Last Sunday Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Army General Mark Milley, announced that up to 600 soldiers will remain in Syria indefinitely to prevent a return of ISIS. Another goal is to deploy more US soldiers to the region to put pressure on Iran until a new deal can be reached. Meanwhile, Turkey has sent Special Operations Forces into the area to make it easier to return Syrian Refugees to Syria.
Many in the Establishment Left believe that this represents a well-placed resistance to President Trump from within the State Department and a triumph of reason over chaotic diplomacy. They argue it prevents the betrayal of American allies in the region such as Israel and the Kurds. Others on the Anti-War Left believe that it is another example of the “endless wars” and “Naked imperialism” that they began protesting in the Vietnam era and is unnecessary to defend American interests.
Establishment Conservatives are praising the move as showing a strong commitment to US allies in Israel and the Kurds. The more hawkish elements of the Republican party believe keeping American troops in Syria is key to preventing a revival of ISIS. Nationalist Republicans argue keeping troops in the region is yet another unnecessary, never-ending commitment like Afghanistan, that could be handled at the local level by America’s allies such as Turkey, Israel, and the Kurds. It is unpopular with them and with many veterans who supported the withdrawal from Syria.