Trump taking control of the military and ordering the withdraw from the Turkish border and subsequent deployment of armor to secure the Syrian oil fields caused many in the defense establishment to claim Trump was morally wrong, implying that America had an obligation to remain indefinitely, despite the risk of getting caught in the crossfire between the Kurds and Turkey, a NATO ally.
The logic that we are required to stay and stand by an ally like the Kurds is the same logic that has kept us in Afghanistan for the past 18 years and has us wed to an Iraqi government that is now effectively proxy for Iran. We are smart to enlist the help of local actors who share our tactical goals, such as destroying the Taliban post 9/11 or destroying ISIS, but we are fools to stay beside them after our own goals have been accomplished. Our intelligence services can quietly maintain relationships with key local leaders in the event we need them again, as we did in Afghanistan throughout the 1990s. The idea that we need bases, patrols, a partner force and nightly raids is a myth.
President Trump should follow through on his promise to end our war in Afghanistan there is nothing in that place worthy of anymore of our blood . In Syria Trump should use the oil to reward the Kurds, this will give the Kurds leverage in their negotiations with Assad; the Kurds returning to Assad’s orbit was always inevitable. Once this is done, Trump should get our forces out of harm’s way so Assad, Russia and Iran can expend resources they don’t have to fight for land that is inconsequential to the U.S.