Doug Bandow explains at The American Conservative why President Trump should ignore the “carping,” of the foreign policy establishment, and trust his instincts about getting America out of Syria. Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, suggests leaders “Consider Uncle Sam’s disastrous record in foreign civil wars.” That disastrous record should be enough evidence for anyone to conclude a pullout from Syria is the right decision. But, as Bandow notes, the most dangerous “attitude in Washington is the certainty that today’s policymakers can succeed where yesterday’s policymakers failed.” He writes (abridged):
When Syria tragically collapsed into brutal civil war in 2011, Americans had two contending reactions. One was to stay the hell out since there was little they could do other than offer aid to relieve suffering. The other was to intervene big time in order to transform the Middle East.
Naturally, the president, leading congressional Republicans and Democrats, and virtually the entire foreign policy community chose the second option. Never mind American interests, public opinion, fiscal responsibility, practical capabilities, and common sense. It was Washington’s job to reorder the world. What could possibly go wrong?
Without seeking congressional approval, the Obama administration embarked on a multi-faceted campaign: oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who had not attacked or threatened America.
Perhaps the most dangerous attitude in Washington is the certainty that today’s policymakers can succeed where yesterday’s policymakers failed. Consider Uncle Sam’s disastrous record in foreign civil wars.
The U.S. and Europe intervened in Libya’s civil war, and after eight years of combat and chaos, featuring the rise of ISIS and the murders of Egyptian Copts, fighting continues
Imagine what American foreign policy might look like if officials were judged on the results of their actions. Who in power today could withstand scrutiny?
These are the people who are most upset over President Trump’s apparent decision to bring home U.S. forces from Syria. He should ignore the carping.
He promised to stop the endless wars. Syria would be a good place to start putting America and Americans first.
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