The troops will “redeploy and remain in the region”

The news just in: Trump: U.S. troops to stay in Middle East, prevent ISIS resurgence.

President Donald Trump says the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops he has ordered to leave Syria will remain in the Middle East to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State threat.

In a written statement Monday announcing his authorization of economic sanctions on Turkey, Trump made clear that the withdrawing troops will leave Syria entirely.

He said the troops will “redeploy and remain in the region.” He described their mission as “monitoring the situation” and preventing a “repeat of 2014,” when IS fighters who had organized in Syria as a fighting force swept into neighboring Iraq and took control of Iraq’s north and west.

Trump confirmed that the small number of U.S. troops at a base in southern Syria will remain there.

Bringing the troops home is not a foreign policy objective, as much as it might be an aspiration. Defeating ISIS is a foreign policy objective, which is why these troops are not coming home. A premature declaration of victory would have been a huge mistake. Part of what I truly admire about PDT is that he knows what he wants, what he wants is almost always what I want, and he is flexible enough so that when he makes a mistake that he reverses course as soon as he can.

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64 Responses to The troops will “redeploy and remain in the region”

  1. Delcon

    Does that mean that Trump thinks that his decision re withdrawing his troops from Syria was a mistake?
    That can’t be, because this must have been the right thing to do, surely?
    In fact, it was so much the right thing to do, that nobody could think of his decision as anything other than the right thing to do. Just ask some Cats in this blog (among which are jupes, Oh come on and Frank Walker) and they will tell you that. In fact, if anyone tries, like I had, to suggest that maybe it was not the right decision, then, as the above Cats would explain to you, that someone is just being a troll.
    Natch, every abuse under the sun (and, in some cases, mentions of physical violence) are in order for any such blogger, and it when I had the Cats piling up on me, it was just me getting my just serve. Great work!

  2. notafan

    If you really think that those 50 odd US troops were the Thin Red Line stopping the Turkish army, nothing will change your mind

    Trumps statement

  3. If you really think that those 50 odd US troops were the Thin Red Line stopping the Turkish army, nothing will change your mind

    They’re the best platoon to ever have existed.

    They can hold back 20 divisions!

  4. Delcon

    Isn’t it interesting, geniuses, that both the Syrian Military and the Turkish Military marched on the area occupied by the US SF troops immediately after they left?
    What a coincidence: for years US SF troops sit there, and neither Turkey nor Syria show any interest, nor have any intentions of invading the area. Only after Trump withdraws his troops, within less then a week, suddenly the two powers discover how passionately they are actually interested in occupying the area. Wonders never cease.

  5. Aynsley Kellow

    Frank Walker, you fail to understand that simply by being there, embedded with SDF, 50 US troops meant Erdogan could not attack without risking US casualties – which would have been a disaster for Erdogan. They did not have to fight. Trumo removing them simply waved Erdogan through. It was a monumental blunder. It has played Russia and Assad into the game and the situation cannot be recovered by threatening economic sanctions and sending Mike Pence.

  6. max

    Mike “Mish” Shedlock:

    Trump is nothing but a playground bully and a monstrous hypocrite at that.

    Bring the troops home, all of them: From Syria, Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, everywhere!
    The US cannot afford to be the world’s policeman, nor should it try even if we could.
    Out foreign policy has been nothing but disaster after disaster.

  7. Delcon

    Aynsley Kellow
    #3185387, posted on October 15, 2019 at 10:52 pm
    Frank Walker, you fail to understand that simply by being there, embedded with SDF, 50 US troops meant Erdogan could not attack without risking US casualties – which would have been a disaster for Erdogan. They did not have to fight. Trumo removing them simply waved Erdogan through. It was a monumental blunder. It has played Russia and Assad into the game and the situation cannot be recovered by threatening economic sanctions and sending Mike Pence.

    Thanks.
    I’ve been trying to explain that concept to the morons on this blog in dozens of posts in the past week.

  8. stackja

    Tag team again. Thanking each other.

  9. Delcon

    stackja
    #3185435, posted on October 15, 2019 at 11:40 pm
    Tag team again. Thanking each other.

    I was particularly grateful for the post as it reminded me that, in spite of so many morons on this blog, there is some intelligence life out there.

  10. C.L.

    Nothing new has happened here, really. US troops are always in that region on standby.

    … simply by being there, embedded with SDF, 50 US troops meant Erdogan could not attack …

    So their job was to babysit this supposedly fearsome army of communists?
    Is that right?

  11. Delcon

    C.L.
    #3185455, posted on October 15, 2019 at 11:58 pm
    Nothing new has happened here, really. US troops are always in that region on standby.

    … simply by being there, embedded with SDF, 50 US troops meant Erdogan could not attack …

    So their job was to babysit this supposedly fearsome army of communists?
    Is that right?

    A lot of people make reference to “communists” when discussing the Kurdish nation. The Kurdish nation is, for historic reasons which I am probably not the best expert to discuss, a nation without land. That had led to various movements of independence. Possibly some had been hijacked by Stalinists, as radical Leftists like to hijack to their own political self-serving needs the downtrodden in society, which Kurds, one could argue, certainly are.
    One does not have to be a great fan of Stalin/communism to appreciate that the Kurds are human beings and have the same rights that human beings have in Australia, America and anywhere else.
    To stand by and watch them slaughtered and keep mumbling, “but they are communists”, is nonsensical simplification and, indeed, diversion from the real problem.
    The affiliation of some groups within the Kurdish nation with communism nevertheless, I would say the West could have a very good ally in Kurds, and, if it is established, in a free Kurdistan.
    So, maybe enough with all this “communist” talk. It is just about entirely irrelevant to understanding the fundamentals of the situation.

  12. mh

    The Kurds that have been inconvenienced by Erdogan’s actions have already allied themselves with Putin/Assad.

    Trump has done the right thing – got the troops out the way and let the regional players play.

    Troops staying in the ME is a non story. Talk of sanctions – meh.

  13. stackja

    Supposed Del doesn’t like mention of communism.

  14. Delcon

    stackja
    #3185466, posted on October 16, 2019 at 12:29 am
    Supposed Del doesn’t like mention of communism

    Now, isn’t that suspicious?! But all you geniuses already agreed a few days back that me criticising Trump must mean that I am a Leftist stooge, so what is there for you to add to this?

  15. stackja

    Supposed Del, I have always suspected, you are what you say, is supposed to be the opposite. So predictable.

  16. BorisG

    If you really think that those 50 odd US troops were the Thin Red Line stopping the Turkish army, nothing will change your mind

    trump says roughly 1,000. Is that 50 odd by your math?

  17. BorisG

    The troops will “redeploy and remain in the region”

    And what is the point of this exactlly? Once they are out of eastaern Syria they no longer have any leverage. If necessary the US can send thousands in from the US in a matter of hours.

  18. Iampeter

    Part of what I truly admire about PDT is that he knows what he wants, what he wants is almost always what I want, and he is flexible enough so that when he makes a mistake that he reverses course as soon as he can.

    You just witnessed Trump engage in yet another foreign policy blunder. The same one of this exact type in fact, from a year ago. Once again he appears to have been talked out of it by his administration behind the scenes. You couldn’t make this stuff up. I can only imagine what your reaction would be if Obama was pulling stunts like this.
    Trump clearly does not know what he wants. He is no more serious about bringing troops home, which he could do from hundreds of locations around the world with no issue, than he was about building the wall.

    Still when the alternative is political illiteracy, mindless support of a strong man is all you have, isn’t it?
    This is how the conservatives arrived at this wonderful place in their movements history after all.

    Can’t wait until the next phone call with Erdogan. Wonder what Trump will be randomly talked into next. Whatever random thing it is, it’ll be more evidence that he “knows what he wants,” right?

  19. Iampeter

    Nothing new has happened here, really. US troops are always in that region on standby.

    That’s right, nothing new has happened here. Absolutely nothing worth any kind of thinking, analysis or discussion.

    No conclusions of any kind to be drawn. Everything is fine.

  20. struth

    I have my own view, so when Trump does what he has done, I can’t fault him and won’t.

    Here’s my point.

    Why do you arm chair warriors even have an opinion?
    Especially you atheist types who seem to think the USA should answer to some higher authority, like a Christian God, and be responsible for minimising the death and destruction caused by the evil of others.
    To stop evil you only perceive as being evil due to your Christian heritage.
    But I digress.
    Please tell me where and why the USA has any responsibility to do anything there.
    He went in and wiped ISIS out, a terrorist group attacking the USA.
    He didn’t go in to defend Syria, or the Kurds.

    Job done, when they again cause a threat to the states, he’ll probably go in again, and unlike BO’s war with hands tied behind backs, he will wipe them out quickly again.
    All the sand Monkeys understand is force and power, and they just got it.
    They’ll be thinking twice about terror world wide after their caliphate was so easily destroyed by a determined USA, the likes they haven’t seen for decades.

    If Trump keeps troops there , he doesn’t have to and you shouldn’t expect it.
    Have you no pride, or sense of responsibility that you first question what your own country is doing?
    What you yourself are doing?
    But more importantly, ask yourself why you look to a single country’s leader to tut – tut while yyou give the UN, and European countriea, and Australia, a free pass.
    That’s where I’m coming from, Delcon, and others.
    I don’t think you are a troll.
    I think you aren’t an American, so clean up your own backyard first.
    Thank god in this world the yanks have done what they have done, sacrificed their own countrymen as other scoffing nations wouldn’t contemplate, and to now criticised them, sitting in your western country which is so because of battles of the coral sea, and similar, particularly gets my goat.
    Until Australia, which has no excuse not to be a superpower, and therefore no excuse to not be standing alongside the Yanks with more than just token gesture, just enough gesture that in case we need them to defend us, they will be there for us, well maybe you should shut your mouth.

  21. Aynsley Kellow

    Boris G: 50 were withdrawn from the region Erdogan wanted to invade; there were another 1,000 in other locations that then became at risk because of the chaos unleashed, not least because of the entry of Syrian and Russian forces.

    The PKK’s communist credentials are not at issue here. Only Erdogan has claimed that the SDF are somehow equivalent to the PKK, and most of the media (and clearly many here) have fallen for that. They were not one of the eight groups that signed the agreement to form the SDF.

  22. candy

    The Curds have aligned with that devil in an Armani suit Assad. Which was the plan going back a year or so, I think. What a terrible place. Nothing good can come of US taking military action.

  23. Iampeter

    But all you geniuses already agreed a few days back that me criticising Trump must mean that I am a Leftist stooge, so what is there for you to add to this?

    Weren’t you the genius that concluded I was a lefty because of something as random as my position on the Pell verdict, which you also got wrong?

    You are getting a good dose of your own medicine, delcon. From people just as “smert” as you are.

  24. struth

    Weren’t you the genius that concluded I was a lefty because of something as random as my position on the Pell verdict, which you also got wrong?

    You are a lefty.

  25. PB

    It has played Russia and Assad into the game and the situation cannot be recovered by threatening economic sanctions and sending Mike Pence.

    Somehow I think sending Mike Pence is something you do to ensure failure.

  26. Wil

    All this started before WW1 when rhe British Navy converted their warships from coal fired crankshaft driven steam engines to oil fired steam turbines.
    There source of oil was the Middle East, which they set up as the British Petroleum industry.
    Hence the locals got lots of money for no input which allowed them to continue their religious wars, both internal and external, which had been going on for nineteen hundred years or so, and still going strong.
    This is where we are at now.

  27. mh

    It has played Russia and Assad into the game

    The Syrian President wasn’t in ‘the game’ in Syria?

    A lot of jibbering going on here.

  28. Aynsley Kellow

    Struth: ‘He went in and wiped ISIS out, a terrorist group attacking the USA.’
    When did ISIS attack the US?
    Trump and the US did little of the hard yards. That would be the Kurds. Deaths were something like 8 to 10,000.

  29. Dubbya: we will commit war crimes in a pointless proxy war against the Axis Of Evil

    Donald: we will stand aside so that our buddies in the Axis Of Evil can commit war crimes

    Not a whole lot of difference, operationally.

  30. Roger

    It has played Russia and Assad into the game

    Er…we are talking about Syrian land and people here, and Russia is its long term ally.

    They just might have a legitimate interest in events.

  31. Iampeter

    You are a lefty.

    No, capitalists are not “lefty.”

    People pointing out your political illiterate leftism are not “lefty.”

  32. Delcon

    Iampeter
    #3185881, posted on October 16, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    You are a lefty.

    No, capitalists are not “lefty.”

    Turnbull is a capitalist.

  33. m0nty
    #3185827, posted on October 16, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Dubbya: we will commit war crimes in a pointless proxy war against the Axis Of Evil

    Donald: we will stand aside so that our buddies in the Axis Of Evil can commit war crimes

    Not a whole lot of difference, operationally.

    Not a whole lot of difference, completely different, but you hate them both because they’re wearing the wrong guernsy.

    You’re a tragic tribalist, m0nst.

  34. Trump and the US did little of the hard yards. That would be the Kurds. Deaths were something like 8 to 10,000.

    Don’t tell me you’re one of those iredeemable “air power is wrong” lefty meme merchants.

    One B-52 can level at least 16 hectares in a single bomb load.

  35. Roger

    One B-52 can level at least 16 hectares in a single bomb load.

    And that’s how any resurgent IS could be dealt with.

    Trump should bring those troops home as he promised to.

  36. Tel

    Part of what I truly admire about PDT is that he knows what he wants, what he wants is almost always what I want, and he is flexible enough so that when he makes a mistake that he reverses course as soon as he can.

    This means only that Trump attempted to do an end-run around the generals and Washington warmongering policy crew in order to fulfill an election promise and thus gain hope for re-election.

    Instead they seem to have managed to bloxor Trump at the last moment. BTW how many Americans realize there’s a large and established territory of Al-Qaeda right here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda_in_the_Arabian_Peninsula

    Weird how we never hear about those from the media.

  37. Tel

    Donald: we will stand aside so that our buddies in the Axis Of Evil can commit war crimes

    That’s a NATO member you are talking about, dunderhead.

  38. Iampeter

    This means only that Trump attempted to do an end-run around the generals and Washington warmongering policy crew in order to fulfill an election promise and thus gain hope for re-election.

    Please. Read the article about the “combat experienced” generals unloading on Trump. They’re terrified of even a shooting war with Iran. They talked him out of his attack, mid-operation, when Iran downed an American drone. This made Trump into a chump just like Obama who sets red lines he doesn’t intend to enforce. No, the military is as much a part of the problem as everything else.

    Also, if Trump wanted to fulfill his election promise then he would’ve started moving troops home from a hundred other bases all over the world that they don’t need to be in and where doing so would not result in a geopolitical crisis. Or risk any ethnic cleansing. Or make America look weak and incompetent.

    No, Trump just got played on a phone call by Erdogan. He’s a dumbass. It’s really that simple.

  39. Roger

    No, Trump just got played on a phone call by Erdogan. He’s a dumbass. It’s really that simple.

    That simple, eh?

    Tell me iampeter,

    You’re so brilliantly brilliant, why do you spend so much time posting on a blog?

    I mean, most of us have an excuse: we’re retired.

  40. Delcon

    Roger
    #3185900, posted on October 16, 2019 at 5:25 pm
    One B-52 can level at least 16 hectares in a single bomb load.

    And that’s how any resurgent IS could be dealt with.

    Trump should bring those troops home as he promised to.

    You probably don’t realise it, but you contradict yourself when you say, effectively: “Trump should use air power, but not have any Special Forces on the ground”.
    That’s (one of the reasons) why you have SF on the ground: if you are going to have your planes in the air, you would like a few SF troops on the ground. You don’t need many, only a few.
    In other words, your suggestion to use air power is entirely consistent with the situation which existed until about a week ago: a few SF forces which are essential for an effective air campaign.
    Trump essentially took this option off the table, which was kinda what kept the situation from going into hell in a basket case, which is what seems to be happening now.

  41. mh

    What’s happening now is the right players Putin/Syria , Syria/Kurdish alliance and Turkey will sort out the geo politics.

    Putin has already stated there won’t be conflict with the Turks.

    The only interest for the US is any resurgence of ISIS, which is unlikely, and other regional players should be dealing with that threat anyhow.

  42. Delcon

    mh
    #3185986, posted on October 16, 2019 at 7:32 pm
    What’s happening now is the right players Putin/Syria , Syria/Kurdish alliance and Turkey will sort out the geo politics.

    Putin has already stated there won’t be conflict with the Turks.

    The only interest for the US is any resurgence of ISIS, which is unlikely, and other regional players should be dealing with that threat anyhow.

    Why is a resurgence of a bunch of religious fanatics which chop a few heads here and there, but are not armed with much more than AK47s more of “an interest for the US” than the geopolitics of the situation, including key regional and world military powers like Russia, Turkey and Iran?

  43. Judge Dredd

    The only mistake Trump could make is not pulling the US troops out of another useless and endless war in the Middle East.
    I think this move is merely temporary as he slowly removes the US from the region, much to the chagrin of the neocons.

  44. Roger

    That’s (one of the reasons) why you have SF on the ground: if you are going to have your planes in the air, you would like a few SF troops on the ground. You don’t need many, only a few.

    You don’t need any when you’ve got four local powers ready to fill the void.

    Tell me again, what essential US interest is threatened by a putative IS revival?

  45. mh

    Why is a resurgence of a bunch of religious fanatics which chop a few heads here and there, but are not armed with much more than AK47s more of “an interest for the US” than the geopolitics of the situation, including key regional and world military powers like Russia, Turkey and Iran?

    Good question, Delcon.

    I think you are underestimating the Islamic caliphate that was held by ISIS, btw. This was an inspiration to Islamic lunatics right around the world and a threat to the remaining parts of the nations of Syria and Iraq.
    The key regional powers are sovereign nations, and Turkey a fellow NATO member. As much as relations may sour from time to time, you can still negotiate with a sovereign nation as far as trading routes, military aggression, energy resources, etc.
    ISIS only bring violence and chaos.

    The chaos left from the Syrian war – which Assad won, and who is the legitimate authority – means issues of power and land sharing need to be thrashed out. The US military does not need to be involved any longer according to Trump, and I agree with him.

  46. mh

    Reply to Delcon in moderation.

  47. Roger

    Tell me again, what essential US interest is threatened by a putative IS revival?

    And I expect an answer.

    I’ll check back tomorrow.

  48. mh

    Why is a resurgence of a bunch of religious fanatics which chop a few heads here and there, but are not armed with much more than AK47s more of “an interest for the US” than the geopolitics of the situation, including key regional and world military powers like Russia, Turkey and Iran?

    Good question, Delcon.

    I think you are underestimating the Isl amic caliphate that was held by ISIS, btw. This was an inspiration to Isl amic lunatics right around the world and a threat to the remaining parts of the nations of Syria and Iraq.
    The key regional powers are sovereign nations, and Turkey a fellow NATO member. As much as relations may sour from time to time, you can still negotiate with a sovereign nation as far as trading routes, military aggression, energy resources, etc.
    ISIS only bring violence and chaos.

    The outcomes from the Syrian war – which Assad won, and who is the legitimate authority – mean issues of power and land sharing need to be thrashed out. The US military does not need to be involved any longer according to Trump, and I agree with him.

  49. Delcon

    mh
    #3186052, posted on October 16, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    The outcomes from the Syrian war – which Assad won, and who is the legitimate authority – mean issues of power and land sharing need to be thrashed out. The US military does not need to be involved any longer according to Trump Erdogan, and I agree with him.

    FTFY.
    (Yes, Trump may have talked about withdrawing troops, but he did it entirely on Erdogan’s terms.)

  50. B-52s require forward air controllers?

    Delcon you are conflating interdiction, close air support (and maybe strategic bombing); possibly tactics and strategy.

  51. BorisG

    That’s a NATO member you are talking about, dunderhead.

    And if a NATO member commit ethnic cleansing sing or genocide so be it. Still our ally.

    The fact that islamofacist erdogan is still a member shows what a laughing stock NATO has become.

  52. BorisG

    Weird how we never hear about those from the media.

    I know about it from the media. But you probably never listen to MSM so you cannot hear it.

  53. struth

    When did ISIS attack the US?

    I think you are underestimating the Isl amic caliphate that was held by ISIS, btw. This was an inspiration to Isl amic lunatics right around the world and a threat to the remaining parts of the nations of Syria and Iraq.

    The twin towers not on your radar?

    Now whatever brand of Mooosli terrorist organisation is irrelevant .
    It’s Mooosli terrorism and it needs to be shut down.

  54. Crossie

    Roger
    #3185900, posted on October 16, 2019 at 5:25 pm
    One B-52 can level at least 16 hectares in a single bomb load.

    And that’s how any resurgent IS could be dealt with.

    Trump should bring those troops home as he promised to.

    Yep, and any and all Australian troops should also be withdrawn from the area including Afghanistan.

  55. notafan

    IS, in case people have forgotten, were orchestrating/inspiring attacks all around the world. If they had created el sham they would have stepped it right up, especially with Israel next door.

    That el sham also required considerable ethnic cleansing, a million Syrian Christians, millions more Alawite, the Yadizi.

    Where would they go?

    As well as encouraging thousands and thousands more to join them.

    Nice, London, here all is inspired, for starters.

    Some were successful, many more were thwarted.

    ‘They’ take their world domination handbook very seriously.

    A perpetual irritant.

  56. Mak Siccar

    Another view.

    Syria: To the Victor Goes the Spoiled
    Filed under: History,Military,Politics,Russia — cpirrong @ 3:00 pm
    The shrieking and rending of garments du jour emanates from Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from the path of a Turkish-backed invasion of northeastern Syria.

    What, pray tell, is the US supposed to do? Resist a vastly superior force armed with heavy weapons, artillery, and air support with 1,000 light infantry and support troops? Did these people attend the George Armstrong Custer School of Warfare?

    Oh, I forgot. Custer didn’t have air support at Little Bighorn. The US has the most powerful air force in the world. Maybe if we ask really nice the Turks will allow us to use the Incirlik airbase to launch bombing strikes against them.

    Or is the US supposed to go large, and bulk up its forces sufficiently to fight Turkey in northern Syria? Riddle me this, military geniuses: just how would they get there?

    Putting aside their tactical and logistical inanity for now, the critics of Trump’s move focus on two issues: the betrayal of the Kurds who fought ISIS in Syria, and the supposed surrender of American strategic interests in Syria.

    https://streetwiseprofessor.com/syria-to-the-victor-goes-the-spoiled/#comments

  57. mh

    The real issue

    Christian persecution ‘at near genocide levels’

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48146305

  58. struth

    Christian persecution ‘at near genocide levels’

    Aboriginal genocide and Christian genocide definitely seem to have different meanings.

    Taking away the dole is aboriginal genocide according to some.

  59. BorisG

    It’s Mooosli terrorism and it needs to be shut down.

    That is why trump allowed turkey to send in Sunni Arab militants and terrorists (aka opposition forces).

    Last time Turkey ruled the border region it, facilitated the rise of ISIS.

  60. Iampeter

    Is the story originally posted by Kates even true? I can’t find anywhere else confirmation that troops are staying. Just Russians laughing at Americans as they move into their hastily abandoned posts.

    #Winning

  61. Delcon

    “Erdogan, what’s with all the Kurds your men displace and kill,
    When peaceful repatriation of Syrians was our original deal?”
    “Trump, I hate to be so crass,
    But I fucked you in the ass.
    Well, what did you expect when you bent over to a Turk? You really need to get real.”

  62. Don’t Syria and Turkey have an agreement regarding over the border patrols against the PPK?

    The US, and certainly Australia should not intervene in interdiction against recognised terrorist groups by other sovereign nations.

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