Small Wars Journal

Senator Graham Says Trump Is Re-Evaluating Quick Syria Withdrawal

Senator Graham Says Trump Is Re-Evaluating Quick Syria Withdrawal by Ian Talley – Wall Street Journal

President Trump is re-evaluating a rapid pullout of U.S. troops from Syria, an influential Republican senator said Sunday, signaling White House concerns that a withdrawal could allow Islamic State militants to regain a foothold in the country.


The president’s decision earlier this month marked an abrupt shift in U.S. Middle East policy and helped prompt the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.


Critics have warned the exit of more than 2,000 U.S. forces could also strengthen Iran’s power and fuel worries about U.S. commitment among other allies around the world. A day after the defense secretary resigned, Brett McGurk, the senior U.S. envoy to the international coalition fighting Islamic State, resigned as well.


“The president is reconsidering how we do this,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said on CNN. Mr. Graham added that he has discussed the Syria withdrawal with Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, who as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is Mr. Trump’s top military adviser, and that he planned to pitch a new approach to the president during a Sunday meeting.


“I’m going to ask him to sit down with his generals and reconsider how to do this,” Mr. Graham said, saying he wants the administration to “slow this down, make sure we get it right, make sure ISIS never comes back.”…

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