Why Trump’s Syria ‘Surge’ Will Fail

By Dr. Ron Paul, 12-term U.S. Congressman and former presidential candidate, Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Last week President Trump significantly escalated the US military presence in Syria, sending some 400 Marines to the ISIS-controlled Raqqa, and several dozen Army Rangers to the contested area around Manbij. According to press reports he will also station some 2,500 more US troops in Kuwait to be used as he wishes in Iraq and Syria. 

Not only is it illegal under international law to send troops into another country without permission, it is also against US law for President Trump to take the country to war without a declaration. But not only is Trump’s first big war illegal: it is doomed to failure because it makes no sense.

President Trump says the purpose of the escalation is to defeat ISIS in Raqqa, its headquarters in Syria. However the Syrian Army with its allies Russia and Iran are already close to defeating ISIS in Syria. Why must the US military be sent in when the Syrian army is already winning? Does Trump wish to occupy eastern Syria and put a Washington-backed rebel government in charge? Has anyone told President Trump what that would to cost in dollars and lives – including American lives? How would this US-backed rebel government respond to the approach of a Syrian army backed up by the Russian military?  

Is Trump planning on handing eastern Syria over to the Kurds, who have been doing much of the fighting in the area? How does he think NATO-ally Turkey would take a de facto Kurdistan carved out of Syria with its eyes on Kurdish-inhabited southern Turkey? 

And besides, by what rights would Washington carve up Syria or any other country? 

Or is Trump going to give up on the US policy of “regime change” and hand conquered eastern Syria back to Assad? If that is the case, why waste American lives and money if the Syrians and their allies are already doing the job? Candidate Trump even said he was perfectly happy with Russia and Syria getting rid of ISIS. If US policy is shifting toward accepting an Assad victory, it could be achieved by ending arms supplies to the rebels and getting out of the way. 

It does not appear that President Trump or his advisors have thought through what happens next if the US military takes possession of Raqqa, Syria. What is the endgame? Maybe the neocons told him it would be a “cakewalk” as they promised before the 2003 Iraq invasion. 

Part of the problem is that President Trump’s advisors believe the myth that the US “surge” in Iraq and Afghanistan was a great success and repeating it would being the victory that eluded Obama with his reliance of drones and proxy military forces. A big show of US military force on the ground – like the 100,000 sent to Afghanistan by Obama in 2009 – is what is needed in Syria, these experts argue. Rarely is it asked that if the surge worked so well why are Afghanistan and Iraq still a disaster?

President Trump’s escalation in Syria is doomed to failure. He is being drawn into a quagmire by the neocons that will destroy scores of lives, cost us a fortune, and may well ruin his presidency. He must de-escalate immediately before it is too late.

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      • Carl_Herman

        Done. It’s a twice-daily ongoing issue.

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  • Charlie Primero

    Ron Paul is the only man qualified to criticize our President on this matter. Paul was the only prominent anti-war figure for the last 8 years.

    We must trust that President Trump has information we do not, and, as he has done many times already, is playing a 4-D chess game both we and his opponents do not understand.

    Military insiders say that American Military Officers are indeed covertly working with Russian Officers to coordinate a Russian-American alliance against ISIS.

    > “If US policy is shifting toward accepting an Assad victory, it could be achieved by ending arms supplies to the rebels and getting out of the way”.

    This is true. President Trump must work against the American NeoCon warmonger hold-overs from the Obama Administration who covertly work with Saudi Arabia and Israel to supply arms to ISIS.

    He may be stopping ISIS funding and arming, but cannot reveal it due to the Marxist Corporate Media’s fake “Russian Hacking” narrative they promoted for the last year.

    • Carl_Herman

      I hope that you’re right, Charlie. That said, I’m giving Trump 100 days to demonstrate through action to assert and/or arrest .01% US criminal “leaders” for ongoing and obvious crimes centered in lie-started illegal Wars of Aggression, looting, and soooo many lies.

      “We must trust that President Trump has information we do not” is the same line suckers bought throughout history. I don’t see it as “4-D chess” but rather an “Emperor’s New Clothes” endgame to powerfully and simply state the obvious about crimes demanding arrests.

      Dr. Paul and Dennis Kucinich always pulled their punches from their professional and legal obligation as public servants to factually assert illegal wars require arrests to lawfully stop the crime, and remove criminal leaders from committing further crimes. The ongoing costs are annual deaths of millions, harm to billions, and looting of trillions.

      • Charlie Primero

        > I’m giving Trump 100 days to demonstrate through action to assert and/or arrest .01% US criminal “leaders”

        You know that demand is unrealistic and won’t happen Carl.

        The 0.01% criminals persist because the vast majority of people simply don’t care about them.

        Ask 10 people in line at the grocery store to name 3 the of 10 richest people in the world. They will be unable because that subject is too complicated for them, and not as interesting to them as who will win “The Bachelor” or “The Superbowl”.

    • TruthTime

      Laughable. You’re one of those people huh. “Trump has a super secret chess plan you guys I just know it! I want to believe that voting for a Republicans and Democant matters!”

      Puhlease Dude. Anyone who voted for Trump or Hillary voted for continued Rogue State Crimes.

      • Charlie Primero

        Rachel Maddow? Is that you?

  • The end game is to balkanize and greatly weaken Turkey. Turkey is on the neocon-Zionist menu. Turkey is also infested from within with 5th columnists.

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  • jwjcfx

    The Syrians, including Assad, have been begging for help from the U.S. They are still at war with Al-Qaeda, or whatever name they’ve changed to this week. I’m pretty sure that this administration is not fooled by the “free Syria rebels”. Why don’t you write about how the Syria conflict started in the first place. Red Line-Rat Line. Robert Stephen Ford. Why don’t you write something on this guy? Put some truth to words instead of fantasy.