The US President Donald Trump’s announcement on Wednesday regarding the withdrawal of American military from Syria has predictably run into strong headwinds in the Washington Beltway. A formidable coalition appeared overnight – comprising the Deep State, US defence and security establishment, leading members of the Congress, major media organs –branding Trump as a maverick. However, the fact of the matter is that Trump made a considered decision.
Basically, it is a political call on his part to advance his consistent stance that the US should not intervene in the Syrian conflict – a stance, we may recall, which Michael Flynn had begun fleshing out even before the Trump presidency began in January last year. Why is Trump asserting his political will?
Clearly, Turkey’s threat to launch an operation “any moment” to crush the US’ Kurdish allies and the deployment of Turkish troops on the Syrian border profoundly influenced Trump’s decision-making. (See my blog There’s no quick fix to US-Turkish tensions.)
US outpost in Manbij area in northern Syria