Count me, along with Colonel Lang, as a strong supporter of Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria and to start a drawdown in Afghanistan.
Ignore for a moment the fact that we never should have been in Syria in the first place. We went there, not to defeat ISIS, but to destroy the regime of Bashar Al Assad.
We essentially launched an unprovoked invasion of Syria while Barack Obama was President. Our troops on the ground in Syria remain there in violation of international law. We do not even have a sound Authorization for Use of Military Force aka AUMF. We are still using the justification for going after Bin Laden as the green light for trying to destroy Assad. There is no legal justification for this but, as Colonel Lang frequently reminds me, this ain't about Hoyle.
The hysterical reaction to Trump's decision clearly ignores the fact we have a very small footprint in Syrian–we’re only talking about a little more than 2000 Special Ops and Special Forces personnel. We have not deployed conventional forces as we did in Iraq in 2004 when more than 6000 Marines stormed Fallujah.
The SpecOps units that have been in Syria are not going into towns controlled by ISIS and slugging it out. They do not have that capability. They are doing some training, advising assistance, and intel collection. Our main killing force are drones.
“Withdrawing” from Syria does not affect or limit drone attacks. The drones have been our contribution to killing ISIS in Syria. The reality is that our base in Al Tanf has been there to keep the Russians, Syrians and Iranians out of the area. This did not have a thing to do with fighting and killing ISIS. Trump is exactly right—get our guys the hell out of Syria.
And Afghanistan? How long do we pour money into an absolute sh—hole? We are going on 18 years of having some kind of military force in that cesspool and we have not won "hearts and minds" nor have we brought Afghan society into the 21st century.
Our major accomplishment is killing and wounding a lot of our kids and enriching a bunch of foreigners, and US contractors. The American politicians insisting we need to stay in both places can seize the initiative and do one simple thing—Pass a new Authorization for Use of Military Force aka AUMF and authorize the money for the missions. Put up or shut up fellas.