She Said

Swati Madankumar

“Consider President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria, as well as previous U.S. involvement in other countries. To what lengths should the U.S. military go to help support other countries in need, if at all?”

resident Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria is a selfish one, made not to better the state of affairs in Syria nor even to further the American agenda, but rather to secure some footing for the 2020 election. Trump hopes to appease his electors by calling for a “full and rapid” withdrawal of US forces from Syria, but fails to acknowledge the power vacuum that will be created as a result.  

As the troops vacate, they will leave behind a third of Syria up for grabs, which Turkey, Iran and Russia would only be too happy to scramble for. This would not only be a handout for America’s main competitors, but also compromise the safety of the Kurds, who fought alongside the U.S. army. If the U.S. needed to intervene in Syria, then it is obligated to at least stay long enough to ensure less political tumult.

Many, including Trump, cite the defeat of ISIS as the primary reason for withdrawing troops from Syria. However, the threat from ISIS was little excuse for the U.S. to intervene in Syrian affairs in the first place. The Syrian civil war started as a conflict within the country and escalated into an international power struggle between other countries. By providing funding and direct military support to various factions, outside countries have fueled the conflict for longer than it would have ever run.

Over the years, the U.S. has proven its policy to meddle in other countries’ affairs, especially if they are vulnerable. By exploiting new countries and countries in conflict, the U.S. digs out spheres of influence that it can use to take what resources it wants when it wants. When the U.S. “helps” these vulnerable nations, it actually hands out debt that they can never pay back.  For this reason, countries in need should be given a chance to develop without a looming U.S. presence.