Skip to main content
The Strategy Washington Is Pursuing in the Middle East Is the Only Strategy Worth Pursuing
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the US military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq, December 26, 2018. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
(SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The Strategy Washington Is Pursuing in the Middle East Is the Only Strategy Worth Pursuing

Michael Doran

President Trump’s surprise December 19 announcement of an immediate withdrawal of American forces from Syria hit some Israelis like a sucker punch. “With this withdrawal, the United States abandons Syria and leaves Israel alone,” said Yaakov Amidror, a former national-security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While conceding that “the effect of the U.S. decision is primarily psychological and diplomatic,” Amidror continued: “In those arenas, this is a very significant decision.” Subsequent reports to the effect that the drawdown of forces will be slower than originally announced and coordinated with America’s allies have softened the blow, but the shock still remains.

In retrospect, the announcement shouldn’t have come as a surprise. After all, Trump has never hidden his conviction that extended military operations in the Middle East are futile. He campaigned on the theme in 2016 and then returned to it last April. The United States, he declared then, had “spent $7 trillion in the Middle East in the last seven years. We get nothing out of it, nothing.” To this general observation, he added a specific promise: “We’ll be coming out of Syria . . . very soon. Let the other people take care of it now.”

Read the full article on Mosaic’s website here

Related Articles

Iran Denies U.S. Claim It was Involved in Drone Attacks on Saudi Oil Facilities

Michael Pregent

In an interview with Kristen Fisher on Fox News, Michael Pregent speaks on Iran's involvement in the strikes on Saudi oil facilities. ...

Watch Now

US Sanctions, and Iran Sanctions in Particular, Are Just

Rebeccah L. Heinrichs

The United States is exercising prudence in its employment of sanctions, a tool short of military force, to try to compel the Iranian regime to change...

Continue Reading

You Have to Play the Man with Trump

John Lee

The departure of John Bolton shows precisely why Morrison's state visit to the US matters. In a Trump US, personal relations are paramount and the key...

Continue Reading