Introduction – Jan 7, 2019
Forget all the media blather about Trump’s plan to withdraw from Syria. It is not happening and nor is it likely to happen in the near future. Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton suggested as much on Sunday when he indicated that the withdrawal plan was on hold.
In fact the withdrawal has not even commenced and there are now reports of large US military convoys re-supplying American positions in Syria. We reserve judgement on this as it comes from the Syria Observatory for Human Rights, a UK based media outlet that has disseminated disinformation in the past.
However, IF this report is authentic it confirms our suspicions that the U.S. military has no intention to leave Syria. Meaning either that as the U.S. Supreme Commander, President Trump is not fully in control of his forces; or that his announcement of a withdrawal from Syria was a bluff. Or, more likely, that President Trump has been talked out of his decision to withdraw by his hawkish advisors.
So the same people who formulated the “War on Terror” after 9/11 are now in control of U.S. policy in the Middle East. So depite his campaign promise, nothing has essentially changed in US foreign policy under Trump. Ed.
Bolton: US troops will not leave Syria till Isis beaten and Kurds protected
Associated Press – Jan 7, 2019
US troops will not leave north-eastern Syria until Islamic State militants are defeated and US-allied Kurdish fighters protected, national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday, signaling a pause to a withdrawal abruptly announced last month and initially expected to be completed within weeks. Achieving such conditions will likely take months or even years.
Bolton also said some US troops would remain in the critical area of al-Tanf, in southern Syria, to counter growing Iranian activity. He defended the legal basis for the deployment, saying it was justified by the president’s constitutional authority.
In Washington, Donald Trump said “we won’t be finally pulled out until Isis is gone”. That was a reversal from his announcement on 19 December, when the president said US forces had “defeated Isis in Syria, my only reason for being there”, and said in a video posted to Twitter: “Now it’s time for our troops to come back home.”
Bolton was in Jerusalem, and was due to fly on to Turkey in pursuit of an agreement to protect Kurdish militias. In Washington, Trump told reporters at the White House that “we are pulling back in Syria. We’re going to be removing our troops. I never said we’re doing it that quickly.”
But in that 19 December video, the president said of the roughly 2,000 US troops in Syria: “They’re all coming back, and they’re coming back now.” Officials said at the time they expected American forces to be out by mid-January.
One key presidential ally greeted the new goals.
“I think this is the reality setting in that you got to plan this out,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina.
He told CBS’ Face the Nation that “the bottom line here is we want to make sure we get this right, that Isis doesn’t come back. And I applaud the president for re-evaluating what he’s doing … He has a goal in mind of reducing our presence. I share that goal. Let’s just do it smartly.”