Millennium Post

Return to Syria?

After realising his earlier decision to withdraw forces from Syria was hasty, President Donald Trump acknowledged the possibility that ISIS and other terror groups could regain their strength in Syria and Afghanistan. Now, he seems to be thinking on other lines. To send US forces back if they made their presence felt in more ways than one. Earlier, he had announced in December that he was ordering staff to execute a "full" and "rapid" withdrawal of US troops from Syria. He was told that the concern by US intelligence chiefs, though, was that he could in that vacuum see a resurgence of ISIS and of terror groups like Al-Qaeda. "And you know what we'll do? We'll come back if we have to," Trump had said. "We have very fast aeroplanes, we have very good cargo planes. We can come back very quickly, and I'm not leaving," he said. "We have a base in Iraq and the base is a fantastic edifice. I mean, I was there recently and I couldn't believe the money that was spent on these massive runways. And these, I've rarely seen anything like it." Earlier, it was reported that the Pentagon believed that ISIS could re-emerge and take back territory in Syria within months if the US did not maintain military pressure on the terror group, according to an official familiar with the latest assessment. Another US official said that some military and intelligence officials are concerned it could happen even sooner. The President noted the military was still fighting ISIS from its base in Iraq, adding that some of the troops in Syria will be shifted to Iraq. "They're starting to, as we gain the remainder, the final remainder of the caliphate of the area, they'll be going to our base in Iraq, and ultimately some will be coming home," Trump said when asked when the troops in Syria would be returning. During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump attacked former President Barack Obama for his decision to draw down troops in Iraq, dubbing his predecessor "the founder of ISIS" because, he argued, the Islamic State flourished in the vacuum left by American forces. But, then, Trump keeps contradicting himself and does not always weigh the implications of his statements that are arbitrary. Worse, he has a relatively poor opinion of some of his top administration and Intelligence officials and is on record that they ought to "go back to school." As a President, he ought to speak and act with greater responsibility. Running down top Generals and others in the administration, with decades of professional experience, in public, is foolhardy. As the Commander in Chief, surely the President could do better to lift the morale of his team.

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