U.S.-Kurdish Security Ties Were Never Meant to Be Long-term

  
Via:  it-is-me  •  one month ago  •  38 comments

U.S.-Kurdish Security Ties Were Never Meant to Be Long-term
As difficult as it is for many in Washington to accept, the United States is not responsible for Syria's internal politics—nor is the U.S. obligated to support or defend the political aspirations of the Syrian Kurdish community.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


President Donald Trump's announcement last Sunday of a U.S. redeployment of forces from positions along the northeastern Syrian-Turkish border has been panned by a wide swath of the foreign policy establishment as a betrayal of Washington's Syrian Kurdish partners. The anger in the Beltway is palpable: members of Congress are demanding an explanation; senior lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are calling for testimony; and editorial writers are bemoaning the internal chaos within the administration that led up to the decision.

It's not surprising why so many are upset about the Trump administration's decision. The Syrian Kurds have been Washington's most effective counterterrorism partners against the Islamic State. Nobody else in Syria comes close. But just because the anger is boiling hot at the moment doesn't necessarily mean it's justified. There is a lot of misinformation percolating in the ether. It's time to correct the record.

---------------------------------------------------

With Ankara on the eve of an incursion and Syrian Kurdish fighters preparing for what could be a bloody battle, the next days and weeks will be filled with a significant amount of tension. President Trump has not helped himself by the way he rolled out his decision last weekend. That many members of his own administration were caught off guard is a damning indictment of just how haphazard the national security policymaking process has become.

None of this, however, should obscure the big picture. U.S.-Kurdish security ties were never meant to be long-term, let alone permanent. U.S. leverage in Syria was always extremely limited, even with a few thousand U.S. troops sitting in the middle of the desert. And despite loud protests about American betrayal, core U.S. national security interests in civil war-ravaged Syria were always narrow and specific: destroy the Islamic State's physical caliphate.

Syria's politics will not be determined by the United States, but rather by stakeholders who have much more at stake.


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It Is ME
1  seeder  It Is ME    one month ago

"As difficult as it is for many in Washington to accept, the United States is not responsible for Syria's internal politics—nor is the U.S. obligated to support or defend the political aspirations of the Syrian Kurdish community. To do so would likely create even more problems, putting the U.S. smack-dab in the middle of a decades-long Turkish-Kurdish rivalry and further deteriorating a U.S.-Turkey relationship that is already suffering from a number of disputes. Bluntly put: serving as the Kurds' external protector in perpetuity is not what U.S. troops signed up for when they were first deployed to Syria years ago."

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  It Is ME @1    one month ago

We had mutual interests

 
 
 
It Is ME
1.1.1  seeder  It Is ME  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1    one month ago
We had mutual interests

We have "Interests" all over the world.....including with the "Bad" !

 
 
 
dave-2693993
1.2  dave-2693993  replied to  It Is ME @1    one month ago
Bluntly put: serving as the Kurds' external protector in perpetuity is not what U.S. troops signed up for when they were first deployed to Syria years ago."

Bull Fucking Shit.

"WE" brought the Kurds on board to do OUR dirty work and because a 3rd world war lord holds President Donald Trump in economic compromise, Trump bailed on a key ally in the region...after doing OUR dirty work.

Since when do we withdraw from a region without preparation? I thought we learned from Vietnam and Obama's example in Irag? 

Guess not.

Who needs to pay attention to histories lessons learned?

 
 
 
It Is ME
1.2.1  seeder  It Is ME  replied to  dave-2693993 @1.2    one month ago
Since when do we withdraw from a region without preparation?

It was only about a hundred or less U.S. Teachers shifted from a minute area in Syria. What's the real beef ?

 
 
 
dave-2693993
1.2.2  dave-2693993  replied to  It Is ME @1.2.1    one month ago

An open door to a fully mechanized invasion by Turkey.

...and hundreds of lives lost by our allies who did our dirty work and "defeated ISIS" for us on the ground.

 
 
 
It Is ME
1.2.3  seeder  It Is ME  replied to  dave-2693993 @1.2.2    one month ago
An open door to a fully mechanized invasion by Turkey.

Turkey …..a NATO Nation.

 
 
 
WallyW
1.2.4  WallyW  replied to  dave-2693993 @1.2.2    one month ago
An open door to a fully mechanized invasion by Turkey.

That's  nonsense!

 
 
 
dave-2693993
1.2.5  dave-2693993  replied to  WallyW @1.2.4    one month ago
That's  nonsense!

Wally, do you have access to the news?

 
 
 
dave-2693993
1.2.6  dave-2693993  replied to  It Is ME @1.2.3    one month ago
a NATO Nation.

And?

 
 
 
Ronin2
1.2.7  Ronin2  replied to  dave-2693993 @1.2    one month ago
"WE" brought the Kurds on board to do OUR dirty work and because a 3rd world war lord holds President Donald Trump in economic compromise, Trump bailed on a key ally in the region...after doing OUR dirty work.

No, the Kurds would have been fighting ISIS/ISIL without the US, or else they would be dead already. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The US didn't transplant the Kurds into Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran to fight for us. They have been there for a long time. None of those countries want anything to do with them as they are trying to carve Kurdistan out of them.

We aided the Kurds not the other damn way around. The Kurds wouldn't have survived this long w/o US aide, military training, and US air support. 

As for the Trump portion. Prove it. I have seen the BS articles stating it. TDDS all of them.

Since when do we withdraw from a region without preparation? I thought we learned from Vietnam and Obama's example in Irag? 

Trump has only been talking about withdrawing troops from Syria for two damn years. Seems no one was listening, including his damn generals who should be fired. As for Vietnam- see Afghanistan- no matter how long we stay, no matter how much money we spend, or lives we waste- there will never be a pro-Western government there. I will take Afghanistan one step further. Even if the Taliban return to power it will never be a stable country. It will revert to the constant civil war with the Warlords, and rebel tribes fighting the Taliban who will find out again how much it sucks to try and hold territory and actually try to protect people.

As for Iraq. Blame Bush Jr for signing a SOFA agreement for troop withdrawal Obama offered to keep as many US troops in Iraq as they would allow. Iraq declined, unless Obama signed an agreement to allow US troops to be tried in Iraqi courts if charge with a crime. No President would ever agree to something like that, so we pulled out. We were dumb enough to think that an Iraqi military trained and supplied by US forces would be fighting ready. They easily proved us wrong not once, but twice. ISIS/ISIL made up of former Sunni military easily defeated the troops and were taking over Iraq; and moving into the Syrian civil war. Obama's dumb move was going back into Iraq (who is loyal to Iran) and saving them. Even when that resulting in the US providing air support to Iranian militias.

Guess not. Who needs to pay attention to histories lessons learned?

Guess some people don't.

Lesson #1: Never enter into any war without a clearly defined goal, and the will and resources to win.

Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya. All great examples of entering into conflicts w/o clearly defined goals or the will to win. All either ended in, or will end in disaster

Lesson #2: Always have an exit strategy.

Never ending wars suck. We are caught in 3 of them currently. Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq.  Afghanistan we are stuck with Obama's shitty SOFA agreement tying us to a weak corrupt Afghan government. Iraq, Obama, as stated put US troops back in. Trump has expanded their roll with the rising tensions with Iran. With Iranian militias moving freely in Iraq it is a recipe for disaster. How long will it be before Iraq asks us to leave?  Hopefully it will be before Iranian militias and US military have an altercation.

Lesson #3: Make sure you are in a country legally.

Of course of the three the US is only in Syria illegally. Sorry, the War on Terror isn't recognized outside of the US. Syria has called for US, French, and Turkish troops to leave their country. Obama never received permission for US to be there. Of course Syria would never have given us permission- as Obama wanted Assad removed. Syria has asked for US, French, and Turkish forces to leave. If our troops are attacked we cannot send more in to save them. We will be at war. Dumbest moment in history would be to start WWIII over Syria.

Yes, some of us do learn from history. Just not the lessons the neo-cons and chicken hawks would like.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
1.2.8  dave-2693993  replied to  Ronin2 @1.2.7    one month ago
No, the Kurds would have been fighting ISIS/ISIL without the US, or else they would be dead already. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The US didn't transplant the Kurds into Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran to fight for us. They have been there for a long time. None of those countries want anything to do with them as they are trying to carve Kurdistan out of them...et al.

What you state there does not change this fact:

"WE" brought the Kurds on board to do OUR dirty work and because a 3rd world war lord holds President Donald Trump in economic compromise, Trump bailed on a key ally in the region...after doing OUR dirty work.

Period.  

The instant, we took them in to do our dirty work on the ground, they became our ally. Period.

I can not relate to the mentality of throwing a war proven ally, doing the work, we refused to do, under the bus after a phone call from a third world war lord regardless of what he said. 

I can not grasp that mentality.

What are future potential allies thinking?

"The US wants our cooperation? Fuck them".

The list grows.

As for the Trump portion. Prove it.

Prove what? It is a yes/no question; did Trump pull out and abandon the Kurds after a phone cal with Erdogan? Yes? No? I think most news feeds on the planet has that one covered. The answer is Yes.

Trump has only been talking about withdrawing troops from Syria for two damn years. 

I have that beat. I have been talking about buying a Ford GT40 for 53 years. Guess what? I don't have one. The reason being, I never planned for it. Same for Trump bailing on the Kurds. He never planned for it. As usual he just reacted to something. This tine a phone call. Now he is making dumbass excuses.

About the SOFA and all that bullshit. That is all it is, bullshit. I said it then and I am saying it again, we were an occupying force. Fuck Iraq and that is exactly what we could have told them. 

Instead Obama did everything his military advisers (the ones not fired yet) advised against.

About the TDDS BS, That is just blah, blah, blah, blah. I am trying to find one single politician worth a crap. I have one that might be close, but I am in arguments with her at the moment.

Items 1 - 3, I need to get back to later. I have other things to tend to for now.

 
 
 
It Is ME
1.2.9  seeder  It Is ME  replied to  dave-2693993 @1.2.6    one month ago
And?

Do we bomb a NATO nation if we NOW don't like what they're doing ?

 
 
 
r.t..b...
1.2.10  r.t..b...  replied to  It Is ME @1.2.9    one month ago
if we NOW don't like what they're doing ?

There's no we about any foreign policy, nor any forethought. He was just hungry. When meeting with Erdogan, all he could think of was a warm Turkey sandwich, hold the side of Kurds, with a biggie size Diet Koch.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.2.11  igknorantzrulz  replied to  r.t..b... @1.2.10    one month ago
hold the side of Kurds

if only, there was a way

 
 
 
It Is ME
1.2.12  seeder  It Is ME  replied to  r.t..b... @1.2.10    one month ago

That comment was so cute !

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.2.13  igknorantzrulz  replied to  It Is ME @1.2.12    one month ago

this ain't no dating site  you

 
 
 
It Is ME
1.2.15  seeder  It Is ME  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.2.13    one month ago
this ain't no dating site  you

Oh ….you luvs me ! jrSmiley_93_smiley_image.jpg

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
1.2.16  igknorantzrulz  replied to  It Is ME @1.2.15    one month ago

long time

 
 
 
It Is ME
1.2.17  seeder  It Is ME  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.2.16    one month ago
long time

Dating site ?

 
 
 
Krishna
1.2.18  Krishna  replied to  dave-2693993 @1.2    one month ago

Who needs to pay attention to histories lessons learned?

Obviously not a totally uninformed Beo-Con such as the author of this article (or for that matter the ultra-Neo-conseeder of this totally misleading article) :-(

 
 
 
Krishna
1.2.19  Krishna  replied to  dave-2693993 @1.2.2    one month ago
An open door to a fully mechanized invasion by Turkey. ...and hundreds of lives lost by our allies who did our dirty work and "defeated ISIS" for us on the ground.

Here's someone who may not be as brilliant a military strategist as It Is Me-- as reported on Fox News: 

A retired United States Marine Corps general, Mattis served in the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. 

Former Secretary of Defense General James Mattis criticized President Trump’s decision to remove American troops from Syria, saying in his first public comments on the matter that   the Islamic State now “will resurge”   in the region.

"I think Secretary of State Pompeo, the intelligence services, the foreign countries that are working with us have it about right that ISIS is not defeated,” Mattis said. during an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

“We have got to keep the pressure on ISIS so they don't recover."

 
 
 
Krishna
1.2.20  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @1.2.19    one month ago

A retired United States Marine Corps general, Mattis served in the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. 

According to Fox news, Mattis continued:

Mattis’ comments come after Trump announced that he was pulling troops from Syria, greenlighting an invasion by Turkey of the war-torn region and stirring up strong bipartisan criticism from lawmakers in Washington that he was endangering regional stability and risking the lives of Syrian Kurdish allies who brought down the Islamic State group in Syria.

"You can pull your troops out, as President Obama learned the hard way, out of Iraq, but the 'enemy gets the vote' as we say in the military,” Mattis said. “And in this case, if we don't keep the pressure on then ISIS will resurge. It's, it's absolutely a given that they will come back.”

 
 
 
WallyW
1.3  WallyW  replied to  It Is ME @1    one month ago
Bluntly put: serving as the Kurds' external protector in perpetuity is not what U.S. troops signed up for when they were first deployed to Syria years ago."

The same nitwits that were aghast at the Syrian pullout are outraged at the deployment to Saudi Arabia, 

 
 
 
devangelical
1.3.1  devangelical  replied to  WallyW @1.3    one month ago

getting US troops out of the ME was the bullshit reason by the shit stain in chief for ditching the kurds. why is he now deploying more to saudi arabia?

 
 
 
Krishna
1.3.2  Krishna  replied to  devangelical @1.3.1    one month ago

getting US troops out of the ME was the bullshit reason by the shit stain in chief for ditching the kurds. why is he now deploying more to saudi arabia?

Correct-- its pure hypocrisy:

US To Send 3,000 Additional Troops To Saudi Arabia

 
 
 
Krishna
2  Krishna    one month ago

Of course it's not just the Kurds who are being massacred as a result of the withdrawal of American troops-- Christian communities in Syria are being attacked as well:

Indigenous Christian Communities In Northeast Syria Are The Target Of A Turkish Attack For The First Time In Over A Century

Church bells rang out across the plains of northeast Syria, warning villagers to seek shelter from incoming air raids. It was the first time in a century that the Christian communities in the region were forced to take shelter from a Turkish attack.

“They want to finish the job started a hundred years ago in the Seyfo,” said Bassam Ishak, using a Syriac-language term for the 1915 genocide of Christians in present-day Turkey.

“American withdrawal allows Turkish-supported extremism to be reasserted in the area.”

 
 
 
It Is ME
2.1  seeder  It Is ME  replied to  Krishna @2    one month ago

How many U.S. Teachers and policeman were shifted out of a miniscule area again ?

 
 
 
Krishna
2.1.1  Krishna  replied to  It Is ME @2.1    one month ago
How many U.S. Teachers and policeman were shifted out of a miniscule area again ?

Do you walk to school . . . or carry your lunch?

 
 
 
It Is ME
2.1.2  seeder  It Is ME  replied to  Krishna @2.1.1    one month ago
Do you walk to school . . . or carry your lunch?

I cook in class. Teachers Hate it !

 
 
 
WallyW
2.2  WallyW  replied to  Krishna @2    one month ago

So we should remain there forever?

Acting as permanent security guards?

Occasionally getting killed or wounded, because "that's what they signed up for"?

 
 
 
Ronin2
2.3  Ronin2  replied to  Krishna @2    one month ago

You are repeatedly leaving out the fact that US forces are in Syria illegally. Wonder why that is?

Turkey was going to attack whether our troops were there or not. In case you missed it there were also 200 French special forces station with the Kurds as well. They left when we did. The Turks flat out threatened France their troops were not safe.

And it seems the Turks don't aren't to worried about who they hit, including US forces. Guess they are defying the US to send in more forces and start a war.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/30361/u-s-troops-reportedly-caught-up-in-turkish-artillery-attack-in-syria

Details are still limited, but a report has emerged that U.S. special operations forces working with the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, have found themselves under attack from the Turkish military in northeastern Syria . Turkey launched a major operation into the area, targeting the U.S.-backed forces, just two days ago. This incident comes shortly after U.S. Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that authorities in Turkey knew where American personnel were situated "down to explicit grid coordinate" in order to avoid such mistakes.

Newsweek was first to report that American forces had gotten caught in the fighting on Oct. 11, 2019, citing unnamed Pentagon and Iraqi Kurdish officials with knowledge of the situation. The U.S. special operators were reportedly occupying a position on Mashtenour Hill in the Syrian city of Kobane, which sits right on the other side of the border with Turkey, when Turkish forces began shelling the area. It is unclear, at the time of writing, whether any U.S. personnel suffered any injuries. ISIS terrorists notably laid siege to Kobani in 2014. U.S.-backed local forces, with significant help from American and other U.S.-led coalition aircraft, were able to liberate the city the following year

"The Turkish military is fully aware – down to explicit grid coordinate detail – of the locations of U.S. forces," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley had said  at a press conference  earlier on Oct. 11, 2019. Ahead of the beginning of Turkey's intervention, with Ankara is calling Operation Peace Spring, at least one U.S. outpost had raised an American flag in place of one representing the Kurdish People's Protection Units, also known as the YPG, the group that has provided the bulk of the manpower for the SDF.

There have been conflicting reports of how many U.S. personnel may be in the path of Operation Peace Spring and how many may have already relocated to safer areas to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. Standing beside General Milley at the press conference, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper had said that less than 50 special operations forces had withdrawn from " two small outposts " near the Syrian-Turkish border. 

U.S. officials had previously told reporters than anywhere from 15 to 100 personnel had moved to other locations further away from the fighting. It's also not clear how directly connected troops still in the field are to commander centers with their own links to Turkish forces, who would be able to help bring a halt to any inadvertent attacks.

"This decision was made to ensure American troops were not caught up in the fighting between Turkish and Kurdish forces," Esper had said. "I will not place American servicemembers in the middle of a long-standing conflict between the Turks and the Kurds. This is not why we are in Syria."

It is important to note that U.S. forces had been very visible working to keep the SDF separate from Turkish forces, as well as Turkish-supported groups in Syria, known collectively as the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army , or TFSA, since 2017 . If the reports of U.S. personnel still occupying positions in Kobani are true, it would indicate that at least some American forces remain well within the areas where Turkey is now prosecuting Operation Peace Spring. 

It may also reflect the difficulty U.S. forces could easily be having in exfiltrating from those areas now as the Turkish operation has expanded. It could be increasingly precarious for American troops to use established road networks at present and it might be too dangerous for helicopters or other aircraft to fly in and extract them with risking an accidental confrontation. U.S. personnel have been relying, at least in part, on contractor-operated helicopters for mobility in the region and casualty evacuation services , highlighting how detached many of these positions in Syria are form traditional support chains.

So much for US forces being a deterrent.

 
 
 
devangelical
2.3.1  devangelical  replied to  Ronin2 @2.3    one month ago
You are repeatedly leaving out the fact that US forces are in Syria illegally. Wonder why that is?

you are repeatedly leaving out the fact that US forces were in iraq based upon a lie. wonder why that is?

 
 
 
bbl-1
3  bbl-1    one month ago

With the ( Trump brand ) of conservatism nothing is long term.  Everything is a convenience.

More importantly, was this just another promise made at Helsinki to further cement Russian influence and control in the ME?

 
 
 
Ronin2
3.1  Ronin2  replied to  bbl-1 @3    one month ago

Have proof? If sure the Democrats in Congress would love to see it.

Just another example of rampant TDDS?

 
 
 
Krishna
3.1.1  Krishna  replied to  Ronin2 @3.1    one month ago
Just another example of rampant TDDS?

Looks like, once again, its just another case of: INALBIPOOTV!

 
 
 
devangelical
4  devangelical    one month ago
U.S.-Kurdish security ties were never meant to be long-term

= thanks for all your help in iraq and with ISIS, now fuck off and die. sincerely, donald trump POS/POTUS

 
 
 
Krishna
5  Krishna    one month ago

thanks for all your help in iraq and with ISIS, now fuck off and die. sincerely, donald trump POS/POTUS

SIX YEARS OF WORK DESTROYED IN SIX DAYS: THE COLLAPSE OF EASTERN SYRIA 

Retired US Marine general John Allen spared no words of outrage: “There is blood on Trump’s hands for abandoning our Kurdish allies.”

The US military, which was left out of the loop of White House decision-making, tried to deal with Turkey’s threats and concerns, by establishing a “security mechanism” and getting the SDF to destroy forts and obstacles to Turkey’s upcoming attack. The US thought it was building trust, but Turkey was merely getting the US to do its work for it. The US military had been training 110,000 SDF fighters and had no idea that in Washington they were about to be thrown into chaos, watching those they trained be killed and ordered to leave.

The SDF was told it was all alone, the skies would be opened to Turkish airstrikes, and the SDF was told to keep holding ISIS detainees while Turkey, a NATO member, attacked it. The US had trained the SDF, only to then allow it to be destroyed.

 
 
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