Thursday, February 16, 2017

Rumors of War - Doomed Damascus

Pentagon considers sending ground troops to Syria -
UPI reports: "The U.S. military has worked with anti-Islamic State groups in Syria by providing training and assistance as they battle the militant group, but the United States may soon start taking a more active role in the country. The Pentagon is reportedly working on plans to potentially send traditional ground troops into Syria to help clear Islamic State militants from the country."

Comment: Well, this is unfortunate.  Trump has said he wants to rebuild the U.S. military and after years of war and constant deployments, that's a worthy goal. I would hope he would go into that rebuilding phase for at least two years before sending troops to yet another country. From a purely practical perspective, why not stay out of the way and let the Russians continue to support Assad? He seems to be winning his war against those he calls "terrorists," and with any luck, the situation should go back to what it was before the Islamic State was active in Syria. The U.S. never really had any problems with the Assad family dynasty in Syria before the young dictator took over and ran it into the ground, and as there are no alternatives at the ready, a strategy that imposes costs on Russia, undermines IS and seeks a return to the status quo ante seems as good a plan as any. I would only support more American ground forces in Syria if it was part of a Grand Bargain with Russia to ease tensions and increase cooperation between the two former Cold War rivals. I don't really see that happening though. Time will tell.

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