Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Trump's Syria Announcement is a Change of Speed — Not a Change of Direction

| Oct. 09, 2019

The decision to remove U.S. troops from northern Syria may drive Kurds further from America's political sphere, harm broader U.S. credibility in the region, and lead to a resurgence of the Islamic State.

If members of the policy and defense community are experiencing whiplash from President Trump's latest Syria announcement, it is not because U.S. intentions in Syria have changed. It is because, once again, key decisions — with massive political and security implications in the region — have been announced swiftly, without warning, and in the absence of interagency consensus and planning.

On Sunday, the White House announced that the United States would be withdrawing its forces from the northern Syria border region, and Turkey may soon begin a new military operation there. The announcement also said the United States would not interfere in a likely conflict between its NATO ally and America's local partner, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the People's Protection Units (YPG).

The news is a sudden and devastating blow to America's Kurdish allies in northern Syria....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Kaplan, Morgan L.“Trump's Syria Announcement is a Change of Speed — Not a Change of Direction.” The Washington Post, October 9, 2019.

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