In The American Spectator, Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi a Jihad-Intel Research Fellow at the Middle East Forum, explains how President Trump’s announcement of rapid withdrawal from Syria is in accordance with his consistent messaging on the issue, and that those who wanted to “stay indefinitely,” in the country failed to offer a compromise that could work. He writes (abridged):
Many observers raise legitimate concerns about President Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.
For example, there is indeed the risk that the local allies of the U.S. on the ground — the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — will face attacks from their adversaries, most notably Turkey, which regards the SDF as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) by virtue of the Kurdish YPG component’s links with the PKK. In such a context, it is possible that the Islamic State will be able to exploit a vacuum and regain some lost ground, thus going contrary to Trump’s proclamation about the defeat of the Islamic State.
It is worth asking why Syria policy has ended in the announcement of an abrupt withdrawal.
While it is easy to point a finger at Trump himself, many advisors, policymakers, and analysts who pushed for continuing the U.S. presence indefinitely are also to blame for this debacle.
Trump had always been consistent on his own preferences: namely, that he wanted to finish the fight against the Islamic State territorially and then bring U.S. troops back home.
Many of the “stay indefinitely” crowd, though, failed to give reasoned consideration to his preferences and tailor recommendations and strategy accordingly. Instead, they hoped that Trump would simply come to ignore Syria policy and allow them to run the show with no presidential or wider public oversight.
Read more here.