U.S. Military, the Kurds, and Syria – the Withdrawal, here’s the Reality –

by | Oct 7, 2019 |

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THE U.S. IS NOT ABANDONING THE KURDS. The U.S. will continue to provide the best military assistance, aid, and training to the Kurds, as we have for many years.
It is a fact⏤U.S. military forces were never deployed to “directly” support the Kurds in combat operations. Ever! Since 2003, the U.S. and the Kurds have worked together against Saddam’s forces, Iranian militias, al-Qaeda, and ISIS in Iraq and Syria. During that time, U.S. forces NEVER conducted deliberate defensive operations to defend the Kurds, or their territory. The Kurds are highly capable of conducting offensive operations, and of defending themselves and their autonomous region in northern Iraq. They are actually better trained and capable in numbers, situation awareness in the region, and through their own intelligence network across a vast region of Iraq, Iraq, and Syria. In fact, they’ve actually come to our aid in difficult situations for American forces over the course of our time in Iraq and Syria.

The reality is this⏤a few hundred actual U.S. combat troops are not going have a significant impact on defending the Kurds. Period. Nor has our ‘Return On Equity’ ever addressed that either. Certainly, not with respect as an option, to remain or withdraw from the region.

Secondly, America military forces are not in Syria for the purpose of dying for the Kurds. I’m sorry, but that has NEVER BEEN THEIR MISSION, EVER! Nor does dying along side a supported ally make one a good ally, either. At the same time, it does not mean we’ve abandoned them. If that’s the case, if that is how we measure friendship, then we should be deploying U.S. forces right now, to die along side of Ukraine soldiers at the hands of the Russians. Can someone please answer that?
Further, for those of us who focus on the geo-political, strategic impact, and the consequences posed to vital U.S. security interests both in Syria and the region, there is a critical denominator…what is not realized by most is that we have reached a point of diminishing returns. It is necessary to understand fully, that those interest would be seriously further undermined by a never-ending and long enduring military presence in that country. Certainly, the continued U.S. military presence and involvement would only contribute to prolonging the Syria civil war, not change the outcome, and we would likely endure and promulgate further U.S. casualties and death with no return or direct benefit to this country or the region, let alone the Kurds, or our overall regional U.S. interests in the Middle East.
Also realize that U.S. forces remain in Turkey on the ready because of our NATO commitment, and as part of our agreement continue to provide whatever support is necessary to the Kurds. Likewise, the U.S. will continue to provide the best equipment, training, and advisory support as we have for the past 16-years to our friends the Kurds. While, the sensationalism and headlines are playing out in the media, what most fail to realize and what you are not aware of and are not seeing and hearing from the mainstream media, is what has been worked out and arranged between the U.S. by the Trump administration and the Kurds.
Over the course of the last three years of this administration this eventual withdrawal, following the defeat of ISIS and its caliphate has been discussed at length with the Kurds, the Turkish government and other U.S. allies in the region. In the final decision. The Kurds are fine with it. They have agreed to it as part of the overall process. Again, this change in U.S. policy was and has been in the works since we first went down this road, when President Trump declared his promise to destroy ISIS, during his Presidential campaign.
Today, President Trump in defending his decision — coupled it with a warning to “totally destroy and obliterate” the economy of Turkey if he’s unhappy with how Turkish government and military carry out their planned operations in Syria, particularly if they bring any harm to the Kurdish fighters.

Turkey is a NATO member country and has a responsibility to conduct itself according. The U.S. also is the largest NATO member force embedded inside Turkey, with much oversight and advisory support to the Turkish Military.

President Trump made the right decision to pull-back and withdraw our troops from the Syrian-Turkish border, inside of Syria. It is not in our national interest, nor is it prudent to continue to have a small U.S. force in the middle of the long-running dispute between Turkey and certain various Kurdish groups in Syria. That in and of itself is a long and historical debate that was never part of the equation to defeat and destroy ISIS. Likewise, with the continued long standing and ongoing civil war inside Syria, it is not America’s job to sort out the future of Syria. As I noted, we were in Syria for a very limited and specific reason – to eliminate ISIS’s territorial caliphate. The U.S. military has accomplished that goal.
With that complete, now it is time to bring our troops from that country home as President Trump promised at the end of last year. President Trump’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria should be commended. Don’t let the neo-cons and perpetual war mongers trick you. Note, of those screaming otherwise, most are Democrats, using the opportunity to bash Trump…they’d love your support. Go for it.

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Jim Waurishuk is a retired USAF Colonel, serving nearly 30-years as a career senior intelligence and political-military affairs officer and special mission intelligence officer with expertise in strategic intelligence, international strategic studies and policy, and asymmetric warfare. He served as a special mission intelligence officer assigned to multiple Joint Special Operations units and with the CIA’s Asymmetric Warfare Task Force and international and foreign advisory positions. He served as Deputy Director for Intelligence for U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) during the peak years of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Global War on Terrorism.

Waurishuk is a former White House National Security Council staffer and a former Distinguished Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C. He served as a senior advisor to the Commander U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and served as Vice President of the Special Ops-OPSEC.

Currently, he is the Chairman of the Hillsborough County (FL) Republican Executive Committee and Party and serves on the Executive Board of the Republican Party of Florida.

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