Although U.S. President Donald Trump dismisses criticism from political opponents easily, even reflexively, it doesn’t happen often that he has to do so from large numbers of Republicans. The decision to pull U.S. forces from northern Syria, however, has drawn public condemnation from many prominent members of Congress on the right, including Sens. Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham. Meanwhile, in an Oct. 16 resolution, the House of Representatives, with the support of 129 Republicans—including all three of the Republican House leaders—condemned his Syria policy. The question is why now.
Whether to keep a small U.S. military contingent in northern Syria to prevent renewed Islamic State activity there and to protect the local Kurds from hostile Turkish forces was not just a question of whether Trump should be Trumpian. At first, the president argued that it was. He insisted that he’s against “endless wars” and that therefore American troops should come home. Fellow Republicans complain, however, that the withdrawal is undermining another key Trumpian idea: that the United States should push its partners abroad to do more to serve their common interests.
Read the full article in Foreign Policy