Search This Blog

Friday, December 21, 2018

Is Trump pulling all US forces out of Syria "Good For The Jews??"

How are we to understand a move that seems to advance the interests of all of the US’s worst enemies at the expense of its closest allies?

US forces were first deployed to Syria in 2014 as part of an international anti-Islamic-State coalition. At the time, then president Barack Obama was engaged in negotiations with the Iranian regime toward the nuclear deal.

Obama’s embrace of Iran was part of an overall strategic realignment of the US away from its traditional Sunni Arab allies and Israel toward Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. As Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told an audience of pro-Obama activists at the time, Obama viewed his embrace of Iran through nuclear talks as the central policy of his second term.

Since Sunni ISIS was perceived as hostile to Shi’ite Iran, by fighting ISIS, Obama was achieving two goals: He was helping Iran by getting rid of a powerful adversary in Iraq and Syria, and he was selling the idea to the American public that Iran was their ally in a common war against ISIS.

US forces in Syria were given a very narrow mandate. They were prohibited from taking any action against Iran or Iranian-backed forces.




For the past two years, the Trump administration has continued implementing Obama’s pro-Iran policy in Syria. Efforts to change the US mission have failed, largely due to Pentagon opposition. During his visit to Israel in August, National Security Advisor John Bolton said that the mission of US forces had been expanded to block Iran from asserting control over Syria. But since the administration didn’t request a new mandate from Congress, the mission remained officially what it has been since 2014.

It is true that on the ground, the US forces in Syria do far more than fight ISIS. They block Iran from controlling the Syrian border with Iraq and so prevent Iran from controlling a land route from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea.

US forces also have blocked Turkey from taking over Syrian Kurdistan and have prevented Turkish President Recep Erdogan from carrying out his pledge to destroy the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces. If the US chooses not to arm and supply the SDF, once the Americans leave, Syria’s Kurds – America’s only loyal allies there – will either have to cut a deal with Russia and Iran or face Turkey alone.

US forces in Syria also block Russia from taking over Syria’s oil fields. On February 7, forty US Special Forces troops blocked hundreds of Russian mercenaries from seizing the Conoco oil field on the eastern side of the Euphrates.

Finally, US forces in Syria act as a deterrent against Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah aggression against Israel. With US forces on the ground, they fear that provoking a war with Israel will be tantamount to going to war against America. With US forces out of Syria, their fear of attacking Israel will diminish.

BUT THERE ARE two significant upsides to the US move which together outweigh the downside, at least as far as Israel is concerned.

First, by leaving Syria, the US is abandoning Obama’s pro-Iranian policy once and for all. Further indication that this is part of a far-reaching strategic shift rather than a dangerous move by an impulsive president came with a Hadashot News report Wednesday night that senior US officials told Israel this week that Washington will align its policy towards Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) with Israel’s position if Hezbollah receives a larger role in the next Lebanese government than it enjoyed in the previous one.

Hezbollah and its allies won a majority of the seats in May’s parliamentary elections. Negotiations towards a new government have been deadlocked over Hezbollah’s demands for expanded portfolios.

Obama’s Lebanon policy – to support the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese government and the LAF – was part of his overall policy to empower Iran at the expense of Israel and the Sunni Arab states. Until now, guided by the Pentagon, the Trump administration has maintained this policy, much to Israel’s distress.

The advantage Israel gains from US abandonment of the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese government and the LAF far outweighs the blow it takes from the withdrawal of US forces from Syria. If the US abandons its support for the LAF and the Lebanese government, Israel will be able to defeat Hezbollah in war.

PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement Thursday morning revealed the second upside of Trump’s decision.

Netanyahu said: “We will continue to act in Syria to prevent Iran’s effort to militarily entrench itself against us. We are not reducing our efforts; we will increase our efforts.”

He added that, “I know that we do so with the full support and backing of the US.”

If the US backs Israel in war against Iran and Hezbollah by, among other things, deterring Russia and Turkey from getting involved; defending Israel at the UN; and supplying it with the weapons and other indirect support it needs to succeed – and it gives Israel a green light to attack the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese government and military – then Trump’s move represents a full abandonment of Obama’s anti-Israel, pro-Iranian policies.

Haley explained on Tuesday that, “The world must know that America will remain steadfast in our support of Israel, its people and its security. That is an unshakable bond between our two peoples. And it is that bond – more than anything else – that makes peace possible.”

By abandoning the anti-Israel fake “peace process” and striking out on a new path based on reality, and by walking away from Obama’s pro-Iran policies in Syria and Lebanon and backing Israel in its efforts to defeat its enemies, the Trump administration is demonstrating what pro-Israel really means. 


So long as it is true to its word, Israel is safer and stronger for it.

Gleaned from Caroline Glick

1 comment:

WalkingTheTalk said...

ALWAYS striving to find what's good, what's useful, can fairly state a claim to've never once, in 24 years online, used a negative personal comment.

Despite personal revulsion towards Mr. O, your comment about his alteration of alignments is such a profoundly horrible statement about your parents. I'm white, Jewish, and never like O, not for one day, yet I am SO humiliated to learn that you claim to be Jewish. What racist evil runs through the blood of the infected person who whelped you!