US Special Troops Battalion (Reuters / Peter Andrews)
Stephen D. Bryen and Shoshana Bryen, American Interest: US Ground Troops for Syria: A Really Bad Idea
The president is being asked by the Pentagon to provide U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria. If the president is wise, he will run as fast as he can the other way.
There are four potential traps here:
* The cost in American lives;
* The nature of the Syrian civil war that encompasses the fight against ISIS, which means we may find ourselves on the battlefield with Russia, Iran, and the genocidal government of Syria;
* Finding ourselves with the Turks against the Kurds; and
* Finding ourselves with the Kurds against the Turks.
Syria is a quagmire – ask the Russians. The late 2016 battle for Aleppo required heavy bombing; massive artillery; and even, allegedly, chemical weapons. In Aleppo overall, there were 31,000 casualties – 22,633 men, 2, 849 women, and 4,548 children. Overall, 76% of the casualties were civilian. Most were caused by Russian bombing and Syrian government and allied troops – Hezb'allah and Iran – on the ground.
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WNU editor: For the U.S. to intervene in Syria beyond their current level of intervention .... there has to be some clear political objectives alongside their military ones. I understand that the destruction of ISIS is the military objective .... but what comes after that .... the political process .... is still unknown and it has certainly not been defined by the Trump administration. Until that is done ... any military intervention will probably end up as a quagmire, and one that will involve facing foes (i.e. Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, Islamic militants and the remnants of ISIS, etc.) that the U.S. is not politically or with its military ready to face.