Another Premature Withdrawal Leads to Another Terrorist Rebound
by D.J. McGuire
“Stop us if this sounds familiar” – Ed Morrisey, Hot Air
That particular quote begins Morrisey’s examination of a new report from the lead inspector general for Operation Inherent Resolve (the name for the anti-Daesh operation in the nations of Syria and Iraq). Here’s the rest of the opening paragraph.
The US declares victory and goes home after a massive victory against an insurgency, only to see it metastasize in the vacuum left by our departure. That’s how we got ISIS in the first place after Barack Obama’s pullout from Iraq in 2011, and according to a new Pentagon report, that’s how we’re getting them again.
In this case, “again” refers to Syria, where “(t)he reduction of US forces has decreased the support available for Syrian partner forces at a time when their forces need more training and equipping to respond to the ISIS resurgence” (Glenn Fine, Principal Deputy IG, via CNN).
In other words, while Trump was declaring victory (as late as last month) and continuing a withdrawal that was so wrong-headed it cost him Jim Mattis as Secretary of Defense, Daesh “solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq, and was re-surging in Syria.”
Or, as Morrisey put it (emphasis in original): “There’s not much to say other than we told you so. (Or even more accurately, James Mattis told Trump so.)” For what it’s worth, similar sentiments came from yours truly back then.
Today, our allies in Syria are facing a “re-surging” Daesh and a triumphalists Ba’athist tyranny while Donald Trump pulls our forces out and pretends he’s won.
For those unaware, this was the issue that led me to vote for Clinton, the first – and to date, still only – vote for a Democratic presidential nominee I ever cast. I was convinced Trump would abandon the Syria people.
No one told me how bad being right would feel.