The Trump Doctrine: Don’t Expect Help From America

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.






11 thoughts on “The Trump Doctrine: Don’t Expect Help From America

  1. Sober comments by Henry Barth.

    Here’s a bit more with a partial excerpt. The comments are good too.

    Gets away from yet another pretext for mindless Trump bashing.

    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.

    As for the first issue, with respect to ISIS, the interests of the US and the Kurds of the YPG were aligned: both were enemies of ISIS. Yes, the YPG assisted in the US in its fight against ISIS, but it is equally fair to say that the US assisted the Kurds in their fight against ISIS. It was an alliance of convenience, and completely transactional.

    That alignment of interests does not extend to supporting the Kurds in their conflict with Turkey. Yes, Erdogan’s Turkey is a colossal pain in the ass, and is at best a frenemy to the US, but it is not in US interests to engage in an outright war with Turkey, either directly, or by proxy, to advance the interests of the Kurds in their generations-long conflict with Turkey.

    Along these lines, the key thing to keep in mind in the Middle East generally, and Syria in particular is: everyone sucks. Everyone. Everyone is awful. Sometimes the interests of awful group X align with the US, and we work with them (often to our regret). But that doesn’t change the fact that they are awful. This dew-eyed romanticism about the Kurds ignores this cardinal rule.

    1. Nice try. The Turks would not have invaded while we were there. So we left.

      Kurds lost 11,000 in the fight, we lost 8 – obviously they did the fighting for us. We bug out on them after it is over. Nicve ally.

  2. Mostly I like my foreign policy served in increments and with some warning. Doesn’t look like the Kurds (or the GI’s and Brass) had much time to prepare.

    Why is everyone wondering why we tolerate the Saudis? Our intentions are not pure. We have no permanent soul brothers—we have interests.

    Deficit Don Reagan didn’t liberate two hundred million anything; sixty or seventy years of being strapped to the machine, waiting for the revolution to be culminated tried even Ivan’s patience.

  3. Dave Sears, a former Navy SEAL commander, in an interview Wednesday with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, backed the president’s policy, saying he would “prefer to have our troops out of harm’s way.”

    “Why are we there?” he asked, referring to the “Powell doctrine” of former secretary of state Colin Powell under President George W. Bush.

    The Gulf War, he said, “was the last time we successfully executed a war to its end.”

    The Powell doctrine asks questions such as: “What is the U.S. interest in this? What is our exit strategy? Have we leveraged all the elements of national power?”

    “None of those things have been answered, I think, for the American people,” he said.

    “We’ve gone from a authorization of force post-9/11 that got us into Afghanistan. Then that was used to get us into Iraq. Then it was moved over into Libya and Syria,” said Sears.

    “We’ve so overextended into mission creep, that I don’t think that the general public knows what we’re doing over there anymore,” the former Navy SEAL commander said.”

    Veteran Troop Commander for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group
    U.S. Navy SEALs veteran with more than 20 years of tactical and strategic experience

    Planned, led, and executed hundreds of special operations missions in more than 40 countries on five continents

    Received numerous awards and decorations for his service in the military
    Energetic speaker using insights from military experience to discuss leadership and decision making.)

  4. Sixteen years in the Middle East and no plan whatsoever for the eventual withdrawal
    Of our troops.TheUnited States will never be lauded for anything it does if it means
    that our allies in NATO might actually have to pick up the slack or that people
    must start fighting for their own countries. I for one think that Representative
    Gabbard is correct. We have sacrificed enough in the loss of our troops being asked
    to fight wars that don’t end.If the draft was in place,those Pols calling for the troops
    to remain in Syria would be a lot less enthusiastic once their constituents started
    demanding that our troops come home.

  5. Trump has sent additional forces to our ally Poland. NATO has been strengthened. It was Trump, Reagan and the Republicans who won the Cold War not the Democrats Kennedy, O’Neil and Dukakis who opposed everything Reagan did from SDI to his military buildup and his economic program. Reagan liberated 200 million people in Eastern Europe from Soviet bondage not the Democrats.As Michael Scheur of the CIA said the entire Middle East isn’t worth one Marines life. 2. Henry, Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Paul and Buchanan are right about these pointless endless wars that have cost us 6 trillion dollars and thousands of American lives and probably over a million of the locals lives.Bush #1, Clinton, Bush #2 and Obama got us into these failed conflicts. Four of the dumbest Presidents ever. What fools these mortals be.

    1. “Reagan liberated 200 million people in Eastern Europe from Soviet bondage not the Democrats“

      Pretty damn funny punchline. Now tell the joke.

  6. “The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. … I held off this fight for … almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.”

    When, in December, Trump considered ordering all U.S. troops home from Syria, Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned in protest.

    Behind this decision is Trump’s exasperation at our NATO allies’ refusal to take back for trial their own citizens whom we and the Kurds captured fighting for ISIS.

    The U.S. has “pressed France, Germany, and other European nations, from which many captured ISIS fighters came, to take them back, but they … refused,” said a Sunday White House statement. “The United States will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost. … Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years.

    But al-Qaida and ISIS are in many more places today than they were when we intervened in the Middle East. Must we fight forever over there — to be secure over here? Why cannot Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States deal with ISIS and al-Qaida in their own backyard?

    Why are ISIS and al-Qaida over there our problem over here?”

    1. >>>Why are ISIS and al-Qaida over there our problem over here?”<<<

      Because we are in the web we created.

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