What next in Syria
Clearly there is a difference of opinion within the Trump Administration regarding our next moves in Syria. Our reason for being there [and our legal rationale] ISIS, is all but defeated, but many in the US military fear that ISIS or a new version of ISIS could reemerge and are wary of Russia's and Iran's continued presence there. However, Trump has stated twice this week that the battle is won and that US forces would be withdrawn soon.
What have we accomplished there? Isis is defeated, but, we now seem to accept that Assad will remain in power despite his human rights abuses. No one in the military or the Trump administration even mentions regime change anymore. And what of our Kurdish allies? Right now we seem content to allow Turkey to destroy any hope they may have had to autonomy near the Turkish border. Israel too is concerned about the outcome as they will now face an Iranian presence just across their border.
For a more detailed analysis, here is an informative piece at Brookings.edu based on testimony by Mara Karlin to a recent House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. Portions were also excerpted from her new book, “Building Militaries in Fragile States: Challenges for the United States.”