first published on December 22, 2018 by Will
A top US envoy in the fight against the Islamic State has just resigned in response to President Trump’s sudden decision to immediately withdraw all US troops from Syria.
Brett McGurk, a seasoned and well-respected diplomat that holds much of the responsibility for many of the successes against ISIS said, “The recent decision by the president came as a shock and was a complete reversal of policy that was articulated to us … It left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered.”
McGurk is likely especially disgusted with Trump’s betrayal of our Kurdish allies who have done most of the heavy lifting against the Islamic State. Tens of thousands of Kurds have died assisting the US in the fight against the jihadists, and now they will be abandoned and left alone to face Turkey and their al Qaeda proxies as well as a resurgent Islamic State.
While Trump is making good on his promise to pull out of Syria, the manner in which he is doing so is incredibly reckless and akin to Obama’s reelection political stunt to pull out of Iraq, which caused the Islamic State to rise to power in the first place.
Syria and the 500,000 dead Syrians will always be Obama’s legacy. No one can blame Trump for not wanting any part of it. Likewise, the repercussions of abandoning our French, Israeli, and Kurdish allies while handing Syria over to Russia, Iran, and ISIS is something Mattis and McGurk want no part of.
We are watching in realtime as US foreign policy disintegrates. Diehard Trump fans will undoubtedly say we are watching a genius play 4D chess, while others will see this as the president cowering to Russia and Turkey. One thing is certain, we have never seen (at least in recent administrations) a president take such solitary decisive action on the world stage.
Great change is now and the future is uncertain. Cross your fingers, folks.