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Maybe Trump has got this right

January 10, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

After eight years of civil war, much of Syria is in ruins. 

Many cities are now simply piles of rubble and dust after years of bombing, shooting, violence and destruction.

The toll in human lives is astounding. The reports are all over the place in numbers but the figures indicate that tens of thousands of lives at the low end and up to 500,000 at the top end of estimates have been lost. 

Add to that, millions of people have been forced out of their homes and now live in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. 

U.S. President Donald Trump has announced he’s pulling all American troops out of Syria amid quite a bit of opposition from both sides of the political spectrum.

Opponents say that leaving will create instability among remaining factions in the region. 

How much more unstable can the situation be than it already is?

It’s a region where no one trusts anyone else, your enemy might be your friend the next day and vice-versa, and the difference between atrocities committed by both government forces and opposing militants depends on who tells the the story.

It’s no secret that the previous American administration had the goal of removing Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, from power. That hasn’t worked – al-Assad is still firmly in control of the government despite the fact that his country is a current disaster zone.

The U.S. has only 2000 troops in Syria – a small contingent by American standards, and they have only received a few casualties. Their role in Syria is mostly carried out through advising, training, and supplying rebel combatants with arms to fight against the current government. 

They have, however carried out many air strikes which have killed many more innocent civilians than militants.

The Russians see things differently and have backed the government.

Currently most of the state is under government control, a large portion is occupied by Kurdish forces along the border with Turkey, the rebels are holding an area near the city of Aleppo, and ISIS controls a small sliver of land in the middle of the country.

It is estimated there are still around 14,000 ISIS fighters in the region – not a huge number but enough to carry on with their goal of killing as many people as possible. Recent reports indicate this conflict is far from over.

Direct Western involvement is not going to have any impact on the final result unless Western powers decide to put an actual military fighting force on the ground and invade the region with overwhelming numbers and fire power – which they could accomplish – and it would also come with thousands more innocent civilians dying. 

The West is not going to directly intervene with military power and they shouldn’t.

The Middle East is a region that Westerners will never understand.

President Trump stated, “We have won against ISIS,” during his announcement to pull the troops from the region. 

The truth is they haven’t won. Trump, his government, and every other politician knows this.

However, by declaring a victory, he can pull troops out and bring them home. Maybe Trump just has this figured out correctly. 

Opposition to this announcement was, at first, quite vocal, but has suddenly died down, as most opponents can’t seem to come up with a reason to keep American soldiers in harm’s way in a small country that has no real impact on anything the U.S. does, either in foreign or domestic affairs. 

The last time they decided to topple a foreign leader during the invasion of Iraq, they succeeded. Saddam Hussein was removed from power and wound up hanging at the end of a rope.

It also cost the U.S. almost 5,000 dead and 32,000 wounded – and for what? 

The U.K. and France will still have military in the region but with the departure of the U.S. there’s a good chance they will be packing up and going home soon.

This war will most likely continue for several more years until all the rebels are either dead or finally realize they are missing out on the good things in life.

The West should pull out of the Middle East and let this region fix its own problems. This won’t be the last war in that part of the world. War seems to be a popular pastime there.

Let them work it out without Western involvement or lives being lost.



         

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