News Release

Syria: Will the U.S. Government Actually Get Out?

ANDREW BACEVICH, bacevich at bu.edu
Bacevich is professor emeritus of international relations and history at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins. His latest book is America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History. He was recently interviewed by Scott Horton; in April, he was on the program “A Nation Addicted to War” on “Intercepted” with Jeremy Scahill. In April, he wrote the piece “Trump doesn’t have authority to order strikes against Syria” for the Boston Globe.

Airwars stated Wednesday: “Between the first U.S. airstrike on ISIS in Syria in September 2014 and today’s troop pullout announcement, our monitors tracked 2,061 events locally alleging more than 13,500 civilian deaths from Coalition actions. Our own minimum estimate is 4,880 killed.” There seem to be no signs that the U.S. government bombings will cease.

DANIEL McADAMS, dlmcadams at gmail.com, @DanielLMcAdams
Executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, see McAdams’ discussion with former Rep. Paul: “Trump Shocker: ‘We’re Leaving Syria!’ Does He Mean It?” He criticizes Lindsey Graham and other interventionists. He was on the IPA news releases “Spicer: ‘Goal is to Destabilize Syria’” and “Left and Right Unite Against Escalating Syria War” last year.

REESE ERLICH, ReeseErlich at yahoo.com, @reeseerlich
Erlich writes the syndicated column “Foreign Correspondent.” He  has reported from Syria six times and is author of the book Inside Syria. His latest book is The Iran Agenda Today: the Real Story Inside Iran and What’s Wrong with U.S. Policy. Last year, he was on the IPA news release “Trump Calls for Major Escalation in Syria.”

He said today: “In 2014 I reported from the Iraq-Syria border for CBS News as the U.S. began its bombing campaign in the region. Obama promised ‘no American boots on the ground’ in Syria. I pointed out the U.S. would have to send troops, and they would have to withdraw when the American people tired of yet another Mideast war. Now there are over 2,000 U.S. troops fighting in Syria. Today Trump announced plans for their withdrawal in 60-90 days. Details remain sketchy. Some major points:

1. The U.S. never should have invaded Syria because it sought to intervene in that country’s civil war as well as defeat the Islamic State.

2. The I.S. is not defeated as claimed by Trump and it is likely to pose a serious security threat to both Iraq and Syria.

3. The U.S. has once again stabbed Kurds in the back by leaving them open to attack from both I.S. and Turkey.

4. Neocons in the administration such as John Bolton want to keep troops in Syria, supposedly to force the withdrawal of Iran, but in reality as part of an effort to fragment the country. It remains to be seen if they will undercut or reverse Trump’s decision.

5. Any chance for stability now hinges on political talks between Turkey, Russia and the Syrian government. A unified Syria could emerge if Turkish troops also withdraw and Kurds are granted autonomy in the region where they live.”

Also see IPA news releases: “Israel’s Attempts to Destabilize Syria” and “Roots of Terror: Is Trump Enabling ISIS?

While many are surprised that U.S. troops were in Syria, see FAIR piece from 2015: “White House Reveals ‘Boots on Ground’ in Syria, but Media Too Giddy Over Special Ops Porn to Notice.”