Cost minimization: Could the US actually benefit from withdrawing troops from Syria?


Most western experts (and western journalists) have negatively evaluated President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria. Over the past month, the president has been accused of chaotic policies (an accusation which is already customary) and acting to the detriment of the interests of the United States and to the benefit of Russia (an even more familiar accusation) and even Turkey (something new). The head of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Richard N. Haas, said that after the betrayal of the Kurds, the United States has allegedly “reinforced already existing doubts in the region and around the world that the United States remains a reliable ally.” Fareed Zakaria wrote in The Washington Post that the actions of the White House are the result of the president’s knowledge-free foreign policy.

Another prominent figure from the Obama era, Admiral James Stavridis, said that “Assad, Putin, Erdogan and ISIS” benefited from the president’s policies in Syria, while the United States, the Kurds, Israel and the US’ Arab allies lost the battle. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and many other experts and journalists who have touched on this topic also expressed their anger and disappointment, but is their anger justified?

Americans start and win

On October 7, US President Donald Trump confirmed information on the withdrawal of US troops from the Turkish-Syrian border. Following this, Turkey announced the start of Operation Peace Spring. The American leadership was subsequently accused of betrayal of the Syrian Kurds.

Over the last month, US actions in Syria have appeared chaotic and inconsistent. For example, the United States first imposed sanctions against Turkey, and then canceled them. First, they began to withdraw troops from Syria, leaving parts of their bases, but then returned troops to the country to control oil fields and build new bases.

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All this led to talk in the media about the defeat or at least the weakening of the United States. However, such estimates are rather premature. If you look at the results of Washington’s actions related to Operation Source of Peace, you will notice that the Trump administration has remained in the black overall.