Ramifications of a withdrawal from Syria results from an irrational decision

Trump plans to brings troops home despite risks

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Ramifications of a withdrawal from Syria results from an irrational decision

Tamar Gewirtz

In seven years of Syrian civil war, over 400,000 Syrians have been brutally murdered. Starting under the Obama administration, the United States’ presence in the country has helped the Kurdish forces defeat ISIS, and with persistence and resilience, the ongoing fight has been met with success.

It is therefore reasonably shocking to discover that eight years later, President Donald Trump makes the sudden and immediate decision to retreat 2,000 American troops from the country.

Perhaps the decision was made with the good motivation of bringing soldiers home to their families, but this ultimately poor choice will devastate the already conflicted country. This will produce issues ranging from short term ones, such as the loss of lives on immediate retreat, to additional long term ones, such as the welfare of Syria and its government.

This decision affects almost all who are involved in the civil war. Iran and Russia, both adversaries of the United States, will gain more influence in the country. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, even recently commented that they will now make an attempt to gain complete control of the nation.

Even more dangerous is the drastic situation with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who is infamous for violating human rights acts on several accounts, including using chemicals weapons against his own people. Without American troops to keep him in check, he will be able to maintain if not gain more power and continue subjecting his people to unreasonable torture and abuse.

Trump’s reasoning for pulling the troops out is that the terrorist group ISIS has been defeated. However, the strong evidence that refutes this just proves that the president’s actions are likely to backfire. According to The Guardian, there are still about 14,500 members of the terrorist organization in Syria, proving that ISIS and their allies still survive. Because there is no doubt there are still terrorist forces at work within the country, without the presence of the United States, there is no telling how many more Syrians will be murdered due to a lack of necessary protection.

This issue is compounded with the problem that American allies, such as the U.K., France and the Kurdish, along with other countries that joined the U.S. in the fight against ISIS, are now likely to pull out due to the lack of additional support from the U.S. We have thus shocked and let down all these countries.

The Kurdish and their presence in Syria, over all other allies, has been the driving force in defeating ISIS. And if no other reason should be convincing enough that the president’s decision mirrors an apparent misjudgment of the situation in Syria, it should be this: if the U.S. leaves, the Kurds are in grave danger of being massacred. Turkey has considered themselves a long-time enemy of the Kurds because they associate all Kurds with the terrorist The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). However, the Kurds in Syria are not part of the PKK but have been the dominant force in fighting ISIS.

As allies, the U.S. should not leave Kurds behind, and by retreating their troops, they are leaving the Kurds extremely vulnerable. By abandoning the Kurds, the U.S. loses not only the trust of one ally but damages its reputation as a loyal and faithful country to those they are aligned with. This may lead to long-term implications, such as losing the trust of our most crucial allies, which would be incredibly disadvantageous.

No matter one’s political affiliation, the great repercussions of the president’s decision should be recognized and his actions should be halted immediately. Not only will pulling troops out of Syria dangerously affect the situation in the country, but it betrays our allies who have shown their commitment to America by giving their lives to help fight the forces of ISIS. All these consequences should be taken into consideration when determining the next steps.

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