Why the Middle East knows not to trust the United States
When the United States fights its wars in the Middle East, it has a nasty habit of recruiting local forces as proxies and then jettisoning them when the going gets tough or regional politics intervene.
This pattern of “seduction and abandonment” is one of our least endearing characteristics. It’s one reason the United States is mistrusted in the Middle East. We don’t stick by the people who take risks on our behalf in Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon and elsewhere. And now, I fear, this syndrome is happening again in Syria, as a Kurdish militia group known as the YPG, which has been the United States’ best ally against the Islamic State, gets pounded by the Turkish military.
The YPG is a special case for me because I had a chance to meet some of their fighters in May at a secret U.S. Special Operations forces training camp in northern Syria. They described battling to the last man — and sometimes woman — as they drove the Islamic State from its strongholds. Special Ops officers embedded with the YPG recounted their battlefield exploits with deep respect, expressing what one called “the brotherhood of the close fight.”
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WNU Editor: This issue that the U.S. will "walk away if the going gets tough" is pervasive and accepted as a given by many people in the world. I first noticed this in the 1990s .... and it has certainly expanded significantly in the past few years. Is this perception justified .... I would have to say yes. The reason why is simple .... there is little U.S. public support for a greater (and more active) U.S. foreign policy, and it is the public that American politicians are listening to. The international community knows that and in turn are sensitive to what the American public is thinking .... and are now responding in kind. On the flip side is Russia's Putin .... and in this regard there is no doubt in the international community that Putin will stick by Russia's friends and allies.