With the news that Saudi Arabian troops will augment – and probably replace in due course – the US forces currently operating alongside the Kurds in Syria, the Conservative Treehouse thinks the whole withdrawal proposal is a gigantic win for the President.
Now let’s consider the brilliance of this move.
First, remember Turkish President Recep Erdogan was the antagonist in the Kashoggi matter and Erdogan orchestrated the blame toward Saudi Crown Prince MbS. There is no better motivated mid-east ally to protect the Kurds against any military action by Turkey other than MbS. No doubt MbS and UAE will send their best forces.
Secondly, what military equipment will MbS and the UAE be shipping along with their military troops? Those would be military purchases directly from the U.S.
Third, who stood up against international pressure and refused to condemn MbS over the Kashoggi matter? That would be a strategic U.S. President Trump. MbS owes a favor; see how that works?
Fourth, what leverage does U.S President Trump have toward Turkey in order to further facilitate no hostile action? That would be the economic leverage of current sanctions against Iran; and the option of controlling/punishing any economic engagement therein.
So to summarize: President Trump withdraws U.S. troops from Syria, and leverages his relationship with MbS to step up to replace them, thereby eliminating any concern that Turkey might take hostile action toward our Kurdish allies in Northern Syria.
Our troops come home; and a stable transition is ensured by a regional ally.
How do you like them apples!
There’s more at the link.
If CTH is correct, this is a seriously significant step in the Middle East – and Turkey had best be very careful how it responds. President Erdogan has already seriously pissed off Saudi Crown Prince MbS over the Kashoggi affair. Now Saudi troops will be operating within spitting distance of Turkish troops in Syria – and Saudi troops have been well and truly schooled in combat in Yemen over the past couple of years. They also have almost unlimited quantities of the latest US weaponry, even more than Turkey (a NATO member) has. They are NOT about to let themselves be pushed around.
Even more interesting, Saudi Arabia is getting to be very friendly with Israel these days, as both see Iran as a major threat. Israel will have little, if any, objection to Saudi troops joining the Syrian melting-pot. There may even be some useful exchanges of information, and perhaps a little battlefield cooperation here and there, as in “If we hit this Iranian position here, would you like to clobber their fall-back position there, a few minutes later?”
Pass the popcorn, folks. I think this might get very interesting indeed.
EDITED TO ADD: What did I tell you?
"No doubt MbS and UAE will send their best forces." Saudi Arabia's best are tied down in Yemen and just what expeditionary forces does the UAE have to send. Equipment? Fine, lots of bit fat commission checks on billions in sales. The Kurds will of course welcome MbS and Whahabism with open arms?What has sundance been smoking? Arms sales my happen, troops won't.
It would be interesting.
I would like to see the Kurds – who did most of the ISIS butt kicking – get some support from somewhere. They are almost as despised as the Israelis in that part of the world.
Hmmm. I wonder if larger and more integrated Saudi Army units (integrated meaning troops from all over mixed up in units, rather than 'tribal' or household units, is a part of the current leadership's plan of breaking the power of the 1,000 princes. Giving power to the normal Saud rather than the royal Saud, so to speak.
The crucible of war can be effective for getting rid of all sorts of cultural and hereditary slag, so to speak.
Kind of the Saud's version of "How are you going to keep them down on the farm once they see gay Paree."
Exposure to all sorts of radical ideas like, oh, say, meritocracy, can break a stagnant culture hard.
And, yes, I think getting us out of some of the 150+ countries of conflict might be a good thing. We are stretched too far, for too long, and need to refit and rebuild many material and thought systems before the next one. Like staging a SinkEx wit all the LCSess and starting over… Preferably with the proponents of LCS aboard the LCSess, along with the lobbyists, congrescritters and bureaucrats who brought us that boondoggle.
Regardless, this is going to be interesting…
getting us out of some of the 150+ countries of conflict might be a good thing
The FIRST question should be: "Is the National Interest served by having troops here?" Naturally, the definition of "national interest" should be clear.
Not sure what the US national interest is in a 3,500-year-old war of some against some others which may be all-against-all now and then. The Mideast is a tar-baby.
It will be helpful to spend money on equipment maintenance rather than on war-related expenses. And if the Generals want to try out new, improved, hardware, maybe they should form platoons and try it out themselves.
Exactly. What is really National Interest? Define that and then look at all the peace-keeping missions and training missions and, and, and… Eliminate ones that are quite frankly contrary to our Nation's interests. Eliminate ones that the UN says they can do better, and let those child slavers and rapists take over, then evaluate whether or not to clean up the UN's mess.
And, while we're at it, evaluate the US's role in the United Nations. Are we getting value for the money we put in? (Answer: NO!) Then what are we funding? (Answer: Thugs, dictators, religious extremists, child slavers and rapists.) Then how much better would we be with a reduced UN presence? (Answer: Dunno, but maybe worth trying. And we could put some of the UN money into our own security. It's not just the southern border that we've had issues with.)
A complex issue, and one that sumdood who excelled in managing a hotel empire in New York City may be the only one who can crack.
We'll see. Looking forward to watching all the talking heads explode over just the Syria issue.
As to Nat Interest in the Middle East, it may be worth it in order to keep most of that conflict 'over there' but in a reduced, better protected way. Like leaving Syria to the Sauds, bucking up the good Kurds (the non Marxist/socialist ones) and protecting the only functioning republic in the whole area (Israel, yes, it's a republic – people vote for representatives..)
We get out of quagmire in Afghanistan. China moves in. Heh heh.
We get out of multi-sided war in Syria. Russia and Turkey move in. Heh heh.
Why should we be the only ones in deep quicksand? Let's let others play along. China wants to be a big power. I wonder if they'll enjoy it for long.
We shouldn't have been there to begin with. IMO pulling out and letting Saudi take our place with the Kurds is setting up a bigger fight that will have Saudi and Turkey going at it.
Trump should have taken all of Mattis's advice.
On Afghanistan; the only way to win there is to replace all of the warlords with those that are sympathetic to US policy and to outlaw Islam and go back to Sikh and Hindu religions that were in the majority 50 years ago.
Getting out of Syria might be the best idea since sliced bread, but the way it was done – by fiat, without consulting our allies … who will trust America in the future to stay the course. Why ally with the US when you can be left hanging in the breeze at any moment for any reason?
Caroline Gluck looks at the potential upsides and downsides of Trumps decision.
Another wrote right decision, but rolled out wrong.
Another wrote, if trump followed the rules, he would get nothing done – ie syria pullout.
Trump also seemed to get a lot from Turkey in the talks. Buying Patriot missiles vs Sam 30’s.
Predicting future events is difficult in the Middle East. Time will tell if this move is a good one, but it certainly can't be as bad as all the blunders that Obama-Hillary-Kerry made. One key factor we should not forget is that during his campaign Trump promised to end these endless and often futile foreign wars. That's another promise kept.
The interesting part will be watching the Democrats deliberately sabotage the situation so that they can then blame Trump for a policy failure.
"Why ally with the US when you can be left hanging in the breeze at any moment for any reason?
December 22, 2018 at 10:52 PM"
That ship sailed when the last helicopter lifted out of Saigon in 1975. And all the Leftists had no qualms about abandoning "our allies" then. Sit your hypocritical a$$ down.
Pulling out of Syria was done in the only way it could be accomplished. Consultations with allies? What benefits those "allies", pull-out of status quo?
Saudis in Syria? Another uninvited occupier in Syria. And, since when Saudis themselves fight? Who will be the Saudis mercenaries?
Things may have changed, but I have known a couple of former military involved in training Saudi military. To sum up what I was told, what a bunch of fatalistic inshallah jokes they are.
Whatever competent military the Saudis have they use for monarch (including dark ops) and Medina protection. That is it.
KSA only exists because of these uSA. Screw'em.
BTW, all this IS A and Israeli kissing is only a beard. Ask the common Saudi Wahabbi about Israel and Jews.
FRED, the US only has 2,000 people there. It is not as if the Saudis and UAE would have to come up with tens of thousands of replacements.
I hate correct.
It is, "BTW, all this KSA and Israel . .."
William, that is 2,000 too many.
In the end, what is going on in the ME, including in the Kurdushbareas, is no safe space for Christians.
Which culturally Islamic counties, historically, have been safer for Christianity?
Aaaaaargh. Is there no end…????
Kurdushbareas = Kurdish areas
The question of "national interest" or as I call it rational USA grand national strategic objective is treated by several commenters, all implicitly or explicitly, yet accurately, noting that a statement of same is not present among the so-called "US foreign policy/military establishment."
Mattis himself in his resignation letter refers to something like grand national objective and identifies it as a matrix of alliances that keeps us safe and the world tolerably civilized. In other words, USA sovereignty and security are in foreign hands and USA grand strategy is to keep it so.
What could be weaker? USA depends on NATO and the UN, ASEAN and the WTO?
Rational USA grand national strategic objective is maintenance of USA sovereign freedom and drive to unconditional surrender of any power threatening that freedom.
Two powers today so threaten: China mainly and Salafi-Shiite Jihad plenty but not as much.
So, step one is close the USA order, including the cyber-border, to those powers except as they cultivate USA sovereign freedom. Step two is make alliance structure with nations great and small who face the same threats and wish to maintain their sovereign freedom against those threats, by driving them to unconditional surrender.
Three sovereign nation states are positioned geographically to assume the offensive against China and Jihad individually and in concert and to lead, again in concert, smaller nations to the same end. They are India, USA, and Russia.
I call them Three Brothers and their alliance Three Brothers Doctrine: https://theological-geography.net/?p=27675
Three Brothers Doctrine is the Monroe Doctrine in contemporary circumstances.