Foreign Policy

Report: Trump is Withdrawing From Syria on a Whim, Effective Immediately

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

American forces have been ordered to withdraw from Syria where they've been supporting Kurdish forces who are still fighting what remains of ISIS according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

Trump has apparently decided to declare victory and withdraw on a whim with no plan in place for what happens next.

From the Washington Post:

The Trump administration is planning to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria, a defense official said on Wednesday, as President Trump declared victory against the Islamic State.

The president, in a message on Twitter, said the United States had "defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency."

His statement came shortly after news organizations reported that the White House had made a decision on Tuesday to abruptly remove the entire U.S. force of more than 2,000 troops from Syria and end the extended American ground campaign against the Islamic State.

An order to withdraw 2,000 service members from the region may not sound like a big deal because that's actually fewer troops than Trump has deployed to our southern border, but that does not fully convey what Trump is giving up and what's at stake.

Withdrawing from Syria also means withdrawing air power, logistics, and support. It means our Kurdish allies who've done the bulk of the actual fighting will be left vulnerable to Russian and Syrian or Turkish air strikes. What it means is another slaughter is coming as Russian, Turkish, Syrian, and Iranian forces carve up the region now that we're gone.

According to various reports quoting defense officials who spoke off the record, American forces are expected to be out of the country within 60 to 100 days. State Department personnel have already been ordered to withdraw from Syria within the next 24 hours and the State Department has canceled today's press conference; probably because they have no idea what's happening.

I think it would be foolish to believe that Trump has given this order for any reason beyond what benefits him.

Regardless of your own personal opinion about the mission in Syria, you can bet that Trump does not share that opinion in any meaningful way and I expect we'll learn the real reason this happening shortly.

It really could be as simple as Trump looking for a distraction from the vortex of investigations circling around him.

  • swift_4

    The only good thing about this is that the whim might have been a full scale war. But the Kurds deserve better than us.

  • Draxiar

    I don’t have an opinion on being in Syria or not. I do think that trump removing troops from Syria is probably for the wrong reasons. I also think that trump should get a ration of shit from the warhawks in his party just as they gave President Obama for honoring the agreement put in place by GWB for removing troops from Iraq.

  • gescove

    Putin is certainly getting what he paid for. As if the humanitarian crisis in Syria wasn’t bad enough. Now al-Assad can have a free hand at murdering his own citizens. And here I thought Trump wasn’t a fan of either Iran or Hezbollah… why, it’s almost as if he doesn’t know what the hell he is saying or doing.

  • Tony Lavely

    “It really could be as simple as Trump looking for a distraction from the vortex of investigations circling around him.”
    This was my first thought. And second thought. And third thought.

  • muselet

    It’s as if the State Department handed Donald Trump a list of things not to do in Syria, whereupon he looked at it and said, “Looks good. Let’s do all of those,” before going back to tweeting about the Clinton Foundation.

    –alopecia

  • This is so dangerous and stupid. There’s a reason why we have professional diplomatic corps and we don’t make foreign policy decisions by the seat of our pants. Trumpov truly doesn’t care who he hurts so long as he can get his way.

  • katanahamon

    He’s negotiating a Rump Russia Tower. Looks like the negotiations are going well.

    • Nah, he’s just trying to drive up his poll numbers because even the troops are hating on him now.

  • Georgie

    Merry Christmas Mr. Putin.

    • Badgerite

      And Iran, for that matter. And Turkey and Hezbollah.