Sunday, March 31, 2019

What Is Next For The U.S. In Syria?

In this Nov. 7, 2018, photo released by the U.S. Army, U.S. soldiers gather for a brief during a combined joint patrol rehearsal in Manbij, Syria. U.S. ARMY PHOTO

Kevin Baron, Defense One: The ‘Day After’ In Syria Finally Came. But What Comes Next?

If U.S. military commanders were unsure of their mission four years ago, it’s even muddier today.

TAMPA — Last ­year, Gen. Joseph Votel, America’s top general in the Middle East walked through the bombed-out remains of Raqqa, Syria, and saw a trickle of surviving men, women, and children reclaiming their liberated city from ISIS. They were beginning to repair a massive scene of destruction, piece-by-piece, with their bare hands. On streetscapes reduced to skeletal buildings, children picked up concrete chunks from the rubble and banged them to the ground to extract the metal rebar. It was a daunting scene, and a foreboding one.

Hours later at a secret base in Northeast Syria, a visibly upset Votel pounded a table before reporters, pleading — all but ordering — the international community to get in there and get to work. It was time, he said, to rebuild that which his U.S.-led coalition of fighters had just destroyed to liberate innocent Syrians from the Islamic State, time to bolster a hard-won foothold against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian sponsors. Meanwhile, he said, his forces would hold the land until a Geneva peace process could solve Syria’s civil war.

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WNU Editor:  The U.S. presence in Syria (and elsewhere in the Middle East) is a work in progress. I agree with  President Trump's instincts that the U.S. should get out of Syria. The region has known nothing but war and conflict for centuries, and I do not see the U.S. changing that anytime in the future. So why stay? But politics and geopolitics is now playing a role, and my prediction is the following. The U.S. military and intelligence community will stay in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East, but their role and mission will be minor and "behind" the scenes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You ask what is next? Invasion, the goal all along has been to dispose Assad of power. Currently half of the country is under US control and i think Israeli is secretly wanting escalation. From what i can gather the US can't even rebuild their own cities after natural disasters, i doubt they can rebuild a city like Raqqa. At the very least US occupation for the foreseeable future to keep ahold of those oil reserves.