Trump does something right

Well, two things if you count his support for the Criminal Justice Bill.

Trump orders rapid withdrawal from Syria in apparent reversal

Would you agree? ISIS is a mere shadow of what it was and Russia can mop up the remnants. Perhaps Western troops should pull out of Iraq too but that’s a topic for another debate.

There are folks smarter than me who say we are ceding control of Syria to Russia (imagine that!) and Iran. Story here.

Yes that’s what happens when you are allied with the victor in a civil war. You tend to have more influence than backers of the rebels who lost.

There was no good reason to be involved in the civil war. It was always about toppling Assad. The possibility of doing that now is virtually nonexistent, and even the most rabid hawks have to acknowledge that.

If Russia wants to further involve itself in that region, let them. They already suffer blowback from doing so, and US govt involvement only exacerbated the situation for everyone involved.

Well, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, but I don’t think this is one of those times. No idea why he (i.e. the orange haired idiot in chief) wants to pull out the 2 or so thousand troops that are mainly there training locals and supporting air strikes, but I don’t think it’s a good idea at this time. Perhaps once ISIS is completely gone and not a ‘mere shadow’, but even then we still have Assad to deal with at some point, unless folks think that this time he’s learned his lesson about chemical weapons used on his own people. I don’t know what the US pulling out of Syria actually does positively to the US or our position in the region. It doesn’t even save us all that much money and basically just lowers our presence and cred in the region while giving a free boost to Russia and Iran.

As far as “right things that Trump did”, beyond what’s in the OP, it’s also good that he withdrew from the Universal Postal Union. It’s also good that he opposes Fed rate hikes at the moment, though there’s basically nothing he can do about it.

But I still think he’s a terrible president. Any half-good president would have done these things, except for withdrawing from the UPU. Trump did that not because he’s smart, but because anytime you’re blindly shredding a basket of international treaties, you’re bound to find one that has turned sour.

So Russia has officially won in Syria. Putin’s man in the White House always delivers when it matters! :smiley:

I have to agree with the OP on this one. The Assad regime has been a Russian client for decades; we’re not ceding Russia anything they haven’t already had.

I never saw any important American interests in Syria. If there had been a realistic opportunity to replace the Assad regime with a stable responsible government, that would have been a cause worth fighting for. But the only real choices that were available in Syria were Assad or a different group of tyrants who were just as bad.

Obama and Kerry made a mistake in getting us into Syria.


Syria is the booby prize of the Middle East. Who wants to be responsible for picking up after that mess? If Russia and Iran want it, they can have it.

Yeah, that attitude worked out so well for us in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. We should definitely do that again! I’m sure it will all work out really well. Or in the aftermath of or own cluster fuck invasion of Iraq which pretty much was a primary cause for what happened subsequently in Syria and the rise of ISIS/ISIL in the region.

The thing is, we are operating at a pretty minimal level. Seriously, what do all of you who want us to pull out of Syria think that will gain the US? We are talking about a few thousand troops that aren’t really participating directly in the conflicts happening there, and are mainly there to train other groups and perhaps coordinate air strikes. But while our actual commitment is minimal, it’s impact is a lot more, especially for those groups doing the actual fighting and dying against ISIS/ISIL (oh, and of course wrt Syria, Iran and Russia, but especially Syria and their periodic backsliding on that whole chemical weapons against it’s populace thingy).

Put another way, who wants us out, really? The only ones I can think of would be Syria, Russia and Iran. Wonder why they would want us out of there? I don’t even think our European allies really want us to pull out of Syria. Turkey might…not sure there…but then Erdogan isn’t exactly on friendly terms with the US these days and has his own agenda.

Syria may have been a Russian client, but Russia never stationed troops there, until now. Don’t underestimate the power of boots on the ground, even symbolically. The U.S. just made Russia the dominant superpower in the Middle East.

Look, it’s your army, and I’m not asking you to fight other peoples’ wars. But this ain’t over yet, not by a long shot. It would be better to stay now than have to come back later when things are much, much worse.

The world would be much better off if we had let the Soviets keep Afghanistan without interfering.

This makes no sense. This example is irrelevant. The Iraq War had very little to do with the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, and our exit from Iraq was only tangentially related to the rise of ISIS. This situation is so radically different from the current state of the Syrian War that I can’t comprehend why you would bother attempting a comparison. What are you trying to say here?


Then we shouldn’t be missed.

I don’t think it will “gain” us anything. I think it will prevent is from flushing blood and treasure down the drain for a futile cause in a war that is already decided. If someone wants to squander their money on Syria, let it be Russia. Syria is not now and never was our responsibility.

And the point is moot, because at this juncture we couldn’t change the outcome in Syria even if we wanted to.

This isn’t 2015. ISIS has basically ceased to exist as a territorial entity. They are now a clandestine insurgency. The mission was to defeat ISIS, and that mission is nearing its conclusion.

I don’t truly care.

Hmm… So your argument is that if Russia wants something, we should oppose them just even if it doesn’t serve our own interests? You know, just out of spite? Like Vietnam? Or Afghanistan?

We gain nothing from being in Syria and we never did.

Russia seized control of Syria by investing their own blood and treasure. The US didn’t “make” anything. Russia wanted a shit sandwich, and now they have it. Good for them.

That is exactly what you are doing.

What exactly do we gain by being there? What exactly do you think our presence will prevent? What exactly do you believe will require us to invade Syria in the future?

The problem with this is that you’re leaving the Kurds at Turkey’s mercy. They spent a lot of treasure and blood advancing US interests. They pushed farther south than they wanted to or had any right to at our bidding. Erdogan is dancing on the moon over this. Manbij won’t make it a year without our patrols there. Kurds are being hung out to dry and that means every little group that thinks about allying with the US is going to look at thousands of dead Kurds and wonder if they’re making the right decision.

What we gain by staying in Syria:

  1. Control of oil fields via the Kurdish militia.
  2. A convenient excuse to weaken Turkey everytime they threaten the Kurdish militia.
  3. Territory we can use as a base of operations in the Middle East because Turkey is an unstable ally.
  4. Actually defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq. You think we’d learn in the past 17 years that defeating a terrorist organization is a generational conflict, but I guess not. Remember this when ISIS-inspired terrorism is on the upswing in the US and Europe in the coming years.
  5. Prevent Iran from gaining even more power in the Middle East than they already have.
  6. Prevent Russia from gaining even more power in the Middle East than they already have.
  7. Prevent Assad from gaining even more power in the Middle East than he already has.
  8. Prevent Erdogan from gaining even more power in the Middle East than he already has.
  9. We’ll look like a reliable partner to those groups that assist us, who make all the sacrifices while fighting our enemies.
  10. We’ll prevent the genocide / ethnic cleansing that is inevitable when Turkey invades Northern Syria.

What do we lose by staying in Syria:

  1. A relatively small amount of money relative to our GDP.
  2. A few American lives. Americans who are volunteering to defend the USA versus the much larger number of American civilians killed by ISIS.

I didn’t think I could feel more shame for my country than when we invaded Iraq for no reason, but I guess I was wrong.

I’m sure you do think that.

The Iraq war had a direct impact on the subsequent cluster fuck in Syria. Sadly, you seem to understand as much about the roots of what happened and is happening in Syria as you do about the Soviet invasion and occupation in Afghanistan. And I mean that sincerely…it’s really, really sad.

But this ‘shouldn’t’ is kind of like your assertion that the world would be better off if the US had just let the Soviets have their way in Afghanistan, and not grounded in anything like reality.

So, no real reason except your vague assertion that we will save money or lives or something.

We HAVE changed the outcome in Syria as we have been instrumental in destroying ISIS/ISIL. In addition, we HAVE changed the outcome as Syria is now a lot more wary of using chemical or biological weapons on it’s own population. And we HAVE been instrumental in reining in the Russians and their attacks on anyone who is opposed to the government. So, your assertion that we won’t change anything in the future if we just bolt are, as with your others, based on your non-understanding of either the history or the geo-politics happening in all of this.

Ah, so you concede that there was a mission. And you assert that the mission is now over. At least that’s something. It’s wrong, but it’s something. Even if that was the only mission, it’s not over as ISIS isn’t defeated yet…they are just in retreat.

Yeah, I get that. You don’t even care enough to get a cursory understanding of this stuff before wading into a thread and giving your opinion on this stuff.

Why no…my argument is a bit more nuanced that we should deny something that Russia wants because reasons. As I’ve given several, it’s either a bit disingenuous of you to assert this (and you think folks can’t, you know, scroll up), or you don’t care enough to even recall what you are responding too.

Your assertion seems to be that we should give into Russia (as we should have to the Soviets) because…well, I don’t know why. Because you guess is about it. Would be better for the world, somehow…or something.

We actually do gain stuff from being in Syria. We are a check on Syria and Assad, on Russia and on Iran. While we are there they don’t have a free hand in being as brutal as they would otherwise be. We gain status with our allies and in the region by staying as well. We gain status with the folks we are helping, even though they are doing most of the fighting and dying because we are helping them and we are there. We are in a position to actually affect things, instead of being on the sidelines with our thumbs up our asses and hoping things turn out ok and that not too many horrible war crimes happen. So, we gain a lot and for a very little. We have a very small footprint in Syria, yet it has a huge, disproportionate impact on a bunch of different levels.

Hell, the fact that freaking Trump wants to do it alone SHOULD be a fucking red flag for some of you. Yes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, but sadly Trump isn’t even that good. If you know nothing more than you seem to know about this you should understand that at least…if it’s something Trump is saying he wants to do then it’s almost certainly wrong AND stupid.

Syria is a nasty little civil war, with no good answers. However Trump has managed to come up with a bad answer.

If it was any other President, I would go, hmm, Ok, but?

But with Trump marching to Putins orders, I have grave doubts here.

Can Russia afford military super-power status? Goddam expensive, it is. How much can one project military power from an economy based on vodka and apathy? And for how long? They done stole everything that wasn’t nailed down, and pried loose a bunch more! The people were poor and miserable under Communism, and they remember it fondly.

… ah yes the communist plot of the international postal union, in effect since the year 1873…

I don’t understand geopolitics enough to have an informed opinion on whether this is a good idea or not.

I’m worried it’ll put Assad back in charge, and his regime of horrors. That concerns me.

Also isn’t Trump just doing Russia’s bidding by doing this?

Also how much of a military presence does it take for the US to fight ISIS? The US military can accomplish quite a lot by offering special forces, logistics, arms, financial support and air support. I’m much more open to the US military offering these things over them offering a land scale invasion (which I am fully aware is the intent of the military-industrial complex, find a way to get involved in foreign wars w/o upsetting the public).

*Supposedly *the US intervention in Libya only cost a billion dollars and it helped topple the regime there.

From what I know of it, the true costs come from a land invasion. If Russia were putting 100,000 troops in Syria that would cost a lot.

But air support, special forces, logistics, etc are not super expensive.

EDIT: I just checked, supposedly Russia has sent 60,000 troops. That is far more than I would’ve expected. But maybe their military doesn’t cost nearly as much as ours does. I believe I read it cost the US about 1 million dollars per year per troop in places like Iraq & Afghanistan. Maybe Russia does it for a fraction of that, I don’t know.