It was apparent all along but it had to take a crises of his own making to force him to come out with his attitude with respect for our foreign policy. Here is how Trump talked about the gratitude we show to the Kurds for being our ally for many years in fighting ISIS and Saddam Hussein.
“Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land. I said to my Generals, why should we be fighting for Syria and Assad to protect the land of our enemy?”
“Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!”
Wow. Think of the ramifications of this doctrine that even if you are an ally you are on your own if trouble lurks because you are far away from out shore.
First what we have been led to believe that we are bringing our troops home so that we can escape the endless wars in that region is absolutely untrue. We are actually increasing our troop footprint on the ground. The reports are that we are sending three thousand more troops to Saudi Arabia. Some of the special forces that have been taken out of Northern Syria are going to Saudi Arabia. Of all places, Saudi Arabia now being visited by Putin whose citizens caused so much damage to us on September 11, 2001.
Second it shows Trumps abysmal understanding of the situation in Syria. He writes: “Let Syria and Assad” protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land”. He writes as if Syria and Assad are these two separate groups? Obviously they are not. The forces that have moved in from Syria are Assad’s forces.
The land that they are moving into was not held by them. It was held by Kurds against the will of Assad. Once the revolution broke out against him the Kurds took advantage of it and ran their own independent area with our assistance. The land they occupied was not “the land of our enemy.” It was a Kurdish area that had kept our enemy, Assad’s army, from controlling it.
Third it is a dire warning to all those who have depended upon our alliance to keep them free that we will not be there for them. The cavalier suggestion that he doesn’t care who will assist the Kurds even if it is the Russians or the Chinese sends a clear message to all our ally countries that we are not to be counted on. It is as if Russia controlling other people does not matter. Isn’t preventing Russia from controlling other people what the Cold War and our alliances were about?
For seventy years for much of Europe and thirty years for others the America strength kept them free. It didn’t cost us much to do it. We lost no lives in any wars in Europe over that time. It was the belief around the world and especially in Russia that America would protect its allies and guarantee that they could be free people.
Trump has dashed that belief. The people in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, , Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania now must question where their future lies. Seeing that the United States abandoned its ally the Kurds who to survive were forced to make a deal with the Russians; will these nations so recently freed from the grasp of the Soviet Union now have to return to its orbit to keep their independence?
The message is clear to them. At the first sign of trouble we are going to run. After all they are thousands of miles away from us. Why need we bother with them.