And though some expect the withdrawal of President Donald Trump from northeastern Syria is the humanitarian and geopolitical disaster, he will always accept it as a win.
The step, which allowed Turkey’s attack on Kurdish forces that shed blood with Americans to defeat ISIS, is a classic exhibit from Trump’s out – of-the-good foreign policy making college, “America First.” And he trusts his instincts that this could provide a political dividend for all the potential damage to the image of the country— particularly if there is a Kurdish bloodbath.
“We’re getting out of the endless wars, you know. Have to do it. Because finally somebody’s going to have to make the call,” Trump said Wednesday, exposing the fundamental political calculus behind his policy.
If it opens a security gap that allows ISIS to regroup and undermines its claim to have defeated the terror group, this decision could rebound against Trump. And it leaves him looking callous still. For instance, he explained on Wednesday that the Kurds were “fighting for their territory” as if that made them less deserving of security from the US.
“As someone said in a very important article today, ‘ they haven’t helped us in the Second World War, they haven’t helped us with Normandy, ‘” the president said in a stunning White House statement.
Trump rattled the nest of a political hornet. While republican lawmakers that are typically supine chastise him. Evangelical leaders who lauded him for his Supreme Court picks as a divine gift now offer prayers that change course.
And on Wednesday, a senior defense official told CNN that Turkey’s intervention had already had a “detrimental effect” on American counter-ISIS operations that had “effectively stopped.”