Small Wars Journal

Quibbling Over the Number of U.S. Forces in Syria Misses the Point

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 10:22am

Quibbling Over the Number of U.S. Forces in Syria Misses the Point by Robert Moore – Real Clear Defense

The magic 8-ball that is the Trump Administration’s foreign policy sent Washington and world leaders on another whipsaw last week, this time announcing the U.S. would leave 200 troops in Syria. Not even two months ago, President Trump announced the military mission to liberate ISIS-held territory was (nearly) complete and that it was time to bring American forces home.


Some national leaders applauded the decision and others disagreed; while most Americans likely shrugged their shoulders knowing that whatever they thought, there was little that could be done about it. That’s because quibbling over 200; 2,000; or 20,000 troops in Syria misses the more important point: Congress has never authorized a U.S. military presence in Syria, and an overall justification that reflects American national security priorities has never been established more than half a decade since we became involved in the civil war.


The inconsistency of our reasoning for involving U.S. military and intelligence assets in Syria’s civil war does not inspire confidence in the political or national security leadership at the helm. Even as the Islamic State caliphate has largely been defeated, it seems like we are looking for more problems to solve, grasping at the latest straws to stay present in the country…

Read on.