Skip to comments.We Can Strike a Balance Between Supporting Kurds and Protecting American Assets
Posted on 11/09/2019 6:33:42 PM PST by SeekAndFind
President Trumps decision to withdraw troops from Syria last month kicked up a hornets nest, resulting in bitter backlash from members of both parties in Congress, the media, and the American public.
The presidents decision was quickly cast as a simplistic, binary decision in which the removal of American troops all but guaranteed genocide for the abandoned Kurds who have fought valiantly in the battle against ISIS. But the true geopolitical situation is much more nuanced. Protecting Kurdish lives and preserving American troops and assets are not mutually exclusive.
It is important to remember the initial motivation for the White Houses decision was not to abandon the Syrian Kurds, but to protect American troops. The presidents initial decision to remove all of about 1,000 U.S. troops was, as The Washington Post reported, a reaction to a Turkish invasion that cut U.S. supply lines and [endangered] American forces.
The U.S. is spending $1.25 trillion annually on war. Since 2001, over 6,000 Americans have been killed in Middle East war zones, and more than 53,700 U.S. soldiers and sailors have been officially listed as wounded. The presidents argument is valid that when we commit American troops to battle, we must do so only when a vital national interest is at stake and when we have a clear objective, a plan for victory, and a path out of conflict.
We cannot, however, ignore our duty to honor the years of allied fighting and lives lost by Kurdish Syrians. With over 30 million Kurds spread across Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran, the Kurds make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, following Arabs, Persians, and Turks. Because they have never obtained a permanent nation-state, they have remained a target of violence and persecution in the region for decades. In the eight years since the commencement of the Syrian civil war, over 11,000 Kurds have died fighting ISIS.
But America should not support the Kurdish people merely out of military propriety. The Kurds also share commonality with many Americans. They are one of the most religiously tolerant groups in the Middle East, with over 40,000 Christians living near the Syrian-Turkey border. Additionally, a small percentage of Kurds are Jewish, and the Kurds, regardless of their religious affiliations, have long supported Israel and the Jewish people.
While many pundits are condemning the White House, it is becoming more apparent that we can still support the Kurdish people in Syria without remaining in perpetual war in the Middle East. The presidents plan is a multi-phased one, and it is much more complicated than just leaving Kurdish allies to die.
For example, the administration convinced Turkey to agree to a permanent ceasefire in Syria that will help secure a more peaceful and stable border. The president lifted sanctions on Turkey, but has said should Turkey fail to honor its obligations, including the protection of religious and ethnic minorities we reserve the right to re-impose crippling sanctions. And while the preservation of Syrias oil reserves also has been criticized, it actually is a strategic move to prevent the oil fields from falling into ISISs hands.
Further, to demonstrate the Trump administrations commitment to eradicating ISIS, just days ago U.S. Delta Forces finalized a months-long operation that ultimately led to the elimination of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, who died in an assault on his compound in northwestern Syria. This successful raid largely was reliant on intelligence provided by a Kurdish informant embedded deep within al-Baghdadi's inner circle. The Kurdish informant reportedly tracked down al-Baghdadi for five months and provided a floor plan of one of his hideouts, including the number of guards and locations of tunnels. Then the day after the al-Baghdadi raid, a CIA drone strike killed the chief spokesman for ISIS, who had been considered a potential successor to al-Baghdadi.
The ongoing conflict in Syria since the Arab Spring has led to the death of over 250,000 people and displaced millions. We need to find a middle ground between protecting Kurdish lives and not placing American service members in perpetual risk in a region that has been plagued with violence for hundreds of years. As we are seeing unfold, a multi-phased, step-by-step approach to further weaken ISIS by precision strikes on high level assets, to protect oil reserves whose proceeds can be used to support the Kurds, and a renewed emphasis on keeping Turkey at bay from further encroachment into Syria via a new Northern Syria Buffer Zone all taken together can ultimately provide more stability while incrementally drawing down American troops.
We need to GTFO of endless wars especially those involving groups that have been killing each other wholesale for the last 1,000 years.
Unless theres a clear identifiable threat to the United States we need to stay out.
I give zero f**** about the Kurds.
We need to just leave.
The libs didn’t give a crap about Kurds when Saddam was nerve gassing them in northern Iraq. Now they suddenly care when we’re pulling out. Those people are schizo. After screaming for nearly 20 years to get our troops out of there, they’re screaming now that we are pulling out. They are whacko.
Consider also the rest of the context: Iran is itching for a fight. There was an article a week ago (?) that made the situation clear: The US doesn't want to find itself in a situation where it is engaged with Turkey to the north and then have Iran attack from the southern flank. That would have been a cluster.... for the US troops.
Pulling out isn’t always a bad thing: https://news.yahoo.com/blowing-houses-digging-graves-iraqis-purge-islamic-state-113933138.html
American military is everywhere. The “footprint” and political use of them is only relevant to the left when they can score points and use the military like pawns in a casket or not.
They are pigs and dogs.
Insult to pigs which are delicious and dogs who are man’s best friend.
The Saudis and UAE paid good money for Senators that backed getting Assad out of the way of their pipeline.
Kurds, Basques, and Serbs...the last “politically correct” targets of prejudice (and worse).
Young men who were born after 911 are serving in Afghanistan where their fathers fought over the same mountain passes.
Exactly, I was blasted for “not supporting the troops” when I said that it’s time for our Mid East vets to realize that their mission was so ill-defined that they could never achieve it and to proudly pack up and go home to their families.
Yes, a momentary lapse of clarity. Apologies. I, and every dog I’ve ever owned, have loved them some good pig, and gave Daddy some sloppy kisses for it in return. :-)
“Kurds, Basques, and Serbs...the last politically correct targets of prejudice (and worse).”
You left out those of European descent.
“The Kurds survived long before Obama got us into this mess. Make peace with Assad is your best choice. “
Oddly the Kurds are allied with Assad. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend>”
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