Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. What About the Kurds?

 

So Turkey is bombing the Kurds in Syria. The Kurds in northern Iraq are (were?) very friendly to the U.S. Of course most of our allies fight for their own reasons and values and not as a favor to us. Same with the Syrian Kurds. Still, this looks like another case of our having a “that was then, this is now” attitude toward those we ‘befriend” in tough times. Memories of the fall of Saigon recur.

It is not our job to police the world or right every wrong. But what sort of deal have we made with Turkey and why? What is worth risking our credibility with those we will want to enlist for aid in the future?

Or is this anxiety just further proof that my neo-con impulses are madness, that Lindsay Graham knows nothing of geopolitics, that Bill Kristol still has no reason to mistrust Trump so much, and that I should just relax and be glad that “Hilary is not President” while the Donald plays 3d chess?

(If I had to say, I guess I would go with those who said more than a year ago that there are no good options in Syria, that we had been outfoxed by the Russians, etc. and that this is just the horrible, horrible price some must pay for Great Power mistakes.)

What say ye, Ricochetti?

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. Richard Fulmer Member

    Leaving allies in the lurch is not a great way to attract new allies. Making it worse, our policy makers recently convinced the Kurds to dismantle their defenses as a way to show “good faith” to the Turks.

    • #1
    • October 9, 2019, at 9:01 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Ham-Fisted Bu… Coolidge

    Some great pieces at The Federalist today to help make sense of all this.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/09/the-syria-crisis-highlights-precisely-whats-wrong-with-u-s-foreign-policy/

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/09/trump-gave-turkey-a-choice-on-syria-cooperate-with-the-u-s-productively-or-risk-catastrophe/

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/09/top-military-officers-misfire-in-atlantic-hit-on-trump-foreign-policy/

    • #2
    • October 9, 2019, at 9:06 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. Reformed_Yuppie Inactive

    I look at it this way: for many years we’ve had some of the smartest, most dedicated minds in America working towards understanding how to engage in policy with regard to the Middle East, with little to show for it. Maybe it’s time we let the dumbest minds have a shot at it. 

    • #3
    • October 9, 2019, at 9:34 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  4. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    GFHandle: What say ye, Ricochetti?

    One of the quirks of democracy is that one can never count on an administration honoring the promises of a previous administration. No country should ever count on the long-term support of any democratic government, because democratic governments change. Every election is a potential revolution.

    • #4
    • October 9, 2019, at 9:36 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  5. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Leaving allies in the lurch is not a great way to attract new allies. Making it worse, our policy makers recently convinced the Kurds to dismantle their defenses as a way to show “good faith” to the Turks.

    How recently?

    • #5
    • October 9, 2019, at 9:43 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Roderic Coolidge

    One will look in the mainstream media in vain to find a description of what Trump actually did with troops in Syria. Turns out we’re talking about only 50 to 100 soldiers.

    So these guys would make the difference if Turkey attacks? What were they even doing there?

     

     

    • #6
    • October 9, 2019, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  7. danok1 Member

    I won’t pretend to know what course we should take.

    However, those making the case that we need our troops in Syria supporting the Kurds, etc., need to make clear:

    1. Our objective, i.e., what would “victory” look like (I note that there can be more than one objective).

    2. How much treasure and blood we should expend to achieve this objective. To put it crudely, how many American troops need to die for this objective.

    3. Debate items 1 & 2 in the Congress and pass a resolution (or whatever passes for a Declaration of War these days) authorizing military action in Syria.

    If they’re not willing to do this, then get our troops out of there.

    • #7
    • October 9, 2019, at 10:31 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  8. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I am not an expert on this nor, for that matter, anything else. So my non-expert opinion begins with an emotional gulp when listening to the stories about abandoning allies. Then my rational mind kicks in. I start to wonder if the Kurds, who seem to be tremendous fighters, cannot defend themselves. Haven’t they been doing precisely that for decades and more? They not only defend themselves, but they seem to be pretty darn good on the offense as well. This area of northeast Syria, while being alien and unattractive to us, is the Kurd’s homeland…or partial homeland, the rest stretching across northern Iraq, southeast Turkey, and even extending into northwest Iran. Wow, that’s a pretty diverse area. The Kurd’s are also somewhat diverse. The group that are called our allies in Syria, I believe they go by PKK, are communists of some sort. Again, I wonder why this is an issue over which we should risk deeper entanglement and potential immediate loss of the life or limb of our soldiers. 

    There is a secondary problem here. It involves thousands of captured ISIS soldiers being held by some Syrian democracy group. Most, or many of these prisoners are European. The Europeans, of course, will do nothing to keep these folks imprisoned. Turkey claims it will take responsibility. But Turkey is infamously supportive of ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood because of the dictator, Erdogan. It is very possible that these ISIS thugs will be set free to rampage once again. 

    Conclusion my friends: this sucks. 

    • #8
    • October 9, 2019, at 10:46 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  9. Bob Thompson Member

    cdor (View Comment):

    There is a secondary problem here. It involves thousands of captured ISIS soldiers being held by some Syrian democracy group. Most, or many of these prisoners are European. The Europeans, of course, will do nothing to keep these folks imprisoned. Turkey claims it will take responsibility. But Turkey is infamously supportive of ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood because of the dictator, Erdogan. It is very possible that these ISIS thugs will be set free to rampage once again. 

     

    Maybe there is something about Turkey that we need to discover. Also, do we make alliances with ethnic groups within other countries? The Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, and Syria have been at odds with the Turkish government for a long time in my memory. Are we taking advantage of the Kurds or have they been taking advantage of us? 

    • #9
    • October 9, 2019, at 11:01 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Joe Biden was right. We should have divided up Iraq in to 3 chunks (Shia, Sunni, Kurd) the day Saddam died. It would have prevented ISIS and the mess in Syria. Turkey would have been pissed, but they’d be over it by now. Any efforts we make in this area should work towards a remaking of the British map that puts borders between different peoples rather than the mis-groupings made a century ago.

    • #10
    • October 9, 2019, at 11:18 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  11. Bob Thompson Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    Joe Biden was right. We should have divided up Iraq in to 3 chunks (Shia, Sunni, Kurd) the day Saddam died. It would have prevented ISIS and the mess in Syria. Turkey would have been pissed, but they’d be over it by now. Any efforts we make in this area should work towards a remaking of the British map that puts borders between different peoples rather than the mis-groupings made a century ago.

    You think Joe Biden would say that now with all the railing against nationalism by the Left?

    • #11
    • October 9, 2019, at 11:26 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s complicated, of course. But it’s also simple. The globalists among us see the Kurds as helping us. Nationalists see it as us helping the Kurds. 

    We decide who, what where and when, and how much. Don’t want our help because we might decide it’s no longer in our interests? Fine.

    Europe needs to do more. 

    I cant help but think the gloves have come off. The neo-con Never Trumpers have had Trumps tacit support in a number of things, but obviously it’s been a one-way street. Same with the Euro-parasites. Syria is in their backyard. The captive ISIS fighters came from their countries and we are supposed to deal with them! They’ve been warned. I guess they’re not used to the USA asserting itself.

    • #12
    • October 9, 2019, at 11:44 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  13. Barry Jones Thatcher

    From what I have read, the Syrian Kurds are rather hard line communists and cuddle up to the Russians given the opportunity. As for “abandoning the Kurds” we still have a rather large and active embassy in Iraqi Kurdistan (the Kurds that aren’t communists and don’t suck up to the Russians). Could be wrong but food for thought.

    • #13
    • October 9, 2019, at 11:57 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  14. GFHandle Member
    GFHandle

    DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader (View Comment):

    Some great pieces at The Federalist today to help make sense of all this.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/09/the-syria-crisis-highlights-precisely-whats-wrong-with-u-s-foreign-policy/

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/09/trump-gave-turkey-a-choice-on-syria-cooperate-with-the-u-s-productively-or-risk-catastrophe/

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/09/top-military-officers-misfire-in-atlantic-hit-on-trump-foreign-policy/

    Thanks. Very interesting reading. I knew Trump inherited an untenable situation. But these details and FACTS matter. If we only had an honest press….

    • #14
    • October 9, 2019, at 12:20 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  15. GFHandle Member
    GFHandle

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I won’t pretend to know what course we should take.

    However, those making the case that we need our troops in Syria supporting the Kurds, etc., need to make clear:

    1. Our objective, i.e., what would “victory” look like (I note that there can be more than one objective).

    2. How much treasure and blood we should expend to achieve this objective. To put it crudely, how many American troops need to die for this objective.

    3. Debate items 1 & 2 in the Congress and pass a resolution (or whatever passes for a Declaration of War these days) authorizing military action in Syria.

    If they’re not willing to do this, then get our troops out of there.

    1. I doubt binary choice between winning and losing exist. But one goal is stop a new ISIS.
    2. What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.
    3. Honest debate in this congress????
    • #15
    • October 9, 2019, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. SpiritO'78 Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    Joe Biden was right. We should have divided up Iraq in to 3 chunks (Shia, Sunni, Kurd) the day Saddam died. It would have prevented ISIS and the mess in Syria. Turkey would have been pissed, but they’d be over it by now.

    At the risk of being unfair to countries in the Middle East, they don’t get over anything.

     

    • #16
    • October 9, 2019, at 12:30 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  17. Bob Thompson Member

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I won’t pretend to know what course we should take.

    However, those making the case that we need our troops in Syria supporting the Kurds, etc., need to make clear:

    1. Our objective, i.e., what would “victory” look like (I note that there can be more than one objective).

    2. How much treasure and blood we should expend to achieve this objective. To put it crudely, how many American troops need to die for this objective.

    3. Debate items 1 & 2 in the Congress and pass a resolution (or whatever passes for a Declaration of War these days) authorizing military action in Syria.

    If they’re not willing to do this, then get our troops out of there.

    1. I doubt binary choice between winning and losing exist. But one goal is stop a new ISIS.
    2. What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.
    3. Honest debate in this congress????

    Our troops supporting the Kurds against the Turks has no visible endpoint. 

    • #17
    • October 9, 2019, at 12:35 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  18. danok1 Member

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I won’t pretend to know what course we should take.

    However, those making the case that we need our troops in Syria supporting the Kurds, etc., need to make clear:

    1. Our objective, i.e., what would “victory” look like (I note that there can be more than one objective).

    2. How much treasure and blood we should expend to achieve this objective. To put it crudely, how many American troops need to die for this objective.

    3. Debate items 1 & 2 in the Congress and pass a resolution (or whatever passes for a Declaration of War these days) authorizing military action in Syria.

    If they’re not willing to do this, then get our troops out of there.

    1. I doubt binary choice between winning and losing exist. But one goal is stop a new ISIS.
    2. What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.
    3. Honest debate in this congress????
    1. Well, that is an objective, and probably a decent one. But is that all we’d want to accomplish? And what is the endpoint? Are we to keep troops there for decades, as we’ve done in Europe and Asia?
    2. No one has established the cost of “a more stable, ISIS free mideast.” Assuming such a thing is possible (which has not been established), we still don’t know if “the game is worth the candle.”
    3. That’s their job; they should do it.

    ETA: One thing I haven’t seen mentioned, but should probably be taken into account, is that as far as I know, the U.S. has a military alliance, with an honest-to-God treaty that was ratified by the Senate, with only one country in this whole mess. That country happens to be…Turkey.

    • #18
    • October 9, 2019, at 1:01 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  19. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    GFHandle (View Comment):
    What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.

    To be honest, the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented if the FBI did any of the following:
    1) acted on discovered terrorist idea of flying hijacked jets into buildings
    2) acted on tip about guys in flight school wanting to fly jets, but not learn how to land or takeoff
    3) do their damn job and think one-step ahead of terrorists

    Occupying Middle East countries was never a requirement.

    • #19
    • October 9, 2019, at 2:09 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  20. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    GFHandle (View Comment):
    What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.

    To be honest, the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented if the FBI did any of the following:
    1) acted on discovered terrorist idea of flying hijacked jets into buildings
    2) acted on tip about guys in flight school wanting to fly jets, but not learn how to land or takeoff
    3) do their damn job and think one-step ahead of terrorists

    Occupying Middle East countries was never a requirement.

    Or, we just drop a nuke on them the next time they claim territory.

    • #20
    • October 9, 2019, at 2:17 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. danok1 Member

    GFHandle (View Comment):
    What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.

    One thing I didn’t mention in my reply at #18: the 9/11 attacks led to an 18-year intervention by the United States that has arguably destabilized the region. One can make a case that one reason the intervention has lasted so long and led to such serious unintended consequences is because we went in with no actual objective. Destroying the Taliban wasn’t enough; we decided to try to build a Western-style nation in Afghanistan.

    We went into Iraq with no more of a goal than to topple Saddam and find the WMDs our intelligence services said were there. (We can add this to the long list of failures by the CIA/DIA/etc.) We then changed our objective to creating another Western-style nation in Iraq.

    Again, we need to carefully consider what our goals would be in Syria and the anticipated cost in lives of our troops. Then our esteemed Congresscritters need to vote on authorizing military force in Syria.

    • #21
    • October 9, 2019, at 3:09 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. Reformed_Yuppie Inactive

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I won’t pretend to know what course we should take.

    However, those making the case that we need our troops in Syria supporting the Kurds, etc., need to make clear:

    1. Our objective, i.e., what would “victory” look like (I note that there can be more than one objective).

    2. How much treasure and blood we should expend to achieve this objective. To put it crudely, how many American troops need to die for this objective.

    3. Debate items 1 & 2 in the Congress and pass a resolution (or whatever passes for a Declaration of War these days) authorizing military action in Syria.

    If they’re not willing to do this, then get our troops out of there.

    1. I doubt binary choice between winning and losing exist. But one goal is stop a new ISIS.
    2. What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.
    3. Honest debate in this congress????

    Our troops supporting the Kurds against the Turks has no visible endpoint.

    Leaving our allies to get slaughtered does have a visible endpoint, but it’s not one we really want to reach. In that part of the world the best we seem to be able to hope for is an ending that stinks slightly less than some other alternative. I don’t know how you even win over there. And here I was promised that Jared has this under control. 

    • #22
    • October 9, 2019, at 3:25 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Bob Thompson Member

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I won’t pretend to know what course we should take.

    However, those making the case that we need our troops in Syria supporting the Kurds, etc., need to make clear:

    1. Our objective, i.e., what would “victory” look like (I note that there can be more than one objective).

    2. How much treasure and blood we should expend to achieve this objective. To put it crudely, how many American troops need to die for this objective.

    3. Debate items 1 & 2 in the Congress and pass a resolution (or whatever passes for a Declaration of War these days) authorizing military action in Syria.

    If they’re not willing to do this, then get our troops out of there.

    1. I doubt binary choice between winning and losing exist. But one goal is stop a new ISIS.
    2. What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.
    3. Honest debate in this congress????

    Our troops supporting the Kurds against the Turks has no visible endpoint.

    Leaving our allies to get slaughtered does have a visible endpoint, but it’s not one we really want to reach. In that part of the world the best we seem to be able to hope for is an ending that stinks slightly less than some other alternative. I don’t know how you even win over there. And here I was promised that Jared has this under control.

    What ally are we leaving?

    • #23
    • October 9, 2019, at 3:27 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Reformed_Yuppie Inactive

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I won’t pretend to know what course we should take.

    However, those making the case that we need our troops in Syria supporting the Kurds, etc., need to make clear:

    1. Our objective, i.e., what would “victory” look like (I note that there can be more than one objective).

    2. How much treasure and blood we should expend to achieve this objective. To put it crudely, how many American troops need to die for this objective.

    3. Debate items 1 & 2 in the Congress and pass a resolution (or whatever passes for a Declaration of War these days) authorizing military action in Syria.

    If they’re not willing to do this, then get our troops out of there.

    1. I doubt binary choice between winning and losing exist. But one goal is stop a new ISIS.
    2. What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.
    3. Honest debate in this congress????

    Our troops supporting the Kurds against the Turks has no visible endpoint.

    Leaving our allies to get slaughtered does have a visible endpoint, but it’s not one we really want to reach. In that part of the world the best we seem to be able to hope for is an ending that stinks slightly less than some other alternative. I don’t know how you even win over there. And here I was promised that Jared has this under control.

    What ally are we leaving?

    If you don’t know the answer to that then why are you commenting? Seriously, it’s in the first graph of pretty much every news story regarding this issue. 

    • #24
    • October 9, 2019, at 3:31 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Bob Thompson Member

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I won’t pretend to know what course we should take.

    However, those making the case that we need our troops in Syria supporting the Kurds, etc., need to make clear:

    1. Our objective, i.e., what would “victory” look like (I note that there can be more than one objective).

    2. How much treasure and blood we should expend to achieve this objective. To put it crudely, how many American troops need to die for this objective.

    3. Debate items 1 & 2 in the Congress and pass a resolution (or whatever passes for a Declaration of War these days) authorizing military action in Syria.

    If they’re not willing to do this, then get our troops out of there.

    1. I doubt binary choice between winning and losing exist. But one goal is stop a new ISIS.
    2. What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.
    3. Honest debate in this congress????

    Our troops supporting the Kurds against the Turks has no visible endpoint.

    Leaving our allies to get slaughtered does have a visible endpoint, but it’s not one we really want to reach. In that part of the world the best we seem to be able to hope for is an ending that stinks slightly less than some other alternative. I don’t know how you even win over there. And here I was promised that Jared has this under control.

    What ally are we leaving?

    If you don’t know the answer to that then why are you commenting? Seriously, it’s in the first graph of pretty much every news story regarding this issue.

    I want you to say it.

    • #25
    • October 9, 2019, at 3:32 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. Reformed_Yuppie Inactive

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I won’t pretend to know what course we should take.

    However, those making the case that we need our troops in Syria supporting the Kurds, etc., need to make clear:

    1. Our objective, i.e., what would “victory” look like (I note that there can be more than one objective).

    2. How much treasure and blood we should expend to achieve this objective. To put it crudely, how many American troops need to die for this objective.

    3. Debate items 1 & 2 in the Congress and pass a resolution (or whatever passes for a Declaration of War these days) authorizing military action in Syria.

    If they’re not willing to do this, then get our troops out of there.

    1. I doubt binary choice between winning and losing exist. But one goal is stop a new ISIS.
    2. What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.
    3. Honest debate in this congress????

    Our troops supporting the Kurds against the Turks has no visible endpoint.

    Leaving our allies to get slaughtered does have a visible endpoint, but it’s not one we really want to reach. In that part of the world the best we seem to be able to hope for is an ending that stinks slightly less than some other alternative. I don’t know how you even win over there. And here I was promised that Jared has this under control.

    What ally are we leaving?

    If you don’t know the answer to that then why are you commenting? Seriously, it’s in the first graph of pretty much every news story regarding this issue.

    I want you to say it.

    The people we trained and funded to fight ISIS for us so that we could keep our hands clean. Those allies. The ones who did our dirty work while we abdicated responsibility and let the region become one giant proxy war with Iran and Russia. Those allies. 

    • #26
    • October 9, 2019, at 3:38 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. Bob Thompson Member

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I won’t pretend to know what course we should take.

    However, those making the case that we need our troops in Syria supporting the Kurds, etc., need to make clear:

    1. Our objective, i.e., what would “victory” look like (I note that there can be more than one objective).

    2. How much treasure and blood we should expend to achieve this objective. To put it crudely, how many American troops need to die for this objective.

    3. Debate items 1 & 2 in the Congress and pass a resolution (or whatever passes for a Declaration of War these days) authorizing military action in Syria.

    If they’re not willing to do this, then get our troops out of there.

    1. I doubt binary choice between winning and losing exist. But one goal is stop a new ISIS.
    2. What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.
    3. Honest debate in this congress????

    Our troops supporting the Kurds against the Turks has no visible endpoint.

    Leaving our allies to get slaughtered does have a visible endpoint, but it’s not one we really want to reach. In that part of the world the best we seem to be able to hope for is an ending that stinks slightly less than some other alternative. I don’t know how you even win over there. And here I was promised that Jared has this under control.

    What ally are we leaving?

    If you don’t know the answer to that then why are you commenting? Seriously, it’s in the first graph of pretty much every news story regarding this issue.

    I want you to say it.

    The people we trained and funded to fight ISIS for us so that we could keep our hands clean. Those allies. The ones who did our dirty work while we abdicated responsibility and let the region become one giant proxy war with Iran and Russia. Those allies.

    Do we have any other reasons to keep or forces there or is that it?

    • #27
    • October 9, 2019, at 3:40 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. Reformed_Yuppie Inactive

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I won’t pretend to know what course we should take.

    However, those making the case that we need our troops in Syria supporting the Kurds, etc., need to make clear:

    1. Our objective, i.e., what would “victory” look like (I note that there can be more than one objective).

    2. How much treasure and blood we should expend to achieve this objective. To put it crudely, how many American troops need to die for this objective.

    3. Debate items 1 & 2 in the Congress and pass a resolution (or whatever passes for a Declaration of War these days) authorizing military action in Syria.

    If they’re not willing to do this, then get our troops out of there.

    1. I doubt binary choice between winning and losing exist. But one goal is stop a new ISIS.
    2. What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.
    3. Honest debate in this congress????

    Our troops supporting the Kurds against the Turks has no visible endpoint.

    Leaving our allies to get slaughtered does have a visible endpoint, but it’s not one we really want to reach. In that part of the world the best we seem to be able to hope for is an ending that stinks slightly less than some other alternative. I don’t know how you even win over there. And here I was promised that Jared has this under control.

    What ally are we leaving?

    If you don’t know the answer to that then why are you commenting? Seriously, it’s in the first graph of pretty much every news story regarding this issue.

    I want you to say it.

    The people we trained and funded to fight ISIS for us so that we could keep our hands clean. Those allies. The ones who did our dirty work while we abdicated responsibility and let the region become one giant proxy war with Iran and Russia. Those allies.

    Do we have any other reasons to keep or forces there or is that it?

    Preventing the rise of ISIS and an all-out war between Russia and a NATO ally isn’t enough? Because that seems like a good enough reason to keep 150 advisors in the region. That’s a relatively low cost way of keeping things from getting even worse. 

    • #28
    • October 9, 2019, at 3:45 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. GFHandle Member
    GFHandle

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    GFHandle (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I won’t pretend to know what course we should take.

    However, those making the case that we need our troops in Syria supporting the Kurds, etc., need to make clear:

    1. Our objective, i.e., what would “victory” look like (I note that there can be more than one objective).

    2. How much treasure and blood we should expend to achieve this objective. To put it crudely, how many American troops need to die for this objective.

    3. Debate items 1 & 2 in the Congress and pass a resolution (or whatever passes for a Declaration of War these days) authorizing military action in Syria.

    If they’re not willing to do this, then get our troops out of there.

    1. I doubt binary choice between winning and losing exist. But one goal is stop a new ISIS.
    2. What is a more stable, ISIS free mideast worth? Consider what the 9/11 attack led to.
    3. Honest debate in this congress????

    Our troops supporting the Kurds against the Turks has no visible endpoint.

    I agree. It sucks. BTW, I don’t believe they are there to support the Kurds. As you said, there can be one objective. And that isn’t even one of them. Supporting the wrong Kurdish faction (thanks Obama) is part of this mess. See the first Federalist link above.

    • #29
    • October 9, 2019, at 3:50 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  30. Bob Thompson Member

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):
    Preventing the rise of ISIS and an all-out war between Russia and a NATO ally isn’t enough?

    That’s two reasons that sound reasonable for someone to be there but it sounds as if it should be NATO.

    • #30
    • October 9, 2019, at 3:50 PM PDT
    • 3 likes