Foreign policy "realists" cheer Trump's Syria withdrawal: "Not only appropriate, but overdue"

“Trump has managed to move in the right direction in the worst possible way,” said Stephen M. Walt, a Harvard scholar. He argues that the hard-to-swallow reality behind the withdrawal is that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brutal regime has won the civil war.

“The dirty secret is that allowing Bashar Assad to regain all control over Syria is going to solve a number of vexing problems,” Mr. Walt said. “Saying that is a horrible thing because Assad is a war criminal and should be on trial for atrocities.”…

“Trump’s execution … was extraordinarily clumsy,” said Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute. “However, his objective — reducing the risk exposure of those troops and taking the initial step toward ending Washington’s Syria military mission — is not only appropriate, but overdue.

“Trump’s critics offer nothing more than a compendium of policy cliches that would keep America mired in a murky, multisided conflict for decades,” Mr. Carpenter told The Washington Times. “We already have a forever war in Afghanistan. The American people don’t need another one in Syria.”