Monday, December 24, 2018


One of the most impressive things I find about President Trump is his complete adherence to the words first written by Sir Philip Sidney a very long time ago. I have them over there in the right hand column. "I seek no better warrant than my own conscience."

President Trump unilaterally declared our involvement in the Syrian War to be over. We are done and we are bringing our soldiers home. This was met with universal howls of disapproval from all the usual sources including democrats and some republicans, diplomats, State Department clowns, European foreign ministers and NPR. It was quite a resounding clap of disdain for his decision which is kind of funny because at one stroke he paralyzed a number of future wars in their tracks.

We got involved in Syria because the deep state remnants of Obama and Clinton argued that we had a role to play there in our ongoing war on ISIS. I think Trump bought their arguments then but has since reconsidered and for some very good reasons.

1. As Mattis recently said, Syria is "a forever war." There is no achievable end that can be foreseen.
2. As conditions on the ground change in the north we risk direct conflict with two major middle eastern powers.
3. We already killed hundreds of Russian troops in their last attack in the north and are likely to be involved in direct combat with Russia for the first time since 1919. We can live very well without that particularly since there is nothing to gain by making war with Russia.
4. By being perceived as supporting the PKK and Peshmerga in their continued resistance to ISIS and arming them but not allying with them we open ourselves up to direct combat operations against a fellow NATO country, Turkey and again, for no benefit to ourselves or NATO.

The stakes are extremely high if we continue our involvement in an utterly meaningless war. Nobody on this continent gives a damn if Bashar al Assad remains president of Syria and why should anybody here care? There are no geopolitical or political/military justifications for maintaining any forces in Syria or engaged in Syria.

All of the above applies equally to Afghanistan. It is a worthless shithole and I'm sorry for the men and women who died there and for their families. It was wrong to invade and then to stay and try to build a nation/state out of mud and slime. The place hasn't changed for a thousand years and won't change for another thousand years. Our number one stated purpose was to get Al Qaida and for 15 years our "ally" Pakistan hid him right next door to their military academy. Why would they do that one asks? Well, likely because we poured billions into Pakistan to let us use their ports and roads to supply our forces in Afghanistan and bribe them for continued access. Their They're evil, not stupid.

I think that we, as a nation, are done with forever wars. It's a great pity it has taken us 17 years of futile effusions of blood and treasure to realize that.


Paul L. Quandt said...

"Their evil..."


Thanks for the post.
Paul L. Quandt

Brig said...

About damn time we had someone at the helm that could actually say "enough already" and get us out of there.
Have a Blessed Christmas!

HMS Defiant said...

Thanks Paul, that's the latest I've been up at night in over a month. Theer is stupid wrorde anyway. :)

HMS Defiant said...

And a blessed Christmas to you!

capt fast said...

Merry Christmas to all and to all a gooood nite!

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Evil is an excellent description.

capt fast said...

still having a hard time understanding why the french did not wish to go in there. oh. the syrians went into france. right.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

HMS Defiant said...

I pity the French, a little bit. They are still tied to their former colonial possessians and with one exception, maybe two, they got crap to show for their colonial efforts in Africa and Syria. While the British have been laid low of late they did at least found some very successful colonies that expanded and built on the fabric of western society best embodied by the English and the Scotts and the Welsh who raised generation after generation on Homer, Greece, Rome and western civilization. I'm not sure what the French did during that span of years but the only thing I can think of that they have to show for it, like with Spain, is a couple of nicish islands and a handful of countries that speak nearly the same language while sharing none of the same values, culture or traditions.

Happy New Year!