I am baffled, confused and at some level heartbroken over what Donald Trump has done to one of this nation’s more faithful military allies.
We are pulling our forces out of northern Syria, leaving the Kurds — many of whom have died fighting the Islamic State terrorists in the region — at the mercy of Turkey, which has launched sustained air and artillery bombardments against Kurdish positions.
The Turks hate the Kurds. The Kurds have told U.S. military officials that they have left the Kurds “to be slaughtered” by the Turks.
Indeed, I’ve seen some video of Turkish soldiers executing Kurds captured in the field.
What in the world is going on here?
Trump made the decision to pull out after talking by phone with Turkish President Recep Erdogan. He apparently got no assurance from Erdogan that the Kurds would be protected. He also surprised his national security team with the decision he made with reportedly no consultation with the experts who know what’s happening on the field of battle.
I am so very torn by this development. I endorse Trump’s view that we shouldn’t be involved in “endless wars.” However, the manner in which this decision has come about and the seeming resurgence of ISIS fighters in the region means that all of our sacrifice and effort in ridding the area of the terrorist monsters has gone for naught.
And it is likely to cost the Kurds thousands more lives as they are left to fight a superior military force invading their territory from Turkey.
What in the world have we done to our allies? And can we be trusted in the short or medium term to stand by other allies’ sides as they fight the terrorists networks intent on doing us harm?