Wednesday, December 26, 2018

What's Going on in Syria?

President Trump announced that he plans to pull US military forces out of Syria. The critics immediately speculated that this will create a power vacuum that will be filled by Russia, Iran or Turkey - all outcomes with negative connotations for US interests. The withdrawal from Syria also seemed to be the final straw for General Mattis who announced his resignation.

But into the vacuum caused by the US's impending withdrawal is stepping Saudi Arabia and the United Arab EmiratesFrance is also vowing to send troops to protect the Kurds in Syria.

To my untrained eye this seems to be good developments. The US troops are taken out of harms way in a country where the US doesn't seem to have any national interests at stake.

Saudi Arabian and UAE troops counterbalance Russia in that the Russian economy is based on petrodollars and creating wider issues with two of the largest oil producing nations is in no way in Russian national interest, especially over Syria. Meanwhile French troop counterbalance Turkey because both are NATO members and if Turkish and French troops engage each other it in no ways obligates the US into action.

That's the way my untrained eye sees it.

Some pundits seem to see it similarly

Others argue that the wider struggle is against Iran and pulling out of Syria is harmful to our success in that struggle. I cannot say that this is incorrect. Iran is our enemy.

A complicated situation to say the least.

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