Opinion is divided on President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria

First of all, who is in favour. Well, Donald Trump is in favour. And then there’s Vladimir Putin, who is also in favour.

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The New York Times reports: Mr. Putin’s praise came a day after Mr. Trump said he was ordering the withdrawal because the United States military had achieved its goal of defeating the Islamic State militant group in Syria. Given the unfinished business on the ground in Syria, however, the move was a surprise to many, including some senior presidential military and diplomatic advisers in Washington.

And who is against (also from NYT)

First there is Secretary of Defense James Mattis whose experience and stability were widely seen as a balance to an unpredictable president, resigned on Thursday in protest of President Trump’s decision to withdraw 2,000 American troops from Syria.

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Mr. Trump announced Mr. Mattis’s resignation in two tweets Thursday evening, and said the retired four-star Marine general turned Pentagon chief will leave at the end of February.

Mattis wrote to Trump: On Thursday, December 20, Secretary of Defense James Mattis submitted a letter of resignation to President Donald Trump. “Because you have the right to a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects,” he wrote, “I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.” 

Trump has now lost two senior officials, Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general with significant military experience, in quick succession. This type of experience will be very difficult to replace.

And secondly there is most of Trump’s political allies in the Republican Party and most of his staff in the White House, and most of his international political allies.

And then this: America’s Kurdish allies in Syria are discussing the release of 3,200 Islamic State prisoners, a prominent monitoring group and a Western official of the anti-Islamic State coalition said on Thursday, a day after President Trump ordered the withdrawal of all American troops from the country.  Now, with the American troops gone, it’s hard to imagine that these people are going to go home and start tilling their crops.

 

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