Areas Freed From Islamic State Will Test U.S. Policy On Limiting Overseas Role by Tracy Wilkinson – Los Angeles Times
As U.S.-backed forces succeed in driving Islamic State militants from territory in Iraq and now Syria, the Trump administration has difficult choices — and divided opinions — about how the heavily devastated region can recover in an era when U.S. policy is to take a back-seat role.
The administration has stated unequivocally that it is no longer in the “nation-building business.” But the desire to avoid getting enmeshed in rebuilding civilian institutions conflicts with the need to reconstruct towns that forces backed by the United States fought so hard to liberate and the hope of avoiding conditions that would allow Islamic militants to regain a foothold, as they have done before.
Some of Trump’s advisors are arguing for a longer U.S. presence in Syria, according to a person familiar with the debate who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The goal would be to guarantee deliveries of humanitarian aid and oversee repatriation of the displaced, the start of rebuilding and the setting up of local governments.
Others, however, want to hew more closely to the “no more nation-building” doctrine…