was going to fight the Kurds in a different part of Syria. Many people wanted us to fight with the Kurds against Iraq, who we just fought for. I said no, and the Kurds left the fight, twice. Now the same thing is happening with Turkey. The Kurds and Turkey have been fighting for many years. Turkey considers the PKK the worst terrorists of all. Others may want to come in and fight for one side or the other. Let them! We are monitoring the situation closely. Endless Wars!”
Since the current administration announced its military withdrawal last weekend, hundreds of ISIS fighters and their families that were detained in Kurdish-run prison camps have already escaped as the Kurds overseeing them were reportedly forced to reallocate resources amid Turkishairstrikes, now that they were left to their own defense.
That’s all the more reason the president ought to reconsider full military withdrawal, while increasing pressure on NATO allies to do more to help stabilize the region — without the U.S. always having to do the heavy lifting.
With the region in flames, not a moment too soon.