Small Wars Journal

In Move From ‘Endless Wars,’ Trump Stokes Mideast Uncertainty

In Move From ‘Endless Wars,’ Trump Stokes Mideast Uncertainty by Dion Nissenbaum and Vivian Salama - Wall Street Journal

Turkey’s military offensive against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Syria opens an uncertain new chapter in Washington’s Middle East policy as President Trump willingly cedes influence to Ankara and other regional players.

In clearing the way for Turkey to attack Kurdish fighters who were directly armed by the U.S. in the fight against Islamic State, Mr. Trump shifted the U.S. approach to the region by setting aside commitments by American officials who previously assured the fighters the U.S. wouldn’t abandon them.

The move holds potential implications for other U.S. interests in the region. The U.S. military said it has suspended joint operations with Kurdish-led forces against Islamic State extremists because of the Turkish assault. And Iranian and Iran-backed forces in Syria, if emboldened by the U.S. pullback, stand to pose a heightened risk to Israel, which has conducted hundreds of airstrikes in Syria against them…

Read on.


Bill C.

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 10:50am

"Endless war" -- as understood at the time of the writing of the Treaty of Westphalia -- this was understood from the perspective of:

a.  One set of states and societies

b.  With one set of ideas and beliefs 

c.  Attempting to "transform" (think "convert" or kill?) the populations of other, "different" states and societies -- who had other/different ideas and beliefs?

The Treaty of Westphalia (and thus international law?) was, thus, designed to:

a.  End these such "transformative" practices and, thus,

b.  End these "endless wars?"

With the coming of the Old Cold War, however, the Treaty of Westphalia (and thus international law):

a.  Became a "dead letter" and thus

b.  "Endless wars" resumed.  

With the end of the Old Cold War, one would think that these "endless wars" would have ceased. 

And, indeed that may have been the case -- IF the U.S./the West had not, post-the Old Cold War, continued with its "transformative" agenda and related practices. 


a.  Because the U.S./the West continued, post-the Old Cold War, to try to transform the other/"different" states and societies of the world -- and, this, more along our often alien and profane political, economic, social and value lines; because of this:

b.  "Endless war" continued post-the Old Cold War

Bottom Line Thought -- Based on the Above:

Trump -- understanding the above(?) -- now seeks to (a) end the endless wars that we "birthed" in earlier post-Old Cold War times and (b) prevent new endless wars; this, by (c) returning to the "stability" principles (respect the sovereignty, self-determination and diversity rights of others) and practices (after war, return the political, economic, etc., institutions of the defeated state, that were present when the war began) enshrined in international law?

President Donald Trump:

"We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation.”

“Strong sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect.”

(Question:  What are the consequences of this such 180-degree about-face/our such abandonment of our revolutionary "raison d'etre?)