I guess those here, as we don’t have an appropriate Trump thread for it—maybe it’s telling that there is no general TA foreign policy thread?
TRUMP IGNORED SYRIA EXIT OPTIONS THAT COULD HAVE KEPT RUSSIA AT BAY, NSC OFFICIAL SAYS
In the weeks leading up to President Donald Trump’s decision to exit Syria, his National Security Council staff had been preparing and presenting a variety of plans for an orderly withdrawal, a National Security Council official told Newsweek. The goal was to avoid a violent rush to fill a power vacuum opened by a sudden U.S. exit. These plans were abandoned completely by Trump in favor of an immediate retreat after a call with his Turkish counterpart. Within days of the decision, U.S. troops were handing over strategic positions to Russian forces.
. . .
More upsetting to many of those Newsweek spoke to than the Syria withdrawal itself was the way in which it was conducted, with the president ignoring advisers to pursue a hasty exit. Trump has vowed to end America’s “endless wars” but has faced opposition from inside his own administration.
The NSC official said that Trump’s defense team had “presented the president with many different options on how to achieve withdrawal from Syria within anywhere from six months to one month.” The official added: “The president says America first—but he doesn’t understand how to make that happen strategically.”
The official declined to provide the specific options proposed to Trump roughly a week to ten days before his call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but said they included plans “revolving around putting economic and diplomatic pressure on Turkey in order to maintain the security buffer zone long enough for the U.S. to work on a U.N. peacekeeping force replacing our forces.”
. . .
The president’s methods have led to deep confusion that may not be reflected in official statements. Gallego warned that “we can’t trust any readouts” from the administration because “the circle around the president is many yes-women and [yes-]men, and even when they oppose him they are allowing the record to reflect otherwise.”
“I don’t trust any of the readouts I’ve received,” he told Newsweek. “For example, that DoD didn’t have a strong reaction to the Syria pullout.”
If [Defense Secretary Mark] Esper was in line with this, he is not in line to be SecDef. He is not in line with DoD thinking and strategic thinking. The senators who are registering opposition should deny him his post,” he added.
But they’re working on a solution.
Sure they are.
I bet this conversation was awesome. US envoy to Syria meets with Russia, Turkey, and Iran.
The regime, opposition, Turkey, Russia and the representatives of 15 Western countries led by the U.N. and the U.S. had bilateral meetings separately.
The first meeting of the constitutional committee will be held on Oct. 31 at the U.N. office. Pedersen and the co-chairs of the regime and opposition delegations will speak at the opening meeting.