(TMU Op-Ed) — The decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria has been somewhat of a nightmare for the Trump administration. Either that, or the story in and of itself has served as a useful distraction from other issues.
At first, the media hit Donald Trump hard for potentially allowing a genocide of the Kurdish allies it had previously backed to defeat ISIS in parts of Syria. Anyone who knows anything about history will know that this isn’t the first time the U.S. has been accused of abandoning its Kurdish allies.
Largely missing from any serious commentary on the issue is the fact that U.S. troops had illegally invaded Syria to begin with, eventually taking over close to one third of Syria’s territory.
Also missing is the fact that U.S. troops stationed in Syria were effectively a barrier between the Assad government and the Kurdish population, preventing any sort of meaningful peace being reached between the two. Turkey’s incursion, it seems, is made up of Sunni radicals who are still hellbent on unseating Assad.
Not too long ago, the U.S. announced a portion of troops will remain in Syria to protect the oil fields. While some commentators have made it clear that unless the United States wants to become a globally renowned pirate outfit, it would not be able to exploit these resources as the oil belongs to the Assad government.
However, that didn’t stop the U.S. from occupying these areas with the view of giving control of these resources to the Kurdish elements it had backed to defeat ISIS. People who think that the U.S. invades countries to take their oil are therefore somewhat naïve, as this cannot be the case. The U.S. war machine is not concerned with owning and using natural resources (the U.S. is pumping out oil in record numbers), it is actually concerned with controlling these resources.
The U.S. is now saying that the troops withdrawing from Syria will be stationed in Iraq. Iraq has responded by saying that the U.S. doesn’t have permission to send its troops to its territory. However, the fact that they were even in Syria to begin with seems to suggest that permission is a non-issue for the U.S. military.
It’s not clear whether this is a major policy blunder for the United States under Trump’s leadership or another amazing example of Trump’s brilliantly played 4D chess game (ha!) in which we are too immature to comprehend.
In the meantime, Trump is rapidly ramping up troop deployments in other parts of the world in preparation for what could be one of the greatest wars of our generation, so it would also pay to keep an eye on wartime developments that generally slip past the mainstream media’s radar.