…is the only word I can think of, given the data currently on hand, to describe the president’s decision to withdraw our troops from Syria. The host has pointed out that it flies in the face of, perhaps, the president’s greatest foreign policy achievement (the taming if ISIS). As General McCrystal said in his interview with the host this morning regarding the president’s decision, “I think it’s ill-taken. I think that we will lose our influence in the region.” Today’s resignation of Sec. Mattis, well analyzed by David French, certainly adds to that appearance of capriciousness.
Having said that, such is how I thought of the president’s entire campaign in 2016. It seemed like he was shooting from the hip with little forethought and no strategy. And yet, in retrospect the strategy is apparent, and the success startlingly obvious. Therefore, I want to think there is more at play here than meets the eye. The president always knows more than the rest of us and I would like to think it is information in that area that drives his decision. However, the resignation of a key administration official makes me think that if that is the case the president is playing his cards much closer to his chest than he ought. I may not need to know everything, but his SecDef certainly does. Either that or my wishes are just wishes and again, capriciousness.
Early this morning, news flashed across Twitter that the president was acting in response to a warning from Erdogan that Turkey was about to make a military move into Syria to take on the Kurds. This caused Walid Phares to respond –
If this report is correct, the President and his Adm must officially inform the American public and US allies that this is the case. That we are leaving #EastSyria because of President #Erdogan request. Better inform the Congress and Americans about the reason, early, not late…
— Walid Phares (@WalidPhares) December 20, 2018
I agree with this point, whether the Erdogan warning is the reason – or anything else. This nation leads other nations and to appear capricious is the last thing a leader of this nations stature can afford. It unnerves our citizens; it unnerves our allies and it creates opportunity for our enemies.
As I said, I want to believe the president is acting in a well thought out and strategic manner here. Please Mr. President, remove my reasons to think otherwise.