Small Wars Journal

Iraq, Iran, the Gulf, Turkey, and the Future: The Meaningless Debate Over the Trump Strategy in Syria

Iraq, Iran, the Gulf, Turkey, and the Future: The Meaningless Debate Over the Trump Strategy in Syria by Anthony H. Cordesman – Center for Strategic and International Studies

There is nothing new about the U.S. redoubling its efforts in the Middle East after it has lost sight of its objectives. There is even less new about the U.S. going on with the same efforts year-after-year without having any effective strategy. The U.S. has claimed to be fighting a "war" against terrorism since 2001, and has been fighting real wars in the Gulf region since 2003. It has also been blundering in Syria since 2011.

 

This is why the current debate over President Trump's uncertain statement that he would suddenly withdraw from Syria needs to be put in a strategic perspective. It is no more silly or meaningless than the past focus of far too many debates over US policy towards Syria. It also is no more lacking in relevance than virtually all of the previous U.S. debates over strategy in the Middle East and the Gulf since 2001. It is a debate over levels of effort in one country that have no clear strategic purpose, and that fails to come to grips with any of the many issues that should shape U.S. strategy in the region…

Read on.