Pat Buchanan wonders what the endgame for America is in Syria. After ISIS is beaten, will the U.S. attempt to consolidate territory under the control of its “moderate” rebel and Kurdish allies? This action would no doubt raise tensions in Syria to extreme levels, upsetting both traditional foes like Russia and Iran, as well as allies like Turkey, which objects to any autonomous Kurdish state. Pat writes at The American Conservative:
Sunday, a Navy F-18 Hornet shot down a Syrian air force jet, an act of war against a nation with which Congress has never declared or authorized a war.
Washington says the Syrian plane was bombing U.S.-backed rebels. Damascus says its plane was attacking ISIS.
Vladimir Putin’s defense ministry was direct and blunt:
“Repeated combat actions by U.S. aviation under the cover of counterterrorism against lawful armed forces of a country that is a member of the U.N. are a massive violation of international law and de facto a military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.”
An ABC report appears to back up Moscow’s claims:
President Trump and his country seem to be at a decision point.
If, after the fall of ISIS in Raqqa, we are going to use U.S. power and leverage to solidify the position of Syrian rebels and Kurds, at the expense of Damascus, we could find ourselves in a collision with Syria, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran and even Turkey.
During the campaign, candidate Trump won support by pledging to work with Russia to defeat our common enemy. But if, after ISIS is gone from Syria, we decide it is in our interests to confront Assad, we are going to find ourselves in a regional confrontation.
The question before us: After Raqqa and Mosul fall and the caliphate disappears, who inherits the ISIS estate?
The U.S. needs now to delineate the lines of advance for Syria’s Kurds, and to talk to the Russians, Syrians and Iranians.
We cannot allow our friends in the Middle East and Persian Gulf to play our hand for us, for it is all too often in their interests to have us come fight their wars, which are not necessarily our wars.
Read more here.
Pat Buchanan on conflict in Syria