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Why Leaving Syria Is Necessary

Why Leaving Syria Is Necessary

Ted Galen Carpenter

Security, Middle East

Reuters

Forever wars are a bad idea.

Key point: Americans cannot be expected to fight and die in Syria indefinitely.

An explosion of criticism had erupted in Congress and the news media in response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw a small contingent of U.S. troops stationed in northern Syria. Those forces served as a (mostly symbolic) barrier to Turkey’s ambitions to conduct a military offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces there. Ankara has now initiated that offensive.

Republican hawks and Trump’s automatic adversaries among congressional Democrats are united in excoriating his decision. Much of the criticism has focused on the alleged betrayal of Washington’s Kurdish allies. Opponents of the move argue that the Kurds have been brave, invaluable fighters against ISIS, suffering approximately 11,000 fatalities in the process. Most of the Kurds are allegedly Western-style democrats as well, making the abandonment even more odious. Trump’s callous decision to give an implicit green light to the autocratic government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to invade Kurdish territory, his detractors argue, also may lead to a bloodbath at the hands of the Turks, an ISIS resurgence, and benefit the interests of Russia and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. The latter set of accusations is internally contradictory, since both Moscow and Damascus are staunch enemies of ISIS, but that difficulty does not seem to impede Trump’s critics.

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A necessary rise: Lithuania bolsters its cybersecurity, catching the attention of other nations

A necessary rise: Lithuania bolsters its cybersecurity, catching the attention of other nations VILNIUS and KAUNAS, Lithuania — Lithuania is rising to the top of those countries taking charge of their cybersecurity, and it’s development in cyberspace may benefit the … read more