Trump’s goals in Syria are elusive

Julian Borger, the Guardian’s world affairs editor, wrote a report on the dilemma of US President Donald Trump in the implementation of his promise of the imminent withdrawal of US troops from Syria at the time when his military leaders recommended to wait for the end of its task of fighting ISIS there. Borger said: “Trump was persuaded by US commanders to wait for a few months telling him that the expulsion of “ISIS” from its remaining strongholds along the Euphrates Valley will not be direct”. In the same context, Bob Corker, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations in the US Senate said: “I do not think the air strikes will ease the president’s desire to get US troops out of the conflict. I think the president is very committed to getting out of Syria as soon as possible.

I do not see anything changing that.” As the United States has found in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, the complex civil wars of foreign countries, once entered, are difficult to get out of.

There is no reason to believe that Syria will break this pattern. Trump sought to define the objectives of the US war in Syria with two goals: defeat “ISIS” and “deter” the use of chemical weapons. Even with these two precisely defined objectives, the US withdrawal is likely to be chaotic. Both objectives, however concrete they may be, remain elusive.




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