Posted by 20 December 2018
The 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria will be coming home soon, President Trump announced yesterday. That news came as a surprise to many people, including members of his own administration.
The military personnel are in Syria to assist efforts to combat ISIS, which has largely been driven from territory in that nation. This has led the president to declare the U.S. mission accomplished and return the troops home. However, this decision appears to have been made unilaterally by the president without involving either the Department of Defense or the Department of State in how to accomplish it. As commander-in-chief, the president is ultimately in charge of where and how U.S. troops are deployed.
Supporters of this decision argue that it was unwise to involve U.S. troops in Syria. They say that since ISIS is not occupying territory there today, these troops should certainly come home. Opponents argue that without the U.S. military presence, ISIS may return. They say that removing U.S. troops will only empower Russia and Iran.
Syria is still in the midst of a civil war, with dictator Bashar al-Assad holding onto power. While he appears to have the upper hand, and is supported by Russia, there does not seem to be an end in sight for the war. This has caused a significant death toll and a refugee crisis that has destabilized the region.
While the president announced the U.S. troop withdrawal, he has not yet set a timetable for their return.
Do you think the U.S. should withdraw its military personnel from Syria? Are U.S. troops needed in Syria to prevent a resurgence of ISIS?