Getting America Out of Syria

(Los Angeles Times) Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky - Critics' fears about the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria are overblown. Islamic State now controls 1% of the territory it once held in Syria and Iraq. It has lost thousands of fighters and recruitment is down. Syria, Iran, Israel, Turkey and Russia share a common interest in preventing an Islamic State resurgence. Wiping out Islamic State was never realistic - the political, economic and sectarian grievances that inspire its fighters cannot be eliminated by military means alone. Israel and the Kurds can survive without U.S. troops in Syria. Israel is capable of defending itself and is doing so by attacking Iranian and Hizbullah targets in Syria. The Kurds have begun to seek reconciliation with the Assad regime. The U.S. doesn't have vital interests in Syria. This was as true under President Obama as it is under President Trump. Neither the White House, Congress nor the American public, after protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, support a huge military and economic investment in Syria. Iran and Russia will dominate Syria as they have done for years. Now both will struggle with the difficulties of pacifying and reconstructing a war-torn state. The more Syria becomes a burden for Russia and Iran, the better for the U.S. Keeping U.S. military forces in place with no serious, long-term strategy or attainable objectives would not make the situation significantly better. Syria was never America's to win or lose, and getting out now is not a catastrophe. Aaron David Miller, a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center, has been a State Department advisor in Republican and Democratic administrations. Richard Sokolsky, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, worked in the Secretary of State's Office of Policy Planning from 2005-2015.

2019-01-04 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive