Farewell to Syria
An uproar has arisen over President Trump's decision to pull U.S. military forces out of Syria. But note, it isn't the American people who are protesting this decision. Rather, it's those who propose perpetual war – the ivory-tower think-tankers, the TV talking heads, and a whole gaggle of Beltway insiders. The cloud of dust they have created distracts from the fact that the Syria is at best a minimal national security interest to the U.S.
One of the arguments the pro-war crowd makes for keeping the U.S. military in Syria indefinitely is to constrain Iran. But this is bogus. There are plenty of other countries in that region who can do that. But why should they bother if Uncle Sam is willing to do the dirty work for them? The bottom line is that America should not be doing everything for everybody.
Some salient points: Donald Trump went up and down the United States campaigning on getting America out of its senseless military involvements. He did not hide his intentions. As for the Afghan adventure, it has been going on for seventeen long years at a cost of over a trillion dollars. Ponder that: seventeen years. And there's no end in sight. President Trump is now winding down these wars. That some of his national security advisers like James Mattis and John Bolton disagree is irrelevant. They weren't elected; Trump was.
As far as Syria goes, if senators like Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, and Lindsey Graham think Syria is so vital to U.S. national interests, then they should get Congress to authorize military action there. To date, there has never been such an authorization or even an attempt at one. Why not? The answer is because it wouldn't come close to passing.
Trump is right in his decision to pull the U.S. forces out of Syria. Hopefully, he will soon follow with Afghanistan. For too long, the wars there have played a disproportionate role in U.S. foreign policy. Many American lives have been lost to little purpose, and heaven only knows how many of trillions of dollars have been wasted. Instead of squandering our forces in Middle Eastern quagmires and the barren mountains of Afghanistan, America's military attention needs to be on China, a country that is a true threat to U.S. national interest.